STAR Point Transcript - The SETT Framework for Assistive Technology
>> Good Morning. Welcome to Minnesota's special education 2004 professional development program "The SETT Framework for Assistive Technology."
Today's broadcast is sponsored by the Minnesota department of education. We have participants at many remote sites all across the state this morning, so, again, welcome to all of you.
I'm Cathy Wurzer, your host for today's broadcast. Some of you may know me as the host of Minnesota public radio "Morning Edition" or as the co-host from the public affairs program "Almanac," broadcast on twin cities public television.
Today we're going to provide some valuable information on the SETT process. The SETT framework is an organizational tool that supports and encourages broad communication and participation by students, their family members, and professionals as they work together to consider the need for assistive technology devices and services.
This morning, we are fortunate to have the expert that developed the SETT framework. Joy Zabala is our special guest today. She is a professional developer and consultant who provides assistive technology and leadership support. We'll talk with her in just a few minutes.
Now, here's what's ahead on today's program. First, we'll check in with Joan Breslin-Larson from the Minnesota department of education to cover the continuous improvement plan for assistive technology. Then, Joy Zabala will join us to discuss the SETT framework and how it relates to the student and their environment; the tasks that occur in the student's natural environment, which allows progress towards meeting IEP goals; and the tools that are necessary to match the needs of the student. Finally, at the end of the program, we're going to take time to re-SETT.
The Minnesota Department of Education is very interested in improving programs like this one. Please take a couple of minutes of your time to complete a short evaluation about this program.
You may also receive a clock hour certificate for participating today. There will be a clock hour certificate and an evaluation form on the Minnesota department of education assistive technology web page. We encourage you to participate in today's program by either calling, faxing or emailing your questions to us here in Saint Paul. So don't be shy. To call, the number is 1-800-657-3677. You may also fax your question to us. The fax number is 1-800-657-3678. Or you can send it through the net. Our email address is email@example.com. Questions can be sent at any time during today's broadcast. Coming up next, we'll talk about the continuous improvement plan for assistive technology and what it means for you folks working out at your schools. We'll be right back.
>> Welcome back. We're going to start out today by talking about the continuous improvement plan for assistive technology and A.T. Specialist Joan Breslin-Larson is here to give us an update. Joan is the assistive technology specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education.
Joan has an extensive background in assistive technology as an independent consultant. Her priorities at the state education agency include working with the state assistive technology leadership team to support local and regional A.T. Teams. She assists local educators in increasing their expertise in assistive technology. Joan was also involved in writing the new revised 2003 Minnesota assistive technology manual, which is based on the SETT framework. Good to see you again. How are you?
>> Thank you. Very well. How are you?
>>Good, glad to be with everyone here today. For folks who might need a little bit of an introduction here, what is the continuous improvement plan for A.T.?
>> Back in 2000, the State of Minnesota decided we need to know where we were in special education practices so we went and did a broad-based needs analysis of where we were in special education, what we were doing well, what we weren't doing so well, and from that, we developed a list of 12 priority areas, and over the last three years, we've taken each of these priority areas and developed an action plan for them.
And this year, we've developed an action plan for assistive technology. We're in our last year of developing action plans and work plans association assistive technology was one of the last things we looked at. So I took a -- we had a nice interagency team where we examined our data about where we were, where we were not and started working towards what we're going to be doing differently in the next few years.
>> It sounds exhaustive.
>> It was very exhaustive, very interesting.
>> What are the biggest implications of the plan?
>> I think one of the most interestings -- interesting things we learned was that we didn't really know what was going on. Assistive technology is unique in that we don't have hard-core data. We took the quality indicators in assistive technology, also known as the QIAT indicators, which is a list of indicators about excellence in assistive technology that Joy was very involved in writing, as well as some other leaders, and we took those indicators and did the first statewide survey in the nation, asking folks where we were in these different indicator areas. And from that, we developed a list of -- we developed data about where we were and also where we have deficits in what we've taught folks. So that was really interesting. What we don't know, though, is we still don't have meaningful data about how kids are doing using assistive technology or how they're making adequate progress in their educational goals. So that's something we still need to work on.
>> What does this mean for folks out there in the schools?
The first thing they need to know is that a lot of the work will be done on the state level. So we're planning things in a very logical order so that, first of all, I'm going to be working very hard behind the scenes developing plans so I'm not going to be saying to teachers out in Minnesota, okay, now, change everything you've done. Because we seem to do a lot of that.
>> Pretty difficult.
>> Yeah. So we're going to work first on developing processes and plans and strategies to both introduce a new concept, called universal design for learning, which is something I'm very excited about. Under the con cents of universal design, we're going to be working with educators to have a curriculum that's accessible to multiple students without having to need to go back and retrofit It for Wednesday who have disabilities, just as when we have architecture that's universally designed, curb cuts, door plates, and amazingly enough folks who don't have disabilities tends to use them more than the folks who do have disabilities. We're going to take curriculum and see if we can design it the same way so it's accessible immediately to all kids. Another thing we'll be working on a lot is developing team mentoring. We know we have some real excellence out there in folks doing assistive technology practice, but we have isolated pockets of kids with unique needs, so, for example, if we have a child in International Falls who is blind and has autism and we have a teacher in Mankato who has already worked with a student who's blind and has autism, we're going to be able to partner the folks up so they can support each other in providing best practice to this child.
>> Sounds exciting. What are the next steps to achieving this?
>> The next steps -- and again, I would remind folks the biggest steps will be what I'm doing so I won't be asking folks to change everything right away, but some of the big things we're going to be doing first is working with administrators. One of the things we learned with our data that the administrative knowledge in assistive technology is not where its should be so I'm going to be working with administrators and media specialists at schools to help them understand that assistive technology is part of their job, too. And then we're going to continue what we have as a really nice program of professional development; we're going to do the really nice satellite broadcasts like we're doing today. We have our Charting the C's Conference in April, and of course every august, we have the Up-to-the-MN*at institute and we're going to be spending some time this summer addressing the competencies of assistive technology practitioners. We'll address that at the institute but I want folks out in the field to be giving me a lot of feedback on that what it means to be an assistive technology practitioner and from that, this is what I really think will be exciting, I like silly things, we're going to develop a certificate that says I have skills in assistive technology that folks will be able to add to their resume and I think that will be something that will be really meaningful to our folks out in the field.
>> Again, sounds exciting.
>> Good update. You'll be back later on in the program.
>> I'll be back later for questions and answers.
>> Excellent. Thank you, Joan. Coming up next, we'll begin our journey through the SETT framework for assistive technology with Joy Zabala. We'll be right back.
>> Welcome back to the 2004 special education satellite broadcast, "The SETT Framework for Assistive Technology." The program is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education. In this next section, we're going to talk about the SETT framework. Joy Zabala joins us now to explain.
Joy developed the SETT framework, the foundation for the Minnesota assistive technology manual. She is a professional developer and consultant who provides assistive technology and leadership support to schools and communities, professional associations, departments of education, individuals, and companies across the nation. Joy is pursuing doctoral studies in distance education for special education personnel preparation and leadership at the University of Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Florida, a master of education from Florida Atlantic University, and has completed additional graduate studies in language acquisition, special education, and technology. And Joy has traveled from a warmer climate, Lake Jackson, Texas, to be with us today. Welcome to Minnesota, Joy.
>> Thank you very much. It's delightful to be here.
>>At least we don't have as much snow as we've had recently for you, that's a very good thing, Joy. How do you view assistive technology?
>> Basically, assistive technology is a system of tools that enable people to do what they need to do. Things that would be difficult for impossible for them to do without those tools, which is what makes the technology assistive.
>> Why would a student use A.T.?
>> Basically, in order to do the things they needed to do in order to make progress in their educational program, that it would be difficult to provide those experiences and provide that active participation without technological supports.
>> All right. Let's talk about the framework.
>> What is it?
>> The framework is basically a means for collaborative teams to think carefully about who needs technology, what technology they might need, but not starting with what technology they need, thinking about what is it you want the student to be able to do, where is it that they need to do it and, specifically, what does they need to do look like in those environments in which they spend their time.
>> Why do we need something like this framework? What does it enhance, what does it replace currently?
>> Really doesn't replace anything, exactly. It came about for quite some time, by 1990, when the individuals with disabilities education act first described and defined assistive technology devices and services as any item or any service that improves, maintains or increases the functional capabilities of students with disabilities, the services being the services that support the selection, acquisition and use of assistive technology. People have been struggling to try to put together what a student needs and balance that with using that information to select tools. What happened, though, is -that's been, what, 14 years ago. In 1993, just shortly after that, the council on disabilities gave a report to the president of the congress saying that if students had the assistive technology they needed, they projected that 75% of students with disabilities would be able to be served in the regular classroom and that 45% of those students would need fewer related services than they currently required at that time. What we've seen, though, is that over the years, we haven't seen the consistent growth.
In Joan's introduction, she mentioned pools of excellence or something like that, where when we look around the state and if you look around the country and the world, you see the same things happening. Lots of really good things are happening in some places and in other places, they're not so much. So we'd like to see a consistency. And when people tried to say, here is a student's needs and here are the tools that will work and they really did have a good match there, we were still seeing over -- actually underutilized devices and a lot of device abandonment. Why was that happening?
So the SETT framework came about not because I wasn't working but when it was working, what was happening. So SETT was based on people saying over and over, when it's working, we're not just thinking about matching the student to the tools, we're thinking about where does that student need to use those tools and what does that student need to use them for? Very specifically looking at the environments in which the student was expected to function and the tasks they needed to do. And then picking tools that supported that student, using those -- doing those tasks in those environments.
>> So kind of a road map in a sense.
