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Contributing Author: Penny Reed


Although schools have been required to provide AT devices and services since 1990, many districts are still struggling to put in place a service delivery system that meets the needs of all their eligible students. Why are we still struggling? One answer may lie in the components of successful change in schools. In their article on effective systems change, Garmston and Wellman (1995) suggest that you must have a dual focus on developing the individual service provider's capabilities and expanding the district's capacity to provide services.

Clearly "developing the individual service provider's capabilities" involves a variety of training and staff development. But what is the district's capacity to provide services? It is the organization, procedures, and information flow that either facilitate or inhibit specific actions.

The components of the district's capacity to provide AT services include:

  1. Establishing AT policy & procedures
  2. Developing AT forms that guide decision making and service delivery to integrate the use of AT into existing systems
  3. Addressing AT training needs
  4. Providing access to AT equipment
  5. Identifying AT information sources
  6. Identifying sharing mechanisms




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