AT tools vary widely, from low-tech tools like pencil grips, to high tech tools like customized laptop computers. This is the AT Continuum. Think it like RtI (Response to Intervention). Here’s a graphic to help explain the AT continuum:
The graphic above is a general AT Continuum, showing AT as a whole. We also have specific AT Continuums for each “problem area” (at the bottom of this page). These specific AT Continuums highlight AT tools for the specific problem area, outlining the tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 tools that can be used to compensate for the specific problem. For example, there is an AT Continuum for "spelling" that outlines tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 tools to decrease the number of spelling errors a student makes. The AT Continuums also indicate where you can find these specific tools within your school or program.
Use the AT Continuums to help guide you through finding appropriate assistive technology tool solutions to specific challenges faced by your students. Start by using the tier 1 tools. If they meet the students needs, stop there. If they don't, move on to tier 2 tools. If those still don't work, you may need to request an AT Consult to investigate tier 3 tools. Find information on the SETT AT Consult on this website.
Guidelines for use:
Use the continuum that correlates to the studentʼs identified area of need (i.e. if the student has difficulty forming legible letters using pencil/paper, use the Motor Aspects of Writing Continuum)
Begin with the tier 1 options at the top of the continuum
Collect data on the use of the tool/strategy
Move down the continuum as data indicates that the tool/strategy does not provide appropriate compensation for the student
Students may require more than one assistive technology tool. For example, a student demonstrating difficulty in spelling may require access to word processing with spell checker and also require access to word processing with digital supports, including text to speech. In this case, the data would show that the percentage of correctly spelled words was not high enough using word processing with spell checker alone, therefore an additional trial of access to word processing with digital supports including text to speech was completed while still using a word processor with spell checker.
All assistive technology tools/strategies are not included on the continuum. If you have questions about a tools/strategy not listed on the continuum, contact the assistive technology specialist.
Pass the record of tools tried and data collected on to the next teacher/team so that tools are not unnecessarily retried