High Tech AT
VIBATT – Visually Impaired and Blind Assistive Technology Team
It’s the Law! Under IDEA 2004, State and Local Education Agencies are required to provide support through the use of technology, including technology with universal design principles and assistive technology devices, to maximize accessibility to the general education curriculum for children with disabilities. (IDEA 2004)
What do we do?
- We are here to assist teachers in helping students reach IEP goals that require the use of assistive technology devices. We can help with the initial introduction and set up of the devices, but it is the teacher’s responsibility to reinforce the skills necessary to use the device with the student. We provide assistance with assistive technology devices, including but not limited to: BrailleNote devices, CCTVs, Cameras, Embossers, ProxPads, VictorReaders, screen readers and Keyboards,.
What are our limitations?
- We do not guarantee student performance improvement with the device. We are responsible for troubleshooting, repairs, technical issues, and overall health of the assistive technology. We offer consultations but do not assist in the everyday classroom instruction unless there are technical difficulties.
What do you come to us for?
- You come to us when a student’s IEP goal can only be met with the help of an assistive tech device. We can give suggestions of devices that could help, as well as aid in initial set up and introduction with the Assistive Tech devices.
How do I request AT Equipment?
- Link: AT Equipment Request
What is an Assistive Technology Consultation?
- A consultation with VIBATT will typically include a phone or video conference call to gather information about the student’s disability and their exposure to Assistive Technologies. It is extremely helpful for the TVI (Teacher of the Visually Impaired) and other team members to be involved in this process. The team will also discuss other classroom accommodations and make technology recommendations based on the information provided. If appropriate, an observation can be scheduled to see how the student uses their Assistive Technologies. If any improvements or changes need to be made, we can address it then. The VIBATT team will provide technology instruction and support, but the TVI or classroom teacher is responsible for providing progress reports and other data as it relates to the IEP. The technology that is recommended for the student can most often be checked out through the Educational Resource Center (ERC) but in some cases will need to be purchased by the district. You must sign a Patron Agreement Form (for parents) in order to be eligible to check out materials through the ERC.
How do I request a consultation?
- You can request a consultation here: https://forms.gle/8NjVnKpmUBKSFU1s6
Where can I learn more about my Assistive Tech device?
- Link: High Tech Info Pages
May my child bring a school district provided device home?
- Yes, the AT Team makes the final determination regarding the use of a district provided device at home. There is a memorandum of understanding that outlines the responsibilities of the parent and the responsibilities of the school district regarding the checkout of devices. All devices remain the property of the school district and must be returned for maintenance and should the child move outside of the school district borders.
- Link: VIBATT Mid/High Tech Waiver
May my child use his or her own Assistive Tech at school?
- The short answer is that a child may use their own technology at school. However, it is important to recognize that the school district is not able to pay for any repair, replacement or upgrade to the item. If the item becomes unusable for any reason, the school district is responsible to provide the assistive technology that is required in order for the child to access FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education). That AT device may not be the same item as what the family provided. While the school will take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of a personal device, it is not liable for damages or loss. Families must sign a release stating that they understand these circumstances prior to the child bringing the device to school. They can access that form here:
- Link: VIBATT Mid/High Tech Waiver
Who pays for this Assistive Technology?
- The answer depends on the technology, the use, and the user. Many kinds of AT may cost you little or nothing, even for some very expensive items. Depending on the device, school systems, government programs, private health insurance, rehabilitation and job training programs, or employers may be responsible for the purchase and accommodations. Other sources of funds in states or communities include private foundations, charities, and civic organizations. The ATIA’s Funding Resources Guide provides sources and resources to investigate as prospective options.
High Tech FAQ
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