Applying for assistive technology
Apply for assistive technology once you have confirmed your student is eligible.
Step 1: Set up a team
Set up an assistive technology team with one person who will take responsibility for coordinating the team. This person will make sure the team completes all tasks related to assessing a student’s learning needs and applying for assistive technology.
This team is also responsible for any ongoing administration, management and use of the technology.
The student and members of the student’s family or whānau must be part of this team. In some cases, you may have already set up a team as part of the education planning process.
Step 2: Complete an assessment
We use the internationally recognised SETT (student, environment, tasks, tools) framework to assist student support teams to assess and ensure informed decisions are made when considering what assistive technologies the student requires. Contact your local assistive technology coordinator for more information or assistance with this.
Begin the assessment
Gather the information and fill out the form as you go:
Step A – complete sections 1 to 6
- Brainstorm with the team, the student and their family/ whānau and gather information the reflects the shared team understanding about the student and the learning environment.
- Clarify the purpose of the assistive technology application (the specific learning goals).
- Obtain baseline data to show what the student can and cannot do now (related to the specific learning goals).
- Collect a representative piece of work showing what the student is achieving now (pre trial sample).
Step B – complete sections 7 to 8
- Decide on the technology for trial - discuss options with your school, local specialists and the Assistive Technology Coordinator if required (don’t limit yourself to what you already know).
- Trial the assistive technology and record outcomes – most trials take one to two weeks. In complex cases this can take longer as you may need to trial different equipment options.
- Collect a representative piece of work showing what the student is achieving at or near the end of the trial (post trial sample).
- Attach analysed pre and post-trial work samples relevant to the application.
- At the end of the trial you will know if you need to apply for assistive technology funding or not. Either you won’t go any further with your application because the trial results show that it is not the right equipment for the student or go to Step C and finish completing the Ministry of Education assessment application form.
Step C – complete section 9-15
- Get a quote from 2 different suppliers for exactly the same items.
- Select the most cost effective quote and attach it to the completed application. Write the details into section 9, completing all boxes exactly as set out.
Extra information to help with assessments or applications
Government agency protocol information
- Visit the Ministry of Health's website for the Education and Health Therapy and Assistive Technology/Equipment Protocols (external link) .
This protocol clarifies the respective funding roles and responsibilities for assistive technology.
- Visit the ACC's website for the protocol between the Ministry of Education and ACC [PDF, 203KB] (external link) , clarifying the respective funding roles and responsibilities for assistive technology.
Applying for joint funding
- Download the joint funding information sheet [DOC, 327 KB] to decide whether to apply for joint funding (between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health).
- Download the joint funding form to apply for joint funding [DOC, 323 KB].
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) information sheet
- Download the Auditory Processing Disorder information sheet [DOCX, 63 KB] for information on how to support students with APD.
- Auditory Processing Disorder application form [DOCX, 158 KB].
Step 3: Submit the application
The last step in the process is to submit your completed assessment and application form to the local assistive technology coordinator.
Applications can be made at any time, but are only considered at the monthly moderation meetings.
About 2 weeks after your application has been considered at the moderation meeting we’ll write to your school, letting you know the outcome of your application.
Getting the assistive technology
We will either arrange for you to get the assistive technology directly from us or will fund you to buy it.
If the level of funding differs from the application quote the you'll need to apply for additional funding using a variation form.
Ask for a review if you're not happy with the outcome
You can ask to have an assistive technology application outcome reviewed when:
- there is a concern procedures have not been followed
- there is a dispute about the moderation decision.
Start the process by first talking to your local assistive technology coordinator.
If you want to go further, you can make a written request for a review to the National Coordinator for Assistive Technology. You will receive a written response within 10 days.
You can either post your request or email it:
National Assistive Technology Coordinator, Ministry of Education, PO Box 1666, Thorndon, Wellington.
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