>> It is, indeed, because the idea of framework is really important. Not a protocol that says if you do this, this, and this, the right answer will come up. It's saying when we think well about this, what are we actually thinking about so that we can make logical, dates -- based decisions and guide our practices, not just in selection of devices but actually provision of services and educational supports.
>> You mentioned devices, I have to ask as an amateur to this whole field in a sense, is A.T. Always a device?
>> No, not always a device. However, it's an interesting piece because legally, when you look at the definition, it says "any item." So an item indeed is some thing.
>> Yeah, some tangible thing, but it isn't always an electronic kind of thing or The things that we typically think of as technology.
>> It could be low tech.
>> It can be low tech, it can be no tech because all of those services could you want as assistive technology, as well.
>> I think you may have touched on this a bit here, joy, but some of the elements of this framework, what are they specifically?
>> The major elements of SETT is student environment task tools. That's the four letters, with the idea that you -- before you can pick tools, you must think of who's going to use them, where they're going to use them and what they'll use them for.
But there are some critical elements because as I mentioned, it's a framework. So people can basically take the framework and put whatever structure and support fits their own environments and the tasks that they need to do as service providers. But, everybody doesn't do it the same, nor would everybody necessarily be expected to do it the same, in my estimation. However, collaboration is, in my opinion, a critical element.
I don't think the pronoun "I" goes with SETT framework. I think if someone says I use the SETT framework when I make recommendations, that are a piece that says to mean, could we maybe look at multiple perspectives. We don't all see the same thing when we see a student.
a parent doesn't see the same thing in that your child that I as a teacher may see or join as a speech pathologist or Cheryl as an O.T. might see but when we put the perspectives together and communicate well, and certainly the student's own perspectives on their performance and what they need, all of that helps us really think well so that multiple perspectives, good communication, working from shared knowledge, and I think that as we go through the pieces of the framework, we'll look at the difference between what I personally bring in terms of knowledge to a group decision-making process, to what we do when we build shared knowledge so that we can be moving forward in the same direction, rather than moving in all kinds of different directions based on what we individually know or think we know.
>> How has SETT been received in the special education community?
>> It's been a very exciting thing for me, because -- thing, for me, because I mentioned it in a one-hour presentation in 1995. I said we need to think about these things and basically said what I just said to you, we have to think about who's going to use it, what they're going to use and where, and I think that's a gift. If the SETT framework, if there's a gift I bring to it, it was the memorable piece. It's a decision-making process. What makes it special is it's memorable to people. When we talk about it is whole decision-making process, it can be overwhelming when we think about all the things that have to be added in an IEP meeting or by people providing supports and services. But, okay, we can think about the student and environment and tasks.
>> I want to go back to devices, I know we'll talk about there throughout the morning. Can a student use more than one device under this framework to complete a task?
>> Indeed. Indeed. There may be circumstances in which a -- I'll tell you one thing that I think we probably need to think about up front is that we always, as human beings, use the least complex way to do whatever it is we need to do. So it may be that if you're doing -- like you have some notes and you're jotting down things on those notes as we talk. It would not be reasonable to expect you to be doing that on a computer screen at this point because the tool would get in your way. You can more easily jot the notes. If you were unable to use your hand to jot those notes, then that would perhaps be different. But let's say writing is an issue for you. You may use the pen to jot notes but you may also use a computer to write a paper or to make your script that you're going to use for tomorrow's show. Something like that. So you're going to use more than one tool and the same way for students.
>> How do you know which is the right tool? I think that would be kind of difficult to make that determination, or is that where -- is that where kind of the group process comes in, in a sense?
>> Yes, it is, indeed, that you don't -- I guess you really don't know. But what we want to have is guided good thinking, so that we have logical things to try and where you really know is where you see, here's what the person was not able to do before, here's some tools we tried, how are they able to do it now? Did it make a difference in what the person was able to do. If indeed it did, then you know, if you will. But what we want to do is not just start out with the 40,000 things that could potentially be assistive technology tools, but maybe what are the three or four or five that we think might be reasonable to actually put in place to make the difference here that we're talking about.
>> As you said, some work better than others.
>> Indeed. And I think that relates a lot to not only the students' needs and abilities but also to the tasks and to the supports that are available in the environments.
>> Okay. What else do you want to add about this as just a preliminary look at this before we get in deeper?
>> I think probably in some ways, for a lot of people, SETT is one of those things that I think is -- I don't think you can go back. Once you've thought about, I can't really think hard about tools unless I think about who's going to use them, where they're going to use it and what they're going to use it for. In some ways, that's all you need to know. But it gets much more complex because when we start thinking about all those things, there are many, many levels that we may need to think about within those.
>> Okay. We are going to talk about a lot in the next couple of hours here. We'll be taking our questions, too, from the audience.
>> Excellent, Joy. We're talking with Joy Zabala about the SETT framework for assistive technology. Coming up next, we're going to look at what the "S" in SETT stands for. We'll be right back.
>> Welcome back to Minnesota's special education 2004 satellite broadcast "The SETT Framework for Assistive Technology." In this next section, we're going to examine what the "S" in SETT means. The developer of the SETT framework, Joy Zabala, is here to explain. Before we get there, I need to just find out one quick little thing about the importance of this in schools. Is it something nice to do, is it something we need to do? Give us a little bit of a background here.
>>In 1990, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, not only defined or included definitions of assistive technology but also included the mandate that schools provide the assistive technology that is required by students for them to receive a free, appropriate public education. Which pretty much upped the ante. It was no longer just a nice thing to do. It was no longer something that we did if we just happened to be interested in that field. It became something that needed to be done.
In 1997, when I.D.E.A. was reauthorized, the ante went up a little higher because at that point it was included in the law were five special considerations, and -- or special factors that needed to be considered. One of those was, does a student require assistive technology. And this needed to be considered for -- in the development of the IEP individualized education program, for every student with disabilities, not just those with severe disabilities, not just those with sensory or physical disabilities, every student. And so what that meant -- I'm sorry, another thing that happened at that time was I.D.E.A. Also made it clear it was the IEP Team members Who made those decisions, not exerts who came in and did their magic and said this is what you need but the IEP Team made those decisions.
So suddenly, really, there were millions of people in the country who needed to have an idea about what assistive technology was and what its place was in the educational process, and then how to go about making decisions. So it wasn't okay just for the people who loved it to talk about it anymore but we all had to begin to talk about it. So the SETT framework came about as a way to engage people who felt that they knew nothing about technology, Which is what happens often. You say, well we're going to talk about assistive technology now, I don't know anything about that. You know, you tell me what to do. Well, we know that doesn't work. So what happened with the SETT framework is to say, well, you may not really feel Comfortable with the tools but, you know, to think bit, you have to know about the students, the environment and the tasks and you, mom, or you, classroom teacher, are the exert in the student as is the student themselves.
>>Let's see, students, environment, tasks. The first three legalities, but we'll start with the "S" first. Must mean we talk about the student first.
>> Indeed. The student is the center of all educational processes, why we do education at all for those customers of ours who are called the students. And in all of the special education processes, they are called student-sented approaches and processes. So what we're looking at is making sure that when we begin, we're looking at what is it the student needs to be able to do or learn to do that is difficult or impossible for them to do at this time. That's our basically starting question, because unless we've thought about that, then how can we know what we want the tools for.
>> What are the questions do you ask?
>> I would begin the conversation just with that question. It's important to know that even though we're going to talk about student, environment and tasks separately, very rarely does anyone answer that question simply with information about the student. They may also provide information about the environments and information about the tasks. Let me give you an example. As a classroom teacher, I might say, if you say to me, tell me about what Johnny needs to be able to do that's difficult or impossible for him at this time. Well, you know, as his fourth grade mat teacher, I'm very concerned because though he seems to know what the steps are in solving the problem when, we do word problems, he never comes up with the right answer and I don't understand why that's happening. Or whatever.
So what they've told us is some things about Johnny, he's having difficulty in the area of mathematics. He's having -- one of the tasks that we're doing now is word problems in the -- and I may each have said, you know, the fourth grade teaches kids don't -- the other fourth grade kids don't seem to be having as much difficulty as he is. I'm his general education math teacher, you know that. So often when you hear people talking and discussing, you're pulling those pieces out and putting them together, so that when you're looking at the student, you're actually coming up with being able, after a while, to be able to say well here are the things that we talked about that relate directly to the student. Does this team to be a good picture of the student at this time. So when you think about the student, you're looking at not only what the special needs are but also what are their current abilities. How do those current abilities support what they may be doing that will enable them to move toward learning to do those tasks. Keeping in mind in education, it's not always a matter of what can they do -- what can they not do now that we want them to be able to do but what do they need to learn to be able to do and are there tools that are important in helping them learn those thing.
>> We brought up questions. Who needs to answer these questions?
>> Basically, that multiple disciplinary team which always includes parents, always includes students, and always includes the service providers. I.D.E.A. says you involve students as appropriate, they use the student involvement if appropriate. I would say the best practices these days are saying that in order to really prepare students for life and for being positive actors in their own future, that we involve students as much as we possibly can, to whatever level they're able to be involved. Many school personnel, sometimes outside people who have knowledge and skills not just about technology but about the areas of disability or that particular student.
>> Sounds like a lot in the way of this team. There's a lot of individuals involved here.
>> That -- does that become an issue sometimes with divergent views?
>> Indeed. Which is why the gift of multiple perspectives is so important. We often look at it as being something that gets in our way and, yet, multiple per suspect actives are very important. Let's say I say as his teacher, I'm having trouble in -- he's having trouble in this class doing these things and I'm having trouble helping him figure out how to do these. Another teacher says I'm not seeing that same thing. Then we can say, then let's look deeper and see why things are happening differently for this student and this environment or this environment. Or a parent says, well, at home I'm not seeing that difficulty, they can do these things. Then I can say, as a teacher, let's talk some more about what it is that you're doing at home that perhaps I can integrate into the education process. Or here's some things that are working for me, perhaps they would work there. So we look deeper, we don't just say, oh, this person is right, this person is wrong, but what's actually happening here.
