Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) Documentation of Assistive Technology
Once the team has determined that assistive technology is needed to support the child’s outcomes, the assistive technology devices and services should be reflected in the IFSP in as clear a fashion as possible.
When Assistive Technology device(s) need to be purchased, the service coordinator must add AT devices and services to the IFSP. If AT is already being used or tried out, a discussion should occur at the IFSP meeting regarding the effectiveness of the AT in supporting the child’s outcomes and whether any changes or modifications in AT are needed.
Assisitive Technology and the IFSP Document
When assistive technology is required, (regardless of price) it should be included in several places in the IFSP. At a minimum, AT should be included in the following sections:
- IFSP Section 6. Child/Family Outcomes.
The outcome must be stated to improve, maintain, or increase the child’s functional abilities. “Obtaining the AT” is not an outcome. This section should include:
- The family's stated goals
- E.g., “We want Jocelyn to be able to play for a while without our help so that she becomes more independent.”
- Objectives required to measure progress
- E.g., Seated in her adaptive chair with tray, Jocelyn will explore her toys for 10 minutes by herself.
- E.g., Jocelyn will activate simple cause and effect toy, which are secured to her tray, using push buttons, pull levers, swiping, and switches.
- Methods and strategies incorporating AT in order to achieve the outcome
- E.g., Trial adaptive seating devices to determine the most effective
- E.g., Introduce toys which Jocelyn is able to operate successfully so that she can experiment and learns concepts.
- E.g., Train childcare staff in proper positioning in the adaptive seating device and proper placement of toys during free playtime.
- Incorporate type of device (brand not specified), its purpose, and where it is to be used (i.e. activities and routines, location, time of day) within this section.
- The family's stated goals
- IFSP Section 6. Other Services Related to This Outcome That Are in Place or That Are Needed
For a child who is covered by Medicaid, Assistive Technology devices, aka Durable Medical Equipment (DME), should be listed because of payment considerations. To be funded by Medicaid, AT devices must specifically address medical problems and be prescribed by a physician1, or in the case of hearing aids, an audiologist.
- IFSP Section 7. Plan for Transition from the Birth to Three System.
The transition plan should clearly address the use of assistive technology and whether devices and services will be needed once the child is no longer enrolled in the Birth to Three System (see Transition Planning for Assistive Technology section).
- IFSP Section 8. Early Intervention Services and Supports.
If AT devices and services are included in the IFSP, they must be listed as separately in this section even if someone other than Birth to Three is paying for all or some portion of the device.
IFSP Section 8 for Assistive Technology Devices
When the IFSP lists assistive technology devices, the service provider should address the following components:
- What is going to happen: Assistive technology devices.
- Delivered by: Vendor, and/or appropriate professional
- Location, How Often, How Long: May not apply for devices and can be left blank.
- Start date: the expected date of the delivery of the device(s).
- Just below the services and supports grid, it should be documented that some other entity is paying for all or part of the device in the Part C services are paid for by the Birth to Three System unless otherwise indicated here:
IFSP Section 8 for Assistive Technology Services
If the IFSP team projects the need for Assistive Technology services beyond routinely scheduled early intervention visits, "Assistive Technology Services" should be added to service grid. The provider(s) of services may be existing IFSP members or specialized "Assistive Technology Professionals."
When the IFSP lists assistive technology services, the service provider should address the following components
- What is going to happen: Assistive technology services.
- Delivered by: The appropriate professional should be listed.
- Location: Should be filled in.
- How Often, How Long, Start Date and End Date boxes should reflect the amount and duration of AT services that will be required
Following the IFSP review, Assistive Technology devices and services are entered into the Birth to Three data system by checking the box on IFSP screen entitled "Check if IFSP contains an AT device."
1. Goeber, G. Funding Adaptive Mobility Equipment for Young Children with Disabilities. Rifton, 2009.