Assistive Technology


OVERVIEW:

Assistive technology (AT) can be defined as technology solutions used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities [1]. AT refers to a broad range of devices, services, strategies, and practices that are developed and applied to help students overcome limitations they may face [2].

The goal of the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is to support students who can benefit from incorporating technology into their academic and personal life. Disability service providers (DSPs) will work with students to evaluate needs and skills for AT. Students may then meet with the CSD Technology Team (CSDTech) to find the right learning tools to meet their individual needs and learning styles.

Services offered by the CSDTech Team includes:

  • Acquiring assistive technologies
  • Selecting, designing, repairing, and fabricating assistive technology systems
  • Training both individuals with disabilities and those working with them to use the technologies effectively [2]

CSDTech is dedicated to providing students with a platform to explore educational technologies, guide students to find technological tools to meet their individual needs and learning styles, and help students build self-confidence, autonomy, and skills when using technology-related tools. The aim is to increase student engagement in the classroom by offering tools needed to actively participate in a dynamic learning community that includes lectures, discussions, multi-media presentations, labs, field studies, and other pedagogical methods.

To access the Technology home page and explore what AT is available at CSDTech, please click on the following link:  http://csd.uconn.edu/csdtech/

 

CSDTech UConn Logo

[1] “Legal Mandates for Assistive Technology.” Legal Mandates for Assistive Technology, Georgia Department of Education, www.gpat.org/Georgia-Project-for-Assistive-Technology/Pages/Legal-Mandates-for-Assistive-Technology.aspx

[2] Cook, Albert M., et al. Cook & Hussey’s Assistive Technologies: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed., Mosby Elsevier, 2008.

The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature and functional limitations of a student’s documented disability, he/she may be eligible to borrow assistive and/or learning technologies. The CSD maintains a wide variety of assistive and learning technologies which students may borrow on a semester-by-semester basis. Technologies may include assistive listening devices such as frequency modulated systems (FM systems), digital recorders, smartpens, etc. Every effort will be made to provide the specific technology/equipment requested by the student depending on the nature of the documented disability. However, while the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its amendments requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable and other suitable methods are available.

Equipment Loans

Equipment loans are short term, in most cases for one semester. Equipment may be provided for classroom use, fieldwork, meetings with faculty members, or for any activity directly related to a student’s academic program. Students can meet with a member of the CSDTech Team in order to receive training on the use of the technology. The CSD may also refer students to other campus resources (e.g., Speech and Hearing Clinic) for training on the use of the equipment. Students are responsible for maintaining the equipment and returning it to the CSD at the end of the loan period in accordance with the University’s equipment loan procedures. Failure to return the equipment by the end of the loan may result in financial and academic-related consequences such as late fees, the withholding of transcripts, inability to register for classes, etc. Equipment should be returned in good working order other than normal wear and tear. Students are responsible for replacing the equipment or reimbursing the CSD for the repairs or cost of the equipment if it is lost, stolen, or damaged due to negligent or improper use.

Procedure

  • Students approved for this accommodation must meet with a member of the CSD Tech Team in order to receive appropriate training.
  • Upon completion of training, students will sign an Equipment Loan Agreement form which includes information regarding the equipment borrowed, duration of the loan and return date.

 

Student Responsibilities

  • Equipment borrowed should be used solely for educational purposes at the University of Connecticut. Students agree not to lend or in any way part with the possession of the equipment to any person. Software installed on the equipment cannot be transferred or duplicated.
  • Students are responsible for any damage (except ordinary wear and tear) to the equipment and are not to remove any identification or inventory labels/tags that have been placed on the equipment. If equipment is lost, stolen or damaged, the student is responsible to pay the replacement or repair costs of the equipment.
  • Contact the CSD Tech Team as soon as possible via e-mail at csdtech@uconn.edu if any problems arise with the equipment. There is a risk that files may be damaged or lost if the equipment malfunctions or acquires a virus. The CSD is not responsible for lost or damaged files.
  • Return the equipment and its accessories to the CSD by the agreed upon date. Failure to do so may result in a $25 per week late fee charge.

CSD Responsibilities

  • Provide effective technologies and/or equipment and assure that they are in working order.
  • Provide training to students on the use of the specified technology.
  • Resolve issues that arise regarding this accommodation (e.g., if the technology is not functioning properly).

Any questions regarding this policy and procedure should be directed to Alyssa Marinaccio, Assistive Technology Coordinator, at (860) 486-2020 or csdtech@uconn.edu.