14 | Observation and Solution Generation

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three Observation

Up until now teams may find that they have much of the information about the student’s abilities, environments, tasks, and current tools just by reflecting on their past interactions with the student. Since doing an assessment requires obtaining new information, teams will want to complete observations of the student in the environment(s) where the student needs to complete tasks that may require AT. This is another opportunity for teams to share responsibilities!

Using a form that leads you through an observation can be extremely helpful.

Tips for your observation include:

  • Asking multiple team members to complete the same observation form in their own environments.
  • Observing how much/often and in what ways the student is participating.
  • Observing how much/often and in what ways the student’s peers are participating.
  • Noting whom the student is interacting with: Students vs adults.
  • Noting if there are any noticeable barriers to the student’s participation.

Assign a deadline for observations to be completed and schedule a meeting to compare team notes.

four Solution Generation

Once team members have gathered sufficient information on the student’s needs and abilities, environments where AT may be needed, and tasks that must be completed, it is time to brainstorm and research possible solutions that may help the student increase independence and participation in the least restrictive environment and ultimately reach those IEP goals! Since devices are phased out of production and new technology comes out on an almost daily basis, it is very important for teams to know the features of the device a student needs above knowing the exact names of devices (at this stage). The goal of Solution Generation will be to make a list of the features a device(s) must have and then determine which device(s) match well with the student.

The SETT Scaffold for Tool Selection form will first walk team members through listing features of a device. Examples of features include: portability, durability, word prediction, external or onscreen keyboard, text-to-speech, dictation, etc. After listing needed features, team members will need to ensure that someone on the team knows the names of specific devices that have the identified features or they will need to do independent research and/or consult with an outside entity - like Oklahoma ABLE Tech - to generate solutions that may work for the student.