12 | Trial Use

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AT Possibility Generation

After a team gathers sufficient information on the child’s needs and abilities, it is time to brainstorm and research possible solutions of AT to help achieve IFSP goals. Devices and services should be specific to the child’s needs given his/her daily activities and routines. Since AT devices are phased out of production and new technology becomes available, it is more important for teams to know the features of the device than the exact names of the devices. The goal in this step of the assessment process is to make a list of the device(s) features that match the needs of the child. Some items that match the features needed might be found around the child’s home, such as a rolled-up bath towel used as a wedge to improve positioning for eating and/or playing.  One form that may be useful is the SETT Scaffold for Tool Selection by Joy Zabala Ed.D.

See Appendix B for the SETT Scaffold Form

The SETT Scaffold for Tool Selection will guide team members through listing features of a device.  Examples of features include portability, durability, synthesized speech, picture symbols, text-to-speech, etc.  After listing needed features, team members will need to ensure that someone on the team knows the names of specific devices that have these features, or they will need to do independent research and/or consult with an outside entity – like Oklahoma ABLE Tech – to generate solutions for what may work for the child.  Another form that can help is the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative (WATI) Trial-Use Guide. It can be found in the link above in Appendix B.

See Appendix B for the WATI Trial-Use Guide

Trial Device(s)

To prepare for a trial with an AT device, the IFSP team should:

  • Identify who is going to coordinate the trial which could include: obtaining the device, scheduling training, and monitoring progress.
  • Include training for the child and applicable team members on how to use the device.
  • Identify a start and finish date for the trail.
  • Identify criteria to determine whether or not the trial was successful.
  • Have a process for collecting and reviewing data with the IFSP.

Where to Get Devices for Trial

  • Utilize the AT kits that have been provided by ABLE Tech to SoonerStart regional offices.
  • Visit device manufacturer websites for information about trials and sales.
  • Oklahoma also has some state-specific resources for obtaining trials with AT devices:
    • The Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped: http://olbph.org/
    • Oklahoma ABLE Tech: Oklahoma’s Statewide Assistive Technology Act Program: okabletech.org


See Appendix B for Resources to Determine Specific AT Devices and Services