Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

As the language of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, P.L. 101-476) regarding assistive technology becomes widely known, much attention is being focused on school districts and the procedures and practices which school personnel use in arriving at decisions regarding the provision of assistive technology devices and services. Which students need assistive technology? What kind of technology is needed? Who is involved in making these decisions? What sort of data should be gathered to aid in the decision-making process?

Resources for Assistive Technology:


Infinitec Durable Medical Equipment

Illinois Assistive Technology Program


What is SETT?

SETT is a process in which teams gather and act upon data in order to seek answers to numerous questions. The questions relate to one of the areas of the SETT (Student – Environment – Task – Tools) Framework.

The Student

  • What does the Student need to do?
  • What are the Student’s special needs?
  • What are the Student’s current abilities?

The Environment

  • What materials and equipment are currently available in the environment?
  • What is the physical arrangement?
  • Are there special concerns?
  • What is the instructional arrangement?
  • Are there likely to be changes?
  • What supports are available to the student?
  • What resources are available to the people supporting the student?

The Tasks

  • What activities take place in the environment?
  • What activities support the student’s curriculum?
  • What are the critical elements of the activities?
  • How might the activities be modified to accommodate the student’s special needs?
  • How might technology support the student’s active participation in those activities?

The Tools

  • What no tech, low tech, and high tech options should be considered when developing a system for a student with these needs and abilities doing these tasks in these environments?
  • What strategies might be used to invite increased student performance?
  • How might these tools be tried out with the student in the customary environments in which they will be used?

For more information and forms related to the SETT process, click on the following links:

HILIA Tip Sheets

SETT Forms