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Finding Your Passion
We all have different towns and we all have different things that we do in the course of the day. It may be that the student is a great artist or a great writer. When it comes to assistive technology we have to think about what is going to give that student the ability to do what they love without having to see roadblocks and go, "I can't do that”. There are so many tools out there, whether it's a communication app, a video app, a math tool. With assistive technology you are not making the student into what you want them to be.
A screenshot from the YouTube video, "Finding your Passion"
The Complexity of Acceptance
When you use alternate means of communication it can be really frustrating to go out in community. It is hard to know whether people are understanding you and whether they will take the time to listen. A lot of times it's hard for people to admit that they're not always comfortable with a device or a wheelchair or person who does things differently. So the more we can expose and educate people the better off we all will be. When we talk about acceptance, we're not just talking about people in society accepting people with disabilities. We're also talking about people with disabilities who are using alternate means of communication and how difficult it is for them to be out in the community.
Representation of a person in a wheelchair using assistive technology to communicate with a group of people around them.
Accessibility Features
Many of our products today have accessibility supports in them to the extent where we don't have to purchase anything else. It's already in there. Your phone, your tablet, your smart home devices. If you're going to look for these features on your devices, you can start in your settings. There should be something in there that says accessibility. Go in there, see what's available. The manufacturers have done a really nice job of describing these features right within the settings to give you a sense of what they're going to do.
An image of a smart phone and tablet on a blue background
One Size Does NOT Fit All- Using Multiple Means For Communication
Let me tell you about multimodal communication. We, as typical communicators, all use many different strategies. We use speech, gestures, facial expressions, technology, and no-tech solutions. As communicators, we all size up the situation based upon our communication partners, the context, the environment and then we choose to use the most effective communication strategy.
Drawing of hand giving the thumbs up signal against a pink background