Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Adaptive Tech Tips

How to Choose and Get the Most Benefit
From Your Adaptive Technology
By Dennis Gallant, Rehab Technologist


B. Be Informed; learn about what is out there in the world of adaptive technology keep current by sharing information with your friends and by using such resources as podcasts that are created by and for blind technology users to keep the blind community up to date about current and future adaptive Tech products.

E. Start Early; the earlier you can start to use and become comfortable with different types of adaptive technology the more comfortable you will be with using it as part of your school experience. It is best to become familiar with what adaptive technology works for you, in which situation, before entering high school so that once in high school, you can focus your attention on studying the material rather than trying to study and become familiar with new technology at the same time.

S. Say What Works; don't be afraid to say what works and what doesn't work when asked to evaluate different types of adaptive technology. You are the only one who knows what will work for you, and what you will really use, so don't be afraid to give your feedback to teachers and others who can use your recommendation to provide you with the best equipment.

M. Make Time; take time to become familiar with and comfortable with the adaptive technology you have been given. Many times it takes a while to become comfortable with certain types of equipment, including electronic notetakers that can take months to fully explore. It is only when you become comfortable with the adaptive technology that you have that you can use it in a natural and relaxed manner as it was intended.

A. Make Teachers Aware; tell teachers about the strengths and limitations your adaptive technology provides for you in the classroom. Let them know how your equipment helps you with some tasks and how it may have limitations on what it can do for other activities. It is likely that many teachers have not seen the specific type of adaptive equipment you have and do not really understand how much it helps you, or does not, and they may think that you are now capable of doing more than the equipment is designed to do.

R. Be Realistic; have reasonable expectations of what adaptive equipment can and cannot do, recognizing that no one piece of equipment is designed to do all things and that, at best, adaptive equipment can help make some tasks easier but it is not the perfect solution and it will still mean that you may have difficulty in some areas in the classroom.

T. Take Care of the Equipment; treat all your equipment carefully as it is often very expensive and if it breaks or becomes damaged you will be without the benefit of the equipment for a period of time.

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