ssisting School Students In Support Technology

CEC Standards for Assistive Technology

    Describe and explain the rights and responsibilities of students, parents, teachers, and other professionals, and schools related to  assessment, implementation, and funding of assistive technology.

**Effective Novice

The goal of assistive technology is the student's success in the classroom.  Meeting that goal requires teamwork of the student, parents, teachers, and
other professional staff.  Therefore if the support program is to work smoothly the rights and responsibilities of all  individuals involved with assistive technology must be considered.
I believe the rating of effective novice accurately describes my understanding and implementing of the rights and responsibilities for those involved in
assistive technology.  I clearly understand that the student should be the most important consideration when determining the need for assistive technology. In the AssistiveTechnology Newsletter I carefully detailed the rights and responsibilities for all  involved with the student and assistive technology services and devices.  I can also show evidence of my understanding of assistive technology rights and responsibilities and my ability to apply my knowledge of these rights with my written response to Assistive Scenario number one.
Although, I have obtained new information regarding the rights and responsibilities for those involved with assistive technology I also know that as a future
middle school teacher in special education learning is a never ending process and I will work to improve my knowledge in this area with continuing education.

    Explain and compare theories and evidence of practical value of assistive technology.

**Effective Novice
There are many theories and myths surrounding assistive technology services and devices.  Most of the theories are formed by individuals that do not have a full understanding of assistive technology's value in learning support or have a fear of learning to use new equipment.  Sadly, these beliefs can cause a hindrance to the student who needs the device.  However, when  parents, teachers and other professionals have like beliefs and goals when implementing an assistive technology device the result will be educational success for the student.
I chose effective novice as my rating for this section because I can provide sufficient evidence to support my understanding of the various theories of assistive technology.  Scenario number two of Assistive Scenarios gave me opportunity to apply my newly acquired knowledge of assistive technology theories.  My written response reflects not only my understanding of possible negative beliefs I may experience as a new teacher but also how I can handle the situation professionally. 
The practical value of assistive technology and the educational benefits the devices provide for students outweighs the negative beliefs people may have.  When the appropriate assistive technology is put in place to compensate for the student's weakness there will positive results.  Using a case study titled, Josh's Real World I reflected on  Josh's challenges and the benefits he would gain from assistive technology devices. Josh, an intelligent seventh was in danger of being moved to a different classroom that would not meet his educational potential. This assignment clearly demonstrates my understanding of the practical value of implementing assistive technology for a student like Josh.
Although, there is evidence to show I understand the possible theories surrounding assistive technology and the practical value of using these devices I feel obtaining more knowledge and hands-on exposure to assistive technology will allow me to be an effective teacher in the future.

Identify a variety of assistive technologies available for a range of student needs.

**Exemplary Novice

Technology is a constant changing environment which provides a wide range of opportunities for students with disabilities.  With careful selection of  low technology or high technology devices a support program can be implemented to fit the individual student's need in all environmental settings.

I decided to choose exemplary novice because I clearly understood that the whole student must be considered when choosing an assistive technology device and that compensation should be the primary goal of the device.  I also can show evidence with Setting The Stage For Success  that I can successfully apply the SETT foundation when recommending assistive technology services.  To fully grasp how assistive technology works the hands on approach provides a deeper understanding on how the device will fit with the student and their environment.  Visiting the Assistive Technology Lab located in Lyle Hall gave me an opportunity to not only see the different types of assistive computer systems but also experience up close how the system impacts the student.
Using the case study "Josh's Real World" I can demonstrate the knowledge I have recently acquired regarding selecting the appropriate assistive technology device that will offer the student educational success.  Using the limited information that was provided about Josh I carefully investigated all possible types of devices that will allow Josh to remain in the class that meets his potential  and compensate for the weaknesses causes by his medical condition.  When a recommendation of assistive technology must be made the "whole" student must be considered.  Therefore, what may work for one student could fail for another.  Such as in the case of Josh, his assistive technology services had to address the physical effects of Hypotonia.  On the other hand, when recommending support services for a student with emotional and social disabilities not only the student's present challenges have to be considered but it future life situations must be addressed.  The Emotional/Social Disabilities  web page briefly explains emotional and social disabilities and the different programs that can be used.  Extensive testing must be completed to successfully design the proper support services for the student.  Challenges that effect present behaviors can be modified by games and other software programs. Life skills, such as job preparation, workplace behaviors and budgeting can be addressed with simulation programs.

    Articulate a personal philosophy regarding the use of assistive technology.

**Effective Novice

My personal philosophy regarding the use of assistive technology is very straight forward.  I believe any service, device or program that can compensate for an learning challenge should be an important part of the student's educational plan.  This support system should allow the student to gain independence and work at their highest potential. 
As a mother of a child with special needs I learned first hand the frustration a student experiences to grasp a concept that is easily understood by other students.  To compensate for my daughter's learning disabilities both low tech and high tech devices were implemented  into her educational plan.  Although there were a few misconceptions about Molly's use of the devices in the general classroom the long term value of assistive technology is worth dealing with unfounded theories.
I believe effective novice is a fair assessment of the evidence I am presenting to demonstrate my personal philosophy regarding the use of assistive technology.
I may take a firm stance on the use of assistive technology in the classroom but I also feel there is no end to learning about education and ways to improve a student's quality of learning.
A good example of my personal philosophy can be found in the Assistive Technology Newsletter.  In this mock newsletter I outline my philosophy and other important issues regarding assistive technology for parents of special needs students.  I believe it is important that parents clearly understand the teacher's position and reassured that the teacher will be an advocate for their child.  In the writing assignments Important Facts about Assistive Technology and Assistive Scenarios, my philosophy can be assumed by the tone of my responses.  I believe all students have a right to an accessible education and assistive technology will provide that for the student in need.