How often should a student’s AT plan be reviewed? What action is taken when a chosen Assistive Technology appears to be ineffective for a student?

An annual review of the student’s AT use is required by IDEA. However, frequent reviews of the student’s AT progress and effectiveness should be conducted periodically. If the chosen AT appears to be ineffective, the IEP team should meet to review the original goals and reconsider the student’s plan.

Should data be collected on the effectiveness of the use of the AT across all environments?

Yes. To be effective, AT data should be collected in all customary environments. To determine AT effectiveness, it is critical that data is collected on the frequency of AT use and the changes the IEP team expected to occur as a result of using AT. The specific type of data collected is a collaborative decision made by the IEP team.

What do I need to know to collect useful data?

To collect useful data, it is important to focus on the purpose of AT. Consider collecting data on expected changes, including anticipated increases or improvements in the student’s functional capabilities. In addition to expected changes, the IEP team needs to collect data from the environments in which the student uses AT and designate personnel to collect and record the data.

Does the family have a role in collecting and sharing data on AT effectiveness?

Yes. The family is an integral part of the implementation of AT. One of the customary environments where AT will be used is in the home and within the family structure. It is critical that the family plays a role in data collection, since the family knows the child better than anyone else and can report on any changes while using AT in a natural environment (frequency, likes/dislikes, goal of AT, etc.). Any data collected at home should be shared with the school staff and properly analyzed in each of the customary environments.