Let's Participate! is a model demonstration project to assist Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C early intervention and Part B preschool programs in implementing and sustaining promising practices in the effective use of assistive technology (AT) by infants, toddlers and preschool children with disabilities and, as a result, to improve their functional outcomes. A child-specific AT plan helps to link AT supports to desired Individual Family Service Plan and Individualized Education Plan outcomes.
FHI 360 is working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Early Intervention Program and the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Section 619 program to implement the Let’s Participate! model in three sites.
The project uses a collaborative, capacity-building approach to increase understanding and use of assistive technology supports among local educators, service providers and families to help young children participate more fully in daily routines and activities. To ensure sustainable outcomes, the project provides a comprehensive, ongoing professional development system; on-site coaching of trainees by an AT project liaison; an AT lending library of assistive technology devices; and responsive technical assistance.
Based on a model with demonstrated replicability, findings from the Let’s Participate! project will contribute to knowledge and best practices in the fields of early childhood, inclusive practices and technology supports.