Assistive Technology (AT) in the school setting consists of two distinct components: devices and services. An Assistive Technology device is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability (Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2006).
Assistive technology services include: evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability; acquisition of assistive technology devices; customization and maintenance; implementation in the educational environment in collaboration with professionals; and training for staff and students.
CASE enables students to utilize assistive technology to access their education. The AT team supports districts with a variety of assistive technology services including consultation/collaboration, evaluation, training, and equipment maintenance. Within the classroom setting, the AT team can support teams to facilitate student access to the academic and functional curricula. They provide expert support to IEP teams that are considering assistive technology for students and work with the teams to identify tools to access the curriculum and facilitate communication. CASE procures equipment from its library or from an outside vendor for assistive technology trials and supports and facilitates equipment maintenance.
CASE provides AT evaluations to determine whether and which tools are needed for a student to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities and/or access curriculum. AT evaluations are conducted using the SETT (Students, Environment, Tasks and Tools) Framework. The SETT Framework is a four-part model that requires collaborative decision-making assistive technology service design and delivery (Zabala).
CASE provides on-site coaching to teachers and support staff with the implementation of AT tools; provides modeling for appropriate use of devices; and provides specific individual or group training on a variety of topics related to assistive technology as well as UDL (Universal Design for Learning) professional development. Workshops and trainings are provided to districts and CASE staff by the team on topics ranging from classroom implementation plans to specific devices and instructional tools. CASE explores all types of low tech and high tech devices and equipment and keeps up-to-date on changes happening in the field.