Compass – sharing an assistive technology resource with the Education community

Presented by: Trevor Boland

Assistive Technology (AT) is everywhere and provides options and supports for everyone about how to read, write, organise and grammar and much more- AT is an essential ingredient in creating an inclusive culture for all to participate and create as fully as possible. Even though AT is ubiquitous in our digital eco systems like Google, Microsoft and Apple systems and devices, it is very much unnamed and hidden in plain sight for most.

The AT8 Framework was created to highlight the power of this inclusive ingredient.Assistive Technology can be transformative for people so it is essential to effectively communicate the experiences and processes of AT so someone can get an insight into the AT journey. From working with students with disabilities, I have found that AT is a personal venture, and a map of a sort is needed to support the individual in navigating this AT landscape. The AT8 map provides the student with the milestone moments they may experience in the stages of their AT journey and the future destinations that AT may take them. This AT8 map aims to empower the student to see the steps they may experience, to uncover, adopt and master AT in their lives. It takes the student from awareness of AT to an AT Advocate over eight stages. Technology has a powerful place for inclusion, and the AT8 visualises this process for future adopters of AT.

The AT8 currently has informed a DCU inclusive Technology resource called ‘Compass’ that is accessible to all staff and students here about the range and possibilities of these tools.

Presenter Biography:

Trevor Boland advocates for inclusion in education via Universal Design for Learning (UDL), accessibility, and Assistive Technology (AT). Previously, he worked as the Digital Officer in AHEAD and worked on many projects, including the National UDL Rollout for staff in Further and Higher Education. Trevor has also worked as an Assistive Technology for 7 years in TU Dublin and, as a Lecturer in an Access Programme in DIT teaching Mature Students and as an SNA in Primary and Secondary Schools. His work has included app design for orientation apps, AT resources such as the AT Hive in AHEAD. Currently he is the Assistive Technology Officer in DCU.