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Access Through Technology (ATT)

About the ATT local offer

The Access Through Technology team (ATT) is a small specialist team within Norfolk County Council's Children's Services. We are specialist teachers and teaching assistants who work within schools across the county, providing assessment, equipment, advice, support and training for children, schools and parents/carers of children who benefit from using communication technology to communicate and to learn.

We work closely with occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and sensory support teachers in whatever combination is appropriate for the individual child.

If you think that we may be of help to you or you want to discuss a referral please contact Helen Hards:

Who do we support?

We receive referrals from Early Years colleagues and schools and are also alerted to children who may need our input via health colleagues and other specialist teams.

We support children that have severe and complex communication difficulties, and are currently involved with at least one health professional.

The children we see are likely to have an Education, Health and Care Plan but ATT can also support at an early stage which can avoid the need for these and/or reduce the amount of one-to-one support required through building the pupil's independence and skills in using technology to support themselves.

ATT only supports children whose SEND ICT needs are greater than the school can provide.

Facts and figures

  • Currently supports and provides hardware and software for over 450 children across Norfolk with severe and complex communication technology needs
  • Receives about 140 new referrals per year
  • Aims to see children for initial assessment within a term
  • Once assessed, provides hardware and software usually within six weeks
  • Can provide a range of hardware and software from lower cost, more standard items that require customisation to highly specialised, high cost items

How does ATT work?

ATT works as part of a multi-disciplinary virtual "team around the child", providing the SEND/ICT specialist teaching perspective in relation to the identification of the appropriate communication technology to meet an individual pupil's needs and working closely with the school or EY setting to ensure that the ICT solution agreed will be compatible with the child's educational environment and will contribute to pupil progress.

Individual referrals are received from schools. Often early alerts of children who may benefit from this type of support are given by Health or Early Years colleagues who can anticipate what will be required.

Once referred, children are assessed in their educational setting, SEND ICT solutions identified, discussed and agreed with parents and school staff. Teaching guidance is given directly and to school staff to enable them to use the equipment provided to support the pupil.

Pupil progress targets are agreed which measure the impact of the provision and these are reviewed on a regular basis allowing for the amendment or replacement of equipment and software as evidence requires.

What can you expect from the ATT local offer?

For children:

  • Promotion of independence in learning rather than learnt dependency
  • Accelerated pupil progress with significant increases in motivation, concentration and attention
  • Development of learning and communication skills which allows participation in school and with family and friends
  • Reduction of risk of the development of behavioural difficulties due to frustration

For schools:

  • Specialist help in matching the needs of the child to the hardware and software required for them to make progress
  • Expert teaching and teaching guidance in using the communication technology required
  • A multi-disciplinary approach enabling specialist perspectives to be brought together simultaneously to reach negotiated, workable solutions
  • A one-stop shop where referral, multi-disciplinary working, provision of hardware and software, training and ongoing support is provided
  • No cost, as all aspects of ATT work, including provision of equipment, is funded and no additional contribution is required
  • Support in the development of new SEND ICT skills in school staff thus providing increased staff confidence in supporting children with SEND and training them to be able to do so

For families:

  • Happier children who are better able to make their needs known and share their achievements
  • Confidence that services are able to work together to arrive at possible solutions and then provide them without fences to be scaled between identification of need and provision
  • Recognition that their contribution is vital and valued and that they will always be included in the making of decisions
  • Confidence that children will be tracked across the schools and phases in their education in relation to their SEND ICT needs

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