Quality Indicators

Focus Area 1

Why are they so important?

Quality indicators are essential to ensure that every student no matter the verification or severity of the disability, are being considered for assistive technology devices and services. The indicators give a clear guideline for school districts to follow so that a systematic approach is being used at every IEP. There are quality indicators in 8 areas including; consideration, assessment, AT in the IEP, Implementation, evaluation of effectiveness, transition, administrative support, and professional development. School district need to not only follow the requirements of IDEA, but strive for using 'best practice' methods to evaluate the effectiveness of assistive technology services.

Consideration Key Components

* When an IEP team convenes, assistive technology services/devices should be considered for all students no matter their disability or the severity. It can be misconstrued that an AT device is always high tech, but in actuality it can be mid-tech or even no-tech. An example of a no-tech AT device would be a pencil grip, which enables a student to increase their penmanship so they access the general curriculum better.

*The IEP team must use a consistent process in which they collaboratively consider AT for every student. Example: A student has a verification of SLD, so the team checks the box on the IEP and skims right over for AT, instead of considering if the student would benefit from an AT device/service based on the students needs.

* The IEP team members should have core competencies regarding assistive technology services/ devices that are available. Example: If there is not sufficient knowledge by at least one member of the team, it is time to seek out assistance from an outside agency or to provide more training for the team members.

* When making decisions for the need of AT devices the students goals and objectives as well as their skills in the general education classroom. The IEP will examine data and analyze it as a group in order to make decisions about AT. Example: As with any part of the IEP, decisions should be data driven, so considering how the student is progressing using grade level materials, and whether assistive technology services could be a part of closing the gap.

* The IEP will decide if AT is needed, and then they will consider a variety of options including; no tech, low tech, mid tech, and high tech solutions. Example:

* There should be sufficient results and documentation provided within the IEP on the AT consideration. Example: The team will add in detailed information, like data and observations made by the team.

Assessment Key Components

*When evaluating for AT clear procedures must consistently be used. There are many examples online for AT assessments that can be accessed.

*All members of the team are active participants not only school personnel, but the student and family members of the student as well. An interest inventory can be used with a student to understand which AT devices they may prefer or like to try.

*An functional assessment should be used to observe a student in various settings, not just the classroom; but in specials classes, lunch, recess, even non-school activities.

*The team will make a decision on if AT is needed in a reasonable amount of time.

*The recommendations made by the team are data driven and all of those recommendations are written into the IEP.

* Evaluate the needs of the students when the student makes changes or their needs change.

Designing and evaluating a program

The quality indicators for consideration of AT needs and assessment of AT give a tremendous outline for programs to following in order to provide maximum integrity of their AT services. The matrices provided are a great first step to evaluate where a districts AT services are at and the specific ways that they can increase their proficiency to best practices instead of completing the bare minimum.