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Assessing for Adaptive Technology Needs Disability Training Network July 2007. DTN 2007 Plan for Today’s Session. Introductions & Overview Presenter: Tracey Forman, Texas A&M University About Adaptive Technology Assessing a Student’s Adaptive Technology Needs

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dtn 2007 plan for today s session
DTN 2007Plan for Today’s Session
  • Introductions & OverviewPresenter: Tracey Forman, Texas A&M University
  • About Adaptive Technology
  • Assessing a Student’s Adaptive Technology Needs
  • Review of some real life examples of AT applications
assistive technology vs adaptive technology
Assistive Technology vs. Adaptive Technology
  • Assistive Technology
    • Any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
    • The application of science to accommodate people with disabilities.

This is a legally defined term that refers to the broader accommodation of people with disabilities.

  • Adaptive Technology - refers specifically to electronic and information technology access.
common types of adaptive technology used
Common Types of Adaptive Technology Used
  • AT for General Disability Classes (see handout)
    • Low Vision/Blindness
    • Hearing Impairments/Deafness
    • Mobility Impairments
    • Learning Disabilities
  • Different Levels of Technology
    • No Tech
    • Low Tech
    • High Tech
when to consider at and or refer for at assessment
When to consider AT and/or refer for AT assessment
  • What does the documentation say (i.e. type of diagnosis, evaluator recommendation)?
  • Is there something that may be appropriate for the student’s needs & skills? (referral by accommodation counselor, instructor, evaluator)
  • Has the student used something similar before?
  • Did the student request an accommodation that requires AT, orientation or training?

Most of the AT assessments we do at TAMU are for students:

  • who have new/recent diagnoses (mostly LD)
  • who have a disability that is becoming more severe
  • who need an orientation to the resources and procedures at TAMU
purpose of an at assessment
Purpose of an AT Assessment
  • To determine if there is a need for an AT-related accommodation
  • To determine what skills and resources the student has available
  • To determine what works best (demonstrate and evaluate)
  • To train the student on how to use the AT
  • To review procedures for requesting items, borrowing equipment, resources for obtaining personal items or items for home use
  • To determine if, and where, the AT may need to be available to the student such as campus computer labs, classrooms, during exams. (personal use vs. access to campus resources)
guiding principles
Guiding Principles
  • Simpler is usually better
  • Technology should not just be used for convenience (or ‘perceived’ convenience). What is disability the student trying to accommodate?
  • The documented disability and functional limitations should support the NEED for the adaptive technology.
  • The student must have the skills or ability to learn the skills/access the resources.
  • Will the AT give the student more autonomy and/or independence?
  • Don’t be afraid to collaborate and consult with the student, instructor and other staff, to get ideas and brainstorm.
common types of at assessments
Common Types of AT Assessments
  • Learning Disabled
    • Audio books (most common)
      • RFBD DAISY format CDs
      • Electronic text with text-to-speech
    • Assistance with writing/thought organization
  • Low Vision
    • Equipment, software, alternative formats
  • Mobility
    • Use of alternative input devices
    • Speech recognition
  • Hearing impaired
example at assessment outlines
Example AT Assessment Outlines
  • Audio Books Assessment (see handout)
    • Assessment and training session (~60 min)
      • Sometimes have to set-up a second session, if the topic is new to student or the student’s skills are not very advanced
      • Recommend that we do a follow-up appointment with new users about a month later to check on status/progress
  • Low Vision Assessment (see handout)
at assessment situations
AT Assessment Situations
  • Severe cerebral palsy and limited speech ability
    • Oral presentation for class
      • Used text-to-speech to read aloud her speech while showing overheads
  • Severe low vision student
    • Difficulties with learning diagrams
      • Tried large print first, then tactile graphics (Swellform).
      • Needed assistance from instructor to get images
at assessment situations1
AT Assessment Situations
  • Severe physical disability
    • Difficulty using campus computer lab (unable to use standard mouse and keyboard).
      • Asked student what he uses at home
      • Purchased special rollerball mouse and then used Windows on-screen keyboard
      • Unable to find solution for log-on keystroke due to campus-wide lab configuration
  • Carpel tunnel, arthritis, older student
    • Difficulty typing, heard about speech recognition software, but couldn’t get to work for him at home
      • Spent lot of time on assessing skills, overview of how software worked
      • Set up multiple sessions for demonstration and training.
      • Had student bring in laptop to check settings, test and practice.
at assessment situations2
AT Assessment Situations
  • Hearing impaired student
    • Wanted to listen to lecture, record lecture and take notes on laptop
      • Student came with idea/question “could be done?”
      • Used FM system with audio splitter on tablet PC
      • This allow one input audio to FM System receiver and another audio input to laptop audio input port, so that the student could record lecture and listen while also writing notes on tablet PC
  • Audio Books
    • Slow reading, difficulty tracking, unable to stay focused
    • Low vision, visual perception
      • Assess severity of problem, skills, resources, availability
      • Start with RFBD when user is new
      • When not available, discuss e-text & text-to-speech