Assistive Technology Training - Learn to Operate the Technology
Without proper training, technology itself can be a barrier
Some assistive technologies are simple and intuitive, but many incorporate numerous powerful features. Learning to use these features can often be overwhelming, intimidating, and frustrating. At that point, the technology itself can become a barrier.
Once an appropriate AT is identified, it's important that the user understand what it does and know how to operate the features relevant to their needs. In addition to the student user, training should be provided for those who will work with the student and the technology. This may include teachers, aides, therapists, tutors, and parents. Assistive technology is most successful when both the user and their providers understand the purpose of the technology, are proficient operating its relevant features, and have confidence in their ability to use it.
Of equal importance, the user and others need to know how to apply those features to get the desired results. See Integration to learn why.
Types of trainings and classes available
I offer several types of training on a wide variety of topics and technologies relevant to learning disabilities and learning differences. In all cases, I tailor the instruction to the user's or audience's needs, abilities, skill level, and "comfort level" with all-things-tech.
Overview Classes - A good way to get started and learn "what's out there"
General awareness trainings familiarize participants with options ("Are there alternatives to high-end text-to-speech software?"), clarify distinctions between products (e.g., What are the differences between Kurzweil 3000 and Read & Write Gold?), and show how individual features address specific barriers to learning.
For a list of topics currently available, see Training Topics.
See the Classes & Events page (or links in the right-hand column) for a list for upcoming AT classes offered through the Children's Health Council and Parent's Education Network.
Individualized training to provide skills and confidence
One-on-one trainings teach the user what the technology does, where to find relevant features, how to operate them, and how they will benefit the user. I also provide application strategies to help the student and others apply these features to meet their specific needs.
Hands-on workshops for groups
Hands-on group workshops are similar to one-on-one trainings, but for small groups. I can conduct these in a computer lab, if available (for example, in a school), or conduct a small BYOL (bring your own laptop) session.
For a list of technologies I use (and thus train on), click the tab for AT Toolbox.
Professional development for school staff
Many schools have network licenses or site licenses to software like Inspiration, Kurzweil 3000, and others. I can conduct professional development sessions to help district staff get up to speed on these programs and use them with students.