SETT (Student - Environment - Task - Tools) Framework

SETT (Student - Environment - Task - Tools) Framework 

SETT is an acronym for Student, Environments, Tasks, and Tools. The SETT framework is a four-part model, developed by Joy Zabala that is intended to promote collaborative decision-making in all phases of assistive technology service design and delivery from consideration through implementation and evaluation of effectiveness. 

The SETT Framework is designed to give us a student based, user friendly tool to use in considering what tools and strategies work in the student’s real world. It is essential to consider who the student is, where he needs to be across his day and what tasks need to be accomplished before any tools can be considered.

Without first looking at the Student, Environment, and Tasks, we may be providing a tool that is inappropriate.

S - Student

Some questions an IEP team may ask/answer regarding the Student to determine if AT is necessary include:

  • What does the student need to do?
  • What are the student's current abilities?
  • What are the student's interests and preferences?
  • What are the student's unique needs?

E - Environment

Some questions an IEP team may ask/answer regarding the Environment(s) the student will be functioning in to determine if AT is necessary include:

  • Arrangement of environment(s)
  • Supports that currently exist in the environment(s)
  • Materials and equipment that all students have access to in the environment(s)
  • Access issues for the environment(s)
  • Attitudes and expectations of individuals in the environment(s)

T - Task

Some questions an IEP team may ask/answer regarding the Tasks necessary for the student to perform to determine if AT is necessary include:

  • What tasks are part of being actively included in the identified environments?
  • Activities
  • Critical elements of the tasks
  • Modifications

T - Tools

Tools should not be looked at until the IEP team examines the initial S E T factors. Once the IEP team has obtained the S E T information, Tools selected will be student centered, environmentally useful and task focused.

Sandi Smith, former PATINS Project Specialist, blogged about the SETT Framework in March 2017. David Jackson, Assistant Director/Senior Specialist blogged about the SETT Framework in April 2021.

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