AT Consideration

The need for Assistive Technology (AT) devices and services is one of the special considerations that IEP teams MUST address in developing or reviewing the IEP. What do teams needs to know in order to do this?

  • The need for AT must be considered for every student with an IEP.

  • The term 'consideration' is not defined by IDEA. However, the intent is that of a checkpoint for the team to pause to make sure that the need for AT is addressed.

  • Consideration may be brief, but it is informed. This assumes that the team has knowledge about AT, or access to someone who can guide the team in considering the issue in the context of what the team knows about the student.

What questions can the IEP team ask in order to address the need for AT?
Guiding questions to assist the IEP teams in considering special factors are provided in the school -age
Individualized Education Program (Annotated).

Does the student need assistive technology:

  • to meaningfully participate in the general curriculum?

  • to participate in academic or functional activities?

  • to access print materials? 

  • to access auditory information?

  • for written communication and/or computer access? 

  • for augmentative/alternative communication (AAC)? 

  • to participate in state and local assessments ?

What are the potential results of AT Consideration by the IEP team?
There are several possible outcomes to a team’s considering the need for AT:

  • AT is not needed. Although AT must be considered for every student with an IEP, every student does not need AT. (The team would check NO.)


  • AT is in use, and it is effective and sufficient. For a student who is using AT, consideration provides the opportunity to make sure that the student’s needs have not changed. When this is the case, the AT must also be documented appropriately in the IEP. (The team would check YES.)


  • The team does not have enough information to make a decision and will investigate further. When the IEP team agrees that a student may or may not need AT but they do not have adequate information to decide, the team may suspend the meeting and gather the appropriate data, or proceed with the IEP and document services and supports that will assist the team in making the determination. (The team would check YES.)

This may include:

  • conducting assessment by gathering data on current performance

  • introducing well-planned trials of AT for identified task(s), including data collection to determine effectiveness

  • obtaining technical assistance to support the team