Assistive Technology Service Providers Competency
AT service providers should have competencies in a variety of areas. Best practices suggest that service providers have knowledge of AT and the IDEA; basics of AT; AT assessment; AT implementation; collaboration and communication between team members; and resources and their appropriate use. These competencies enable service providers to plan and implement AT services with schools and early intervention programs.
Competency 1: Knowledge of the law and AT
- Understand federal and state regulations and policies related to the consideration, assessment, and implementation of AT in Connecticut schools and early intervention programs.
- Understand AT including legal requirements, purpose, and functional application for the student’s educational programs.
Competency 2: Knowledge of AT Basics
- Demonstrate awareness of a variety of AT devices/services and the ability to integrate technology into educational programs.
- Demonstrate knowledge in their specialty area of AT (e.g., access, alternative augmentative communication, computer-based instruction, mobility, positioning, assistive listening and signaling devices, recreation/leisure/play, vision technology and environmental control, and activities of daily living).
- Demonstrate the ability to apply discipline-specific knowledge regarding AT.
- Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate AT in a variety of educational settings.
- Demonstrate the recognition of the need for ongoing individual professional development and maintaining knowledge of merging technologies.
- Explain the strengths and challenges of specific AT devices and services and the factors that may affect their use.
Competency 3: AT Assessment
- Select and use appropriate measurement tools, strategies, and activities to assess a student’s AT needs. Use appropriate data-gathering procedures and strategies to conduct an AT evaluation using a team approach to assess the student in customary environments.
- Identify appropriate, qualified team members necessary to determine AT needs and strengths.
- Consider a continuum of AT devices, services, and resources that may be used to address the needs of students.
- Determine, in collaboration with other members of the assessment team, ATneeds as part of a comprehensive transdisciplinary evaluation, which addresses all areas related to the disability and is based on the student’s strengths, tasks, and expectations.
- Provide leadership and support to professionals, students, and family members/caregivers of the team conducting AT assessment activities.
- Lead assessment teams in understanding what the student needs are relative to his or her abilities, educational goals, and environmental factors that relate to the selection and delivery of AT devices and services.
- Interpret and present the results of AT assessments to the PPT in a way that supports effective decision-making based on the student, the educational program, and data gathered during the assessment process.
- Integrate and discuss, in collaboration with the transdisciplinary team, all evaluation information, including formulating recommendations and preparing a report.
Competency 4: AT Implementation
- Develop AT implementation plans using appropriate, qualified team members.
- Identify and design appropriate AT devices, services, and strategies in the plan.
- Implement the plan using a collaborative approach.
- Evaluate, measure, and report on the effectiveness of the plan to meet the student’s needs.
- Modify the plan as required to meet the student’s needs.
- Identify areas that require further assessment or re-evaluation on an ongoing basis.
- Identify and provide training and technical assistance, dependent on student, staff and family need, regarding AT devices or strategies.
Competency 5: Collaboration and Communication
- Understand the transdisciplinary nature of AT application and contribution of a variety of disciplines to the service delivery process.
- Understand skills required to serve as a member of a transdisciplinary team providing services for AT.
- Include parents as team members.
- Listen and respond to input from other team members.
- Demonstrate effective group process skills.
- Know when and where to refer to other resources for AT.
- Use resources to meet technology needs for students with disabilities.
- Demonstrate the ability to network with others in the community, including parents and general educators for technical information and problem solving.
Competency 6: Utilization of Resources
- Identify, in collaboration with team members, AT resources at the classroom, building, district, region, community, state, and national level:
- funding resources;
- product resources, i.e., augmentative communication, and computer access;
- print and electronic resources, i.e., books, web sites, journals, and listservs;
- human resources, i.e., individuals who can provide assessment, training, and customization; and
- problem solving, maintenance, and repair.
- Recognize one’s own scope of knowledge and skills and use identified resources to augment knowledge and skills represented within the team.
- Serve as a resource for others.
- Identify staff development needs and opportunities that meet those needs.
- Participate in staff development opportunities that address identified needs.
- For more information on competencies, refer to the Wisconsin AT Initiative.
Certain assistive technologies require the expertise of qualified licensed professionals. For example, an SLP should be a part of the evaluation if an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device is necessary. Until licensure or certification is required, professionals of various disciplines are encouraged to examine their own skills and knowledge and to engage in ongoing professional learning opportunities through professional organizations.