Assistive Technology and Brain Injury
What is Assistive Technology (A.T.)?
Any item, piece of equipment or product system (app) that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of a person with a disability.
What are the Goals of A.T. for Students with TBI?
- Replace or support skills that were lost or diminished following the injury
- Support success in academic and social endeavors
- Support the students' independence in life
What is Effective A.T. for Students with TBI?
Effective assistive technology tends to have the following characteristics:
- It has meaning to the student using it
- It is minimally intrusive
- It provides assistance without unnecessary control on the student’s day-to-day activities
- It doesn’t make the student feel different or obvious when they are using it
- It looks normal or stylish to the student
- It has built-in prompting
- It is supported by the environment; people around the student understand how to use the technology and can help the student if needed.
Strategies to Help Teach Assistive Technology to a Student with Brain Injury
Use the following strategies to teach new assistive technology:
- Slow is good! Going slow will help your student to hang on to details of instruction.
- Patience is a virtue! Be ready to teach items many times. Its okay teach it until it sticks.
- Review previously taught material. Start each lesson with a detailed review of what you previously taught. It helps the student to remember and to be ready for new information. If the student doesn’t remember the prior content, teach it again.
- Be positive. Use positive reinforcement and positive energy. Students know if they are struggling and need you to except it in a positive way. Any progress is good progress!