ICT and Inclusion 2011

In June, CALL Scotland, BRITE and JISC RSC Scotland North and East worked together to offer two days of free exhibitions and demonstrations of technology for students with additional support needs.

Attendees, including many colleagues from the further education sector, enjoyed the opportunity to see a large range of resources all in one place. There was also a chance to meet suppliers, ask questions and gain more in-depth information where required.

In addition to a timetable of supplier sessions focusing on key products, members of the BRITE team joined CALL, JISC and local practitioners to deliver presentations looking at ways in which technology may be used to create more inclusive learning environments.

Sessions were very well-attended, in some instances there was standing room only! Read on for summaries of the BRITE workshops, including useful links.

TriP: TRansition Information and Planning

Alison Cox, Director of the BRITE Initiative, led a session introducing the TriP resource (Transition Information and Planing).

This online guide provides a wealth of information useful to families and practitioners supporting young people with profound and complex needs through the transition process.

Attendees identified the usefulness of the resource to a number of professionals. In particular, there was interest from occupational therapists who appreciated the family perspective included in the resource.

Technology and resources for older learners with profound and complex needs

One of BRITE’s Assistive Technologists, Fil McIntyre, led workshops looking at appropriate technology and resources for older learners with profound and complex needs.

The message of Fil’s workshops was to keep in mind age-appropriateness when choosing hardware and software suitable for a student’s level of ability, i.e. looking for alternatives to resources aimed at children featuring dancing animals etc.

Software of interest to people working in further education included MathBase and SwitchIt Maker 2 – Older Learners Edition.

In a slot entitled “Yes/No/Unless” Fil showed attendees a range of hardware and asked whether or not they would give the devices shown to a learner over 14. For example, when shown Big Keys black/white and Big Keys multi-coloured, generally the group responded yes to the b/w version, and no to the multi-coloured keyboard. The importance of acknowledging personal preference was noted, e.g. in the example above, some students with low vision may prefer multicoloured keys.

Future events

ICT and Inclusion is an annual event. We’ll keep you informed about next year’s event via our e-newsletter (sign up on the BRITE home page), here on the blog, and on Twitter (@BRITEinitiative).

Would you like BRITE to provide input to your event, whether on the topic of inclusiveness, assistive technology, needs assessment, or our professional development options? Please contact us to discuss your needs.

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