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 Consultation:

    While assistive technology determinations are the sole, legal responsibility of the Local Education Agency (LEA), the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Training & Consultation Coordinators (TaC) 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 TaC 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 IEP team or LEA administrators. All requests for consultation are gathered through an online form completed by the district’s special education director. 

    Additional Information:

    Once completed, a TaC 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 TaC 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.

    As a result of the team discussion, the LEA may opt to call upon the TaC Coordinator for additional support regarding:

    • 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

    Assistive Technology Training and Consultation Coordinators:

    Kristen Tachoir

    Dr. Kendra Bittner

    Scott Dougherty

    Training Opportunities:

    You can find our training opportunities held at the AIU on the Training & Consultation (TaC) Calendar, TaC Professional Development Offerings 2023-2024 and listed in the Act 48 Workshops.