>> Talking about technology because this is what our whole focus is on today. Will every student with the same type of disability, say autism, as an exam. Needs the same -- as an example, needs the same type of technology and how does that happen with the team?
>> That's an exhibiting question, because there's often an assumption that technology is related to disability category, rather than to function. What we'd really want people to think about is that technology needs are related to function. What do I need to be able to do, not to my disability category. For example, you can -- and to give you sort of a different take on this I could have two individuals who have exactly the same physical disability who have exactly the same severe tee of that physical disability, that's impacting their ability to hand write or to produce writing. Now, look at what happens when you go, though, beyond the disability, because if you said, o well, here's a tool that will work for people with this disability. One of those students is a first-grader and the other of those students is an 11th grader. So the first-grader is basically drawing lines, making short sentences, writing a word or two, where a pencil grip might work for him. The 11th-grader is doing a term paper, doing research and footnoting and all these things. That pencil grip is not going to serve that student well, Not because of disability category but because of the tasks and how that disability category impacts on the student's ability to do those tasks.
>> Have you ever run into a situation where a student doesn't like a particular form of technology?
>> Oh, yeah, indeed, and this is -- it's kind of interesting to watch because you can have a student that's comfortable with technology for a while and they hit a social age or stage and say, not going to do that, I don't like that. Certainly we want to do all we can in the processes that we're using to include a student's thoughts about the technology and what would be acceptable to them and what would be useful to them in our decision-making but there are also places where I think we need to negotiate with students and to say, well, you know, this is a piece that seems to be potentially useful for you.
You are not comfortable carrying it around the school. How about if you just use it in english class, because what we want the student to see, hopefully, and we need to know for sure ourselves is if this technology is actually making a difference in the student's performance and the student's achievement, and they are getting good feedback on what they're doing, that had been difficult or impossible before. They may say, hum, this is worth doing. So, a lot of it is, is there a consequence for whatever it is -- not the technology but whatever it is they're supposed to do with the technology.
If I do my term paper well, I get the reward of good grades. If I don't do my term paper well, is there a consequence? Unfortunately, historically, there have been times when we've sort of said, oh, well, that's a person with a disability, so he didn't do it well.
Well, we're really not in that situation anymore because schools are responsible for making sure that every child achieves educationally. And that's a good thing, a good thing. We don't want to have a single measure of what achievement means but we do want to be able to show, here's where a student was, here's where they are now and without those high expectations, that's hard to do.
>> We look at, again, the "S" in SETT. What else do I need to know about the student that I might have missed here?
>> I think that covers it, what is it you want them to be able to do, which in a way may sounds to you like tasks but when we get there, you'll see it's different. Like the two students I mentioned earlier, they both have difficulty with written productivity but it's the specifics in the tasks that actually make the difference in what tools one might choose. So the big functional pieces are what we're looking at in What's difficult or impossible, is it difficult or impossible for the person to move about the environment, is it difficult or impossible for this person to organize themselves in such a way that they can benefit from the educational program. Is it possible for the person to communicate in such a Way -- and then you get into those big, heavy-duty I would say the educational pieces of education, reading, writing, math, they are not in one subject, they are throughout the curriculum, they are functional pieces that we use throughout the subjects, to show that we receive the information and that we can do something with the information.
>> Excellent. Thank you, Joy. Coming up next, we'll uncover what the second letter, "E," in SETT stands for, when we return. We'll be right back.
>> The second letter, "E," is for environment. These are expected environments in which the student typically participates, or an environment that a child may be expected to learn and grow. We're talking, Joy, about environment for a student, like a single classroom, perhaps, or a larger picture such as the whole school building.
>> We may be even talking larger than that. And when you look at the SETT framework and see it written down, the environment is plural, it's environments because when we think about a classroom situation, we think about where a person is learning, the environments in which learning is taking place, even Mrs. Jones and Mr. Brown's classrooms are not the same environment. There are differences in those environments and we want to make sure that we think about -- when we're thinking about assistive technology and how it relates to assistive technology, we want to think about what's actually happen in the environments where we expect use of these tools to take place.
So there are some factors in those environments that we want to look at because it may be that in one environment you're looking at a very different picture than you are in another, and certainly we know that when you start broadening outside of the classroom, at school, the cafeteria and the playground and the classroom and the bus are very different environments, and then you also have for many students community-based instruction, and we have home work that takes place at home, other kinds of pieces, so it may be all of these kinds of pieces, so our key piece is where is it that these difficulties are occurring for the student that we would expect whatever tools that we put in place to actually be used.
>>Let's talk about the where, then. What are the considerations for a particular environment?
>>Okay. What we want to think about is the arrangement, what is that environment actually like. The supports that are available, both to the student and to the staff that's working with the student. The staff is supporting the student but what supports are available to the staff? We also want to think about several other factors. What are the materials that are being used in those environments? Are those materials appropriate for this student? Can we make some adjustments to make those appropriate, which basically leads to the access piece? Are those materials accessible to the student or do we need to look at other kinds of things? And then certainly the other piece that's very critical in environments is attitudes and expectations. What sorts of attitudes and expectations are there about this student's performance and achievement in that classroom, because we know that attitudes and expectations, we've certainly seen over time that attitudes and expectations do more to color success or lack of success than any other single factor.
>> I want to back up and talk about arrangements since we have those out on the table for us. When you talk about arrangement, is that simply how the classroom is set up?
>>It's partially that.
>> There are a couple of pieces in arrangement. One of the things in special education services is that we need to provide instructional arrangements, an array of instructional arrangements, the least restrictive of which is where we want the student to be effectively educated. But -- so you may need to know -- you need to know if the student is in a regular classroom or on the far end of the spectrum, if they're incarcerated. Those are not the two same environments but that's not the only thing. You also do need to know the physical environment. If we're setting up a mobility system or looking at vision or hearing within an environment, what is -- what's that environment actually like? In a schooled school building, are there stairs, are there not stairs, is it a long ways from this place to this place association that perhaps a student who has functional issues related to mobility, what is actually the barriers that they might have and how do we overcome those or lower those barriers appropriately with the least complex ways to do that.
>>You mentioned supports.
>>What types of supports are we talking about?
>> Well, you may be looking at, when we think about technology, if you're a teacher who has been using lots of different technology and you're very comfortable with technology, you're going to be much more comfortable with the student using technology in your classroom, you're going to be more fluid with -- because of your experiences with how to help that student using that technology be comfortable in your classroom because you're not totally overwhelmed with the technology. I don't know about you but probably you like almost everyone else has had times when technology has almost overwhelmed them.
>>If I as a teacher am very new to technology or very new to specific pieces of technology, I may be distracted, if you will, by the technology itself and not as able to help the person with the teaching learning process. So when we're thinking about support, how much support can I provide, who's there with me, the teacher who's -- one teacher with 25 kids in the classroom is in a different support situation than a teacher and two aides and a co-teacher who's providing extra support and students with a variety of needs. Different environments, we just have to be aware. The other piece is what sort of support is available to the people who are supporting the student. Is there an assistive technology person or a person who's knowledgeable about the use of those tools who can help this person understand how to support the student well. Interestingly, one of the most effective supports that we see is perhaps a student -teacher who has worked well or a speech pathologist or O.T. or P.T. who's worked with the student before is able to say here's some of the things that worked.
>>Like a guide.
>>Exactly, exactly. So they may be formal supports or they may be informal supports, but not only what's available to the student in terms of support but what's available to the staff who's working with the student and what's available to the family and how the family works together with the school system to provide those supports.
>>You mentioned teachers, maybe a teacher not having as much technological knowledge as another educator, do you find maybe almost a mentoring situation can develop and that would be a helpful thing?>> Oh, absolutely.
I noticed in the state improvement plan, Joan talked about mentoring and how -that's a critically important piece. There is mentoring that takes place in a variety of different ways. We used to think that mentoring sort of traditionally meant, okay, we're sitting here together and talking about this. We know now there's electronic mentoring that's possible, some good research out there that's showing that this is actually making a difference in what people are able to do. Even when there are a lot of people around us who have knowledge and skills and experience, we don't always have a chance to talk to each other, so we have to look at ways to mentor and be mentored and be open to being mentored. In order for you to mentor me well, I have to be able to say here's a place where I'm concerned and often when teachers and others are somewhat reluctant to work with a student with a disability, it isn't so much not wanting to work with the student with the disability but not feeling adequate in terms of providing what's needed for that student to be successful. And of course, as you know, at this particular moment with no child left behind and the requirements of I.D.E.A., successful students across the board are critically important to our survival.
>> You mentioned electronic mentoring, I couldn't help but think how that might work out especially for teachers in greater Minnesota, the rural districts, that would be a big help.
>> Indeed. Absolutely.
>> Materials, Joy, when you talk about materials, what are -- are these specialized materials?
>> Not necessarily. When you first talk about materials in talking -- in your discussion within the framework, you want to say, what's typically being used in these environments, what are other people using because you want to think, first, can we make these typical things usable to others? When you get to the high-tech end of technology, we know that there's low-tech tools, we know that there are some light-tech tools but when you get to the high-tech ends, one example would be if you happened to have a school district that is pretty much -- uses a particular computer platform. There is usually within that district some support for keeping those particular types of machines operable. Someone who is very knowledgeable about a windows environment may or may not be very knowledgeable about a McIntosh environment. It used to be there were software programs that would only run on one or the other but that's not so much of an issue now. So you used to have to leave the platform to go to the platform that had this particular kinds of software. The advantage of using what everybody else is using to the greatest degree possible is that when you need technical support, your typical technical support people can also help you with some of these things that are not specialized equipment but being used in a specialized way. And I think that's a critical piece when we think about technology, that it isn't about special things always, it's about using often very common things in special ways.
