Topical Guides

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This Dialogue guide was based on the FCTD Fact Sheet:  Assistive Technology and the IEP, The Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD), Academy for Educational Development (AED)


Knowing your available time and your audience, choose one or many of the dialogue starters below.


Reaction Questions



1.    In your opinion, why is there a reference to assistive technology as a service in a student’s IEP?

2.    Describe how assistive technology is part of your school/district’s IEP planning meeting including the process for: 

  • Informing parents of the availability of appropriate assistive technology, assessing to determine need;
  • Selecting and accessing the right technology based on the students’ environment demands and preferences;
  • Identifying the training and technical assistance needed for use; and
  • Evaluating the assistive technology as the students age and their environment changes, including at the point of transition to post-secondary?


3.    Describe the strengths and weaknesses of your school/district’s current IEP process based on the above elements.

4.    Do you feel that there is sufficient knowledge and information for all stakeholders including students with disabilities and families to determine assistive technology need and tools and how to include these in the IEP?

5.    How do we find sources available at the district/state/regional/state/national levels to assist in determining the types of tools, comparisons of products, product listings, and related information about assistive technology?

6.    What staff and community assistive technology providers are available to assist IEP committee members in assessing students’ assistive technology needs, locating and selecting appropriate assistive technology, and providing training and technical assistance as needed for students, families, and professional school staff?

7.    Describe the process your school/district has in place to resolve disagreements between the parent/family and the school regarding assistive technology in the IEP?

8.    To what extent is your district experiencing disagreements about assistive technology decisions?



Application Questions



1.    What resources and learning opportunities will be implemented to ensure that all members of the IEP team understand the necessary elements for addressing the assistive technology needs of our students?

2.    What school and community resources are available to assist in this process and how can we develop a systematic way of ensuring that all stakeholders have awareness of these resources?

3.    What procedures and learning opportunities will we put in place to ensure teachers, related service personnel and families have the knowledge and skills to collaborate on an assessment of assistive technology needs and selection of appropriate tools? 

4.    What learning opportunities will we put in place to encourage positive relationships and collaborative processes to reach agreement on student assistive technology needs? 

5.    What procedures and learning opportunities will we put in place to address disagreements between the parent/family and the school regarding assistive technology in the IEP? 


The following stakeholders worked together within the
IDEA Partnership to create this dialogue guide:


Role: Policymaker
Location: Arkansas

Role: Family Member
Location: Florida

Role: Special Education Administrator
Location: Florida

Role: Higher Education
Location: Georgia

Role: Special Education Administrator
Location: Georgia

Role: Family Member
Location: New Jersey

Role: Special Education Teacher
Location: Oklahoma

Role: General Education Teacher
Location: Wisconsin







The IDEA Partnership located at the National Association of
State Directors of Special Education is sponsored by the
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Special Education Programs.   2009