Be informed about assistive technology.
Take advantage of professional development opportunities about assistive technology offered in your school division or in your region. Assistive technology blogs and online training might also help provide the resources you need.
Contact the assistive technology experts in your school division.
While most teachers have some knowledge of AT, others within your school might use AT more often and have more expertise with these devices and techniques. Related services personnel such as speech pathologists, occupational therapist, or physical therapists may provide some great ideas and solutions.
Become informed about the adult agencies that can help your students with AT.
As students begin planning for life after high school, assist them in identifying supports and services available from community agencies. For example, a Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) counselor may be able to assist in determining an individual’s AT needs specific to a job situation.
Offer opportunities for your students to learn and demonstrate self-determination skills related to their AT needs.
A perfect opportunity for students to demonstrate their current use of AT is through their participation in their own IEP meeting. This can provide a platform for students to voice their desires and needs related to AT in their adult life.
Make sure AT is integrated into the student’s everyday routine so that it is used and not considered something extra.
If AT is part of the student’s everyday routine, it’s less likely to be left at home or sitting on a shelf at school or work.
Learn and stay informed about assistive technology.
Learn the basic AT terms so that you can use the right words and ask the right questions and understand the answers. The Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition is a great resource.
Talk with your son or daughter about their preferences and needs related to AT and record it.
Self-determination plays a big role in helping students identify what works for best and which AT devices he/she is willing to use. Help your son or daughter understand why using AT might improve their skills and provide opportunities for success.
Assist your son or daughter to advocate for AT and accommodations needed on the job or in postsecondary environments.
Help your son or daughter create a document that they can hand to human resources personnel or instructors explaining their use of AT and its effectiveness.
Become informed about funding options for AT to assist your son or daughter.
Work with the school and adult agencies to determine funding available for AT.
Invite adult service agencies to attend the transition IEP meeting to assist in AT transition planning.
The Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services (DARS) counselor can help facilitate the transfer of the AT from the school to the family and student or identify a process for obtaining a similar device if needed.
Know the assistive technology that is currently included in your transition IEP.
Identify any AT that is included in your transition IEP. Learn and how you might use AT in your future to meet new skill requirements.
Know how you learn best.
Nobody knows what works best for you, better than you. As you transition out of high school you are not going to have a case manager advocating for you, rather you will need to advocate for yourself.
Understand your rights regarding assistive technology under ADA.
As you exit high school, there are no more IEPs and learning what your rights are under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is crucial for your continued success. Consider exploring the PACER Center for information about AT and postsecondary education and this document about your employment rights under ADA.
Stay informed about the latest assistive technology.
Be on the lookout and explore the Internet regularly to see what new technology has been released and determine if any of the new items might help to improve your functioning capabilities.