3.1 Finding the right AT for the student

Jenny, the student featured in the case study, received three types of AT following a psycho-educational assessment, which then led to an IPRC and IEP process. The IPRC and IEP process ensures that the students will not only receive support in the form of AT, but in other forms as well (such as strategies and accommodations that address instructional, environmental and assessment needs).

As the teachers in the following video elaborate, the decision of pairing a student with AT is not made lightly. There are usually a number of professionals (including psychologists, speech-language pathologists, or others) involved in the discovery, assessment and planning for a student’s use of AT. This ensures that the AT chosen for a student meets her/his capabilities and needs.

Implementing Assistive Technology in the Classroom:
Discovery, Planning and Assessment


The “Identification, Placement, and Review Committee,” or IPRC process, is the process by which students with disabilities or other exceptionalities are identified as requiring accommodations, an official process that can be initiated by a student’s parent(s)/guardians(s), or by the school’s principal. Its goal is to determine whether a student is an exceptional pupil, and if so what potential program would best suit the student’s needs. Thus, it is at this stage that it is decided that some students would benefit from staying in the mainstream classroom given that certain accommodations and other supports are put in place.

For more information on the IPRC process, visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website where the process is explained in greater detail.


When an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) identifies a student as an exceptional pupil, the principal must ensure that an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for that student is developed within thirty days of the placement of an exceptional pupil in a particular program. That said, it is important to note that IEPs may also be prepared for students who require accommodations, program modifications and/or alternative programs, but who have not been identified as exceptional by an IPRC.

To assist teachers and support professionals in developing Individual Education Plans for exceptional pupils, the ministry has published The Individual Education Plan (IEP), A Resource Guide, 2004 For a variety of great resources on the topic Differentiated Instruction, please visit the “Teacher’s Gateway to Special Education” at:

3.2 Opportunities for professional development

As a teacher, you are essential to the learning process, and so your own professional development is important too. Professional development opportunities that target the use and implementation of AT can help you gain confidence that will benefit both you and your students. In the following video, educators discuss what resources are available to teachers and how they’ve accessed them.

For more information after watching the video, visit the AT Support webpage created by the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Implementing Assistive Technology in the Classroom:

Professional Development

3.3 The role of the parents

There is another group of individuals who are critical to the successful implementation of AT: the parents. As you will hear in the next video, most schools have found it useful to involve the parents and guardians in the process.

We asked teachers to elaborate on this topic, and give concrete ideas of how they go about doing this. We hope you find it helpful.

Implementing Assistive Technology in the Classroom:

Parent Engagement

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