Assessing Children's Assistive Technology Needs through Video Conferencing

T.J. Simmons, D.K. Bauder, and D. Sharon (USA)


Assistive Technology, Videoconferencing, Children withDisabilities


Based upon current practices, state-of-the-art assistive technology delivery systems are not widely developed or implemented in rural areas. Children with severe disabilities have had major problems in accessing assistive technology that meets their needs. The availability of trained professionals that can diagnose the nature of a child’s assistive technology needs and identify the technology that will best suit their situation is also a dilemma. Additionally, multidisciplinary personnel needed to provide service delivery may be limited, therefore, children are not always afforded with the assistive technology needed to enhance, promote or provide educational progress. Project STATUS utilizes distance technology-based capabilities in assessing the assistive technology needs of students living in rural areas of Kentucky, USA. This effort has capitalized on low cost technology systems to reach students the via videoconferencing connections for a distance-based diagnosis and identification of possible technologies that fit the students’ need. This article provides the reader with information about how the low cost distance based equipment can be used to conduct assistive technology assessments to meet student needs. Both the videoconferencing technology and the process will be reviewed. Information regarding considerations with local school personnel and assistive technology assessment teams will be highlighted.

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