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How do we assess?


For Assistive Technology:

We use the SETT framework


For AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication):

We have adapted The Dynamic AAC Goals Grid-2 (The DAGG-2) to assist assessment and inform intervention planning.


We apply a person-centred approach to assessment which aims to place the child or young person at the heart of any decisions which directly affect them:

What is Person Centred Planning? | Council For Disabled Children


The Process:

  • We identify the priorities and aspirations of the child or young person in collaboration with their family.
  • We seek input from the multidisciplinary team to gain a holistic view of the child or young person’s life which enables us to consider how external factors can impact upon educational outcomes.
  • We jointly identify and enable the child or young person to use their individual strengths and abilities to fully realise their potential.

As we appreciate the key role of the support network around the child or young person in the successful long-term implementation of Assistive Technology, our service relies upon commitment from the education provision to work in partnership.

Please also see our student friendly A guide when CENMAC comes to visit – CENMAC


The SETT (Student, Environment, Tasks and Tools) framework: 

The SETT framework is a four component model developed by Joy Smiley Zabala, Ed.D. The tool reflects our person-centred approach by placing the child or young person at the heart of the decision-making process. It also highlights the significance of the environment in the success of Assistive Technology and emphasises the fact that any decision should be tasks and outcomes-led with the equipment itself forming the final piece of the puzzle.

Our review process which is completed at least annually also reflects the SETT framework – it is in effect a ReSETT.

SETT Framework – (Student, Environment, Tasks, Tools)
StudentMy strengths and interests What’s working / What’s not working My aspirations My achievements Social, Communication, Physical needs What are my current abilities
Environment and supportWhat is the physical environment like? How confident are the staff and team with technology? What support is already in place? Attitudes and possible barriers?
TasksMy Key EHCP outcomes ? What would I like to achieve in school and at home? What are my main motivations? What I would like to do that is not possible now? and in the future?
ToolsWhat technology is currently available in school and at home? What is the infrastructure like? Is technical support available? Wifi and learning platforms? What is currently working well and not working? What is needed to support implementation?

The Adapted Dynamic AAC Goals Grid-2 (The Adapted DAGG-2):

The Adapted DAGG-2 is a two component model which provides a systematic means to assess and review the child or young person’s current skills in AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication).

The Ability Level Continuum:The Ability Level Continuum, influenced by the work of Patricia Dowden, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is completed during assessment. Presented in the form of a checklist, the tool lists observable communication behaviours and assists the multidisciplinary team to identify the child or young person’s current strengths and to determine potential skills to target.
The Dynamic AAC Goals Grid-2:The Dynamic AAC Goals Grid-2:
The Adapted DAGG-2 is completed during the review stage and serves as a checklist to ensure that all areas of Light’s (1989) communicative competencies are considered. The tool enables the multidisciplinary team to analyse the child or young person’s current strengths and needs to inform appropriate next steps for intervention and to develop a comprehensive, long-term plan to enhance the child or young person’s communicative independence.

For children and young people using an AAC system, competency is impacted by:

  • the demands of the natural environment
  • the communication partner and;
  • the challenges imposed by the constraints of their individual needs and communication systems.

In order to achieve the highest level of communicative independence possible, goals are jointly selected from the following four competencies:

Competency Description
Linguistic:The ability to acquire and use vocabulary in increasing number, variety and complexity.
Operational:The technical skills involved in operating and maintaining the AAC system.
Social:The skills required to communicate effectively within social situations (such as initiating, maintaining, developing and terminating interactions).
Strategic:The ability to use compensatory strategies to overcome or minimise the functional limitations of the AAC system (e.g. speed, limited intonation) and to prevent or repair communication breakdowns.