SETT Framework Overview

SETT is an acronym for Student, Environment, Tasks and Tools.  The SETT framework was first introduced by Dr. Joy Zabala at the Closing the Gap assistive technology conference in 1994.  The information gathered through the framework is intended to guide IPP teams through the process of selecting, acquiring and using assistive technology devices.  Guiding questions are used to collect information and assist the team in making appropriate decisions about assistive technology tools.  It is important to remember that the SETT framework is intended as a guide for a process that may require revisiting and revision - it may be necessary to re-SETT. 

Guiding questions that the team may want to think about include:


What does the student need to do?

What are the student's special education needs?

What are the student's current abilities?


What materials and equipment are currently available?

What is the physical arrangement of the environment?

What is the instructional arrangement?

What supports are available to the student? to the teacher?


What activities take place in the environment?

What activities support the student's learning?

What are the critical elements of the activities?

How might the activities be accommodated or modified to meet the student's learning needs?


What low-tech, mid-tech and high-tech options should be considered?

What strategies might increase student performance?

How might these tools be tried out in the current learning environments?


Ready, SETT, go! Getting started with the SETT framework by Joy Smiley Zabala. Closing the Gap, Vol.23, No.6, February/March 2005

SETT and ReSETT: Concepts for AT implementation by Joy Zabala, Gayl Bowser, and Jane Korsten. Closing the Gap, Vol.23, No.5, November 2004/January 2005

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