Assistive technology (AT), defined as any tool or service that supports learners in doing things they would not otherwise be able to do, can provide the traction learners need to succeed. AT is often intimidating to educators. Staff participating in the AT Journey will be empowered to:
- Consider, select and implement AT for their students
- Recognize when additional perspectives (e.g., teacher, administrator, itinerant staff, paraprofessional, parent, etc.) are critical to this process
- Develop a team-based approach and systems that support students requiring AT
Why Try Something New?
AT consideration is required for every student with an individualized education program (IEP). IEP teams may meet the legal requirement of AT consideration or be “in compliance” by simply checking a box on the IEP form, but in reality, they may not be providing the right tools or services to truly support that student.
Districts should rely on a team-based approach, which may include an AT specialist to address the AT needs for each student. A team-based approach can help educators view learners as a whole and eliminate potential gaps in services and/or information sharing.
The AT Journey is designed in such a way that teams look at their current systems and approach to providing AT tools and services to students and work collaboratively to develop and/or improve their systems and approach
Web-based participants, encouraged to participate as ISD teams, embark on a self-directed journey that follows a similar path as in-person participants. Teams travel through the journey at their own pace while engaging with the broader AT Journey community through online discussions and by viewing edited and recorded sections of in-person workshops, webinars, and coaching sessions.
Teams participating in the online journey also walk through a strategic implementation plan, similar to all Alt+Shift initiatives. The aim of the AT Journey is to allow ISD and school teams to start the journey at any point in the school year and recognize the benefits of and develop a collaborative, team-based approach for AT consideration, selection, and implementation.