Joy Smiley Zabala, Ed.D.

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My name is Joy Zabala and I am proud to have been in the field of education for more than forty years.  

After many years in the field of assistive technology, in the fall of 2007 I joined the staff at CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) to concentrate on accessible instructional materials and Universal Design for Learning and their relationship to assistive technology.

I maintain this site primarily to serve as a location for providing information and supports related to the SETT Framework but also include links to other areas of interest, particularly QIAT, UDL, and AIM.

The SETT Framework is a four part model intended to promote collaborative decision-making in all phases of assistive technology service design and delivery from consideration through implementation and evaluation of effectiveness. 

SETT is an acronym for Student, Environments, Tasks, and Tools. Although the letters form a memorable word, they are not intended to imply an order, other than that the student, environments, and tasks should be fully explored before tools are considered or selected. Some people have tried to explore the first three separately and in order, however, that is nearly impossible because the first three are closely linked.

I invite you to explore the ideas and documents shared on this site to find out more about the SETT Framework. 

Permission is granted to download and use documents on this site for non-commercial purposes as long as source and credits are maintained and prominently displayed

I would very much appreciate a copy of any documents you create that are based on the SETT Framework or in which the SETT Framework is included. 

If you have questions or comments, please contact me via email to

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