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Assistive Technologies

3.1  Finding the right AT for the student

Jenny, the student featured in the case study above, received three types of AT following a psycho-educational assessment, which then led to an IPRC and IEP process. The IPRC and IEP process ensures that the students will not only receive support in the form of AT, but in other forms as well (such as strategies and accommodations that address instructional, environmental and assessment needs).

As the teachers in the following video elaborate, the decision of pairing a student with AT is not made lightly. There are usually a number of professionals (including psychologists, speech-language pathologists, or others) involved in the discovery, assessment and planning for a student’s use of AT. This ensures that the AT chosen for a student meets her/his capabilities and needs.

Implementing Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Discovery, Planning and Assessment


The “Identification, Placement, and Review Committee,” or IPRC process, is the process by which students with disabilities or other exceptionalities are identified as requiring accommodations, an official process that can be initiated by a student’s parent(s)/guardians(s), or by the school’s principal. Its goal is to determine whether a student is an exceptional pupil, and if so what potential program would best suit the student’s needs. Thus, it is at this stage that it is decided that some students would benefit from staying in the mainstream classroom given that certain accommodations and other supports are put in place.

For more information on the IPRC process, visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website where the process is explained in greater detail.


When an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) identifies a student as an exceptional pupil, the principal must ensure that an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for that student is developed within thirty days of the placement of an exceptional pupil in a particular program. That said, it is important to note that IEPs may also be prepared for students who require accommodations, program modifications and/or alternative programs, but who have not been identified as exceptional by an IPRC.

To assist teachers and support professionals in developing Individual Education Plans for exceptional pupils, the ministry has published The Individual Education Plan (IEP), A Resource Guide, 2004

For a variety of great resources on the topic Differentiated Instruction, please visit the “Teacher’s Gateway to Special Education” at:

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