Where are AEM and AT located in the Indiana IEP system?
Provisions and Services page
What could be considered AEM for DHH Students?
Any materials used in the classroom that need to be in an accessible format for the student to access their curriculum at the same time as their peers such as closed and open captions, transcripts in (but not limited to) foreign language learning classrooms, access to print material in digital formats (This is not an exhaustive list).
What could be considered AT for DHH Students?
Any device or technology used to provide access to the curriculum such as a tablet or Chromebook/laptop for access to live transcript applications, AAC device, FM/DM ear level transmitter/receiver, t-coil, neck loop, induction loop, remote mini microphone, Bluetooth device, built-in or stand-alone sound-field speaker and microphone, book clips, speech to text software/applications, text to speech software/applications (This is not an exhaustive list).
Even if the case conference committee decides that the student does not need AEM and/or AT to provide FAPE do we select “No” and leave the box blank?
When a case conference committee decides that the student does not need either AEM or AT to provide FAPE then select “No” in the appropriate box and comment in the box on what was considered, discussed, and the outcome.
Note: Leaving the box blank can suggest that the team did not consider or discuss AEM or AT during the conference.
How can our team determine if AEM and/or AT are appropriate for our DHH student(s)?
As the end of the year nears, holidays run together and family and friends come in and out of our doors. Sometimes the wrapping paper, meal preparations, and travel plans take up most of our time.
For me the holiday checklist is at the forefront of my mind. Those that know me are familiar with my love of checklists. Boxed bullet points give more order, help me stay on-track, and give me a sense of control of the things going on around me. Unlike in the past, this year my checklist became a source of anxiety about the holiday season. But I could not figure out why. I was doing all the suggested holiday traditions that are supposed to bring more joy during this time of year. Yet joy just did not seem to be inside those multiple squares. On the other hand frustration and anxiety showed up checkmark after checkmark.
So I applied a recently discovered method of the “5 whys.”
The first why?: Why were these activities bringing me frustration and anxiety? Answer: I didn’t enjoy the activities that we were doing. Now I could have stopped there and just changed the activities but I would not have gotten to the root of the cause.
So I asked a second why?: Why wasn’t I enjoying these activities? Answer: They felt rushed.
Third why?: Why were the activities rushed? Answer: I felt like I needed to get to the next checkbox quickly.
Fourth, why? Why did I need to get to the next checkbox? Answer: Checking the box became more important than the actual activity.
Fifth why?: Why was marking the squares the priority? Answer: The satisfaction of marking the square became the focus of the activity. Utilizing the 5 “whys” helped me to have a deeper understanding of the root cause.
Now I can look back at my checklist with a different perspective. I have to be honest, giving up the checklist probably isn’t going to happen. But what I can do instead is make it a priority to sit inside my checkbox and enjoy those four walls before quickly moving on to the next thing.
As educators we have a lot of checkboxes and sometimes we can lose sight of the joys of seeing students grow and learn. Checklists serve valuable purposes in guiding, documenting, tracking, and prioritizing but we have the choice of how they guide our actions as we complete those necessary items. PATINS Project staff often talk about a few checkboxes including the Assistive Technology (AT) box and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) boxes on the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). These boxes are vital for documenting student’s accommodations and gaining equitable access to materials. Although it is important to mark these boxes, we also need to sit inside these boxes to make sure we are getting to know our students and their needs. One way to do this is to utilize the SETT model, designed by Joy Zabala, in the AT evaluation. Utilizing the SETT model results inStudent centered, Environmentally useful, and Task focused system of selecting supportive Tools.
So when faced with these checkboxes, make sure to check them and take time to incorporate the SETT model into the evaluation process. If you do need more support on AT in the IEP, register for this no-cost 5-part series on AT in the IEP:
Part 1 - Getting the Money(Register): Friday, Feb. 10, 1:00 pm EST Discussing funding sources for devices, training, and how to utilize PATINS for support.
Part 2 - Boots on the Ground(Register): Friday, Feb 10, 1:30 pm EST Examine working with Information Technology (IT) and creating a system/plan for daily use.
Part 3 - What Happens at the Table(Register):Friday, March 3, 12:30 pm EST Look at case conference practices and the actual documentation of assistive technology in the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).
Part 4 - Bringing Them In(Register): Friday, March 3, 1:00 pm EST Addresses implementation of assistive technology with the student, family, and school team.
Part 5 - Making It Stick(Register): Friday, March 3, 1:30 pm EST Addresses transitioning to the post-secondary setting with assistive technology.
Remember to sit inside the checkbox with the intention of seeing past those four lines to visualize clearly who your students are and what they need for success.
Every year I have the pleasure of writing my blog the week of Mexican Independence Day on September 16. And no, I am not confusing it with our beloved Cinco de Mayo, a holiday to celebrate the removal of France’s support of the Confederates via Mexico during the Civil War. This year our family has a bilateral celebration as my husband got his U.S. citizenship. We have proudly been flying our U.S. flag since the day he got his naturalization papers and on September 16th we will proudly fly our Mexican flag in its place.
As we navigate the life of a bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural family, one of the most important things for us is to honor and celebrate both U.S. and Mexican traditions, language, and culture. Oftentimes we have to choose between the two instead of simultaneously representing both. When this happens we have to be cognizant of how to bring both back to the forefront of our lives or balance spotlighted time for each.
[Image: Hugo, Amanda's husband,wear USA jersey, smiling with U.S. flag in background]
When we travel to and from Mexico different documentation is required. Passports, resident cards, visas, and tourist documentation; we’ve had them all, folks! These powerful papers indicate our status and our qualifications for privileges, responsibilities, and regulations. Without this documentation we would not be able to enter into either country and there would be no defined representation of our mutual commitment to individual and/or nation.
Although students are not defined by paperwork that they carry in school systems, the Individual Education Plan (IEP)/Section 504 Plan/Individual Learning Plan (ILP) often referred to as English Learner Plan, represent a similar promise from the school to make sure that the student is provided resources, accommodations, supports, services, and opportunities to succeed. The IEP/504/ILP are all legally binding documents of which school staff are responsible for identification, creation, and most importantly, implementation.
This documentation follows a student through grade transitions, school transfers, and ultimately to independent living/employment/higher education, making it similar to the documentation required when traveling from one country to the next. Each of these documentation forms have different core purposes. All of them are living documents in need of regular updates, as students’ skills and abilities change, placement changes, technology changes, etc. Just like our balancing of bicultural life-- when one culture will falls back to bring the other to the forefront, these documents and their purposes might not always shine simultaneously, but they concurrently exist.
While these are impactful and noteworthy actions, the spotlight has to re-adjust for students who formally only had access to these supports through IEP/504/ILP. Meaning that through the implementation of UDL, these students will benefit from an inclusive classroom in conjunction with continued documentation of their required services, accommodations, and specialized instruction. When these occurrences happen simultaneously, balancing the spotlight honors both inclusion and specialized needs.
As we move toward a more inclusive school environment through UDL, remember that documentation with necessary AT and AEM is still part of equitable access for all. They can exist synonomously.