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The Impact of Assistive Technology (AT) on the Careers for People with Disabilities Tiehan Liu, Ph.D. COMS, Rehabilitation Engineer Ohio Job Connection.

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Presentation on theme: "The Impact of Assistive Technology (AT) on the Careers for People with Disabilities Tiehan Liu, Ph.D. COMS, Rehabilitation Engineer Ohio Job Connection."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Impact of Assistive Technology (AT) on the Careers for People with Disabilities Tiehan Liu, Ph.D. COMS, Rehabilitation Engineer Ohio Job Connection Nathan Fernandes Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

2 The Flow of the Presentation Part I: General Review of the Assistive Technology as an important element in the overall strategy in vocational rehabilitation Part II: Specific Assistive Technology Applications on the Independence for the visually impaired

3 The Importance of Assistive Technology for Job Performance and Learning A telephone customer service worker who is totally blind and needs to access to the business information in the computer. A quadriplegic individual who works as a PR specialist and needs to make phone calls. A college student with learning disabilities who can not comprehend the reading materials. Assistive technology helps individuals with disabilities to perform their job duties and engage in the learning activities.

4 What is Assistive Technology (AT)? Assistive Technology Devices: Wheelchairs, walkers, electronic hardware, software, etc. Assistive Technology Services: Evaluation, fitting, installation, training, maintenance.

5 The Mainstreamed Technology Devices Becomes Accessible iPhone, VoiceOver screen reader, screen magnifier, Siri for speech recognition; Telecommuting, working from home to access network information; Distance learning for students with disabilities, avoid traveling, work flexibly at home; Online libraries, online textbooks, online digital talking books; Online Banking, online purchase;

6 Assistive Technology & Other Important Factors Assistive Technology is an important tool for career development To make AT intervention effective, you must understand other important factors

7 Factors Influencing Careers Type of Disabilities Physical disability, e.g. head injuries, amputation, Sensory disability, e.g. visual impairment, hearing loss, Cognitive disability, learning disability, developmental D Use your strengths and avoid your weaknesses eg. Paraplegic individual works as a driver? eg. Blind individual works a receptionist giving direction?

8 Factors Influencing Careers, disability onset Congenital condition or adult onset condition If it is a congenital condition, choosing a career field and specific education is very important. The role of assistive technology serves as a tool for learning and developing the careers. If it is adult onset condition, due to disease or accident, career is fully developed, the role of assistive technology is to maintain the career.

9 Factors Influencing Careers Personal Talents, Interest, motivation Life Context, family, friends and community Social and economic resources and condition Urban setting vs. rural setting Education attainment

10 Factors Influencing Careers (As of 2013) Avoid dying industries: Wired Telecommunications Carriers Mills, Manufacturing Newspaper Publishing Apparel Manufacturing Game & Video Rental Fast growing industries: Internet Growth Environmental Issues Evolving Technology, biotech

11 A Job Vs. A Career A Job a way of making money minimal impact of future resume few network opportunities A Career connected jobs into a more professional position provide backbone for learning and experience for life offer professional network opportunities

12 The balance of employment benefits and other entitled benefits Total amount of income from the job Part-time or full time Other entitled benefits, healthcare insurance, get a stable healthcare insurance is the goal New job not to jeopardize the benefits

13 Review of Successful VR Cases Involving Assistive Technology Keep in mind the following important points: Assistive technology is a tool Type of Disabilities (Sensory, physical or cognitive) Onset of Disabilities Personal talents, life context, social & economic conditions, geo location, education attainment The professional field, industries, jobs and career Think about the cases you currently work with.

