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DIS 202 AT-PACE: Assistive Technology for Participation, Accommodations, Communication, and Empowerment

Course Description: Essential skills for effectively trained staff within the human services field fall generally within both content knowledge and an empathic understanding of the individual's needs. This overall awareness enables trained staff to more effectively support their clientele. Successful selection, implementation, and integration of valuable assistive technologies are premised on this foundation. Before staff can be expected to adequately serve the technological support needs of individuals, they must understand how an individual may benefit from and interact with such tools in their daily lives. This course begins with empathy training sessions and historical/cultural lectures so that students may nurture a foundation of understanding. Subsequently, students will explore medical and legal models for utilized for defining disabilities. Environmental design factors are then explored for their role in the occurrence and amplification of obstacles for individuals with disabilities. Finally, extensive investigation into Assistive Technologies serves as the core of the course, examining the value of such tools for helping people compensate or ameliorate the challenges they face in their daily lives. Course highlights: • Weekly guided empathy training sessions which expose students to alternative insights • Classroom opportunities for reflection/discussion of ideas/materials presented • Interactive lectures on current research and methods regarding all topics • Ongoing guest speakers: Working AT professionals and users of assistive technologies • Weekly exams to insure effective retention of material covered; • Google+ postings by students f(Jr generating professional dialogue and information sharing Class visits to locations where assistive technologies are employed or could be implemented

Credits

4 credits