Assistive Technology/Low Incidence

Appropriate assistive technology (AT) devices and services can allow students with disabilities to participate in and benefit from the general education curriculum and to meet Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. For every student with an IEP, federal and state regulations require that the team consider the student’s need for assistive technology devices and services. Assistive technology allows students with disabilities to do the things they need to do in school—communicate, read, write, listen, and many other tasks that they might otherwise be unable to do or to do effectively.

Technical assistance that directly impacts children with disabilities in the selection, acquisition or use of any assistive technology device is available to district personnel. Services include consulting with student teams to consider potential assistive technology needs; providing information needed for the trial or acquisition of assistive technology devices; assisting teams in the selection, design, fitting, customization, adaptation, application, retention, repair or replacement of devices; aiding teams in the integration of assistive technology into instruction and coordinated therapies; and providing training and technical assistance.

The Assistive Technology Consultation

While assistive technology determinations are the sole, legal responsibility of the Local Education Agency (LEA), at Intermediate Unit 1 the Training and Consultation staff are available to provide consultation to assist school personnel and Individualized Education Program (IEP) team members in identifying and understanding assistive technology (AT) options, tools, and implementation.

IU1 Training and Consultation staff do not conduct evaluations, nor do they provide direct service to students. As such, it is imperative for IEP team members to gather and review information about the student, the tasks in which the student engages, and the environments and partners with whom the student works in order to make informed AT decisions.

When assistance is needed, the IU1 TaC Coordinator can facilitate an initial discussion with key team members and provide subsequent AT support or training, as determined by the IEP team or LEA administrators. All requests for consultation are gathered through an online form completed by the district’s special education director.

Once completed, the AT - Training and Consultation staff will make arrangements with the special education director to convene a one-hour discussion around the student, learning environment(s), tasks, and tools for making informed well-grounded AT decisions. This meeting may be conducted via online meeting software or a face-to-face gathering with a small number of team members who are knowledgeable about the student and day-to-day needs.

  • Facilitated discussions are led by the AT - Training and Consultation staff
  • Meeting participants must include the special education director, building administrator, special education teacher, and general education teacher. Speech Language Pathologists must attend for needs around language and/or communication.
  • Reports are not generated as a result of this process. IU1 has made the following templates available for LEAs to use to capture notes and define an action plan as a result of the facilitated discussion.
  • Examples of AT supports and terminology that can be used in describing AT in the IEP can be found in this resource document that contains AT Checklists.
  • As a result of the team discussion, the LEA may opt to call upon the AT - TaC for additional support
    • guidance on the implementation of existing supports and resources
    • trial of AT devices or software
    • AT training and implementation support for team members
    • observation to gather additional information for revised action planning

For more information on Assistive Technology/Low Incidence and upcoming trainings, please contact:

Theresa Edenfield, M. Ed.
Training and Consultation
Intermediate Unit 1
724-938-3241 ext. 718

Dr. Kristin J. Szewczyk
Assistant Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator
724-938-3241 ext. 242