Augmentative/Alternative Communication Systems are necessary for students with limited or no speech. The AAC Tools Considerations form guides the speech/language pathologist to select multimodal communication systems for a child based on the user profile, ability, and needs. The AAC Tools Consideration form identifies unaided, low, lite, entry, and intermediate level speech generating devices for each user profile based on the evidence in the field and the clinical wisdom of the experts.
Assistive Technology enables a child with a disability to participate fully in the educational program. Students requiring AT may have motor, sensory, learning disabilities (language, math), autism, or organizational deficits that necessitate alternative tools. IEP Team members can consider low, mid, or high technology tools to address motor aspects of writing, composition of written material, reading, math, and learning/organization by identifying the area of need and selecting an appropriate tool using AT Tools Considerations form.
Integrating AAC and AT in the educational setting is a collaborative team process. The Implementation Form guides the site team through the development of a Participation Plan. For each subject, class, and task, the team selects the appropriate AAC or AT tool(s), partner interaction and instructional strategies necessary to support communication, learning, and active participation. The Implementation Form has pull down menus, which make the process of developing a plan efficient and insures that team members with less AAC and AT experience consider all the partner and instructional strategies that are appropriate for students using AT/AAC.
For children with complex communication or assistive technology, an evaluation by an AAC or AT specialist may be indicated. In these cases the IEP team member or parent requests an AAC or AT evaluation. The AAC and AT Needs Assessment guides the specialist through the evaluation process and insures that all the relevant information is gathered to inform AAC and AT decision-making. The AAC Needs Assessment is to be completed by a Speech/Language Pathologist in collaboration with the other team members who can provide pertinent information in the areas of the comprehensive assessment. The AAC Needs Assessment will help the SLP identify multimodal communication systems up to the Intermediate level. Individuals who require an advanced level speech-generating device require a medically based speech generating device evaluation. Advanced level SGDs can be procured through public/private insurance funding.
The Assistive Technology Needs Assessment is based on the SETT process and guides the educator and other team members to gather the necessary diagnostic information, identify limitations of the current low, mid and high technology tools, and identify needs related to the task, setting, and environment. In both cases tools that are identified through the Needs Assessment process are obtained for a diagnostic (clinical) trial before any final recommendation is made.
The following forms are available for download and use by School Districts, SELPAs, and Agencies currently contracting with ACTS for program development:
AAC Tools Consideration
AT Tools Consideration
AT/AAC Implementation Plans (4)
(Buzolich & Toomey, 2016)
AAC Needs Assessment
AT Needs Assessment