Tsunami of Assistive Technology

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Do you belong to the QIAT Listserv?  This is a wonderful way to stay informed about what is happening worldwide in AT.  Get new ideas, have questions answered.  Here’s the link to subscribe:  http://natri.uky.edu/assoc_projects/qiat/listserv.html.

On 11/19/12  Jacquelyn Criger posted the following about feeling overwhelmed by staying current in AT.  I’m going to copy her message here and one of the replies in another posting.  How do you feel?  Are you able to stay on top of what is new, what works, where the field is going?  Leave a comment!

Originally Posted 11/19/12

Dear QIATers,

First, let me say…I love my job, the people I work with, and the children I work for.  But, today, as I weed through my (seemingly endless) email, I find myself wondering, “Is it just me?  Or has our field become truly overwhelming?”

I find it more and more difficult to think I’m staying up on AT possibilities.  Staff are finding pieces they ‘need’ and it’s falling to me to figure out if it really does what they think it does, how to use it and to help them get up and running, if indeed, it IS something that the student NEEDS.  (Ahhh, yes, back to need vs want…an ongoing discussion for all of us, I think.)  A current example is SmartBoard technology…on an iPad.  [And, if you have experience with this, I’d appreciate hearing about it…]

With the explosion of iDevice and Android apps, Accessible Instructional Materials options, and software, (not to mention AAC…) how are you staying confident that you’ve done due diligence and are making suggestions that really are the best match for each student?  Is there ever a time to say, “This will do what he/she needs.  Let’s start here.” And not look further at the other options?

Thanks for sharing.  I’m seriously thinking I need a ‘tune-up’…or an over-haul!  :)

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