>> So the materials don't have to be specific A.T. Devices.
>> Indeed president not. When you think back to that definition, any item, any item. It may be for one particular student, you need a very specialized item because of their particular functional need, but for another student, the Johnny that I mentioned earlier who was having difficulty coming up with the right answer with his word problems. He -- it was found; he had a disability related to calculation. He could tell you all the pieces but he never came up with the right answer because those number facts just didn't stick with that child. Even though they were still trying to teach him number facts, they said, you know, it's causing a problem with his ability to show that he can actually use them, even though he has the ability to explain that. He needs a calculator and he doesn't just need a calculator occasionally, he needs a calculator any time he's doing any sort of activity that would require math calculation. You can go to Walgreen's and by a calculator for $3 and if Johnny can see it, touch the buttons, all those things, if there are no other functional issues, that $3 calculator from Walgreen's, becomes the assistive technology he needs. What makes it assistive is the level of need he has for it and if you take it away, he can't successfully do that task anymore.
>>Another item oh -- item on the list is access issues. What does that mean?
>> That mainly has to do with is -- just what's typically available in the environment, or what's -- what that environment is usually like. Is this student able to be active within that environment? Can the student use those materials; can the student get around in that arrangement? Is this arrangement a friendly educational environment? I'm using that term broadly, to a place where the student can indeed adequately learn and grow, or do we need to make some adjustments in that environment? Always making adjustments in the student which is what I think we have to be careful about, we want to fix something about the student where it may be simply a matter of manipulating the barriers or manipulating the environment or the tasks in some way.
>> Are there issues to access that we have to watch out for?
>> I think probably the main thing is to be aware that access could be an issue and to know that it's not just physical access, it can be sensory access, cognitive access, is there something about how this is presented That perhaps needs to be presented in a different way, which is where you get that support piece, the no-tech strategies that might be put in place that would be the least complex way for this person to do these things.
>>Attitudes and expectations.
>>Sort of my favorite part in a way on this one.
>>Because it's that piece that you can't -- you can't hit it head on. I can't say to you, Cathy, now, you know you need to get your attitude straight.
>> I've been told that, though.
>>Haven't we all. But the important piece here is to realize that if you are -- if you have low expectations, you or the family member, the student has low expectations because they've learned that all this education stuff really doesn't apply to them in a very successful way, they've experienced lack of success over and over and over, and so their own expectations about what they can achieve is low. Or if I say, you just don't fit in my classroom. I have to be able to look as a person who's maybe facilitating our problem-solving here, our problem-addressing, that we need to talk about -- try to dig deeper into what is it you think -- tell me more about that. So that I'm not making you feel as though you're not doing right thing by sharing that this is a concern you have but seeing if we can get to why those concerns are there so that we can provide supports. Because when we look at tools, it may be that if your expectation is this child is not going to succeed, one of the things we have to do in our tools is perhaps provide you with some training so that you can be comfortable. We also may need to provide some exert supports so that you can see student success in that environment before you're responsible for making it happen, you may need some other people to make that happen so you can say, okay.
>>What have I missed when it comes to talking about environment, the "E" in SETT.
>> I think the important piece is we sometimes don't dig deep enough. When you look at the questions we've discussed under the SETT and the points under "E" there aren't very many questions, they're leading questions and you may find there are answers to those questions that are just more questions. So it doesn't mean you answer these questions and you're done, it means, really, do we have a good, shared knowledge of what they think these environments are about. We may find out, again, if performance is happening differently in one situation than another do we think that's happening? And we may go through much more exploration, which is where some of your valuation -- evaluation stuff comes in. We're looking at what we already know and what do we still need to know. As the questions come up, some of them we may be able to answer during the discussion, others we may need to go find out something more. So never to think we're done, you know, but to just how can we -- how can we go back making sure we have this rich an environment as possible and as much student participation as possible.
>> All right. We're talking with Joy Zabala, the developer of the SETT framework. I want to remind you that this is an interactive program, so please send in your questions or comments. Here's how you can get in touch with us by phone, fax or email. So don't be shy. To call, the number is 1-800-657-3677
You do not eave to be on the air live, you can give your question to the operator. You may also fax your question to us. The fax number is 1-800-657-3678.
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Now we're going to take a ten-minute stretch break so you have time to send in your questions. After the break, we'll begin our first question and answer period, and Joy will be here to answer your questions. Then, we'll continue our discussion on the SETT framework for assistive technology. We'll see you after the break.
>> Welcome back to Minnesota's special education 2004 satellite broadcast, "The SETT Framework for Assistive Technology." The broadcast is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education. Now it's time to answer your questions. Joy, we have a lot of them. Thank you very much, by the way, for calling and writing and faxing and emailing. We touched on this ever so briefly but Joan from Roseville wants to know, the story behind the evolution of SETT. How did you come up with this?
>>Okay. I mentioned earlier that the SETT framework was really, really came up from talking to people all over but there was a moment when the actual name of the SETT framework came up and that was a colleague that when I was working at region four education service center in Houston, Texas, which is one of 20 service centers in the state of Texas, but serves a quarter of the school children in the state of Texas because it's located in Houston, where a huge population of students exists. One of my colleagues who was at the service center was new to assistive technology but was very interested in that and he wanted very much to be responsive to the needs of district which of course was our mandate to be.
And he said -- one day, he would run into my office and there were, at that point, we had the luxury of having three of us who worked in the area primarily of assistive technology services and he came in and he'd say, quick, quick, somebody is on the phone from such and such a middle school and they want to know which computer program to get for 8th grade math. And he'd wait for the answer and, of course, our answer often was, well, Michael, it depends.
And I would imagine they're laughing out there because it depends is one of the big answers in assistive technology.
But he would say, wait a minute, tell me the answer.
I would say you need to know more about who's going to use it, and we would talk and talk and talk and he would be very frustrated because we weren't telling him the answer, as though there were a finite answer.
We would ask what kind of computers are they using, do they typically use -- ask him a bunch of questions. I don't know, tell me what to tell them. They're on the phone!
So he would get frustrated and stomp away and he'd say -he'd say, you all just don't understand students with high incidents disabilities, we can't ask all those questions. You have to know those things. So it was a friendly tension all that year about this.
And we would explain and explain these complicated, really, factors and we thought we were doing it very clearly. One day I was in his office and he was on another chair because somebody had called and he wanted to know the answer and we were withholding information, you see, because we wouldn't just tell him.
He had a white board in his office. I had said Michael, you need to know about the student, then you need to know about the environments, what are the Environments like and then you got to know about the tasks -- and I'm making big S, E, T, and then, Michael, you can talk about what tools you need.
He went oh. Well, why didn't you tell me that before?
We all looked at each other like haven't we been saying this all the time?
He said maybe that's what you were saying but I couldn't understand what you were saying, but I can understand that. He said that's a really important thing and I said a thing, he I said a thing, what thing is that and he said SETT.
So that colleague is really the one who helped us say the issues are incredibly complex but when you really boil it down, all of those complex issues relate either to the student or to the environments or to the tasks. There's virtually nothing that doesn't fall in one of those categories. So that's it.
>> I loved your story, I could see the light bulb going on over his head.
>> It was a magic moment, where he went, oh, okay.
>> And a framework was born.
>> A framework was born. Not a protocol, but a framework.
>> There you go. I knew that, that's why I said that.
>> We have a question from Katie in International Falls. Do we need to anticipate changes that may occur in the environment and how do we address this?
An example would be, moving up a grade level or to a different school, and when do we feel that we have the final answer and technology needs met? Kind of two questions here.
>>Let me go to the last one first. I don't think there is ever a final answer, an ongoing, transitional issue, which is really what the first question is about, which is how do we facilitate transition from one environment to another, in such a way that student performance is continually on the increase, not going up and crashing down, going up, crashing down, as the Supports -- it's really the environment that's changing, not the student but the environment and often the tasks because they fall out of the environments that change, and so we must anticipate them.
We can't just sometimes anticipate them, we must always anticipate them and making sure that the receiving environment understands what was working and what the challenges were in the sending environment, if you will. So that we all benefit from the experiences that each other have had. It would be a lovely thing to say that every student would arrive at a point where they could be totally responsible for their assistive technology needs and making sure they could use their technology independently and that it didn't matter how skilled I was as a teacher in helping that happen. That my job would be to teach and the student would manage whatever tools they used, but that's not real life for lots and lots of students.
And it isn't even real life for lots of students who are going to eventually be able to manage their own tools. With we don't give a child a chemistry book, a college chemistry book in the second grade because we want them to be independent readers of college chemistry. We teach them what they need to know at that level so we look at the same things in assistive technology but planning good transition is really, really important. It can't be -- can't just be assumed that the receiving environment or -- I mentioned when we were talking about environments, the differences in different environments that which must be able to share what's working and to question why what's not working isn't working for a student. >>
Kind of a related question here from Steve from New Ulm. Particularly in high school, the environmental changes for each class are kind of based on the teacher, if you think about it. How do we work with this?
>>Attitudes and expectations piece?
>> I believe it is, yes.
>> I think what's hard with attitudes and expectations is helping people understand that high expectations are critical because -- excuse me -- no -I can't say no, typically human beings do not exceed expectations constantly across the board. But we can certainly lower ourselves to lower expectations and we don't want that to be the norm that we're seeking.
So if a teacher perhaps needs additional supports themselves and understanding what they can expect of a student, a student who has not been able to write typically, who now has tools and can be expected to produce writing, we need to make sure that teacher knows that what you could previously expect, the ante has been raised here and you can expect more and there needs to be, as I mentioned earlier, a consequence for that expectation not being addressed by the student. That doesn't mean you suddenly say, okay, it's going to be a finished product if the person has never had the opportunity to learn to do that task appropriately but that we make sure that we're aware of the needs of the people in the environment, the teachers and others, and how we can support them so that they can support the student.
