19 January 2020

Use the SETT Framework

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Selecting and applying for assistive technologies’

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Review Ministry of Education expectations

Review Ministry of Education expectations

In New Zealand, the Ministry of Education requires schools to use the SETT Framework as the evidenced-based approach for selecting assistive technology.

See the Assistive Technology assessment framework

Matching your student with assistive technology requires a team approach.

Using the SETT Framework, a team collects evidence of a student’s:

  • short- and long-term learning goals and tasks
  • progress and achievement within multiple learning environments.

The team trials and evaluates a range of tools to meet the student’s needs against agreed criteria.

Follow the steps on the Ministry's website to apply for AT.

Gain an overview of SETT

Gain an overview of SETT

Student, Environments, Tasks, and Tools (SETT).

  • Student – describe the student’s learning abilities and needs
  • Environment – describe the student’s learning environment (including their existing support and the technology used at their school)
  • Tasks – develop learning targets and describe what it is the student needs to do to achieve them
  • Tools – select the appropriate technology and trial it to make sure it is a good fit.

Source: Joy Zabala (opens in a new tab/window)

Establish a SETT team

Establish a SETT team

People to include in the SETT team.

SETT team members will always include:

  • the student
  • the student’s class teacher
  • team members who provide specialist support.

Often the student’s family will be involved, but older students may prefer to advocate for their own needs.

Useful resources

Useful resources


Assistive technology – assessment framework

Read time: 7 min

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Download DOC


Sharing the SETT framework

Publisher: Joy Smiley Zabala

Visit website


SETTing up staff and supporters to promote student achievement

Publisher: Computer Technology in Special Education and Rehab

Download PDF

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Select and apply for AT”:

Return to the guide “Assistive Technology (AT)”