Who can apply for assistive technology

Assistive technology allows students with additional learning needs to take part in the environment they learn in. Find out who can apply and what to do before applying for assistive technology.

Who can apply for assistive technology

To be able to apply for assistive technology a student will:

  • be enrolled in compulsory education 
  • have a specific learning need and has difficulty following the curriculum using standard classroom technology
  • be supported by one of our learning support services like:
    • Ongoing Resourcing Scheme
    • Speech-Language (Communication) Service
    • Severe Behaviour Initiative
    • Service for students with moderate sensory impairments and physical disabilities
    • School High Health Needs Fund
    • In class support (ICS).

Or be receiving additional learning support in school. The student must meet all of the following requirements;

  • has a current Individual Education Plan (IEP)/ Learning Support Plan and
  • be at least one level below expected NZ curriculum level and
  • be receiving ongoing monitoring/ support by school leader of additional learning e.g. SENCo, Learning Support Coordinator and
  • is receiving additional adult support. Minimum of 2 hours 1:1 (individual) or 4 hours (small group) per week. i.e from teacher, RTLB, RTLit or teacher aides. This support has been in place for at least 3 months.

Assistive technology support is available only for individual students (not groups of students). The assistive technology fund supports students presence, participation/engagement and learning.

For some specialist equipment a formal diagnosis is required as a part of the application. In addition a school student must be attending a registered school (compulsory education) or be formally exempt from school but residing in New Zealand.

Download the eligibility information sheet to help you decide which students are eligible for assistive technology.

Eligibility information sheet [DOCX, 53 KB]

Before applying for assistive technology

Assistive technology isn't the only way to meet a student's additional learning needs. Sometimes adapting the curriculum or changing the learning environment can also work really well.

You may find that some of these small changes help your student:

  • Assess your students’ learning needs and identify any barriers to learning.
  • Check to see if adapting the curriculum for a student is sufficient to meet their learning needs. This could include, increasing the use of small group work, reducing the number of tasks a student must achieve or simplifying content.
  • Check to see if changing the learning environment helps, eg, adjust the lighting or room acoustics or move the student’s seating position in relation to the classroom teacher.
  • Try small, inexpensive equipment such as pencil grips or timers to see if these help.
  • Check to see if you can meet the specific learning needs of your students by using standard school technology available for student use. Some schools run bring your own device (BYOD) where students bring and use their own technology to access the school learning and networks.

If you've explored these options and your student still needs assistive technology.

Complete an assessment and apply for assistive technology section.

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