Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Adaptive Tech Tips, Part Two

What Happens When Your Adaptive Equipment Fails in College?
by Dennis Gallant, Rehab Technologist

Think about your FRIEND!

F. Make Friends;
when you're high-tech devices fail, and it will be when, not if, and probably at the worst possible time, it is important to have friends in the right places. In this case, the right place means the same class as you are in, since they will be able to take notes if necessary, read homework assignments to you, as they will be reading the same material for their work as well, and generally offer assistance to you in your time of crisis. Of course, it is important to have made these connections well before the crisis hits; so good planning is essential.

R. Keep a Recorder Handy; is always useful to have a backup option such as a tape recorder handy to take notes and take down your thoughts for assignments when other methods such as using an electronic notetaker fail. A recorder can capture lecture material and can help you take notes back in your dorm room on either a braille writer, yes they are a great backup option, or large print paper. Recorders can also come in handy during study sessions and for taking down assignments when other high-tech devices fail.

I. Introduce Yourself to Your Professors; it is important that your professors know who you are before you need to call them up in a panic to ask for an extension for some important homework assignment. If you have developed a working relationship with your professors before a crisis occurs they will be more open to working with you to accommodate their assignments in order for you to work around your technology failure situation. If you wait until the assignment is due and you need to ask for an extension before contacting your professor the odds are far less likely that he or she will be as receptive to your situation. It always helps to make a connection with someone before you ask them for a favor.

E. Start Your Assignments Early; for one thing it takes you longer to complete an assignment when compared to your cited classmates and if there is a problem with your adaptive equipment by starting the assignment early you will have more time to figure out a solution before the important term paper is due. Starting assignments early is also great to do because when others are scrambling at the last minute you will have a much less stressful time knowing that the assignment is done and if something were to go wrong you have time to figure out a solution. N. Not All Your Eggs in One Basket; as you plan your schedule of work for each class, remember to back up information so that it will be accessible to you if you're high-tech equipment fails when you most need it. This may mean you need to plan ahead so that additional copies of important material are available to you and not stored on one notetaker. It also may mean that you have a braille writer handy for emergencies and if you are a print reader have an extra magnifying glass available for those times when you're electronic magnifier goes down. However you work out the details, it is important to have thought about backup plans before the crisis hits and not to keep all your hopes for success on one piece of equipment.

D. Don't Forget the Disability Resource Office; in many cases the personnel at the disability resource office can be of great assistance when you're high-tech equipment fails. They often can provide you with backup equipment in their adaptive Tec labs or can help you to complete assignments by assisting you directly or connecting you with others who can help you to get the work done. They are familiar with the special needs and requirements of persons with various disabilities and are used to working with students in times where there usual study methods have failed either because of a high-tech failure or a last-minute assignment that is a challenge for one who is visually impaired.

No comments :

Post a Comment