>> Good question here, Joy, from Brenda, from St. Paul. Thank you, Brenda. When you speak of environmental arrangements, how should our IEP Teams consider other environments Beyond the classroom setting? There's another question here from Shaun from Eagan that asks about the same thing, including things like after school and home activities.
>> Right. Basically, what schools are required to do is provide all students with a free, appropriate public education. That's what I.D.E.A. says we need to do. When you provide students with a free, appropriate public education, what you do when you develop the IEP Is to set out the goals and objectives for the student as closely related to the general curriculum as possible for that student. Where assistive technology comes into it is can the student address these goals and objectives and make progress on these goals and objectives without these tools or what tools do they need in order to do this? We also have to think, where does this student do these things?
If either communication, are we expecting the student to communicate at home? I certainly hope so.
Are we expecting the student to communicate in the environment? I certainly hope so. Outside of school.
So we need to think about, here's what the goal is, that this student will interact, typically, with -- respond to questions, ask questions, impact their environment with communication. It's usually not just a single environment, so we need to say, where is this expected to happen. If it's expected to happen in -- outside of the classroom places, then we need to be sure that we're addressing those places.
>> Give us an example in terms of how you would address, say, a home situation if you were a member of the team.
>>Okay. One example that happens a lot is a person uses a particular kind of tool for, perhaps, written productivity, perhaps communication, one of those big, functional pieces. And IEP Teams will say, well, does this student need to use this piece of equipment in other environments? And they say, well, typically, 7th graders, if the kid happens to be 7th grader, just arbitrarily, typically a 7th grader has homework and this student would need this tool to do this homework in the way that he's doing it at school. But we get really worried a lot of times about technology and the fear that the technology will be damaged, will be lost. There are urban myths about technology that everywhere you go, oh, everybody knows about the wheelchair that was left out in the rain in Houston and everybody knows about the communication aid that was sold in New York, all of these things. But the real-life piece is, it doesn't happen all that often but we're concerned because often, not always, but sometimes the technology is on the higher end of expense, and replacing that technology would be difficult. So we protect it.
But there's a piece -- if we're protecting something so much that it doesn't have the opportunity to be used for the purpose it's intended, I don't think that's really protection and I don't think we have enough data that tells us that thousands and thousands of dollars worth of things are being destroyed to make that kind of assumption. But IEP Teams often do. In that case of the 7th grader who needs to do his homework, they may say we just won't have him do homework, how's that?
The difficulty with that is if all 7th graders are doing homework in order to have the opportunity to develop fluency with the skills they're being taught in school, which I think is probably what homework is about, on the whole, and we say, well, Johnny doesn't have to do any, our difficulty becomes bigger than an assistive technology issue. It becomes an opportunity to learn issue and we would be in danger of making a decision that is actually negatively impacting Johnny's opportunity to learn, which is negatively impacting his opportunity to benefit from a free, appropriate public education. So we have to be very careful what we're thinking about here and realize what the consequences of those decisions are, and this is part of what the SETT framework is helping us do, let's think this through, it's not just what tools should we pick but all of these pieces.
>> By the way, you are still invited to call us with questions throughout the course of the show and we'll put the numbers up there in just a few minutes. Question from Lee in Eden Prairie. Thank you, Lee, by the way for calling in your question.
>>You mentioned the I.D.E.A. Law a couple minutes ago, Joy. How do you view the I.D.E.A. Law currently being reviewed? Any concerns about constraints or restrictions to students receiving needed supports?
>> That's sort of a loaded question.
[ laughter ]
>>At this point, in terms of what I.D.E.A. Says about assistive technology devices and services, there are no constraints. In other words, if it is required, if it's needed, it must be provided at no cost to the student and family. This has been both a blessing and a difficulty in making assistive technology decisions, because we -- I.D.E.A. is also clear that the assistive technology that needs to be provided is limited to that which is required to participate in and benefit from a free, appropriate public education. But the IEP, which is defining that free, appropriate public education for an individual student is Looking at all the functional areas in which a student may have difficulty, which can go far beyond the writing and writing and arithmetic piece. So the difficulty is, what's educationally relevant and what's not and I think probably if we look at some of the court cases that are out there that I can't quote off the top of my head, there are some things that have become educationally relevant that we would have thought, my goodness, really, is that the responsibility of the educational system. At this particular moment, showing that something is not the responsibility of the education agency is very iffy. For example, I think it was in Ohio where there was a court case that showed that a person needed a nurse with them all the time.
>> And yet the school district was responsible for paying for that nurse because if the nurse was not present, the person could not benefit from their free, appropriate public education, because they would probably not be alive. Is that educationally relevant or is that a live issue that involves medication or whatever? And yet, truly, it's true, if indeed one is not alive, one would have difficulty participating and benefiting. So I'm not making light of that case bus showing you the difficulty in determining what's educationally relevant and what's not. So I think probably saying is there anything in the law that restricts us from providing things, no, there's not. And perhaps a little clearer definition of what would be funded by, which is where our big issue comes from. It's not what someone needs but who pays for what's needed in -- with finite funds, and unfortunately, we as the public have a tendency to look at public funds as being infinite, even in these times when we know and are being told all the time that they're Not infinite. There is a sense that it could be provided if we were just making it happen, like we should. So I don't think -- there is one possibility that's on The -- in the senate version right now of the I.D.E.A. Reauthorization, that does add a restriction -- now, whether or not this will take place or not, who knows. But it does at restriction that is aimed -- but it does adds the restriction that is aimed at the mapping of cochlear implants and restricting that as a medical service that would not be the educational responsibility of the program. But before there have been some attempts to put in some parameters on what's educationally relevant and they've not stayed in the bill. So it will be interesting to see.
>> Yes, it will be. Congress of course always an interesting body to watch regardless.
>> Indeed it is.
>> From Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Joe has a question for you.
>>Can you talk about the training team members need to use with various devices? How's this part of A.T., and does the training include or exclude the parents and students?
>> Indeed. There is a list -- there are several sources where you can go and look at what the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act says. In the defense of assistive technology services, there are three bullets that are related to training and it's training for the student, training for the staff and parents and there's training for significant others who are involved in the student's life. For example, an employer, if a person happens to be in an employment-based program who may need to know things about how -- so that training is really important. I think, though, that what's critically important in a place that we've evolved to over time, there was a time when we thought if we only had the right device, everything would be okay.
>>The magical device?
>> The super alphanumerator is what I call it. If I only had that, everything would be fine. What happened is we got more and more devices and we found out that still everything wasn't fine. So we said if we only had the right services. But we didn't always think of those services as inclusive. For example, I received training on how to work this device, I know how to operate it, I know which buttons to push, how to program something in and get something outs or I know what the proper tilt of the desktop so it works for this student, I know who to call, I call my O.T. because we need this special thing to hold this person's hand in the right position, whatever. What perhaps was left out of training for a long, long time was not just how to operate it but how to integrate it into the educational program, how to expect and support someone in using that tool, which is a whole different deal than which button to push. See? So how do -- how do I learn as a teacher or a related service provider or a parent to integrate my student or my child who is using this device into what's happening here, and not look at the device as something that's between the Child and what needs to happen, bus is actually enabling the child to do what needs to happen. So that training has to be much broader, related to that use piece.
>> And how do parents fit into this?
>> Critical members of the team all the way along, every single piece. You may have strategies that are working for you and i, as your child's teacher, want to know what those strategies are. Want to say, well, let's look at what's happening, what isn't happening. Also, it's your hopes, dreams, thoughts that are guiding where the educational process is taking your child. Certainly, as a country, we have hopes, dreams and thoughts for all of our students but that's a big, general piece, and we have to say, how specifically does this happen for you? There have to be times when we say of all of these things that we want for your student educationally, what are the things that are most important to you right now? So when we set priorities, can't be my priorities as a teacher, so I have priorities that are imposed upon me by others or that are a part of my own experience. We really need to tailor that so we're going in the same way together and not -- and not developing angst with each other about going in different directions.
>> I just have one question left before we have to move on. That would be Kathy from Saint Cloud, another Saint Cloud question here.
>>Wouldn't it be optimal for the environment to be changed to include many access methods for all students to try to use rather than just for the child with special needs?
>> Oh, yes. In fact, that question really lends itself to coming back and thinking about the plan that Joan was talking about. When she talked about universe call design for learning and looked at -- when you look at universal design, you look at different ways of getting information to students, different ways of them responding to that information. And those multiple means that are simply available in the way we plan and design our learning and we plan and design our learning tools is where we want to go. What we have to remember is that's an evolving process and in the meantime, we want to be sure that we're thinking about what's typically available, all of these pieces, and to know that there are some pieces that no matter how broad they get, there are always going to be some people that are outside of that spectrum of what is universally available.
>> Excellent. All the time we have for questions at least at this point. We will come back to questions, we have another question and answer period near the end of the program. So please continue to send your questions in. Coming up next, we'll continue our discussion with Joy on the SETT framework for assistive technology. We'll talk about what the first "T" in SETT stands for when we return. We'll be back in a moment.
>> If you're writing this down, the first "T" in the title SETT stands for tasks. Here we are talking about tasks that occur in the student's natural environment which allow progress towards meeting IEP Goals. Joy Zabala is here with us once again to explain. What do we mean by tasks, Joy, as it relates to the classroom?
>> Tasks are those specific activities that are happening in the customary environments, which in this case is the educational environments in which we expect the student to learn and grow. Not just handwriting or written productivity or communication or those big functional pieces that we talked about and what are the areas of concern that we have under the student but what does that look like in these environments? What is communication like here, what are the specific tasks? So a couple of things we look at is what are the tasks that are happening in those environments that enable the student to work toward their IEP Goals. Interestingly enough, this is the place when people talk about, well, I had some problems using this SETT framework because I said, what do you want the student to be able to do. And people will say, well, we don't know.
