Tier 3 - AT to Support Students with the Most Complex Needs

Tier 3 AT to Support Students with the most complex needs


Tier 3 targets the students with the most complex curriculum and/or access needs. At Tier 3 identified curriculum and/or access needs have not been adequately met through access to an academic rich environment (Tier 1) or strategies and trials with available equipment (Tier 2). Students may now require a specialized evaluation to determine personal device needs.  The teacher and other specialists work collaboratively with the AT Specialist to complete an evaluation of needs and identify appropriate technology and services to support student needs. Long term trials may be required.


Roles and Responsibilites of Site Level IEP Team Members


Support the AT evaluation with data collection and monitoring of trials with technology

Participate in trainings

Identify student needs and preferences for tools/devices

Support student use of tools/devices

Support ongoing use of the tools/devices

Continue ongoing data collection

Follow district procedures for repair and maintenance of equipment

  • Contact AT Specialist for assistance

Write AT supports and equipment in IEP Special Factors


Roles and Responsibilities of AT


Collaborate with Site Level Team to compelete the AT assessment

Attend IEP meetings as needed to report assessment results

Help secure equipment for assessment trials

Coordinate the Implementation Plan

Explore funding options

Assist in the ordering of equipment

Support training

Assist in troubleshooting and repair of equipment as needed


Data Collection


Data is collected to determine the need and effectiveness of technology and/or monitor progress on IEP goals or identified area of need.  Current technology supports and systems are monitored for effectiveness.

When additional supports are needed, begin to gather data from existing records on the following:
  • hearing/vision/sensori-perceptual skills 
  • cognitive skills
  • physical access skills  
  • what's been tried/what's successful
  • current academic skills
  • current strategies used by student 
  • current communication skills (receptive/expressive/pragmatic)
  • level of attention to task and level of participation  
  • academic needs (e.g.,where is the breakdown -- types of assignments, time of day, types of subjects)
  • level of self-advocacy 
  • goal data sheets 
  • behavior data collection
  • language skills in relation to academics
  • maintain equipment data forms provided by AT Specialist 





Screen readers, scan & read software (e.g. Kurzweil, Read and Write Gold, etc.), electronic books, phonological software (e.g. Fast Forward, Earobics, The Listening Program), text-to-speech software (e.g. Read OutLoud), symbol/text writing software



  • Organization:  graphic organizer software (e.g. Inspiration, Draftbuilder), reading/writing support software with teacher scaffolding (e.g. SOLO), voice recognition programs, multimedia software (e.g. PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Note taking/Copying:  Laptop, word prediction software (e.g. Co:Writer, Word Q, Read & Write GOLD).
  • Handwriting:  Keyguards, mini-keyboards, adapted keyboards, touch screen, on-screen keyboards, word prediction software, voice recognition software, multimedia software, visual writing software (e.g. PixWriter, Writing with Symbols, etc.)      
  • Speed:  prediction program, voice recognition program
  • Editing/Writing conventions:  Text-to-speech software (e.g. WriteOutLoud, Read & Write GOLD), word prediction software, voice recognition software
  • Keyboarding skills:  Color-coded keyboard, adapted keyboard, keyguard, text-to-speech, one-handed typing programs
  • Spelling:  Text-to-speech software, software with homophone feature, software with speaking dictionary, word prediction software, voice recognition software



Software for cueing math computation (e.g. Math Pad, Math Type), voice recognition software for math (e.g. Math Talk), alternative keyboard (e.g. Intellikeys), software for object manipulation



  • Organization:  Electronic organizer or applications (eg. PDA/Itouch)
  • Notetaking:  Iris Pen II, Software graphic organizers (eg. Inspiration, Draft Builder)




Training at Tier 3 focuses on creating academic-rich environments by integrating highly-specialized technology systems and devices to facilitate access to the curriculum.  AT Specialist provides training to student, parent, and staff.  Training topics include:

  • Continued operational training for software and hardware
  • Implementation of more specially designed systems
  • Continued data collection
  • Smaller number of students utilizing systems and devices
  • Parent involvement




Product descriptions, manuals, data sheets, free resources, training videos