Transition Planning for Assistive Technology
All children enrolled in the Birth to Three System are required to have a plan in place to ensure a smooth transition to preschool or other appropriate services and supports. A transition plan must be developed as part of an IFSP meeting (initial, periodic review, or evaluation of the IFSP held at least annually) and can be updated several times to reflect the different stages of the transition planning process.
Transition steps and services should be recorded on section 5 of the IFSP. Transition plans that include assistive technology should clearly address the use of assistive technology and the anticipated need for continued use once the child is no longer enrolled in the Birth to Three System.
When a child exits from the Birth to Three System, assistive technology equipment Birth to Three owns and that the child uses may transition with him or her so that the child can continue to use the device at home, in school, or in the community as needed and appropriate. Children may keep assistive technology devices the Birth to Three System purchased and owns for as long as they need. However, the Birth to Three System will no longer assume responsibility for repair or maintenance. After exiting from Birth to Three, the New England Assistive Technology Resource & Education Center will routinely contact families for whom assistive technology devices have been purchased to determine whether the devices are still in use. If families are no longer using the devices, the NEAT center will arrange for pickup and storage of those devices.
The program is advised to notify the NEAT center if a child who was using a device the Birth to Three System purchased or loaned no longer requires services and/or is not enrolled in Birth to Three or who has passed away. This will enable the center’s staff to approach the family with sensitivity and awareness when attempting to retrieve the devices.
Developing a Transition Plan
Transition plans for children who use assistive technology should address the child’s use of AT devices and services as the children transfer from one setting to another. The transition plan should list any AT obtained through the Birth to Three System and how it will be used once the child transitions out of the Birth to Three System. It cannot be assumed that assistive technology will automatically go to the school district or local education agency (LEA) for use in the school because it may be more appropriately needed in the home.
Possible items to discuss at the transition meeting and include on the transition plan as appropriate are:
- Who owns the AT?
- Does the child still need the assistive technology device? Why?
- Where will the child use the AT?
- Who will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the AT?
- What is the status of any warranties or insurance coverage for the AT?
- Who will be responsible, if anyone, to maintain insurance coverage for the AT?
- Where can the AT be repaired?
- Who will notify the AT center that Birth to Three-owned AT is no longer needed?
- If the child is eligible for preschool special education, will the student need AT to support his or her individualized education program (IEP) goals? (It is the responsibility of the Planning and Placement Team (PPT)/IEP Team to consider and determine if AT is educationally necessary and to include it in the child’s IEP.)
- If AT is included in the child’s IEP, have provisions been made for training, assignment of responsibilities, subsequent steps in AT use, and follow-up after transition takes place?