Assistive Technology

OT/PT Department Head

Nancy Sullivan, OT
508-799-3055
Sullivann@worcesterschools.net

Acting Speech & Language Department Head

Melanie Sullivan Fogerty, MS, CCC/SLP
508-799-3055
Sullivanfogertymr@worcesterschools.net

Assistive Technology Services

The assistive technology specialist improves student assess to the curriculum and school based activities by providing appropriate assistive technology. Assistive technology is defined as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system …. that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” Assistive Technology tools range from “no tech” supports (visual schedules, charts, manipulatives etc.) to “high tech” supports (dedicated electronic devices ) designed to overcome the specific barriers preventing an individual from accessing the curriculum and or their physical environment. In order to help students to access the curriculum, the Assistive technology specialist may:

  • Perform screenings and evaluations to assess the need for intervention
  • Develop and implement Individual Education Plans (IEP) and Section 504 accommodation plans
  • Make recommendations for accommodations (including equipment) to overcome curriculum barriers
  • Provide training to staff, students and parents on the use of assistive technology devices

Assistive technology is different from Universal Design. Universal Design for Learning allows ALL students options for access by providing:

  • “Multiple Means of Engagement” (different ways a student becomes involved in and sustains interest in learning)
  • “Multiple Means of Representation “(different ways information is displayed)
  • “Multiple Means of Action and Expression” (different ways a student demonstrates knowledge and organizes information )

Consideration for Assistive Technology Supports:

  • Assistive technology devices and services are considered for all students with disabilities regardless of the type and severity of disability.
  • During the development of the individualized educational program, the IEP team consistently uses a collaborative decision-making process that supports systematic consideration of each student’s possible need for assistive technology devices and services.
  • IEP team members have the collective knowledge and skills needed to make informed assistive technology decisions and seek assistance when needed.
  • Decisions regarding the need for assistive technology devices and services are based on the student’s IEP goals and objectives, access to curricular and extracurricular activities, and progress in the general education curriculum.
  • The IEP team gathers and analyzes data about the student, customary environments, educational goals, and tasks when considering a student’s need for assistive technology devices and services.
  • When assistive technology is needed, the IEP team explores a range of assistive technology devices, services, and other supports that address identified needs.
  • The assistive technology consideration process and results are documented in the IEP and include a rationale for the decision and supporting evidence

If you suspect that your child needs assistive technology ask your child’s teacher, school administrator, or specialist about how to initiate the screening process.

Staffing:

Assistive Technology Specialist - promotes teaching and learning for all children with the assistance of specialized technology and adaptive equipment. The AT specialist provides specialized technology and training opportunities for teachers to create an enriched learning environment, enabling students to meet the WPS learning standards through universal access techniques while promoting student independence and success. Our staff is trained as Assistive Technology Specialist and Universal Design for Learning Specialist.

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