Making Assistive Technology Decisions
Choosing the right technology to meet an individual’s needs requires clinical expertise, understanding of the individual’s functional capabilities, and access to a variety of technologies. An assistive technology evaluation must be tailored to the unique needs of the student.
A good Assistive Technology Evaluation should:
What is an evaluation?
There is no formal or specific “test” for evaluating the need for assistive technology. An assistive technology evaluation should be conducted by a licensed professional, and provide a written report that includes recommendations for accommodations, modifications, devices, and services based on the individual’s strengths, needs, and the functional tasks they need to perform. Evaluations for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) should be provided by a certified Speech Language Pathologist. For additional information, visit this ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) web page: http://www.asha.org/policy/KS2002-00067/ .
Does my child need an evaluation? Does he/she qualify?
Any child with an IEP or 504 Plan is eligible for assistive technology services. Your child’s need for AT should be considered every year as part of the IEP/504 Plan process. Students in Early Intervention may also be eligible through their IFSP. If your child is enrolled by you in private school, he/she may still be eligible for services. He or she will have a “service plan” as opposed to an IEP, which can include AT.
How do I request an evaluation?
You can make a request for an assistive technology evaluation at any time to the Special Education Administrator in your district or to your Early Intervention Case Manager. It is best to make the request in writing. In the case of students aged 3-21, the Special Education Administrator may call for the IEP team to meet to review your request.
Who pays for the evaluation?
The cost for an AT evaluation is typically covered by the school department/agency that writes your child’s IFSP/IEP/504 Plan. School departments have the option to use your child’s Medicaid funds to be partially reimbursed for the cost of an evaluation and any recommended equipment. If they choose to do so, they must obtain your permission. If Medicaid funds are used, the equipment belongs to your child, not the school district. For additional information on funding, click here: http://www.ridlc.org/publications/Assistive_Technology_Funding_Guide.pdf.
To view our staffs’ qualifications, visit The TechACCESS Team page.
Download the referral form here in PDF
This form must be accompanied by an Authorization from the district Special Education Administrator and copies of current records. All referrals should be sent to the attention of our Clinical Manager, Jennifer Martinous. If you wish to e-mail your referral, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selected afternoons are set aside for After School Tech Time – an informal and fun time for teachers, students and parents to explore educational and assistive technologies with support from our knowledgeable staff. These sessions are designed for demonstration and trial use only and are not individual evaluation sessions. TechACCESS staff will not make formal recommendations. Appointments are required.
50-minute sessions are available free of charge and by appointment at 2:00, 3:30 and 5:00. Please call (401)463-0202 to schedule.
Dates and times are listed here: http://www.techaccess-ri.org/free-demos/#afterschool.
This program is offered through the Schools Project at TechACCESS of RI.