What is the LCPS Assistive Technology (AT) Team?The Assistive Technology Team of Loudoun County Public Schools is comprised of professionals from multiple disciplines including teachers, speech-language pathologists, and occupational therapists. The Assistive Technology Supervisor, Trainers, and support personnel provide collaborative assistance to schools, students, and members of the IEP team. Assistive Technology Trainers are assigned to provide services within each LCPS school.The Loudoun County Public Schools’ Assistive Technology Team functions as part of the Office of Special Education. Assistive Technology (AT) is federally mandated for all students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) by requiring that IEP teams consider the student’s needs for assistive technology devices and services in order to ensure a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).The Assistive Technology Team works to integrate with other services that the student receives. Training and support to ensure that AT services are effectively integrated into the student’s curriculum may be provided by any member of the IEP team.How is Assistive Technology considered within the IEP?The consideration for Assistive Technology is discussed at every IEP meeting when the IEP team reflects on what accommodations are necessary to ensure that the student receives FAPE. Within the Special Considerations section of the IEP, the need for Assistive Technology devices and services is determined through one of the following:
What does the continuum of supports by the LCPS Assistive Technology Team include?
- Accommodations documented in the IEP reflect consideration
- No assistive technology is necessary to ensure FAPE.
District-Wide Supports:These supports, provided countywide in accordance with the principles of the Universal Design for Learning Framework, offer options in educating and training students, staff, and parents for integrating tools and strategies presently available within the school environment to meet educational goals. Examples of those supports include the Strategy-A-Day calendar, the AT Lending Library, face-to-face and multimedia based professional development, and more.Classroom Supports:These supports are classroom specific. Examples include collaboration with educators, conducting classroom assessments, and training of students and staff. Collaborating with the AT Trainers can occur in person, by phone, or through digital means (email, etc.). The AT Trainer may recommend a classroom assessment to provide strategies, equipment, and/or classroom modifications for use in the classroom. Any educator (who has at least two students receiving special education support in a single environment) can request an AT classroom assessment. AT Trainers follow the principles of the Student, Environment, Task, Tools (SETT) Framework to identify least restrictive classroom supports Individual Supports:These supports identify potential strategies and tools to assist individual students who demonstrate difficulty achieving specific educational goals. This includes students receiving special education services and students receiving accommodations outlined within a 504 plan. The educational team (i.e. IEP team/504 committee, etc.) must consider whether the strategies, accommodations, and modifications that are currently in place to support the student are meeting the student's educational needs or if the student may need other supports. Best practice dictates that the educational team collaborate with the AT Trainer as the first step in obtaining individual supports. Collaborating with the AT Trainer can occur in person, by phone, or through digital means (email, etc.). The IEP team/504 committee may choose to email the AT Trainer during the meeting to initiate collaboration.Collaborating with the AT Trainer results in one of the following:
- Written considerations for customizing and integrating tools and strategies presently available within the school environment to support the student in meeting individual educational goals. The educational needs of the majority of students receiving individual supports are met through resources already available within the learning environment.
- Written considerations for integrating tools and strategies presently available within the school environment and requesting an individual AT assessment within the IEP/504 Plan to identify additional potential supports. Once the IEP team/504 committee has collaborated with the AT Trainer and identified that additional supports (not already present within the educational environment) may be necessary for the student, an individual AT assessment should be requested within the IEP/504 Plan.
AT Trainers follow the principles of the Student, Environment, Task, Tools (SETT) Framework to identify least restrictive individual supports. Considerations suggested in the AT assessment may be added as accommodations within the IEP. If the IEP team/504 committee determines that a student requires a support by an AT Trainer to ensure FAPE, the team/committee is then responsible for implementation of the considerations as outlined in the Accommodations section of the IEP/504 Plan. The team/committee determines the location, setting, and amount of time/frequency for each accommodation. The AT Trainer works with the team/committee to acquire, design, customize and/or adapt those supports. The AT Trainer may be responsible for training school staff, students, parents and/or guardians. It is the responsibility of the IEP team/504 committee to notify the AT Trainer if supports are not working properly.Can Assistive Technology be used on Standardized Tests?For information about the use of accommodations on standardized tests, please visit http://tinyurl.com/vdoeaccountability. Accommodations required for standardized testing must have the “Type” listed in the IEP as both “Instructional” and “Testing”. The school testing coordinators are the best resource for all updated guidelines from the VDOE.
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