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Assistive Technology & Universal Design: Tools for Greater Student Choice Michael OBrien, Ed.D., CRC, CVE Associate Professor Rehabilitation and Special.

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Presentation on theme: "Assistive Technology & Universal Design: Tools for Greater Student Choice Michael OBrien, Ed.D., CRC, CVE Associate Professor Rehabilitation and Special."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assistive Technology & Universal Design: Tools for Greater Student Choice Michael OBrien, Ed.D., CRC, CVE Associate Professor Rehabilitation and Special Education New Mexico Highlands University

2 Why Technology? …disability is actually a complex interaction between an individual and the environment, mediated by tools, skills and interaction with other people. Technology is often literally the interface between person and environment. The ability to access and use technology is likely to play a pivotal role in functionally redefining disability and in bridging the wide gulf between what significant disability means to the disability community, and what it means today in the business/employer community. (Enders, 2002, p. 7)

3 Without effective AT: Vocational choice and options are likely to be substantially more restricted There is an increased risk of underestimating the capability and performance of people served, particularly people with severe disabilities (30 th IRI)

4 Defining AT AT is an individualized process Assistive technology is a resource that can help individuals with functional limitations to reach their maximum potential through the use of products, services or related technology. It is the process of applying scientific knowledge and technology to practical purposes; it is the use of devices and techniques or strategies to remove or reduce barriers to physical, behavioral or cognitive performance (30 th IRI)

5 Universal Design Universal design and access is a broader and more holistic plan that affects all environments and individuals Universal design addresses issues related to physical functioning and learning without the need for adaptation

6 Universal Design defined: Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be used by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities. (The Center for Universal Design, 1997)

7 Principles of Universal Design PRINCIPLE ONE: Equitable Use PRINCIPLE TWO: Flexibility in Use PRINCIPLE THREE: Simple and Intuitive Use PRINCIPLE FOUR: Perceptible Information PRINCIPLE FIVE: Tolerance for Error PRINCIPLE SIX: Low Physical Effort PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Size and Space for Approach and Use (30 th IRI)

8 However… Most schools were not designed this way Most businesses have not been designed this way But…we can think about tests, assignments and our classrooms ahead of time and try to make universal design efforts The reality is that most of what we do will be individualized AT

9 Back to AT Options can range from high tech or low tech. This means it can be something you create, something off the shelf or something more costly and custom made AT can be performed by you as the teacher, rehabilitation counselors, vocational evaluation specialists, certified AT specialists or rehabilitation engineers (depending on how complicated the needs are)

10 New Mexico Tech Act New Mexico Technical Assistance Program NMDVR / NMTAP 435 St. Michael's Dr. Bldg. D Santa Fe, NM Phone: Voice: Fax: (505)

11 AT Loan Programs Agencies New Mexico Loan Program (AFP) San Juan Center for Independence 3535 E. 30th, Suite 101 Farmington, NM Program Manager: Larry McCabe PHONE: 505/ FAX: 505/ New Mexico Telework Loan Program (Telework) New Mexico Technology Assistance Program 435 St. Michael's Drive, Building D Santa Fe, NM Telework Coordinator: Connie DeHerrera PHONE: 800/ PHONE: 505/ TTY: 800/ FAX: 505/

12 Practical Websites RESNA Tech Act Project Assistivetech.net (online AT dictionary) National Legal Services Tech Connections Abledata AccessIT

13 More Websites Information Technology Technical Assistance Center National Rehabilitation Information Center Ability Hub Alliance for Technology Access AZTech Closing the Gap Job Accommodations Network (JAN) Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)

14 Thank you Or


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