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The Center for Assistive Technology provides Assistive Technology Consultations, Assessments and Training for students and educational professionals.  

Contact:
Dawn Flaherty
Director
Center for Assistive Technology
75 Abington Street
Hingham, MA 02043
781-749-1256
Dawn Whitney-Flaherty, OTR/L, Director of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology Services
Dawn has provided occupational therapy for students attending South Shore Educational Collaborative Programs and member school districts since 1990. In 1998, she completed intensive training in assistive technology through a Massachusetts Technology Literacy Challenge Grant which led to forming a multidisciplinary assistive technology team and establishing the South Shore Educational Collaborative Assistive Technology Center.

 


Our purpose is to expose educators, students and families to the wide variety of Assistive Technology tools and services available. Our staff will assess a student's Assistive Technology needs, make appropriate recommendations, and provide ongoing technological support to parents and teachers to ensure that the proposed technology is successfully incorporated into the student's daily routine. We can also support educational teams in the acquisition of assistive technology tools through various group buy programs.

Through expanding awareness and acceptance of Assistive Technology, we will be better able to incorporate the use of AT in the classroom, better meet the educational goals of our students, and greatly improve the quality of their lives.

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) can fall into two categories:

Assistive Technology device:
Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

Assistive Technology service:
Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.

Our Mission

To link children and adults with disabilities to technology systems that will increase opportunities to achieve their potential in education, daily living and employment.
To provide Assistive Technology assessments for students within the school districts served by the South Shore Educational Collaborative
To provide consultation, training and support for educational professionals in the use of Assistive Technology devices, software and services.
To expand awareness and acceptance of the use of Assistive Technology through our workshops and AT Fair.

Services

Consultation:
A district or program may request a consultation to provide support for students and staff in the most effective use of technology. Consultation services can be provided across a continuum of settings and times, to be negotiated between the CAT staff and the appropriate educational administrators.

Assessment/Evaluation:
Upon receiving a student referral, the AT Service Coordinator will send the contact person from the student's school or program a packet containing parent consent forms to be filled out by parents or guardian, and student information forms to be completed by the teacher, and other team members (speech, OT, PT etc.). We will request that the contact person send us these forms, with copies of most recent evaluations including Speech, OT, PT, and vision, psychology or medical reports if appropriate. SSEC CAT team members will visit the student in his/her classroom and meet with members of the student's educational team. Depending on the student's needs, further assessment at the SSEC Assistive Technology Center may also be indicated. The team will generate a final report that will include a description of the student's performance with the technology that was introduced during the assessment. The report will also include recommendations for both low and high tech strategies that the student can utilize at school or home, equipment costs, vendor information, and plans for follow-up.

Training:
In addition to hosting an annual Assistive Technology Fair, CAT staff are available to provide professional development workshops on a variety of Assistive Technology tools and topics. They can also provide customized training in the use and implementation of Assistive Technology within the school setting. Trainings can be provided on-site or in SSEC's computer lab. We can design workshops to meet the specific needs of a classroom, school, program or district.

Suggested Resources

The AT Team is currently working on a collaborative account for free access to Bookshare. The following are other links to AT resources.

Co:Writer
Kurzweil3000
Write OutLoud
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Kidspiration/Inspiration

Boardmaker
Writing With Symbols
Speaking Dynamically Pro
Intellitools
Clicker5
Lexia
Start to Finish Books
Read Naturally
Classroom Suite4  

 

75 Abington Street, Hingham, MA 02043 |Phone: 781-749-7518 |Fax: 781-740-0784