ATIA – Orlando

I’m really excited to be heading to ATIA in Orlando this week.  I’m a little overwhelmed with the amount of new information I’m going to come home with but it’s all good.  I’m spending the day on Wednesday at a workshop entitled, It’s Time We Reduce Device Non-Use: Making the AT Match.  The speakers sent out the PowerPoint this morning so I’m able to read it over before I go.  I’m really excited to learn from these 2 presenters.  Going into this workshop I have some thoughts of my own as far as AT abandonment goes.

For me, it’s about education.  Training people on the Assistive Technology they’ve chosen.  I know there is way more to it than just this but I want to talk about training for a minute.  Let’s just talk about the training of basic iPad skills.  This can be a difficult task even for someone with high cognitive ability.  If the person hasn’t used a touch screen before this is a skill to be learned all it’s own, prior to learning any apps.  I find when a person is trying to learn both together it is challenging for them.  Ok, now let’s assume the person knows how to use a touch screen and has a basic understanding of the device.  There are still so many things to learn and so many steps.  A one time training on many apps and software doesn’t seem to be enough.

Let’s take for example, the app Claro PDF.  There are so many wonderful features.  You can have the text read aloud and change the colors of the text and background to enhance readability.  The voices can be added and changed.  Plus, there are so many options for annotating.  When I think about training for an app like this I consider it’s complexity.  What can I teach right out of the gate that the student can go home and use immediately?  If the people we train aren’t using the information right away the chances of losing that info in greater.  We live in a hurried world and have so many ideas in our heads.  I want to make sure someone can use even the basic features and move from there.  For many individuals there is one thing that makes them stuck so they avoid using the app.  If regular trainings and then regular check-ins can be scheduled people are more likely to find how the app can best work for them.

I’m looking forward to the pre conference I’m attending.  I’m sure by Wednesday night I’ll have so much more to share and new insight to add to the thoughts I already have.



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