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Assistive Technology Initiative at Middlesex Community College

 

The Assistive Technology (AT) initiative at Middlesex Community College in Bedford, Massachusetts, involves a collaboration between Disability Support Services (DSS) and Academic Affairs, Academic Support and IT to examine the potential for better institutionalizing assistive technologies, as well as researching the applicability of cutting edge software “apps” and hardware/devices and AT technology embedded in existing platforms. The goals are to: expand the institution’s AT network, increase AT access to better support student achievement and learning independence and provide AT training and support aimed at enhanced personal and professional outcomes for students. This includes: a) developing more formalized institutional training and support for current and expanded adaptive and AT, b) assessing current AT and new students with disabilities to assess their awareness and use of AT options already embedded in PC and Mac platforms; building a library of available free and low-cost technology options for student use; developing systemized training for students with disabilities in the available AT tools that could support their specific disability-related needs; and disseminating regularly-updated information to faculty and staff on the application of new technologies toward improving students’ metacognitive and learning skills.  The AT initiative also involves the development of both an Institutional LiveScribe Smart Pen Loaner Program to support maximum utilization by students with disabilities and a Peer Mentoring program to support students with disabilities in their use of AT.

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