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DESIRABLE QUALITIES OF THE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY RESOURCE PERSON

 

In March, 2000, 13 members of the "Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology" Listserve responded to this question and agreed that no one person can possibly have all the following suggested qualities and qualifications. But collectively, members of an assessment team would have the various skills and qualities needed. At a minimum, each person should have willingness, good interpersonal skills, certification, creativity, patience, expertise with some aspect of technology, and time. The rest could be achieved by designing teams of people who each have some of the other qualities listed.

The assistive technology resource person may be an administrator or other certified or licensed district employee or private provider who:

•Has a willingness to serve in this position.

•Has successful experience working with students with disabilities.

•Has interest, skills, motivation, and experience in assistive technology and its potential for improving student's access to curriculum.

•Is proactive in pursuing training in assistive and instructional hardware and software to successfully carry out his/her responsibilities.

•Is knowledgeable about special and general education practices and policies.

•Is able to work well, communicate clearly and collaborate with students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other service providers.

•Knows or can locate local, state, and national assistive technology resources.

•Is seen by staff and parents alike as a support person to the child's CSE/CPSE rather than as the sole source of technology information.

•Understands how technology can be used throughout the curriculum and has a thorough understanding of appropriate inclusion strategies.

•Has time in schedule to assess and work with student; to learn the tools and strategies to provide staff and parents with follow-up training and help staff "buy in" to the recommendations; program the tools; and troubleshoot.

•Has a strong sense of role release.

•Able to inspire other professionals to have "the vision."

•Willing to develop group problem solving and decision making skills to become a team player who can work effectively with all team members. This is crucial to making Assistive Technology work all the way down to "implementation" at the student level. This is not a "one person" job.

•Has a great sense of fun!

•Is a self - motivated person willing to constantly re-form their knowledge base to keep up with rapid changes in the field.

•Is patient and flexible.

•Understands different disabilities.

•Is able to use their intuition as part of the assessment process.

•Believes the child can communicate and learn if we unlock their abilities.

In some situations it may be beneficial for two or more districts to share the services of an assistive technology support person or team. This can be arranged as a cooperative service for a local Board Of Cooperative Educational Services, cross contracting with another BOCES, or contracting with another private or public agency service provider to provide this service. Allocation of a shared assistive technology resource person's time may be based on a total caseload of students who receive assistive technology services and should be negotiated between districts.

 

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