Assistive Technology Partnership
Educational Service Units 2, 3, 4, 18, & 19
Assistive Technology Partnership/Education (ATP/Education) provides statewide assistive technology services to children (birth to twenty-one) with special needs and their families, caregivers, teachers, service providers, college students, etc. The services offered by ATP/Education include:
Training: which may range from awareness of assistive technology to specific devices
Consultations: child specific requests/identified needs
Technical support: this may include phone support or on-site visitation
Awareness activities: providing a range of activities to build the general awareness of what is assistive technology. Assistive Technology is defined as using any item, piece of equipment or product system, to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.
Demonstration of technology: coming to you to show you how a specific piece of technology or adaptation works and can be used
Equipment Loan Pool: short-term loans of devices
Because of Nebraska's size, ATP/Education has divided the state into five regions, with an educational consultant assigned to each area. Educational consultants are able to answer specific questions you might have or respond to requests for training, technical support, etc. There is no charge for services provided by ATP/Education.
Under Nebraska Rule 51, all decisions for a child on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) must be made through a team process. Educational consultants operate within this team process. They work in conjunction with appropriate school personnel, parents, agency personnel, and most importantly, the student, to assist in determining what assistive technology will be most effective.
Educational consultants provide the local educational team with guidance on gauging and selecting appropriate assistive technology. All decisions related to assistive technology services and devices are made by the school educational team. People may have the mistaken idea that assistive technology is a prop that impedes a child's development. Actually, the reverse is true. When assistive technologies are appropriately used, they support children's development of skills and independence in such areas as reading, writing, communication, socialization, play, mobility, and self-help.
ATP/Education has a statewide loan pool which offers opportunities to "try before you buy." You are able to borrow assistive technology for a short period of time to see if it is appropriate. Loan pool equipment is listed on the AT4ALL website (www.at4all.com). This website allows you to view the equipment available and request items via the site. The website includes descriptions and photos of the devices and links to the manufacturing companies. ATP/Education is a good resource for information on where to purchase specific assistive technology. We work in conjunction with the Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP).