The first step in assistive technology services is the evaluation. You will be contacted by your evaluator to schedule a time and a location for evaluation interview. The evaluator may meet with you in your home or in your community. Depending upon your availability, the evaluator should be able to meet with you within one week of the scheduling phone call.
For the evaluation interview, you will need to bring:
- Your laptop (if you have one) – The evaluator will check your laptop to see if it meets the specifications for any software that may be recommended. Even if your laptop doesn’t seem to be working, is running slowly, or has a cracked screen, it is best to bring it to the appointment.
- Your smart phone (if you have one) – The evaluator will also check your phone to see if it meets the specifications for any applications that may be recommended.
You may also bring another person for support (a parent, friend, or case manager). It is sometimes helpful to have someone there to help you answer questions if you aren’t sure or to help you remember details later. However, your evaluator will want to hear mostly from you.
The interview portion of the evaluation typically takes about 45 minutes. Your evaluator will plan for at least an hour to allow you to ask any questions that you have.
During the evaluation interview, the evaluator will ask you several questions about how your disability affects your work/school. If you aren’t working or going to school right now, the evaluator will ask you questions about any difficulty you may have with tasks that are usually important for school or work. You will be asked what one thing you are most worried about.
Your evaluator will want to know if you have used anything in the past to help you with the difficulties that you mentioned. You will be asked if you had accommodations in high school, what accommodations you had, and whether you thought they helped.
Finally, the evaluator will show you some examples of technology that might help. You may see a demonstration of a program or an application (on the evaluator’s device) or a video that shows you how it works. The evaluator will point out features that he/she believes will help you. You will have the opportunity to give your opinion. It is good to be honest about whether or not you think it will help you and why. This will help the evaluator give better recommendations.
After the evaluation interview, the evaluator will write up an evaluation report for Vocational Rehabilitation.
An Assistive Technology Evaluation Report will be completed by an evaluator with an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification. The Vocational Rehabilitation counselor can expect to receive the report within two weeks of the evaluation interview.
The evaluation report includes the following:
- A summary of the background information we have received (via referral, collateral, and in-person interview)
- A breakdown of the specific limitations addressed in the report (along with a description)
- Descriptions of what technology is recommended to meet each of these limitations and why (often including information regarding why other technology is not anticipated to meet the needs of the consumer)
- A simplified list of what equipment/software is recommended (both free/proprietary and available through an equipment vendor)
- A comprehensive training plan – a list of each program/application/device recommended and the estimated time needed to train on how to use the technology and to make sure the user is comfortable with using it. The hours listed are an estimate and would likely be split up into chunks of 2-3 hours of training at a time.
- An estimate of the amount of time the trainer will travel to provide the training (over multiple sessions)
When the evaluation report is submitted to Vocational Rehabilitation, a request for bids will be sent to two equipment vendors. The bids will be sent directly to Vocational Rehabilitation from the vendor. Adaptive Enterprises, LLC is not permitted to send bids for the purchase of equipment.
After the Evaluation
After the evaluation is sent to Vocational Rehabilitation, your VR counselor will need to go through several steps (some of them with you) before you will receive any further contact from Adaptive Enterprises, LLC.
- Your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE or Plan) will need to be completed or amended. This plan states your vocational goal and the services that VR will provide to help you reach your goal.
- Your VR counselor will need to write a report to state why the IPE was changed (to add AT services) and why that was needed to help you reach your goal.
- The VR supervisor will need to review the IPE and the reports. If he/she agrees, the IPE is approved.
- An authorization will be created for the AT training and travel (to Adaptive Enterprises, LLC) and for the equipment/software (to an equipment vendor). The VR counselor and the VR supervisor will need to approve these authorizations.
- The equipment will be ordered by the equipment vendor. When all of the equipment is in (as long as we have a training authorization), we will contact you to set up the first training appointment.