The Four Conclusions - When considering a child’s need for assistive technology, there are only four general types of conclusions that can be reached:
- The first is that current interventions (what ever they may be) are working and nothing new is needed, including assistive technology.
- The second possibility is that assistive technology is already being used either permanently or as part of a trial to determine applicability, so that we know that it does work. In that case the IEP team should write the specific assistive technology into the IEP to insure that it continues to be available for the child.
- The third possibility is that the IEP team may conclude that new assistive technology should be tried. In that case, the IEP team will need to describe in the IEP the type of assistive technology to be tried, including the features they think may help, such as “having the computer speak the text as the student writes”. The IEP team may not know at this point a specific brand or model, and should not attempt to include a product by name, since they do not know if it will perform as expected. Describing the features is the key step for the IEP team in this situation.
- Finally, the last possibility is that the IEP Team will find that they simply do not know enough to make a decision. In this case, they will need to gather more information. That could be a simple process of calling someone for help, or going to get some print, disk, or online resources to help them better “consider” what AT might be useful. It could also be an indication that they need to schedule (or refer for) an evaluation or assessment of the child’s need for assistive technology. (WATI Assessment Guide , pages 7 - 8)