Indicator 3: AT in the IEP

Quality Indicators for Including Assistive Technology in the IEP

Indicator Statements:

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires that the IEP team consider AT needs in the development of every Individualized Education Program (IEP). Once the IEP team has reviewed assessment results and determined that AT is needed for provision of a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE), it is important that the IEP document reflects the team’s determination in as clear a fashion as possible.  The Quality Indicators for AT in the IEP help the team describe the role of AT in the child’s educational program.

1. The education agency has guidelines for documenting assistive technology needs in the IEP and requires their consistent application. 

Intent: The education agency provides guidance to IEP teams about how to effectively document assistive technology needs, devices, and services as a part of specially designed instruction. related services, or supplementary aids and services

2. All services that the IEP team determines are needed to support the selection, acquisition, and use of assistive technology devices are designated in the IEP. 

Intent:  The provision of assistive technology services is critical to the effective use of assistive technology devices. It is important that the IEP describes the assistive technology services that are needed for student success. Such services may include evaluation, customization or maintenance of devices, coordination of services, and training for the student and family and professionals, among others.

3. The IEP illustrates that assistive technology is a tool to support achievement of goals and progress in the general curriculum by establishing a clear relationship between student needs, assistive technology devices and services, and the student’s goals and objectives. 

Intent: Most goals are developed before decisions about assistive technology are made. However, this does not preclude the development of additional goals, especially those related specifically to the appropriate use of assistive technology.

4. IEP content regarding assistive technology use is written in language that describes how assistive technology contributes to achievement of measurable and observable outcomes

Intent: Content which describes measurable and observable outcomes for assistive technology use enables the IEP team to review the student’s progress and determine whether the assistive technology has had the expected impact on student participation and achievement.

5. Assistive technology is included in the IEP in a manner that provides a clear and complete description of the devices and services to be provided and used to address student needs and achieve expected results.

Intent:  IEPs are written so that participants in the IEP meeting and others who use the information to implement the student’s program understand what technology is to be available, how it is to be used, and under what circumstances. “Jargon” should be avoided. 

Common Errors

  1. IEP teams do not know how to include AT in IEPs.
  2. IEPs including AT use a “formula” approach to documentation.  All IEPs are developed in similar fashion and the unique needs of the child are not addressed.
  3. AT is included in the IEP, but the relationship to goals and objectives is unclear.
  4. AT devices are included in the IEP, but no AT services support the use.
  5. AT expected results are not measurable or observable.