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Assistive Technology and IEP – transcript

Lynne Silcock, National Co-ordinator, Assistive Technology

Kia ora, I’m Lynne Silcock, National Co-ordinator of Assistive Technology, and I work out of National Office in Wellington. For most people technology makes things easier, but for a person with a disability it makes things possible.

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is simply anything that can help a student with a disability do something that they can’t do without it. And Assistive Technology under the Ministry of Education is things such as computers and software, as well as furniture, chairs, specialised chairs and tables, vision and hearing equipment.

Identifying need for an AT assessment in the IEP process

Because the IEP is the time when all of the team get together to review the student’s learning needs, it’s the perfect time to review the needs in terms of assistive technology and to look at the learning needs of the student, and identify if those learning needs may be addressed by assistive technology.

But the IEP process is really only a trigger point for a separate assessment. The IEP process does not actually address the assistive technology, or review those tools, or apply for equipment. The IEP triggers the assistive technology process, which is a separate process.

Reviewing existing AT in the IEP process

The IEP process is a time to review student learning and to look at their future learning needs going into the future, and this is a perfect time because, again, the team is together to review the assistive technology and make sure it’s still meeting the student’s learning needs.

If it is still not meeting the learning needs, there may be an adjustment to the way that the technology is used, or it might trigger a new assessment for assistive technology.

Again, assistive technology is just one of the many tools that are used to support the student learning, so it should just be embedded into the normal processes.

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