Resouces for Differentiating AT Services
Consultation, Collaboration, and Coaching: Essential Techniques for Integrating Assistive Technology Use in Schools and Early Intervention Programs
This article focuses on models of on-site and ongoing support for the implementation of assistive technology (AT) use in school and early intervention programs. Beginning with a discussion of the implications of research regarding ongoing support for practitioners, it then discusses types of support, what support for AT use should look like in various environments and the impact of each support model on AT implementation. (Acquired from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19411243.2012.675757 )
Penny Reed PhD & Gayl Bowser Ms. Ed (2012): Consultation, Collaboration, and Coaching: Essential Techniques for Integrating Assistive Technology Use in Schools and Early Intervention Programs, Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 5:1, 15-30
Created to help AT teams understand that there are different ways of providing AT services. In order to build capacity, AT leaders must gradually release their role as AT experts in ways that allow local school team members to take ownership of AT knowledge and skills and apply their skills to a wide range of learners.
Traditionally, AT services have followed a medical model. Referrals for AT services often use a questionnaire that focuses on a detailed description of the student. This can sometimes be a case of information overreach and does not provide clarity about what the school team really needs to consider for a student in the context of the classroom. Asking questions about the needs of the team providing direct service to the student can yield more useful information. The HIAT (High Incidence Assistive Technology) team of Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland, as part of an initiative to build capacity shifted from a medical referral to a survey form that requests a minimum of information on the student and focuses more on the needs of the school team (www. While a Request for Support survey, developed using a Google Form does request essential information such as the student identification number, school contact information, grade, etc., it focuses more on questions regarding the school team’s comfort level with AT consideration using a Likert scale (not comfortable, somewhat comfortable, comfortable, very comfortable). The following is an example of a question on the form:
- How would you rate your team’s ability to do the following tasks related to the AT trial process? (e.g., identify the barrier to learning, plan and implement a trial period)
This request for support communicates the important role of the school team in collaboration with the AT specialist.