For students with learning disabilities, technology is an important tool in leveling the playing field, providing struggling students with the ability to access educational material that may otherwise prove challenging to understand.
As Assistive Technology (AT) continues to evolve, the task of understanding what makes sense for your child becomes more complex. Thankfully there are professionals that can help.
It all begins with an AT evaluation, which should be conducted by a professional or team of professionals, often including an independent evaluator, who are knowledgeable about the specific needs of your child.
The evaluator should have experience and training in AT devices, services, and implementation, and be able to integrate the technologies into the curriculum through the IEP or 504 plan.
A thorough evaluation may include the following components:
- Review of evaluation results and IEP goals and objectives
- Discussion with parents and those who work with the child
- Interaction between the child and the technology
- Trial in a variety of settings in which the device is likely to be used
- Consideration of the child’s and the family’s feelings about the devices
- Observation of the child using a full range of devices, moving along the continuum from no technology to low-tech to high-tech
- Analysis from trials regarding the child’s ability and accuracy when using various technologies, including positioning and settings that work best