On October 13th 2017, district specialists from the Lower Mainland came together to participate in the Physical Access Provincial Workshop. The 5 hour workshop provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about assistive technology options available to students with physical access challenges.
Participants received information on the hallmarks of a thorough assistive technology assessment and the different frameworks such as SETT (student, environment, task and tools) that emphasize the student and their abilities being paramount to the decision making process. Aligned with this, attendees participated in a ‘Brain Lesson’ based on Jennifer Katz’s Respecting Diversity Program and built their own brain models, to reflect on the different ‘ways of being smart’. This strongly aligns with the idea of written output being a representation of knowledge that can be done in a variety of ways – not just through writing.
A variety of stations were set-up for participants to explore different technologies. At each station participants considered their own students, or used case study examples to apply the SETT framework and work through:
- Operating Systems, and their respective built-in accessibility features
- Writing and Reading Software including Kurzweil 3000, SOLO, Read and Write
- Speech Recognition on the PC and iPad.
- Keyboard and mouse options eg Trackball, mini keyboards and joysticks
- Hands Free Pointing Devices eg Jouse sip and puff joystick, HeadMouse, Eye Gaze technology etc.
- Switches and scanning software on the laptop and iPad.
- Social inclusion using the SETdirect bundles
There was a buzz of learning and discussion, as participants tried the pieces of technology and explored the features that best matched the student they had in mind.
One powerful benefit of the day was the discussion that incidentally occurred across the districts about how they are logistically managing and utilising some of the resources received from SET-BC through the Complex Needs Technology Project and the SETdirect initiatives. Throughout the day participants were networking with their colleagues and developing action plans for both students and district initiatives.
A fun and rewarding day was had by all, with participants commenting on the value of having a day to learn and plan for students with physical access challenges, as well increase their awareness of the resources and handouts available through the SET-BC website. For more information please follow the link below.
To learn more about the technology used in this SETevent, search for it by name in learningSET.