AT is required to be considered for all infants and toddlers with disabilities. However, all infants or toddlers with disabilities are not required to receive AT devices and services. The need for AT devices and services must be determined on an individual basis by the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team.
A child’s need for AT devices and services must not be based upon a category, severity, or class of disability. AT devices and services must be provided as outlined in the IFSP. The IFSP team must specify what, if any, AT device(s) and service(s) are needed to achieve child or family outcomes.
Because IDEA does not provide specific guidance for how AT consideration should be conducted, research should be used to develop and adopt operational procedures that provide guidance for consistently considering assistive technology for all children on an IFSP. This can be done at the SoonerStart county level or even regional level.
One model that can be used to consider the AT needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities is the SETT (Student, Environments, Tasks, and Tools) Scaffold created by Joy Zabala, Ed. The SETT Scaffold is a four-part model intended to promote collaborative decision-making in all phases of AT service design and delivery from consideration through implementation and evaluation of effectiveness. This model can be used to consider the AT needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities as well.
The SETT Scaffold for Consideration includes the review of nine different areas with functions within those areas to evaluate the need to implement assistive technology devices or services. Two of the nine areas, Academic and Vocational, do not need to be considered for children receiving SoonerStart services. The table below provides a brief overview of the areas covered in the SETT Scaffold for AT Consideration. The full worksheet is in Appendix A.