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New national Covid tiers have been announced

From 2 December, Leicestershire moves into Tier 3 – we're working through what this means for our services and we’ll update our website when we can. In the meantime please check back for updates, and find out more about the new restrictions at gov.uk/coronavirus

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About us and what we do

The Assistive Technology for Education Support Team (ATfEST) is made up of assistive technology specialists, keyboard and assistive technology practitioners, resource production technicians and audiology technicians. All team members are employed by Leicestershire’s Children and Family Service.  

ATfEST works together with all Specialist Teaching Service (STS) teams. Providing integrated and comprehensive support to children and young people in full-time education.  

Assistive technology for education  

Supporting educational settings and students who have physical, communication and/or sensory difficulties. Enabling access to the curriculum using assistive technology. 

Keyboard and assistive technology

Assessing and teaching assistive technology skills to children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND). Such as keyboard skills, to aid access to the curriculum and promote inclusion. 

Resource production

Production of enlarged and/or modified resources and materials to support access to learning for SEND children and young people. 

Audiology Technician provision 

Provides technical support and advice, on a wide range of Personal Amplification Systems & Assistive Listening Devices (ALD). Supporting the Hearing Support Team, educational settings and parents/carers. 

How to get our support

Educational settings should make reasonable adjustments to enable curriculum access to all children and young people. But, some may need access to equipment/resources not typically available within their or similar educational settings. At which point a referral can be made to ATfEST as outlined in the ATfEST guidelines linked below.  

Early years settings, local authority schools and academies can access (ATfEST) about any child or young person where they have concerns. 

Independent educational settings can access ATfEST where a student has an EHCP issued by Leicestershire County Council. 

Specialised augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) Services in England 

  • The Electronic Assistive Technology Service (EATS) provide assessment for and provision of high tech AAC systems for people with the most complex needs.  Across England, AAC Services are provided by specialist 'hub' services such as EATS - but also by local AAC Services (ATfEST, schools and NHS Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs). These local services aim to meet the needs of those who do not meet hub eligibility. 
  • Any communication referral is made by the child or young person’s SaLT.  Who will consider whether the referral meets the EATS criteria or whether it comes under a local provision by ATfEST. 

ATfEST can be contacted on the Specialist Teaching Service number 0116 3059400 or by emailing - sts@leics.gov.uk  

How we work 

ATfEST offers a range of services, specialist assessment and support. As part of this we may: 

  • Gather information from other professionals involved with the student. 
  • Spend time in educational settings carrying out assessments and activities with the student. 
  • Investigate the student’s views and feelings and encourage a positive attitude towards assistive technology. 
  • Provide guidance and training, maintenance, and a repair service for a wide range of Assistive Technology. 
  • Provide assistive technology not typically available in educational settings. 
  • Listen to the concerns of parents/carers, educational setting staff and other professionals. 
  • Provide written advice or recommendations to parents/carers, educational settings and other professionals. 
  • Provide educational materials to help the student with their learning. 

Working with others

It is important for us to hear the voice of the student, parents/carers we are supporting, and all other professionals who may be involved. Typically, we capture this information at the point of referral.  

By encouraging open discussions between all parties involved, ATfEST’s main objective is to achieve the best possible outcome for the student. 

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