Well, you got to spend a little time there and think about what you want those things to be. And typically, it should be based on what's typically happening in the environment. If there aren't things going on in the environment that enable a person to move toward reaching their goals, throwing all of the tools in the world in there is not going to make that happen. The activities are -- and the tasks are what's actually expected to happen there, and primarily we're looking at the ones that are difficult or impossible for this student, even though we could look at the millions of tasks that are part of being an active learner in an environment. We want to focus in, for the purpose of what we're doing here, on the ones that aren't just going just fine for this person. Otherwise we could spend a lot of time on attempting to fix things that are not in need of being fixed.
>>Okay -- of being fixed. So are tasks, then, activities of sorts?
>> In a way, they are activities, indeed, but the other piece that is not only the IEP Goals but those -- how is one an active participant? The difference in being an active informant and a passive participant is, I think, huge. An example that you might want to think about, did you watch the last time we had winter Olympics, the figure skating?
>> Loved it.
>> The pairs skating, it was so beautiful. And when the gold medal was awarded, was there anything in your mind from having observed that there was something in that performance that maybe didn't quite look like gold medal performance to you because you had observed enough to know that sliding across the ice in a down position, rather than on your feet, was probably not typically an indicator of gold medal performance. Well, as an observer, you knew that performance was not what was expected but were you ready to go try out for the pair next time, which is it is difference as knowing as an active participant what needs to be done and what needs to be able to do. So we need to look at having students be as active a participant as possible so even though I may have observed the writing process as it was being done and taught by others, if I wasn't able to participate in the writing process, I won't be good at it just because I have a tool that enables me to do it. So that's another task piece that we think about. The IEP Goals and objectives, which are curricular goals and objectives, and how to be an active learner, what does it take to be one, and that's specific to the environment. Being an active learner in one place where the typical activity that's happening there is you're lecturing and I'm listening and taking notes is very different than another environment where, typical active learning means manipulating a lot of things or, you know, delving into a lot of things in a different way so we have to look at how communication, how participation, how productivity looks in a particular environment so that we can say how can we help this person do it in this way. You asked earlier about would you possibly use different tools and different places for different situations.
>> This is where you see that. Well, in this case, this person has to be -- to communicate at this level, and in this case, communication takes on a different look and so in order to do it actively, they would have to have perhaps something different than they did over here.
>>Let's take a task, say, writing. In special education, there seems to be a lot of modifications when you're dealing with tasks.
>> Is that a good thing?
>> Let me take a minute and talk a little bit about the difference when -- going back to that activities piece just for a moment, when you look at an activity, one of the reasons we think about an activity rather than a particular skill is that within virtually any activity, there are a variety of skills that we need in order to participate. For example, it's very difficult to think of anything that doesn't require some sort of cognitive involvement, some sort of physical involvement or other motor type involvement, some sort of communication and some sort of social-emotional interaction in there. So within an activity, we may need to provide supports for a student in any or all of those pieces. Or maybe only one of those pieces, or whatever. So when we think about an testify, we look at it as that very rich piece. It's not like because I'm the teacher, I'm the person who knows everything about how the student should participate in this activity. I may be responsible, if you will, for making sure that the cognition piece is involved. The occupational therapist may be very concerned about looking from a different perspective in saying what are the motor requirements here and how can we make sure the student does this. A way for us to bring what we provide for a child together, because very rarely do we have the opportunity to walk and not talk and talk and not walk, we do all of these things together. So when we thing activity-wise, we're able to bring those pieces together for an individual. And when we think about what we're going to do with an activity that is not accessible to an individual, then we want to think about how do we make changes here? What sort of changes do we make? Do we accommodate or do we actually modify? And you asked is modification a good thing.
>> Or a best practice, in a sense.
>> On the whole, and I'm going to go a little bit deeper in the difference, perhaps, in accommodations and modifications, on the whole, you want to accommodate and only modify when you can't accommodate. And so let me give you an idea about what I mean by that. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does not discriminate, at the current moment, between accommodation and modification. Where that discrimination is really coming in is with the people who are looking at evaluation, educational evaluation, which is a critical piece right now when we are looking at annual progress and all of those pieces that are part of the requirements, very high accountability piece. And in order for high stakes test or any other kind of test to be valid, it can't be modified; okay? However, there are allowable accommodations, which means that the outcome is expected to be the same. To give you a quick example of that, if all of us in this room are expected to write an essay and there are particular quality indicators in how well we've written this essay, that's the task for everybody to write this essay. You may write your essay on a computer. Somebody else may write their essay with their pen. Other person may write their essay with a portable device, another person for a reason I couldn't imagine at this point may write it on a white board with a marker. But what the critical piece is, is they all come up with and will be judged on the quality of their essay will be judged on the level to which they met the critical element, not how they did it. So accommodation is lots of different ways, perhaps, to do the same task, where a modification is that we've actually changed the task in some way. So we have to look carefully at tasks to say when we do something, are we indeed accommodating or have we significantly changed the task. There is a story that I really like, are we okay on that?
>> Okay. I was on early childhood teacher for a lot of my career and musical chairs was a very important part of what we did in early childhood. And there were reasons for that, not just because it was fun and the kids enjoyed it and all of that but there were mobility issues involved in playing musical chairs, there's definitely a social/emotional, how one works in a group, you don't smash the other person out of the chair to the floor. There are ways that you get the chair. And you negotiate that in a way, and a lot of other pieces like that. So it was educationally relativity, not just a fun thing to do. The kids thought it was a fun thing to do. In a class that I observed one time over time, they had played musical chairs a good bit, everybody knew how to do that and Juan Carlos moved into the class and Juan Carlos was in a power wheelchair. So the teacher thought about this and said what can we do here, we want Juan Carlos to participate fully, too. She wasn't uncomfortable with having Juan Carlos operate the switch and everybody else doing the game-playing. She also knew it wasn't reasonable for Juan Carlos to transfer from his chair to another chair but she noticed on his IEP That moving his chair around in small spaces was an important part of -important part of his educational goals for that time, as well as everything else. So she said to her students, today we're going to do things differently. Put your chairs back and get your sit-upon mats and put them out. And so Juan Carlos played, the other kids played, she didn't have to give other directions. So that what that's telling us is the critical parts of musical chairs, which we might have thought were music and chairs, perhaps chairs are not a critical element because she didn't have to give any other directions. The mats and chairs both served as examples of the critical element of a place to land; okay?
Amy moved into the class a few months later and Amy is deaf. So, again, the teacher thought, okay, how can I include Amy in this? And she went to radio shack and because she'd already spent the $50 that you're supposed to have to buy everything you need for your class for the year, she bought a little plug that you plugged into the side of the tape recorder and a light went on wherever the power was pressed. Didn't really attach to the music, just when the power went on. Excuse me. The power went on, the light came on as well as the music. Therefore, Amy was able, also, to play, because Amy would see the light and go when the other kids heard the music. What happened, though, is one day in a big hurry to get ready, no one put a tape in the tape recorder. The switch was pressed, and the light went on and guess how many of the kids moved? Everybody. Because music is not the critical element, the music and the lights are both examples of the critical elements of a signal that says, move.
>>So the light and the mat were accommodations.
>> Not modifications. Not modifications because the game was essentially the same. If it were not, the teacher would have had to go back and explain to the students how to play differently and all of that, and you don't have to do that with that particular example.
>> I'm writing down here under takes being, the first T, activities, modifications and I have about a minute left before we have to move on. Critical elements.
>> And that's what that piece is about. That is that piece, when we look at a task, we do need -we take apart that task and say, what is it that makes this task this and if we moved one of these, would it be something else, would it be a different task? And we have to think that if at all possible, we want to leave it the same task, knowing that there are times when we must move away from the same task, because the same task doesn't help every child learn and grow.
>> Excellent. Thank you.
>> You're welcome.
>> Coming up next, we'll find out what the second "T" in SETT stands for. We'll be back in a moment.
>> Welcome back to the special education 2004 broadcast "The SETT Framework for Assistive Technology." The second "T" is for tools. So, in this next section, we're going to focus on tools. Once again, our special guest this morning is the developer of the SETT framework, Joy Zabala. I'm having a good time. I hope you are.
>> I'm having a great time.
>> Excellent. Now, Joy, you don't start talking about tools until the very end here. Why is that?
>> Well, two reasons for that. One is that as I've said a couple of times, the idea of picking tools, you know, they're all cool tools. 40,000 of them or more, when you think any item, you're really infinite in your potential number of tools. They're all wonderful but they're not all cool tools for every person in every environment doing every task. And so we look at tools primarily, last, because now we're able to say, who is this person that's going to use these tools. Where is it they're expected to use them and what are the tasks that they're expected to do?
So our tool selection or our tool consideration is now based on information and on data and it's not just what we've been able to talk about but what have we gone out and sought and brought back to this conversation, and now enriched what we knew about the student and the environment and the tasks so that we can now say, okay, let's look at these tools. One of the other pieces that we don't talk about, reasons we don't talk about tools until last, is that people often think they don't know enough about tools to really address tools.
The question I love at this point is to be able to say to a group of people, often who have come saying, I don't know why I'm here because I don't know anything about assistive technology, and this can be parents, this can be professionals, certainly be the student themselves. And after we've look at student environment and tasks, I say, if there were something out there that would help this student -- usually we have some big group memory piece up here, this student in these environments do these tasks, what would it be like? And the people who have said, I don't know anything about tools, say, well, it would have to be like this and have to be like this and have to be like this. And intuit actively, I thought this was a possibility but I've been doing some mini, absolutely not scientific research on this as I work with different groups and one group in particular where I was just blown away with the potential effectiveness of that question as opposed to the question of what assistive technology tools does this student in these environments doing these tasks need, I don't know what they are.
This group was a group that -where people had invited others to come in, the people in A.T. Were really looking at broadening out the understanding of A.T. For others in their area, and honestly, people walked into the workshop that day saying, I don't know about Assistive Technology, I'm the P.E. Coach, I don't have a clue why I'm here or whatever, and I said at that point, I said, now, I'm going to ask a question and I only want the people to answer who said I don't know why I'm here. They gave a description of the tool system that would be the same description that leaders in the field would have given, with one or two tiny little exceptions. If I had said what features does the tool system have -they had no idea but they could tell me what the student -- because they knew what the student had to do, they could tell you what the tool needed to be like. Now, once they could describe that tool, there are lots of ways you can find out if such a thing exists. Part of it, I think, is when you say what features, you're asking someone to be Responsible for something but when you say, what would it be like, you're sort of freeing people's thoughts up to say, well, I think it would be like this, you know. It's not that, oh, my gosh, now I'm responsible for finding something like this but that piece that says, I can describe it and then we can find somebody to ask what does it -- you know, is there something like this out there.
>> Well, does it have to be a device?
>> We talked about low-tech and high-tech tools.
>> But is it a device?
>> Not necessarily. In some cases, it may be a device, in some cases, it may be a system of tools and I think these always -- there's always a system of tools. Because when you look at the system, you're looking at the accommodations, the modifications, the strategies, the services, the device, all of these pieces because you're looking at selection and acquisition, which means we know what it is and we know what we want it for -- I mean, excuse me, we know how to get it or it's available to us in some way, but the only reason we select and acquire is to use. It's only that use piece that's really what we're about because it's through use that we're looking at the student actually being able to benefit from their free, appropriate public education. Unfortunately, because there's been a tremendous emphasis on selecting the right tool and acquiring the right tool, the use piece hasn't gotten the press, basically, that it needs. You know, they're still, oh, we've got the right tool. Great, and is it making a difference for this student in their educational performance? So the tools piece then comes at this point because, hopefully people are feeling more capable and able. Seeing their role as important in choosing these tools.
>> When you say -- when we talk about the selection of tools, how do you determine which tools are necessary for a student?
>> Real quick and easy answer on that would be is if this tool is not present, can this student do what it is they can do when it is present.
>> If there's -- if we've truly looked at, as we should have, what is it that's difficult, where the effort to do this is so much greater than the benefit from having done it, that it doesn't get done by the student or if indeed it's something the student truly needs to be able to do but at this point simply can't and we put these tools in place and it enables, with appropriate supports and services, that person to be able to do that, and then we remove that tool and they can't do it anymore, you better believe that's required.
>> But do we want, though, Joy, students to have a tool that makes a task easier? What's the point of that?
>> What we want to say is makes the task possible.
>> Okay. And easier in the sense that the appropriate level of effort would enable the task to be accomplished. Let me give you a human example. We're going up the stairs and you walk up the stairs.
>> I have an issue where -- and this would have been real a few days ago because I had a significant back problem. I could not have walked up those stairs. Even though I needed to get to the top because there was something up there that we were supposed to participate in, I couldn't get up there without the effort being so great that I just said, sorry, can't do that. And I did not participate. The difficulty there is that I'm missing out on something, so we have to look at we Really think it's important she's involved in this so we got to get her up there somehow. So it's making it easier but not easy like it's hard to do whatever it is we're doing up there, the ability to get there and be part of it.
>> Now, what if you don't know -- you're in a team meeting. What if you don't know there are certain tools out there that could help a student? Are there places they can go to find out, resources?
>> In Minnesota, you're so fortunate because there is the whole assistive technology initiative that's going on in the state. There are also some other amazing resources in this community, the pacer center, closing the gap, a clot of the rest of the world looks to Minnesota as the place where -- a lot of the rest of the world looks to Minnesota as the place where everything is happening, because there are a plethora of potential resources but we also have to look at the resources that we have that are global and we talked earlier about mentoring and the ways that we go about doing that. If you can describe what's needed, somebody will help you find out what it is. The term expert has been talked around a couple of times during the day and we who do a lot of assistive technology shy away from that label because probably during the time we've been talking here today, the tools have changed. Who knows, the law could have changed while we were talking today, but things could constantly change so that level of expertise is also constantly changing, just like the first year you got your feet on the ground, oops, something chainses.
>> And certainly when you look at who's going to use it, what are they going to use it for, the range of possibilities is huge, and not from place to place. So we look at ways that we can attach to others, and so my definition of the person who's an expert is one who has more 800 numbers and knows more websites than anybody else. You know who to call. I don't know the answer to this but I know who might and one of the wonderful resources available to people just by wanting to be a part of the resources is the listserv that's related to the quality and indicators of assistive technology, which is commonly known as QIAT. No "U" in that. There are 850 people around not just the country but also 11 other countries are involved in this discussion and the level at which that conversation takes place is just unbelievable. People will get on that listserv and an example of the question that came up recently, somebody wrote I'm looking for a birthday cake that's switch-operated and I thought who will know that. Within 15 seconds, somebody out there had said go to such and such a catalog and look at this there are three there and it's just incredible.
>> The internet is a beautiful thing sometimes.
>> Incredible. So a mentoring piece that's very much person to person, and there are educators, family members, attorneys, and there are many other similar kinds of opportunities to learn and grow.
>> Very good. Thanks, Joy.
>> Oh, you're welcome.
>> We're talking with Joy Zabala, the developer of the SETT framework for assistive technology. Coming up next, it's time to hear from you. Please, phone, fax or email your questions to us. We'll be back in just a moment to answer your questions. Stay with us.
>> Welcome back. We're talking about "The SETT Framework For Assistive Technology" from the MNSAT studio in downtown Saint Paul. This is our second question and answer period. You still have time to send in a question. To call, the number is 1-800-657-3677 You may also fax your question to us. The fax number is 1-800-657-3678. And our email address is email@example.com Joan Breslin-Larson is back with us again along with Joy Zabala to answer Your questions.
Joan and Joy, a lot of them here. Let's get right to it. First question goes to Joan from Jackie in Winona. We struggle with the A.T. Assessment, an ongoing process for us. Using the ideas in the Minnesota A.T. Manual, how do we influence our IEP Team in understanding this process? Is it appropriate for us to tell the team that they do not need to use the 30-day evaluation period as we use for our own students with disabilities? Okay, that's a long question.
>> Can I just say no? I don't think that would be helpful. An evaluation for assistive technology is required just as does every other educational evaluation to be completed within the timelines required by law. In Minnesota, that's 30 school days for the older kiddoes, and 45 calendar days for the little peanuts. During that evaluation, a team is not necessarily going to know which particular product is going to best meet the needs of a child. But as Joy mentioned earlier, we should be able to come up with the features of a device so the team should be -during the evaluation, during the 30-day, i'll just use that number, during that 30-day evaluation, they should be able to say a device should have this feature, this feature, for example, it should talk when a child types and it should have a spell Check. Now, we also know that there's seven devices out there, seven software packages that talks when you type and has a spell check and you can put in graphics. So now we have to figure out which one best meets the child's needs. So what we're going to do is include in the IEP An objective that says in order to help Timmy answer questions in history, or whatever it is he needs to do, we're going to give him access to a series of devices to find out which one best meets the needs and within seds time frames which vary on the ability of the child and the complexity of the device, figure out which best meets the needs of the child. That trial piece can last an extended period of time depending on what the team agrees on, so.
I hope that answers Jackie's question, otherwise I think she'll call me. I know who she is.
[ laughter ]
>> She knows how to reach me.
>> You can call, Jackie, it's okay.
>> I think it's sort of a -it can be for some students an incremental piece, that within those 30 days, you must come up with something that you're able to report. It isn't okay to have an ongoing piece for three years or to say these evaluations have been sitting on our desk for six months, no, there are those time frames, but you may not be able to complete all those trials as you said so well in that time. But you're identifying what that's like in your report back so that you're saying and now we're going to enter into the trial phase.
>> a question for Joy from Michelle from Minneapolis. Who is financially responsible for providing A.T. Needed by a student?
>> Okay. If the assistive technology is required for a student to receive a pre -- excuse me, a free, appropriate public education, that F.A.P.E. piece, then it must be provided at no cost to the family or the student.
>> So state and federal dollars, then.
>> Not necessarily.
>> At no cost to the family or student does not necessarily mean that a school district writes a check for it. It means it must be available. To give you an example, in the assistive technology services, one of the pieces that's listed in assistive technology service is the coordination of other services for which the student is eligible. And if we are coordinating other services, let's say this is a student who receives the services of another agency; okay? And that other agency's funds might be used to furnish -that's also a possibility. Because that is not at cost to the family. So the educational relevance piece or the educationally required piece is the important piece to think about. Again, it would be a lovely thing if the issue were not who pays for stuff but that is an issue, as we talked earlier about those federal dollars and state dollars, but the critical piece is school Systems cannot say to a family, you must use your private insurance to purchase this thing that is needed at school. However, many times a family may determine that they would like to be the owners of that piece because it has been shown by data that it is a piece that makes a difference in their child's life, not only educationally but in all other aspects of their life and they may choose to Purchase the device themselves, which is certainly their choice.
>> Joan, question from Ben. How can Minnesota teams get access to tools used for training or trails because there are so many available but we can't afford to have them all?
