Documenting Assistive Technology on the IFSP:
A Quick Guide

Brian A. Burne, MSM, OTR/L, ATP
Maureen Melonis, MSN, CCC-SLP
Laura Merrill, Training and Personnel Development Coordinator, EI Colorado

Partial funding for this guide provided by Early Intervention Colorado, Colorado Department of Human Services

Purpose of the guide

The ultimate goal of this guide is to assure that any IFSP for a child age birth through two who is using assistive technology (AT) provides a clear understanding of:

  • what AT the child is using
  • why AT is important to that child
  • who is evaluating and selecting the AT
  • when and where the child is using the AT (activities/daily routines)
  • how the AT will improve the child’s functional capabilities as related to the IFSP outcome
  • how the AT is being funded

Overview

  • This tool is intended to be a simple guide for documenting assistive technology on the IFSP. For more in depth information, please refer to the EI Colorado Technical Assistance Brief: Assistive Technology in Early Intervention.
  • This guide is not intended to answer every question that may come up in documenting AT on the IFSP, as every child and family has individual needs. It will provide clarification to providers and service coordinators on how AT is determined and documented.
  • All documentation of AT on the IFSP should be determined through collaboration among all team members and based on the priorities, needs and concerns of the child’s family and caregivers.

About the Guide

  • This guide is set up as a decision tree. The beginning of the guide will show you the overall decision tree. Use the jump list at the bottom of the screen to take you to that a particular section of the guide or to return to the beginning. You will see a smaller version of the home page throughout the guide to let you know where you are in the decision tree.
  • You can progress step by step through the guide, or skip to only the sections you want. You can also select to read in depth information in several sections.

Getting Around this Guide

You can navigate through this guide in several ways:

  • Arrow buttons (« ») in the lower right of the screen will take you forward or back through the guide one slide at a time.
  • The Yes and No buttons will allow you to progress through the decision tree according to which one you select.
  • The info button will provide you with more in depth information on the topic in which it is embedded.
  • The ☰ (toggle) button switches between a slide view and outline view of the guide.
  • Use the jump list in the lower right of the screen to go directly to any page in this guide.

Key

The diamond indicates when a decision is being made
The documentation icon indicates the need for specific documentation

Main Decision Tree

Click the image to zoom.
Decision Tree. Click to zoom Text Version

Definition of AT Services & Devices

It is important to begin with a clear understanding of the definition of AT services and devices. Click the buttons below to learn about each.

Step One: Is an AT Evaluation Needed?

This section assumes AT may be needed for the child. Sometimes the child may already own the AT, and sometimes it is a new solution that is being explored. For low and mid tech AT solutions, an AT evaluation can often be done by a member of the early intervention (EI) team. If the needs are more complex, outside expertise for the evaluation may be required. This determination needs to be made by the IFSP team. An AT evaluation is considered an AT service. Choose one of the options below.

Click the image to zoom.
You are here: determining the need for an eval. click to zoom

Documenting an AT Evaluation

Document the AT EVALUATION in both the Strategies section (how the evaluation is a strategy to meet the desired outcome), and on the IFSP Agreement page as a service including activity, location, frequency, projected start and end dates and the funding source.

No Documentation Required

If a device is being or will be used by the child that does not require a formal AT evaluation, no documentation of an evaluation is needed and you can go straight to documenting any device and/or service being used.

Next Steps

Whether or not an evaluation was done, the next step is to document any necessary AT services and/or devices on the IFSP. We will start with describing how to document AT SERVICES.

Is AT as a service necessary?

info

Click the image to zoom.
decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

AT Services are not Necessary

If an evaluation was completed and no service was recommended, document the results of the evaluation in the child’s record if applicable. Proceed to documenting AT devices.

Click the image to zoom.
decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

AT Services are Necessary

Document use of AT on the Present Levels of Development pages AND on the Plan of Action page within the Outcomes or Strategies,

AND

Document AT as a service on the IFSP Agreement page

Click the image to zoom.
decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

Documenting AT Services on the IFSP Agreement Page

  • Service: Document AT as a service.
    info
  • Activity/Location: When and where within the family’s daily routine the AT is being used, i.e. bath time at home, lunch time at childcare, play time in the park, etc.
  • Method: Describe the method or how the service will be provided (evaluation, consultation, direct).
  • Frequency & Intensity: How often the service will occur and how long the sessions will be.
    info
  • Dates: A projection of when the AT services will start and when they may no longer be needed.
    info
  • Funding Source: A description of how the AT service will be paid for.
    info

Is an AT device necessary?

Click the image to zoom.

decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

An AT Device is Not Necessary

If an evaluation was completed but no device was recommended, document the results of the evaluation and/or that an AT device is not necessary in the child’s record.

At this point there are no further documentation needs. Go to the end of the guide.

Click the image to zoom.

decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

An AT Device is Necessary

Once a device is determined to be necessary by the IFSP team, it must be documented on the IFSP.

Is the Device Essential?

Does the device serve a vital role in achieving an outcome on the child's IFSP?

info

Click the image to zoom.

decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

An AT Device is Not Essential

Document the device in Present Levels of Development or Additional Activities, including information regarding how, when and where the child is using the device.

At this point there are no further documentation needs. You can end the guide click or the next arrow to continue viewing the rest of the guide.

Click the image to zoom.
decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

Newly Acquired, Purchased or Trialed

Is the device in question being newly acquired, purchased or trialed?

Click the image to zoom.

decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process

For New Devices:

  • Document use of acquired, purchased or trialed* devices in the Strategies section related to an outcome. Include a description of the device and how it will be used to achieve the outcome.
  • And/or, incorporate use of devices to be acquired or purchased directly into an outcome. The outcome should not be about use of the device itself, but should include how the device supports achieving the targeted skill(s).
    info
  • And, document devices to be acquired or purchased on the IFSP Agreement page. Include a description of the device within the strategies section of the related outcome.

Click the image to zoom.

decision tree, click for a description of the location in the process* Devices should not be documented on the IFSP Agreement page until final determination has been made that the device is necessary for ongoing implementation of the strategies on the IFSP. Trialed devices should not be documented on the IFSP Agreement page">

Documenting AT Devices on the IFSP Agreement Page

  • Service: Document “AT device” in this column.
  • Activity/Location: When and where within the family’s daily routine the AT is being used, i.e. bath time at home, lunch time at childcare, play time in the park, etc.
  • Method & Frequency/Intensity: Method: Describe how the service will be provided. Document “Direct service-Device”. Frequency/Intensity: Document how often the device will be used (daily, 2X a week).
  • Dates: A projection of when the AT device will start being used and when it will no longer be needed. If the device will be used ongoing, note this duration as 6 mos. or until next IFSP review or annual.
  • Funding Source: Enter the individual or agency, or combination of funding sources responsible for paying for the device.
    info
  • YOU ARE DONE! press the next button if you would like to view additional information and resources.

Devices Previously Purchased or Acquired:

The device is essential to an outcome, was previously purchased or acquired, and is in use at the time of the IFSP

  • Document the device in the Strategies section related to an outcome. Include a description of the device and how it will be used to achieve the outcome (include trials).
  • And/or,incorporate the device into an outcome. The outcome should not be about use of the device itself, but should include the device in achieving the targeted skill(s).
    info
  • decision tree, click for a description of the location in the processThere is no need to document the device on the IFSP Agreement page.

At this point there are no further documentation needs. Click the next arrow to take you to the end of the guide.