Assistive Technology Resources

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The mission of Quality Indicators of Assistive Technology (QIAT) is to guide the provision of quality AT services to improve
educational achievement of students with disabilities.

QIAT activities for improvement of assistive technology services include:
    • Developing descriptive indicators of effective practices  
    • Developing tools to evaluate services for continuous improvement
    • Creating resources to guide planning and implementation
    • Identifying and sharing information and resources
    • Providing opportunities for communication and collaboration

The descriptors of effective assistive technology practices were created to help school districts evaluate and improve or develop their services. They consist of the specific indicators which are descriptive statements, descriptions of common errors that may occur, and self-evaluation matrices.

This Penn State AAC & Literacy website provides guidelines for teaching literacy skills to learners with special needs, especially learners with complex communication needs.

Autism spectrum disorders
Cerebral palsy
Down syndrome
Developmental apraxia
Multiple disabilities

The website provides information on:

  • What skills to teach
  • How to teach these skills
  • Videotaped examples of instruction with learners with special needs.
Pennsylvania has a network of 29 Intermediate Units which serve the school districts in regions across the state. Each Intermediate Unit has at least one member of their TaC (Training and Consultation) Team with knowledge in Assistive Technology, who provides services for the students with disabilities in the districts in that area. Although the cost for equipment is the responsibility of each district for students with I.E.P.s, alternative funding may be available from other resources.

Assessment is an ongoing process; therefore, equipment that is needed for assessment and trial can be borrowed using the PaTTAN (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network) short-term loan program. This program provides LEAs with devices to assess the assistive technology needs of students with disabilities. The AT kit categories include: augmentative and alternative communication, blindness/visual impairment, computer access, deaf/hard of hearing/deaf-blind, switch access/environmental access, and technology for print/reading/writing support.

For more information about PaTTAN, please visit their website.

The AAC-RERC is a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center that functions as a collaborative research group dedicated to the development of effective AAC technology. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to ways (other than speech) that are used to send a message from one person to another. Free webcasts are available on their site.

WATI was funded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction through IDEA discretionary grant number 9906-23. From 1992-2009.
It currently is a volunteer network of assistive (AT) consultants from across the state who continue the work of providing AT training and support within Wisconsin educational settings.

The University of Kentucky Assistive Technology (UKAT) Toolkit is a product of six years of assistive technology (AT) research conducted at the University of Kentucky in collaboration with six school districts in Kentucky. It provides a systematic method of delivering AT services to students in schools. It is based on two major premises:

The first goal in special education is to improve a student’s ability to successfully function in schools, responding to the demands presented by the general curriculum and school environment; and
No technology and low technology solutions should be considered before the high-technology solutions.
The Toolkit systematically guides IEP and AT teams in considering the use of AT from referral through implementation.

The Georgia Project for Assistive Technology (GPAT), a unit of the Georgia Department of Education, supports local school systems in their efforts to provide assistive technology devices and services to students with disabilities.

Funded since 1991, GPAT has focused on building local assistive technology resources by providing quality professional learning and technical support services.

The mission of GPAT is to improve student achievement, productivity, independence, and inclusion by enhancing educator knowledge of assistive technology and increasing student access to appropriate assistive technology devices and services.

Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) strives to enhance the lives of all Pennsylvanians with disabilities, older Pennsylvanians, and their families, through access to and acquisition of assistive technology devices and services, which allow for choice, control and independence at home, work, school, play, and in their neighborhoods.

  • The SETT Framework is a four-part model intended to promote collaborative decision-making in all phases of assistive technology service design and delivery from consideration through implementation and evaluation of effectiveness. 

    SETT is an acronym for Student, Environments, Tasks, and Tools. Although the letters form a memorable word, they are not intended to imply an order, other than that the student, environments, and tasks should be fully explored before tools are considered or selected. Some people have tried to explore the first three separately and in order, however, that is nearly impossible because the first three are closely linked.