Assistive Technology Instructor

braille display
 

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY INSTRUCTOR
Program Length: 9 months
Enrollment Dates: Open

The nine-month Assistive Technology Instructor (ATI) program is designed to prepare a graduate to work as an academic instructor of assistive technology qualified to instruct customers in learning the proper use of assistive technology, Microsoft Office, Windows operating systems and Apple iOS at a rehabilitation facility; as a sales representative for an assistive technology vendor; or to develop his/her own independent consultant company for assistive technology analysis, instruction, training and equipment recommendations, or long distance/in-house problem solving or tech support assistance.

The curriculum includes instruction in all types of adaptive equipment, installation of hardware and software, and development of problem-solving strategies through instruction and on-the-job practical situations. Participants will concurrently supervise a fast-paced AT lab in order to experience the importance of quickly surveying a technology problem and locating a solution.

ATI graduates will gain professional teaching skills with focus on lesson plan development, classroom/time management and instructional interaction with individuals ranging in age from 18 to 80. ATI graduates will receive experience teaching one-on-one, in small groups of two to four students, and in groups of eight or more in 45- to 90-minute instructional sessions. Graduates will also possess the ability to produce training manuals in accessible formats.

The ATI candidate will complete a minimum of six to eight weeks of intense study of the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint) and Windows operating systems, learning to use the instructional information which comes as part of the product to develop instructional units with lesson plans. Participants will use the help menus, the training exercises developed as part of the help menus, and the instructional manuals designed to assist an instructor while learning to teach Microsoft Office applications using JAWS or ZoomText, as well as Internet research techniques which will be used to locate additional educational material for teaching Office applications.

An ATI candidate must complete a WSB certification exam developed by the academic staff, scoring a minimum of 80 percent on each of the following exams: Word, Outlook, Excel, Power Point and the Internet. Participants will learn how to use the Apple iOS, as well as the accessibility features of the Mac OSX operating system.

A candidate who earns the ATI certificate must complete all of the required assignments, classroom projects and practical use through student teaching credits/classroom work in the major areas listed in job descriptions including screen readers, magnification software, Braille displays, Apple iOS devices, low-vision equipment, and personal/professional development through soft skills taught and used while earning the 250 student-teaching credits. A candidate petitioning for graduation from the ATI program must score a minimum of 80 percent or average score on all requirements of the program and a minimum of 85 percent on the Microsoft Office exams before being considered for graduation.

Participants must obtain the most recent JAWS certification, as well as any certifications developed in the future or which become relevant to obtaining employment.

The assistive technology available in the classroom includes screen magnification, speech output systems, refreshable Braille displays, portable note-taking devices, Braille printers, scanners, closed-circuit televisions for print magnification and accessible Internet.

 
 

PREREQUISITES

  • High school diploma or GED
     
  • Four-year degree is recommended
     
  • Successful completion of the ATI proficiency test
     
  • Basic working knowledge of Microsoft Office using the client’s preferred assistive technology devices
     
  • Print reading speed of 100 wpm, with 75% comprehension
     
  • Braille reading speed of 30 wpm (if primary Braille user), or 10 wpm (if non-Braille user)
     
  • Keyboarding speed of 30 wpm
     
  • 12th-grade spelling and grammar level
     
  • Good independent living and travel skills
     
  • Strong logical reasoning ability and emotional maturity
     
  • Ability to learn and retain information
     
  • Good interpersonal relationship qualities
     
  • Ability to work in a high-tech environment
     
  • Ability to adapt to constant change