• AT Evaluation/Consideration

     Assess, trial, plan, implement, and start all over again!

    Bremerton Assistive Technology Leaders have developed an adapted version of the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala, to use when considering AT needs for students.  The SETT Framework is one of several available; the focus begins with student strengths.  The team then considers the student’s environment, the specific task needing to be completed and finally the tools which would include strategies.  

    SETT Framework


    • What does the student need to do?
    • What are the student’s special needs and current abilities?


    • What are the instructional and physical arrangements?
    • What materials and equipment are currently available?
    • What are the current expectations and attitudes?


    • What is everyone else doing?
    • What are the critical elements of the activity?
    • What is the gap you need to fill?


    • Which strategies might be tried to increase student performance?
    • Which no tech, lo tech, and high tech options should be considered?
    • What is the
    • How might the student try out the proposed tools in the environment needed?

    For more information on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala, including powerpoint and conference presentations, www.joyzabala.com/Home.php
    Short You Tube video on the SETT process: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHZ_shN7SxI 
    The AT Referral Form for Bremerton School District was adapted from the SETT Framework.

    Evaluations or Consideration

    Many districts are moving to Assistive Technology Consideration rather than an evaluation for students to determine AT needs. This allows more flexibility for conducting trial of various devices, taking data to determine “best fit” and training of staff.  The family is still involved in the process as they would be in an evaluation; input is gathered from a variety of sources and recommendations made.  The difference is the required meetings and timeline.  The AT Specialist still meets with the family and discusses findings and ways to implement at home, if needed.

    If the IEP team is looking at additional Assistive Technology, this process can certainly be accomplished at the IEP meeting or during the 3 year evaluation.


    Families may discuss AT use or need with the IEP team. When parents discuss their student’s educational abilities and talk about their student’s needs, a clearer picture of strategies to fill any gaps will appear.

    Tools to Use for AT Consideration/Evaluation:  The District has access to these tools or they are free downloads:

    Protocol For Accommodation in Reading,  (PAR):  This process will help determine effective accommodations in reading for your students.  This will enable you to use a systematic, data based approach for reading accommodations.

    The manual, reading passages and questions are available for a free download. The passages range from 1st grade through High School www.donjohnston.com/par.

    This link includes steps and videos to begin implementing PAR:  www.donjohnston.com/getting-started-with-par  

    Reading Assessment and Assistive Technology:  A Whole to Part Model of Silent Reading Comprehension
    Karen Erickson, PhD.  The Center for Disability Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    The goal is to determine what is preventing the student from reading “silently with comprehension” at the next grade level.  This process breaks reading into pieces to determine the best way to support the student.  

    The Assistive Technology Specialist has the videos. www.med.unc.edu/ahs/clds/products/training-videos 

    DeCoste Writing Protocol:  This tool is a formative assessment to determine student’s writing abilities.  It compares your student’s writing samples for handwriting, on the computer, and speech to text.  Spelling and writing skills are included for each condition.  

    The OT in each building has access to this protocol and the manual.  Alogical collaboration for this tool would be for the OT or the Special Education Teacher to administer the tool; the OT can then analyze the motor parts and the Special Education Teacher or General Education Teacher analyze the writing sections.

    Speech Recognition as AT for Writing: This is a clear, concise guide for considering Speech to Text for writing.  The amount of steps to be successful and the cognitive load on working memory need to be considered, among other factors.  This publication refers to the integration of eight skill sets to be successful (page 8).

    Communication Matrix:
    The Communication Matrix is a tool created to help understand the communication status, progress and unique needs of anyone functioning at the early stages of communicating.

    The matrix is divided into seven levels of communication beginning with Pre-Intentional to 2-3 word combinations and nine categories of communicative behavior.  

    This tool is best used by gathering information from people working with the student in collaboration with your Speech Language Pathologist.

    The profile is a one page summary of the information divided into mastered, emerging, or not used.

    One caution: do not use student’s real name as this site has not been vetted for student information.

    This is a database with over 400 products for educational and assistive technologies.  It also provides for comparing 4 products and has related research articles on the theory and practice of using technology to improve student learning.  It also has a link for Consumer Guides for help with decision making.