Tier 1 - AT to Support Academics

Tier 1 Assistive Technology to Support Academics


Tier 1 targets building academic skills for all students using resources readily available in the classroom. Teachers gather basic student profile information about academic skills. Teachers identify available academic supports within the curriculum. They also identify tasks where the students are unable to participate and modify the environment based on these needs.  They identify and trial use of additional site resources.  Utilization of Tier 1 strategies and supports will meet the academic needs of a majority of students.


Roles and Responsibilities of Site Level IEP Team Members


Create an academic-rich environment through use of strategies and supports

Gather basic student profile information about academic skills

Identify needs for further interventions

Access free and available district resources

Data collection (see Data Collection section below)

Access trainings Tier 1 support tools


Roles and Responsibilities of AT Specialist


Provide general trainings and resources for teachers to access

Provide websites with resources

Provide suggested lists of basic AT


Data Collection


Collect data frequently to monitor progress on IEP goals and to determine effectiveness of current interventions.  

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 (areas of strength)
  • 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 
  • progress on goals 
  • behavior data collection
  • language skills in relation to academics







Slant board, page-up, clip boards, dycem/sticky surface, book stand, book clips, page fluffers, word wall, font size/type, highlighting tape, post-it/flag arrow, correction/cover-up tape, erasable highlighters, color coding dots, increasing space between words/lines, text re-written at a lower level, reduced length of assignment, Auto Summarize in Microsoft Word 




  • Organization:  hard-copy graphic organizers, planner, story starters/prompts, writing templates, index cards, color-coding, highlighters
  • Note taking/Copying:  NCR paper/binders, note takers, provided print copy of notes, highlighters, colored overlays
  • Handwriting:  pencil grips, adapted pencils/pens, adapted paper, gel pens, erasable pens, slant boards, non-slip surface, clip boards, NCR paper/peer note taker, writing/signature guides, stamps, colored paper, colored writing utensils, page-up holder, near-point printouts, graph paper, magnetic letters
  • Speed:  NCR paper/binders, note takers/writers
  • Keyboarding skills:  Practice, high-contrast or colored key labels
  • Editing/Writing conventions:  Highlighters, erasable pens, writing checklists, reading out loud to self, peer review, dictionary, thesaurus, forms created in Microsoft Word (e.g. checklist, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank)
  • Spelling:  Personal print dictionary, standard dictionary, thesaurus, word walls




Graph paper, standard calculator, multiplication chart, number stamps, raised number rulers, number/math line, enlarged math worksheets, abacus, counting mat/boxes, lined paper turned sideways for columns




  • Organization:  Planner/ Notebook for writing homework, Colored folders/ Labeled folders, Subject specific folders, Daily/Monthly/Yearly calendar, Post-It notes, flags, arrows, Index cards, Highlighters, Visual schedule
  • Notetaking:  Peer note taking, NCR paper, Raised line paper, Colored paper, Index cards, Text highlighting strips, Highlighting pens, Font size, Pencil grips, Thesaurus, Alternative notetaking formats (eg. Cornell)




Training at Tier 1 focuses on creating academic-rich environments by providing accomodations and strategies to facilitate access to the curriculum.  Training topics include:


Teacher provides training to student, parent, and staff in the areas of:  

  • Operational use of equipment and tools
  • Integration and implementation of technology into the classroom curriculum


AT Specialist/District personnel will provide training in the area of:

  • General AT training (e.g., reasons for AT, decision making process, use of AT tiered system/guide, writing AT into the IEP, process for data-collection)




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

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