Indicator 5: Evaluation of Effectiveness of AT

Quality Indicators for Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Assistive Technology

Indicator Areas 

This area addresses the evaluation of the effectiveness of the AT devices and services that are provided to individual students. It includes data collection, documentation and analysis to monitor changes in student performance resulting from the implementation of assistive technology services.  Student performance is reviewed in order to identify if, when, or where modifications and revisions to the implementation are needed.

1. Team members share clearly defined responsibilities to ensure that data are collected, evaluated, and interpreted by capable and credible team members.

Intent:  Each team member is accountable for ensuring that the data collection process determined by the team is implemented.  Individual roles in the collection and review of the data are assigned by the team.  Data collection, evaluation, and interpretation are led by persons with relevant training and knowledge.  It can be appropriate for different individual team members to conduct these tasks.

2. Data are collected on specific student achievement that has been identified by the team and is related to one or more goals.

Intent: In order to evaluate the success of assistive technology use, data are collected on various aspects of student performance and achievement. Targets for data collection include the student’s use of assistive technology to progress toward mastery of relevant IEP and curricular goals and to enhance participation in extracurricular activities at school and in other environments. 

3. Evaluation of effectiveness includes the quantitative and qualitative measurement of changes in the student’s performance and achievement.

Intent: Changes targeted for data collection are observable and measurable, so that data are as objective as possible. Changes identified by the IEP team for evaluation may include accomplishment of relevant tasks, how assistive technology is used, student preferences, productivity, participation, and independence, quality of work, speed and accuracy of performance, and student satisfaction, among others. 

4. Effectiveness is evaluated across environments during naturally occurring and structured activities.  

Intent:  Relevant tasks within each environment where the assistive technology is to be used are identified. Data needed and procedures for collecting those data in each environment are determined.

5. Data are collected to provide teams with a means for analyzing student achievement and identifying supports and barriers that influence assistive technology use to determine what changes, if any, are needed.

Intent: Teams regularly analyze data on multiple factors that may influence success or lead to errors in order to guide decision-making. Such factors include not only the student’s understanding of expected tasks and ability to use assistive technology but also student preferences, intervention strategies, training, and opportunities to gain proficiency. 

6. Changes are made in the student’s assistive technology services and educational program when evaluation data indicate that such changes are needed to improve student achievement.

Intent:   During the process of reviewing evaluation data, the team decides whether changes or modifications need to be made in the assistive technology, expected tasks, or factors within the environment. The team acts on those decisions and supports their implementation.

7. Evaluation of effectiveness is a dynamic, responsive, ongoing process that is reviewed periodically.

Intent:  Scheduled data collection occurs over time and changes in response to both expected and unexpected results. Data collection reflects measurement strategies appropriate to the individual student’s needs. Team members evaluate and interpret data during periodic progress reviews.

Common Errors

  1. An observable, measurable student behavior is not specified as a target for change.
  2. Team members do not share responsibility for evaluation of effectiveness.
  3. An environmentally appropriate means of data collection and strategies has not been identified.
  4. A schedule of program review for possible modification is not determined before implementation begins.