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What is the SETT Framework?

In 1990, Dr. Joy Zabala developed the SETT Framework to promote collaborative decision-making during:

  • Consideration of assistive technology services for students with disabilities
  • Implementation of assistive technology services within a school setting
  • Evaluation of effectiveness of the assistive technology services provided to the student

SETT is an acronym that stands for:

  • Student
  • Environment
  • Tasks
  • Tools

On her website, Dr. Zabala reminds us to keep the following in mind when using SETT:

  • Student, environments, and tasks do not need to be explored in order or separately
  • Tools are the last to be considered and are only selected after the team has fully considered the:
    • Student's strengths, abilities, and skills
    • Environments where the student will use the assistive technology
    • Tasks the student needs to complete to participate in school and achieve his or her IEP goals.

We would like to thank Dr. Zabala for allowing us to share information from her website. If you would like to learn more about the SETT Framework, please visit

Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (QIAT)

The QIAT Community is a nationally recognized group of AT experts and thought leaders as well as interested individuals. After conducting many focus groups, QIAT developed a set of quality indicators for eight AT areas, which were validated through research. These indicator areas support programs in identifying good practice, evaluating current practice and support development of better practice. Those eight areas are:

  • Consideration of AT Needs
  • Assessment of AT Needs
  • AT in the IEP
  • AT Implementation
  • Evaluation and Effectiveness of AT
  • AT in Transition
  • Administrative Support for AT
  • AT Professional Development

To learn more about the quality indicators visit

Additional Resources

Using the SETT Framework to Level the Learning Field for Students with Disabilities

Ready, SETT, Go!

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