24 | Assistive Technology for Transition/Early Childhood Transition

24 | Assistive Technology for Transition/Early Childhood Transition

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Assistive Technology for Transition

Transitions are an exciting time and can work very smoothly for children using assistive technology when certain factors are planned for and in place. This is true whether the child is transitioning from the community to the school as a three-year-old or preschooler, from one class to another within the same school, between schools, or from school back into the community upon graduation. During the AT assessment process, IEP teams, as well as Individual Family Service Plan or IFSP teams, should be thinking about how AT will be used immediately as well as in the future. Providing the skills and supports that a student needs to transition with his or her AT indicates that he or she is more likely to use the AT once the transition occurs.10

To ensure successful transitions, it is important for any AT the student is using to be recorded in his or her IEP or IFSP. This ensures that whoever receives the transitioning IEP or IFSP will know what devices and services the student was using to participate and achieve in his or her educational environment.

The following are actions teams should take to prepare for upcoming student transitions with AT:

  1. Identify transitions that will happen within the next two years.
  2. Develop a plan for these transitions.
  3. Identify AT devices and services needed after the transition.
  4. Determine in the IEP or IFSP specific instruction the student needs in order to be ready for the transition to AT use in the new environment.
  5. Develop self-determination.
  6. Identify specific activities that will be completed in order to provide the experiences needed for a successful transition.

Early Childhood Transition

Assistive technology can play an integral role in the early childhood transition process. For a child transitioning into the school system with an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), the team would have previously considered the AT needs of the child as required for him/her to benefit from daily routines in their natural environment and/or to achieve outcomes on the IFSP. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act explains that six months before the child turns three, the team members working with the child and his/her family are required to meet with the LEA to discuss the upcoming transition.

At this time it is important to reconsider the child’s need for AT and discuss what devices and services may benefit the child as he/she may be transitioning to a new environment where activities and routines are different. There are many pieces of AT that children may need between the ages of birth to three that would continue to benefit them as they transition at the age of three.

If it is determined that the AT used in early-intervention will transition with the child, the entities involved (i.e. parent, SoonerStart, LEA, etc) need to sign an Agreement for the Purchase/Sale or Statement Declining the Sale of AT Devices. For additional information on AT procedures for children receiving SoonerStart services, please view the Technical Assistance Document:  Assistive Technology for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities, IDEA Part C at:
http://okabletech-docs.org/homepage/at-ta-document-part-c/.