Technology First

What is Technology First? 


Technology First began as a movement but has transformed to a “framework for systems change where technology is considered first in the discussion of support options available to individuals and families through person-centered approaches to promote meaningful participation, social inclusion, self-determination and quality of life” (Tanis, 2019)

Why Technology First? 

Technology First solves the most pressing challenges of our field today

  1. Promotes autonomy, self-direction, and community engagement
  2. Address the direct care workforce shortages
  3. Drives more efficient and effective practices –cost efficiency

States with Technology First Initiatives 

The State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Project has been leading the research and data collection efforts on Technology First across the U.S. In 2020, twenty-two states had Technology First related initiatives and/or legislation. 

Map of the United States, With Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington DC shaded to indicate 'Tech First Engagement', Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio shaded to indicate 'Tech First Legislation', Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa shaded to indicate 'Activities of note'

Elements of Technology First State Initiatives 

The Technology First systems change framework is adapted from Fixsen et al. (2013),  conceptual model for implementation. The following lists the elements and sub-elements for Technology First systemic change. 

  • Statewide policy or initiative
    • Set of core values
    • Implementation team
    • Resource allocation 
  • Active Implementation Frameworks
    • Policy enable practice
    • Sustainable resources
    • Communication 
    • Leverage through collaborations
    • Capacity building
  • Fidelity and Data Driven Decision-Making
    • Practitioner data
    • Individual and family data

*Fixsen D. L., Blase, K., Metz, A., & Van Dyke, M. (2013). Statewide implementation of evidence-based practices. Exceptional Children, 79, 213–230. Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A

Technology First Data and Reports