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Assessment For Writing ATs

This article examines the SETT framework for assessing how a childs needs might be met by assistive technology. The SETT framework is applied to a child in our class, referred to as Sam for the purpose of this work, and appropriate assistive technologies are explored. The SETT framework was developed by Joy Zabala, an experienced practitioner in the field of special education. SETT is a 4 part framework that encourages collaboration at every stage between practitioners, family and student and focuses on the childs needs being the starting point of the assessment rather than the process being driven by the ATs .

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The key elements of SETT are: Shared knowledge Collaboration Communication Multiple Perspectives Pertinent Information Flexibility and Patience On-Going Process

The SETT framework is evident in the Ministry of Education document Assistive Technology Guidelines and also aligns with the 3 principles of the Universal Design for Learning approach: multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, multiple means of engagement.

The table below applies the SETT framework to Sams situation . SAM - interests - highly motivated by ICT and the - abilities TAs personal ipad - expectations - quickly learns new programs on - needs: what does the child need to the computer and happily helps his do that they cant do independently peers to use these programs now - forms and writes letters correctly and can copy words but makes no attempt at writing a sentence - IEP goal to write a simple sentence independently - arrangement -Sam has 45 mins TA support each - support day, this is normally during class - materials and equipment writing sessions - access issues - each class in the school is - attitudes and expectations receiving an iPad next term - the classroom is set up to provide a quiet place for Sam to work in if he needs to - the expectation in the class is that every child will be able to access the NZ Curriculum through removal of barriers and full inclusion - children will be expected to use the iPad with a peer - the children are accustomed to taking turns on the class laptop - the other children in the class are very supporting of and caring towards Sam - specific tasks to achieve IEP goals - order words correctly in a - specific tasks to actively participate sentence in the class environment - read to check a sentence makes sense - develop writing stamina - spell simple high frequency words -Sams older cousin who lives with him has an iPad that Sam uses, there is also a computer at home SETTS guidelines

S Student

E Environment

T Tasks

T Tools

- devices - services - strategies - training - accommodation - modification

- iPad - laptop - Talking Tin - pencil grip - whiteboards - Interactive whiteboard - adaptations to chair - sloping surface for writing - novelty pencil tops

In previous years we have been encouraged to use Clicker with children who needed support to achieve their IEP goals for writing. However, this has been received with mixed reactions from TAs across the school, as reflected in artefact 3 for this goal. Securing Clicker for these children involved a trial period and drawn out applications for funding , as well as training for staff. In light of the provision of a class iPad , which will undoubtedly be highly motivating for Sam , using an AT in the form of an iPad app seemed to present a more immediate, cheaper and easily accessible response to his writing needs. An initial internet search resulted in many apps that were are aimed at older children so a new search pathway was followed using Apps for Autism wheel. (M. Coppin, 2012)

Using the communication sector of this wheel the Sentence Builder app was selected to be trialled. Artefact 2 for this goal provides more detail about this app and others in the same series, as well as an additional Sentence Builder app that was discovered.

Another valuable source of ATs for writing came from the AT - Reading and Writing forum in this domain. Resources that have been selected to trial based on the recommendations of other specialist teaching colleagues include: 1. Big Book Template from Priory Wood School in the UK. This allows the whole class , or groups of children, to develop their own big book in the form of a power point using photos and text. It can then be shared with the whole class and on the class blog. Sam is very quick to pick up processes in ICT so would soon learn the steps involved in creating the book and could then teach other children what to do. Click on the image below to a link for this resource.

2. Tag Galaxy is a fun, interactive way to generate and select photos from Flicker. This could be used in conjunction with the big book template. The spinning globe would be highly motivating for Sam and when used with a peer would develop skills of collaboration and cooperation. Click on the image below to access this tool.


One of the key elements of SETT is collaboration so before the suggested apps can be used with Sam they will need to be explored by both his family and his TA. If any or all of the apps are put into use the appropriateness of these ATs will be closely monitored. This will be achieved through a record of how often the apps are used, the collection of data around successful attempts at Sentence Builder (this information is collected by the app) and the production and sharing of big books. The use of these apps to support Sams goal of writing a sentence independently also facilitates his participation in the class environment as these ATs are equally relevant to the learning of his classmates allowing them to learn with and from each other.

Coppin, M. (2013). Autism App Wheel. Retrieved from Autism Companion: Ministry of Education. (2012). Assistive Technology Guidelines. Retrieved from FormsGuidelines/AssistiveTechnologyGuidelinesv52012.pdf Tag Galaxy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2013, from Talking Story Books. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2013, from Priory Woods School and Arts College: %20Story%20Books&pid=75 The Three Principles of UDL. (2013). Retrieved from National Center on Universal Design for Learning: University of Canterbury, & Massey University. (2013). AT - Reading and Writing. Retrieved from Zabala, J. S. (2005). Using the SETT Framework to Level the Learning Field for . Retrieved from