14 Case Study: A Blind Cyber Security Guard Disability: total blindness, physical balance issue, auto accident occurred during high school, sensory & physical disabilities, no cognitive problems AT used: screen reader, word processing, communication print reading with a scanner portable note taker with refreshable Braille Use cane then a guide dog for mobility Education: college graduate, hospital management Career: 1 st job as a community resources consultant 2 nd job as first level technical support in a hospital 3 rd job as a network security guard, filter s

15 Case Study: Manager of Insurance company Disability: partial to totally blindness, VI onset during college and on job, no physical or cognitive D AT used: screen reader, print reading, adaptive laptop did not learn Braille, use digital recorder. Education: college graduate majored in finance, post graduate certificate in insurance management Setting: major Insurance company in the city Career: 1 st position insurance agent, 2 nd position insurance project manager

16 Case Study: PR Specialist Disability: Severe CP, quadriplegic, congenital condition, no sensory or cognitive Disabilities AT used: – speech recognition application for reading, writing and communication, – Wheelchair for mobility – iPhone Siri, with hand free headset, job needs, place & take calls Education: college graduate majored in mass communication Career: 1 st job, PR specialist, coordinator for faith-based schools

17 Case Study: Counselors for Disability Services (multiple consumers) Disability: – totally blindness, congenital, – no physical or cognitive disabilities AT used: – Screen readers – Print reading applications – Braille note takers Education: bachelor and master degrees in special Ed & counseling Career: counselors in colleges or in government agencies

18 Case Study: Disability Services Coordinator Disability: – visually impaired, hearing impaired, speech impaired, severe orthopedic disability, congenital condition; MSD – cognitively normal, AT used: – adaptive computer with switch interface, screen magnifier, for reading, writing and communication – significant participation and contribution from parents Education: college graduate in communication Career: – internship at Fed government in Washington DC, – 1 st job as disability service coordinator

19 Case Study: Real Estate Agent Disability: – learning disability, a cognitive condition, no physical or sensory disabilities. AT used: – Speech Recognition for word processing – Print reading – Talking GPS for traveling to properties Education: college graduate Career: – Real Estate Agent, independent

20 Case Study: Pastor (planned) Disability: – learning disability, difficulty in writing, cognitive, – no sensory or physical disabilities, – good in verbal skills AT used: – speech recognition, – print ready with visual & auditory outputs, – digital recording pen Education: faith based college, communication, pastor Career Goal: – Counselor – Pastor

21 Case Study: Financial Consultants (multiple consumers) Disability: – visual impairment. adult onset, sensory, physical and cognitive all are in decline. (Age 54, 59, 84 & 81) Needs: must learn s, web search property location, virtual tour Education: some college, or no college, unknown Career: – financial management, insurance agents, real estate agent, rental manager, self-employed AT used: – Use current assistive technology for communication to maintain business operation – Virtual tours, online property search

22 Case Study: Totally Blind University Professors (multiple consumers) Disability: – totally blindness, congenital condition – no physical or cognitive disabilities AT used: screen reader, print reading, communication, braille note taker Education: doctoral degrees Career: professors in colleges and universities

23 Case Study: Medical Transcriptionists Disability: – total blindness, no physical no cognitive disabilities Education, high schools, military services AT used: – screen reader, online transcription, – Good typing skills Career: – Long term medical transcriptionist – job future is not bright

24 Case Study: Home Business, small engine repair (Multiple Consumers) Disability, physical, back injuries, adult onset, no sensory or cognitive disabilities, Education: unknown Self Business, small engine repair, MTV repair, cannot lift metal parts, cannot stand or sit too long Rural setting: AT: ergonomic solution, – ergo chair, floor matt, lifting device Career/business: self business, maintain with children helping

25 Case Study: Employer Tailors Job Positions Disability: visual impairment, auto accident, adult onset, Education: unknown Previous job: a good car salesman, Employers have great desire to accommodate the special needs AT design service: – customize a job position, from good salesman to a good post sale survey conductor (telephone work) – Use computer, use telephone to ask survey questions, record the result, pass the result to the employer – Identify problems in customer services

26 The Recession-proof Careers for People with Visual Impairment ( ) professors, attorneys, physicians, Accountants, insurance agents, technology specialists, teachers Self employment, home jobs, BE operators, transcriptionists government jobs, fed, state and local government agencies, customer service, telemarketers, survey conductors, Receptionist, secretaries, retail assistance

27 Keys to Career Success Know your Talents, passion, interest, avoid your weaknesses and limitations Choose a professional field that your disability has no impact on the job performance. Master the use assistive technology and make your disability irrelevant to your job performance Pursue and achieve advanced education Develop a career strategy that can integrate all these factors to ensure a successful career.

28 Case Study: Apps for Independence Nathan Fernandes Resources and Links


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