AT in the Individual Education Plan (IEP)
The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a written plan for educating a student with a disability. The IEP describes the student’s specific education needs as well as any related services, including AT.
In Canada, as noted in the previous section, IEP practices and the place and importance given to AT within the IEP differ from a province to another.
Place of AT in IEP
AT can be included in IEP:
- As a condition of goal or objective (e.g.,“Using a voice output communication device, child will name….”)
- In Specially Designed Instruction, (e.g. “Access to a computer for word processing writing tasks longer than one paragraph”); as an accommodation for testing.
- Related Services: “Student and parents will be trained by A.T. consultant in use of A.T.”
- In supports for School Personnel (e.g. “Teacher of child with hearing impairment will be trained in use and maintenance of FM system.”)
Recommendations for efficient integration of AT into IEP
1. The IEP should be developed by a team of individuals who can provide information to others about the student and environment. The team should include the family and the student for whom AT is being considered, whenever possible.
2. AT is not the goal itself, but a tool to assist an individual to access programs and services and achieve functional goals and outcomes (e.g., Using a word processing program with a spell checker and word prediction capabilities, Kellan will compose a 3 paragraph paper of 15 sentences with 80% accuracy in the use of spelling, punctuation, and grammar over 5 consecutive trials by (date).)
3. The IEP should focus on the functional tasks of the curriculum and the daily routines that the student is required to perform, not on a particular piece of assistive technology (e.g., Using an appropriately programmed voice output device, Kris will make oral book reports in class, including the main idea(s)/event(s) of the story, characters, and an evaluation, 1 time a week for 4 consecutive weeks by (date).)
4. Emphasis should be on the needs and features required by the student function in the environment, not on specific names of equipment (e.g., Due to Cassandra's limited visual acuity affecting her ability to gather information visually, she will have access to a CCTV (closed circuit television) to enlarge and view printed materials.)
5. Services needed to implement the use of assistive technology must also be included in the plan (e.g., Dayson is independent with his wheelchair. The occupational therapist will visit the school once a month to determine any needed environmental modifications that are needed to allow Dayson to access school/environment and programs.
6. The IEP should support integration into natural environments (home, school, community, job) (e.g., At his work study placement, at the business office of the local hospital, Raphael will complete duties assigned each day using picture cues to organize his work and transition from activity to activity without reminders from coworkers. He will use his electric wheelchair to independently deliver written messages from the business office to the nurses’ stations and/or pharmacy.)
Adapted from: Assistive Technology in the Written Plan. Presentation at CSUN Conference, 1996. Judy Marquette and Janet Sloand Armstrong, Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative, (1997), and Chambers, A.C. (1997), Has Technology Been Considered? A Guide for IEP Teams.
Examples of AT in IEP
These examples are taken from the Ontario’s Ministry of Education website:
More about AT in the IEP
- Considering AT and Accessible Instructional Materials on the IEP This section from the University of Vermont Website provides a practical guidelines to the integration of AT in the IEP.
- Assistive Technology and the IEP This section from the The Family Center on Technology and Disability Website provides useful information to the integration of AT in the IEP.
- Assistive Technology for Learning and the IPP Process This document from Alberta Education Website presents a complete guide to AT and its integration in IEP.