Assistive Technology Network

Decision Making

During the decision-making phase, the assessment team uses the information gathered to discuss communication supports, devices and/or services that are needed to help the student succeed.  Referring back to the SETT Framework and the information collected related to the Student, Environment, and Task(s), the team is now ready to make decisions regarding the Tool(s).

AAC feature-matching refers to the process of determining what features are needed by the AAC user and then selecting tools that have those features for trials. AAC trials based on feature-matching, conducted in the context of real communication opportunities, are critical to data-based decision-making in AAC.

For example, a child has difficulty using their finger to accurately point and press icons on a touch screen device. The corresponding features of the AAC device needed could then be a larger button size, ability to adjust communication grid settings, and ability to add a keyguard. The team would then brainstorm the device(s) that offer those features and select the one that best supports the needs of the student to begin trialing.

Feature Matching Comparison Chart on ASHA (Scroll down the page and click the + to expand Resources. Scroll down to Assessment and you will find the link for the Feature Matching Comparison Chart PDF.) This chart, created by Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center, guides the team through a checklist of features that may need to be considered for a student when making decisions about what AAC device(s) to trial.