Assistive Technology Interview
Interview with Carmen Stephens & Marian Roldan
December 1, 2014
Choice of Technology and Population Served
The asstitive equipment most often used is given to students as needed or requested by teachers unless they are on an IFSP and Early Childhood Cares will provide the equipment as they partner with HSOLC in a consultant model. The process for getting equipment for students differs if the student has an IFSP.
Some of the assistive technology that is utilized at HSOLC are wiggle cushions, Therabands, choice cars (made with board maker), feeling cards and first and than boards. Since HSOLC serves children who have an IFSP these students may require adaptive equipment. Carmen reports that some adaptive equipment that has been utilized for students are weighted blankets, loop scissors, body socks, toddler therapeutic hand cycle, balance disc, weighted vest, Jett step, foot rest, sensory balls, sensory toys, and headphones.
How is Technology Implemented?
Funding & Who is Impacted
The teacher, Mariann reported that the impact of the assitive technology depends on the device and the need of the child. For example, the loop scissors or weighted vest would only impact a particular student who has a need. The classrooms do not yet have touch devices for communication or other curriculum options. However, if they had this device would impact the whole class as the whole class could utilize this tool. In short, it was found that the devices typically used only impact specific children. Yet, the teacher did point out that when students needs are met and they are successful this impacts the general classroom as behaviors are minimized which equals out to a positive learning environment conducive of learning.
Incorporation into Curriculum & Training on the Device
The teacher would implement the device slowly into the curriculum. For example, the teacher would first introduce the device during small group activity or one on one with student. If it was a sensory device the teacher would introduce it the total group during circle time. The incorporation of the device is planned weekly through the process of individualization. The teacher will observe the student repeatedly and report back to the team letting them know how the student is progressing and if there any concerns. The teachers needs to Incorporated the assistive device through planning lesson plans that take into consideration the students At device. This monitored by the Early Childhood Education Coordinator, as reported by Carmen from HSOLC. Thus, the teacher is able to seek help if struggling with implementing the device.
How the Technology Device is Maintained & Tracking
Mariann, the teacher, pointed out that the device is tracked through the process was that through monthly consultant meetings the teacher can report back to the team the effectiveness of the device. If something is not working our for the student the teacher and the specialist will brainstorm to come up with another solution. Furthermore, some devices may not best meet students needs or students may not like them so they refuse to use them. Not all children have the same needs so the process of staffing children during consultant meetings is very important to ensure students needs are effectively met through the assistive device.