Assistive Technology

  • Technical assistance that directly impacts children with disabilities in the selection, acquisition or use of any assistive technology device is available to district personnel. Services include consulting with student teams to consider potential assistive technology needs; providing information needed for the trial or acquisition of assistive technology devices; assisting teams in the selection, design, fitting, customization, adaptation, application, retention, repair or replacement of devices; aiding teams in the integration of assistive technology into instruction and coordinated therapies; and providing training and technical assistance.

    This service is subsidized by IDEA Component II Funds.

    Assistive Technology Training and Consultation Coordinators:

    Kristen Tachoir
    412-394-1375

    Kendra Bittner
    412-394-5872

    Scott Dougherty
    412-394-1346

    The Assistive Technology Consultation

    While assistive technology determinations are the sole, legal responsibility of the Local Education Agency (LEA), the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Training and Consultation Coordinators are available to provide consultation to assist school personnel and Individualized Education Program (IEP) team members in identifying and understanding assistive technology (AT) options, tools, and implementation.

    AIU Training and Consultation Coordinators do not conduct evaluations nor do they provide direct service to students. As such, it is imperative for IEP team members to gather and review information about the student, the tasks in which the student engages, and the environments and partners with whom the student works in order to make informed AT decisions.

    When assistance is needed, the AIU TaC Coordinator can facilitate an initial discussion with key team members and provide subsequent AT support or training, as determined by the IEPRequest for Initial AT Consultation QR Code team or LEA administrators. All requests for consultation are gathered through an online form completed by the district’s special education director. 

    Once completed, a Training and Consultation Coordinator will make arrangements with the special education director to convene a one-hour discussion around the student, learning environment(s), tasks, and tools will inform well-grounded AT decisions. This meeting may be conducted via online meeting software or a face-to-face gathering with a small number of team members who are knowledgeable about the student and day-to-day needs.

    • Facilitated discussions are led by the Training and Consultation Coordinator
    •  Meeting participants must include the special education director, building administrator, special education teacher, and general education teacher. Speech Language Pathologists must attend for needs around language and/or communication.
    • Reports are not generated as a result of this process. The AIU has made the following templates available for LEAs to use to capture notes and define an action plan as a result of the facilitated discussion.
    • Examples of AT supports and terminology that can be used in describing AT in the IEP can be found in a resource document that contains AT Checklists. We need to add this revised doc to the Google Site holdings
    • As a result of the team discussion, the LEA may opt to call upon the TaC Coordinator for additional support
      • guidance on the implementation of existing supports and resources
      •  trial of AT devices or software
      • AT training and implementation support for team members
      • observation to gather additional information for revised action planning

    Supporting Students who are Blind/Visually Impaired

    If the student's primary diagnosis is blind/visually impaired, please contact Michael Horvat

    Training Opportunities

    You can find our training opportunities held at the AIU on the Training and Consultation (TaC) Calendar, TaC Resources and Training Website and listed in the Act 48 Workshops.