Implementation / Follow Up
Once the needed AT has been acquired and devices/services have been included in the IEP as required, there is still much to determine as a team. There are three areas of concern regarding implementation of AT:
- Inclusion of AT in classroom instruction
- Student and staff training
- Equipment management
Students will have much more success using AT in the classroom to accomplish educational tasks when a good implementation plan is developed and used. Schools should also develop a contingency plan in order to ensure that a student has access to the AT tool or system in the event that the primary AT malfunctions.
The following areas should be noted when evaluating how well the AT is being implemented:
- Tools/Strategies - Identify the specific AT tools or systems that will be used.
- Specific Tasks - Identify specific tasks for which the AT will be used by the student and to what extent the student will participate. Teams want to see student participation increase with the use of AT.
- Environments - Identify when and where the student will be using the AT. Determine how the AT will be transported from one environment to another.
- Related IEP Goals - Identify where the use of the AT correlates with the IEP.
- Develop a system for recording implementation activities and participation results - This will help to communicate information about the student’s AT use to all team members and help the team make decisions about the types of AT and supports the student may need in the future.
- Maintenance, Training, and Customization - Identify what components of the AT need to be maintained (i.e. the battery charged, cleaned, replaced). Ensure all personnel working with the student and his/her AT are trained (include content on which personnel need to be trained and timelines for training). Determine who will customize the AT (i.e. The speech pathologist will program new vocabulary on the speech generating device when needed).
- Repairs and Contingency Planning - Note information about repairs (i.e. who to contact for repairs and how they will be funded). Develop a contingency plan to stipulate how the student will be provided with a temporary replacement or low-tech backup while the primary AT tool or system is being repaired (i.e., use ABLE Tech’s educational loan program to borrow a device during repairs).