Frequently Asked Questions

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology (AT) means any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

What is the SETT Framework?

SETT refers to Student/Environment/Tasks/Tools. It is a framework that matches the needs of the individual to appropriate tools in targeted educational environments to accomplish targeted tasks.  Use of the SETT Framework is generally considered the national standard for considering assistive technology.

What is a SETT meeting?

A SETT meeting is the first step in AT consideration. A school team uses the SETT framework to understand the needs of a student and set priorities for what to try. When a school team asks for HIAT's support at this stage of the process, a HIAT team member will facilitate the meeting. At the end of the meeting, the team will usually set up a technology Trial Period.

What is a Trial Period?

A Trial Period is how the school team determines if the assistive technology they chose to try is actually serving the intended purpose for the student.

Is AT Consideration suppose to be documented on every IEP?

Yes, it is. If assistive technology strategies prove effective for a student, these strategies should be listed under Supplementary Aids and Services on the IEP. 

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Can audio recording devices be used as AT by one student without violating the Illinois Eavesdropping Act?

When an IEP team has determined that a student requires an audio recording device for the student to receive a FAPE and it has been documented in the student's IEP, the it must be provided.  That being said, in order to stay compliant with the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, the following points are recommended for consideration:

·      All adults in the classroom where the audio recording device will be used in accordance with the student's IEP should provide their consent for the audio recording.  Oral consent should suffice but schools may choose to obtain written consent.  Should any adult or personnel member refuse to provide his/her consent, the school district should find another willing adult or personnel member to replace the non-consenting individual. 

·      Instructors should state the students in the class that the class will be recorded.  However, it is important that the instructor protect the privacy of the student(s) who are making and using the audio recording.  For example, the instructor should not say "Class, Student X will be using a smart pen to record the class because of her disability."   A suggestion may be to place a dummy recording device on the desk in an effort to protect the student who is using the recording device.  However, it may be impossible to completely protect the identity of the student depending on the nature of the technology that is being used.  That being said, all efforts should be made to protect the identity of a student using audio recording devices in accordance with his/her IEP.

·      A student who is using an audio recording device in accordance with his/her IEP should receive training on the appropriate use of the device and the recordings.  The training should include (a) clear rules that forbid the students from replaying the recording for others, (b) rules against using the recordings in malicious ways (e.g., bullying or teasing), (c) information that helps the students understand and respect the privacy of his/her fellow classmates.

·      Schools may choose to ensure that the school retains a copy of any recordings made by a student for their own record keeping purposes.