Why Evaluate Students for Assistive Technology?

Occasionally a student is matched with an assistive technology solution that later is discovered to be inappropriate. This usually results in the student not getting his or her needs met, and leaves an expensive piece of equipment to collect dust on a shelf. Nobody is happy.

This happens because the student and the matching technology were not thoroughly evaluated. We often think the latest and greatest is the best solution for our student, but an assistive technology solution is not about this. It is about a person and how it helps him or her access information in either daily living, school, work or play.

If it is about the student, then the student is evaluated with the technology solution that could benefit him or her. You have to know the student’s skills, needs, wants, and challenges. You have to also know if the technology solution will help the student in the future.

Assistive Technology Evaluation Process

Evaluating a student for an assistive technology solution is a process. The process involves knowing the student, knowing the need, and finding the technology. Once the student skills and needs are determined, an assistive technology solution can now be considered. A group of individuals who have a vested interest in the student should meet to brainstorm possible solutions. A series of activities are developed and trial runs are performed to see if a particular assistive technology fits the need.

This course is about an assistive technology solution determined by a team of professionals. The possible assistive technology solution derived by the team involves using a computer to access information. A series of activities were developed to observe the student performing various tasks. These tasks were further evaluated to see if this particular assistive technology solution is an appropriate one.

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