>> That's a really good question appeared we've worked hard to develop answer toss that. Our continuous improvement plan has strategies in there to increasing access to devices but before we implement all those strategies; we do have some nice things in place. The state of Minnesota has provided each region of the state training kits or Regional resources so over the last three years, we've added, I think, 70 different piece toss each region of the state, different A.T. Device that is folks can use either for training or access for children that they can borrow or use for a period of time. We also have a program called the Minnesota stiff network, which is a program of united cerebral palsy and they have communication devices so some of the big devices, expensive devices, different districts have smaller loan programs that folks can use that are very, very nice. Pacer center has a really nice loan program, they have a wide range of devices and software that folks can use and there is a small membership fee for schools appeared a very minimal fee for parents. So we do have a nice basis of resources here in the state.
>> We have about three minutes left here. This question is for Brenda for both of you but I'll start with Joan first and then Joy can chime in is the Minnesota A.T. Manual the same as the SETT framework?
>> What a good question. The SETT framework was the impetus and the inspiration for the Minnesota A.T. Manual and what I did was look at all the things I learned from listening to Joy and attending some seminars that she presented and then I went back to my own experience as an A.T. Practitioner and in fact as a mom who had been in i.e. Meetings and I said, where -where did the process break down. I developed a series of forms and used other district's forms as inspiration and guidance that said how are we going to have a process that guides us through this whole thing so that we come up with good, collaborative answers for children.
>> I think when we talk about the SETT being a framework, it's saying here are the cognitive pieces where you can hang all of this information and what Joan has done, which is I think a very important thing and lots of people have done this around the country, they've said, in our environment, here is a way to manifest and make this into a consistent process, that is, using this framework, but is not -- is adding much more depth to specifics that support thinking through the framework well, so that it indeed does support good decision making, not in just device selection but also in service provision and evaluating the effectiveness of all those services.
>> About a minute left and this is a pretty simple question, I believe, from Danielle from White Bear Lake. At the beginning of the show you spoke about the definition of an A.T. Device. Would you consider eye glasses and hearing aids an A.T. Device?
>> Oh, don't you love it. Okay.
>> Not a simple question, is it.
>> No, it's not a simple question. It's a very interesting issue. Indeed, as I said earlier, the federal government at this point does not exclude anything from potentially being a device. Now, what is interesting in the case of hearing aids and eyeglasses is frequently, because those are not only educationally necessary but necessary in lots of other ways, and they're also are agencies or entities that provide those kinds of supports, that while they may be educationally relevant, they are not always provided by the school.
>> You do that well in a minute. Thank you, Joy.
>> You're most welcome.
>> Joan, a pleasure.
>> Coming up next, we'll take time to re-SETT. Stay with us. So far in this program we have talked about the SETT framework, the student, the environment, the tasks, and the tools. Finally, in this last section, we're going to take time to re-SETT. Joy Zabala and Joan Breslin-Larson are back with us to explain. I think at this point I need to do a little re-SETTing on my own. There is a lot to absorb here. What is re-SETTing?
>> Re-SETTing is a term that came up in a conversation between Gail Bowser in Oregon who's been here in Minnesota to talk to people and she said, you know, I think there needs to be this sense of that people don't complete a SETT framework, that it's not like, okay, we gathered our information and now we're done. She said, so what about re-SETTing and I resisted that a little bit at first because when you re-SETT an electronic device, or anything like that, there's this sense of beginning again. And that concept was not the one that we really wanted to look at. And she said, well, no, I just don't want to stop. I said why would people stop. And she said I think you immediate to make that clearer, it's an ongoing process that builds and builds. And she said let's look at this possibility. I've become accustomed to the word and I like it a lot. The reason you re-SETT, you're not done when you're - when you've gathered this information about what you think is the shared knowledge right now, when you're implementing, you're really adding to by gathering information and data as you're implementing, using that information to say, indeed, is what we knew about this student, what we thought we knew actually what's happening here? Is what we knew about these environments actually what these environments are like or, no, they're not, we need to adds some things, change some things, maybe delete something that we thought we knew. Are the tasks really what we thought they were going to be because generally when we're doing this initially, we're making good educated guesses about what we think all of those pieces are like. And we're -- by building that shared knowledge, we have a better sense of that than each of us individually but there still may be things that are different. So when you re-SETT, you're basically looking at the information that you had and keeping that information accurate and up to date so that it guides decision making well. Not using old information that's no longer relevant.
>> So, Joan, you would agree? Sounds like a necessary anyone to do, to re-SETT.
>> Absolutely. What happens is the child makes progress, child grows, is achieving goals with more skill and ability because they have good assistive technology. As a result, the child is able to perform at a much higher level so we need to look and say with this new school, with this new able, what's next. It almost gets back to that question Jackie had asked earlier about that ongoing equipment trial. What else do we get to try here? How else do we make sure the child is successful? A great concept.
>>And the other piece I think that's probably important in that is it could happen not only to the child but also to the environment. Let's say we thought that this child who has mobility issues was going to be in a single-level school house but, oh, there were some changes and now this child is going to one with stairs. So what we knew about the environment is there was no need to go upstairs. Oops. So we need to make sure we're looking at this. Several reasons for that. My mother always said any time I wanted to do something that she maybe didn't want to do or didn't think I should do, give me six good reasons for that. I'm not sure I can name you six off the top of my head but when you re-SETT, you want to make sure your information is accurate and up to date. You want to make sure it includes all the players that are actively involved in the implementation and use. And you want to make sure that whatever plans you have in place are actually environmentally friendly in this environment. And another piece, the reason that you want to look at that is that if indeed we who meet together on this team have this wonderful plan, and we say, and now you need to do this, and you haven't been a part of developing this wonderful plan, it may or may not fit your thoughts and what's going on. So all of those are some of those six good reasons.
>> Joan, this doesn't exactly sound like a starting over, it's just maybe modifying a little bit?
>> Allowing the child to make progress with the skills he's acquired, so it's not starting over, building on success, or laying.
>> Or if success is not occurring, really looking at why is it not occurring, having some information you've added to say, you know what, we had there is not really what's happening there, what can we learn to add to this? I think that starting over piece, one of the things that I think is -- that I think is important, is if people are looking at this as being a building thing, I tends to look at the framework more as if I were looking at a toy, it's not a beginning-ending straight line kinds of piece, kinds of like a slmgt inky, it's going around and around and if I could make it never end, that would be my best Take on what it should sort of look like.
>> Well, they're flexible.
>>And flexibility is an important piece, indeed.
>> I like the slinky thought. I like that. Clearly, we've been doing this now for a couple of months, these various satellite Broadcasts, A.T. seems like a big field. What are the resources available for folks out there watching? Where can they turn to find out more about various devices and this whole concept? Just for -- to reiterate.
>> We're lucky in Minnesota. We have some very, very nice professional development pieces. We have Charting the C's coming up in April, my conference, get to plug it. We have the summer institute, my program; I get to plug I also very lucky that we have closing the gap, an internationally known conference that happens every October here in Bloomington. I was going it's that place west. It's in Bloomington. The Department of Education, I think, has been really, really wonderful at supporting assistive technology initiatives. We have the professional development pieces I mentioned. We have a listserv that's just for Minnesotans, we have an A.T. Newsletter that goes out electronically and we have a leadership team that is the best, I think, probably in the country, folks Who support and urge me on and give me new ideas about what needs to happen. So we have some great resources here.
>> A couple of other websites that I think are probably very useful. I think people in this area as people in the country are very aware of the watty website but there are a couple of others that would be nice for people to go to. One is the Georgia project for assistive technology website, which is gpat.org, and there is some wonderful, wonderful supports on that. One of which is very exciting to me, they have something that's very much like the tam consideration wheel, which people may have seen, you look at what the person needs to do and gives you some examples. They have an electronic piece that's similar to that and what they've done is when they've suggested here is a possible assistive technology tool that you might use, you click on that tool and you get a little video of what that tool is like and what it can be used for. Very nice.
And another piece that has some nice training pieces available is the state of Texas has done a piece where they're actually putting training modules on line, they have a legal one, consideration one, that's minutes to train IEP Teams. They have an evaluation one that is training people to do assistive technology and that website is texasat.net. Those are just two possible resources. Do a web search for assistive technology and you get thousands of things.
>> You mentioned, if my memory is correct, about an hour ago, about the QIAT website, is that accurate?
>> Yeah, that's accurate.
>>Aand maybe we can put that on the screen and folks can check that out, too, it's supposed to be a really good one.
>> that's qiat.org.
>> What else do you want to add about this before we go today? Any final words?
>>Just keep on doing what you're doing, bigger and better all the time. I think the wonderful thing about people who have been doing this a really long time is that we understand the complexity that people who are entering it now are dealing with. We're so Joyful that we're not entering now because there's so much, but if we can come back and think about it, it's always about the conversations that people have with each other. Schools and families working together, other agencies all working together in this group that we really have an opportunity to move students forward in their educational program, so that they can be active communicators, participators and productive in all aspects of their lives.
>> Joan, we started with you and you now have the last word.
>> Oh, exciting. I think the most important thing that I'd like folks to remember is that this is -- well, I of course always say this is the most fun job you can have in special education, but that there are many opportunities to learn and grow, and that they can feel free to use me as a resource to learn more things, and to just continue to challenge themselves to learn new things. It's fun.
>>It is fun to learn new things.
>> And I'm on outsider to your world so I've learned something today. Thank you so much.
>> Joy, thank you.
>> My pleasure to be here, thank you.
>> Joan, good to see you again.
>> Good to see you.
>> Thanks to all of you for participating in today's satellite broadcast, "The SETT Framework For Assistive Technology." If you would like to get in touch with Joy Zabala in the future, here's her website and email information. Her website is: www.joyzabala.com And her email address is Joy@zabala.com If you have any other questions regarding the program's content, please contact Joan Breslin-Larson at 651-582-1599, or send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org the Minnesota Department of Education is very interested in improving programs like this one. Please take a couple of minutes of your time to complete a short evaluation about this program. Thanks for participating today. Have a good afternoon.