Project TTAP developed, implemented and demonstrated a cost-effective functional technology assessment model to ensure that children from birth to 8 with moderate to severe disabilities receive a thorough team assessment and follow-up consultation as part of a comprehensive assessment process. TTAP's team-based procedures are designed to assess children to determine appropriate technology applications, an important first step in providing them with technology which can help optimize their growth and development in normalized settings. Families are an integral part of TTAP's assessment procedures and provide input throughout all phases of the assessment.
The TTAP Core Team roles include an early intervention specialist, a technology specialist, a physical therapist and/or occupational therapist, and a family member. Each child assessed has a Support Team made up of his or her family and representatives of early intervention services and cooperating agencies. A TTAP assessment is based on careful observation and analysis of the child's behavior in typical settings and during the assessment, and can be conducted in the home, the classroom, or in another setting.
Tested and well-defined procedures are divided into three phases: 1) activities before the assessment; 2) activities the day(s) of the assessment; and 3) follow-up activities after the assessment. Recommendations are made for applications and equipment that would benefit the child and his/her family. Follow-up consultation, technology training for any of the child's Support Team, and re-assessment are included. Tested forms, documents, and measures used to conduct all phases of a TTAP assessment have been developed and examined for content validity. Field testing was done in three sites.
A TTAP assessment and its resulting recommendations have wide-spread benefits for children with disabilities, their families, and their early intervention personnel. Families and early intervention agencies gain information about appropriate technology equipment and applications for the child; the assessment provides justification for equipment purchases and funding requests; and suggestions are made for incorporating assistive technology into the child's IFSP or IEP goals. A TTAP assessment provides a foundation for using technology applications to equalize opportunities for learning, communicating, and playing, opportunities that would be unavailable without technology or without the appropriate applications revealed from a thorough technology assessment.