A Best Practices Model for Providing AT Services and Supports in Higher Education


Presented at 9:15am in Matchless on Thursday, November 17, 2022.



  • Allison Swanson, AT-IT Coordinator, Colorado State University
  • Shannon Lavey, Service Coordinator, Colorado State University
  • Marla Roll, Director, Colorado State University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


The Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) at Colorado State University will share a client-centered process for matching students with disabilities with AT supports, training them to use assistive or mainstream technologies for specific academic tasks, and making the AT easily available for students’ use. The ATRC will also share how outcome measures are important both for ensuring quality services to students and for research endeavors.


The Assistive Technology Resource Center at Colorado State University provides assistive technology services and supports out of the Department of Occupational Therapy which is an academic unit housed in the College of Health and Humans Sciences. The ATRC has developed a framework for AT practice that builds off foundations of the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) which appropriately and effectively matches the best assistive or mainstream technology to the student’s needs.

The ATRC will share its process from the point of initial meeting, follow-up, training, and application of the chosen AT to academic tasks. Additionally, we will share how we apply a strength-based approach that considers the positive characteristics a student brings to the process.

Matching the best assistive technology to the student’s needs involves a comprehensive technology distribution plan. The ATRC will also outline its strategy for making a variety of technologies available for students both on campus and at home. The ATRC will also share its method for program evaluation and outcome measures to assess the impact of AT supports on performance and satisfaction of academic tasks. The ATRC administers a program evaluation survey each semester that a student receives services. Additionally, the ATRC utilizes a valid and reliable outcome measure called the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Presenters will share how these tools are used to assess impact. They will also touch briefly on research they have conducted that is tied to these outcome measures.


  1. Identify key practices for providing AT services from the model used at the ATRC.
  2. Offer a variety of AT throughout campus and for home use.
  3. Use outcome measures for AT services in post-secondary settings for program evaluation and research.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Research, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Allison Swanson

Allison is the Assistive Technology IT Coordinator for the Assistive Technology Resource Center at Colorado State University. She supports assistive technology for students and employees across campus. She also works to enhance awareness of electronic accessibility and to foster a proactive, inclusive approach to the problems caused by inaccessible electronic materials and systems.

Shannon Lavey

Shannon is an Occupational Therapist and a certified Assistive Technology Professional. She works as a Service Coordinator with the Assistive Technology Resource Center at Colorado State University. Shannon provides direct assistive technology services to students and employees with disabilities and is committed to continued research, education, and outreach of assistive and mainstream technology.

Marla Roll

Marla has been an Occupational Therapist for 30 years and has worked in the field of assistive technology for over two decades. She is Director of the Assistive Technology Resource Center and Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy where she oversees campus AT supports and services and develops curriculums related to assistive technology and universal design. She has served as Co-PI and Senior Personnel on federally funded grants related to universal design and BCI. Current she is interested in research related to outcome measures of assistive technology interventions. Her passions include considering inclusion of people with disabilities in regard to usability/ accessibility of mainstream and emerging technologies and electronic information.