Getting Started with AT Teams – Overview
Assistive Technology teams got started in many school districts when individual service providers realized they needed to establish a team, or when an administrator made the decision. In the early 1990s when AT teams first began to be organized, they were often an expert model that completed all of the AT Evaluations in the district and made all decisions about AT selection, acquisition and use. Over time, many district-level AT teams have transitioned to a more capacity building model, where the school team conducts assessments and makes core decisions about AT.
Teams are especially needed in AT for two main reasons. The first is that IDEA requires that decisions about student’s IEPs must be made by a team and the second is that the field of AT covers many different disciplines, thus requiring diverse background knowledge in order to make good decisions about AT.
There is no national organization that is tracking AT teams across the country, however, the NATE Network compiled information from 55 teams (DeCoste, Reed, & Kaplan, 2005) and shared that information in Assistive Technology Teams: Many Ways to do it Well.
As new AT teams are formed or existing AT teams change their style of service delivery they need guidance and support to evolve in the desired direction. This section contains many resources to guide and inspire AT teams.
For more information, check out the Resources and Ideas pages for Getting Started with AT Teams