Here you will find our frequently asked questions (FAQs). These FAQ cover questions about NEAT in general. If you have a question about our services that is not covered here or elsewhere on our site, please visit our contact page to learn how to get in contact with us.
If you have questions about The Bureau of Special Education (SDE) subscription, please see our SDE Subscription FAQ
Assistive Technology is frequently abbreviated to “AT”; which refers to devices and services that are used to increase, maintain or improve a person’s ability to function in any aspect of their life. This includes but is not limited to: communication, learning, productivity, mobility, and independence.
For students, assistive technology effectively eliminates learning barriers, helping young people accomplish tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. A child with low vision can read using a device that enlarges text; a student with autism can use special noise-cancelling headphones to reduce sensory distraction; or a child with communication challenges can use iPad apps specially designed to improve language.
In Connecticut, we are hoping to enhance the delivery of services to improve results for children with disabilities. We must consider the use of Assistive Technology for our students, and this subscription service will help your district teams better understand that process, and learn what’s possible.
“NEAT” is The New England Assistive Technology (NEAT) Center, a program of Oak Hill, the largest disability services provider in Connecticut. We have, proudly, been serving individuals, agencies, universities and school districts throughout Connecticut for many years! Our focus is on how we can empower individuals of all ages and abilities to utilize Assistive Technology for an increase in independence. Our team has over 125 years of collective experience in the assistive technology field.
An AT evaluation is a formal, multi-step process that is led by a NEAT AT specialist and results in a set of comprehensive technology recommendations and/or strategies that are thought to meet the needs of an individual with disabilities.
An AAC evaluation is a formal, multi-step process that is led by a NEAT AAC specialist and results in the identification of a technology system that can support the communication needs of an individual with limited or no verbal speech.
NEAT has a team of professionals who can address the needs of any individual. We collaborate with each other as well as the individual or support family/team to find the best solutions. We work with people of all ages and abilities. This includes babies and small children, school-aged children, students preparing for transition from high school, pre-employed and employed individuals, those who have come into a disability later in life or have short-term disabilities as well as the aging-in-place.
The process includes a review of records, intake form, and conversations with educators or support staff, clinicians, family members and the individual. Environmental observations and direct trials with various technology supports further guide the specialist through a feature matching process from which an appropriate AT toolkit or AAC system can ultimately be identified.
Currently, NEAT does not accept insurance. Please reach out to NEAT for more information about funding options. We may be able to guide you through grant opportunities or provide more individualized information regarding your specific needs.
Important Note: An AAC evaluation can be utilized to pursue insurance funding for the recommended AAC device.
Within 4-6 weeks, the AT specialist will write a thorough report that summarizes the evaluation process, describes detailed recommendations, and provides research-based strategies paired with resources to guide the AT/AAC implementation process.
Upon request, the AT specialist can be available to report these findings via phone or videoconferencing.
For an additional fee, the NEAT team can provide follow-up trainings or on-going consultations to support the individual as well as their family/team in learning how to build capacity around the recommended tools/devices. It is important the implementation strategies and training sessions are specific to the individual’s needs and not just a general overview. This can help with generalization of the tool/device and is considered best practice.
According to IDEA, school districts must ensure that assistive technology devices and services are made available to a child with a disability if required as part of a child's special education and related services as stated in the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP).