Assistive Technology Lending Library
What is the purpose of a district Assistive Technology (AT) Lending Library?
AT devices and specialized software may be borrowed from the District Lending Libraries can be used on a trial basis with students on IEPs. This will allow you to "consider" a device or specialized software application for students as required by IDEA. The trial use will help to determine if the software or device is successful match for a student before purchasing that item at the school or district level. In DoDEA-Europe, we are trying to emulate the technology centers that are available in each state for teachers and parents to borrow items.
What is the definition of Assistive Technology?
?300.5 Assistive technology device.
Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1401(1))
?300.6 Assistive technology service. Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
Is Assistive Technology Required?
Every IEP Team is now required to "consider" the need for Assistive Technology for every child in special education, as part of the new Special Factors requirement in IDEA '97.
IDEA '97 states:
(3) DEVELOPMENT OF IEP-
B) CONSIDERATION OF SPECIAL FACTORS-
(v) consider whether the child requires assistive technology devices and services.
What does it mean to "consider"?
Consideration is a brief process, one that can take place within every IEP meeting. In order to consider the need for assistive technology, at least one person on the IEP Team must have some knowledge about assistive technology. You cannot "consider" something about which you know nothing.
When considering a child's need for AT, there are only four general conclusions that can be reached.
- The first is that current interventions (whatever they may be) are working and nothing new is needed, including AT.
- The second possibility is that AT is already being used (or there has been a trial with AT) so that we know that it does work. In that case the IEP Team should write the specific AT into the IEP to insure that it continues to be available for the child.
- The third possibility is that the IEP Team may conclude that new AT should be tried. In that case, the IEP Team will need to describe in the IEP the type of AT to be tried, including the features they think may help, such as "having the computer speak the text as the student writes".
- Finally, the last possibility is that the IEP Team will find that they simply do not know enough to make a decision. In this case, they will need to gather more information. That could be a simple process of calling someone for help, or going to get some print, disk, or online resources to help him or her better "consider" what AT might be useful. It could also be an indication that they need to initiate a formal assessment of the child's need for assistive technology.
Please contact the AT Consultant for the respective district, through your child's special education teacher, to obtain information on the assessment process and/or additional questions about Assistive Technology.
Items can be checked out for up to two quarters, often with an option to extend for an additional quarter unless there is a waiting list for that item. Educators should make an appointment to view, pick-up and/or return items. For those schools outside the complex, items will be mailed through the Official Mail System. Individuals are fully responsible for the items in their care. Materials and devices MUST be returned promptly according to their due date by Official Mail.
NOTE: Parents must go through their child's special education teacher in order to borrow items from the AT Lending Library.
OT's & PT's must coordinate with the special education teachers in order to borrow items from the AT Lending Library.