07 | Assistive Technology Assessment

07 | Assistive Technology Assessment

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The process for “Consideration” and “Assessment” are different.

The most obvious differences between Consideration and Assessment are those of depth and duration. Consideration is a brief discussion that takes place during the IFSP meeting using known information and results in the decision to continue something that is already being used or to try or not try assistive technology. Assessment goes into much more detail, looking closely at the student’s abilities and difficulties and the demands of the environment and tasks. Assessment also includes the acquisition of additional information.

Assessing Students’ Needs for Assistive Technology,
5th Edition, June 2009. Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative

Differences Between Consideration and Assessment
Consideration Assessment
  • Can occur within the IFSP meeting-may take under 10-20 minutes.
  • Is completed over the span of days, weeks or even months, outside of the IFSP meeting.
  • Can be completed with information the team already knows
  • Involves obtaining additional information to make a decision about needed supports
  • Looks at the student’s ability to achieve with/without assistance
  • Takes multiple interactions with the child, family, and involves demonstrations and trials of AT to find a match.
  • AT Assessment is ongoing and should be a continual part of the child’s future planning.
  • AT assessments are conducted within the child’s customary settings by a multidisciplinary team knowledgeable about AT devices and services. If at least one team member is not knowledgeable about AT, the team must know where/how to seek assistance.
  • When outside assessments have been conducted, the IFSP team must consider the results in any decision made with respect to the provision of early childhood services.