Going to College

Transcript: Assistive technology

[ Music ]

So you’re in high school and you’re thinking about going to college. That’s a good thing, and we’re glad you’re thinking about it, now’s a good time to start thinking about what you’re going to need when you get there.

Assistive Technology is one of those things, we talk about it when we’re at IEP meetings, and we think about it, but we’re not always thinking about where we’re going in the future. And when you get to college, and you’re on your own, you’re going to want to make sure that you have the technology that you need.

One of the really great tools that we’ve used in the past is a book called Hey, can I try that. It’s a handbook for kids who are choosing and using Assistive Technology. And it’s a great thing to be looking at before you head off to college. As you open up the book, you get to see, oh, you can look at it online, you get to see a whole bunch of things that you should be thinking about as you consider what you’re going to use Assistive Technology for in the future. It kicks off by saying, you know what, self determination is really important. You have to be able to have your own goals and work towards them. You need to know your own strengths and weaknesses. And you really have to focus on what do you need and how can you help yourself get there. It kicks off by saying what is the problem you run into when doing your schoolwork. If you don’t have any problems in doing your schoolwork, you might not need any Assistive Technology, and that’s okay. But if you are having some problems you’re going to have to figure out what are you doing now, what do you want to do better, and then pick one thing you want to start working on. As you look at the situation, you’ve got to set yourself a goal. What do you want AT to do for you? Assistive technology can do a lot, but you’ve got to figure out what will it look like when it’s working. And then figure out what are you already using, what are you doing right now. Is that working? Would you like it to work better? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try and you’re convinced that would work. Go ahead and explore that.

So while you’re working on, you know, exploring a new technology, maybe playing with a new computer program, or exploring something new to organize yourself, you’ve got to mark down someplace. Either record yourself talking, or make notes to yourself, what are you liking while you’re using it, and what don’t you like. Something’s are shiny and new, and they’re cool and we like them, but we won’t really use them. You have to keep track of that as you go. And you got to make a plan about, okay, what exactly will I use, how will I use it, and do I really need it for college, there are some things that you use in high school, you won’t need in college. And then there are some things you’re going to need in college, which is a lot more independent that you wouldn’t have been able to use in high school.

So as you’re thinking about being on your own, and being more independent, which most of us are when we get to college, you’ve got to explore, how is this really going to work for me, and how will I review how it’s working for me once I get there. You don’t want to invest a lot of money in something that you want be able to use later, are you able to borrow something, now. Explore using it over the summer, maybe. Or ask other people how it’s working for them, and then look for certain situations where you might try something out. If you’re going to use a laptop, are you sure you’re going be someplace where you’re going to be able to charge it up, ask people how that’s working for them when they get to college.

And then as we finish up looking at the Wati [assumed spelling] manual, which is called, Hey Can I try that, there’s a place where you can mark down your answers to each one, and then you can discuss them with the people who might be supporting you as you’re using them, and the people who are supporting you as you’re adding them to IEP’s and transition plans right now. It’s a great tool and you may want to check it out. Good luck.

[ Music ]