DART2 Workshop 1: Assessment for Assistive Technology

Thanks to Margaret McKay, Inclusion Advisor at Jisc RSC Scotland, for this report on what happened at the first DART2 workshop in Scotland on February 7th 2013 at the College Development Network, which looked at assessment for assistive technology.

Assessment

Selection of hardware at the Dart2 workshopThe first sessions were presented by Rohan Slaughter (Head of Technology at Beaumont College) and Mike Thrussell (Assistive Technology Coordinator at Henshaws College).

They spoke about the importance of assessment, highlighting the skills and knowledge required by assessors and the importance of working in partnership with other stakeholders (the learner, family, carers, health professionals and relevant others).

Margaret McKay of Jisc RSC Scotland highlighted theoretical perspectives that underpin the assessment process, and the importance of placing the student at the centre of the process in order to find the best fit between the learner and their environment.

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Guest Blog: Disseminating Assistive Roles and Technology

Margaret McKay, Inclusion Advisor at Jisc RSC Scotland, provides some background to the DART2 Project. Check back soon for Margaret’s overview of what happened at the first DART2 training event to take place in Scotland.

JISC Advance and Dart logosThe Disseminating Assistive Roles and Technology (DART2) Project is one of 33 initiatives funded by Jisc Advance FE and Skills Project.

Launched in response to the Government’s pledge to improve learning across the UK, DART2 provides free training for those involved in providing assistive technology support for disabled learners, and aims to create a culture of collaboration across post-16 learning providers in FE colleges in the UK.

This initiative, coordinated by a consortium of Independent Specialist Colleges is led by Beaumont College, National Star College and Henshaws College. It is also supported by NATSPEC (The Association of National Specialist Colleges), the College Development Network, and by the Jisc Regional Support Centres and Jisc Techdis.

The project aims to provide a partnership and collaborative approach to:

  • Improving Assistive Technology (AT) practice in the sector;
  • Enable the replication of the innovative Assistive Technologist role;
  • Produce Assistive Technology case studies for the sector.

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DART 2: free assistive technology training events

DART 2 (Disseminating Assistive Roles and Technology 2) is a JISC Advance funded project which aims to:

  • improve assistive technology practice in the further education sector
  • enable the replication of the innovative assistive technologist role
  • produce assistive technology case studies for the sector

In addition to an initiative providing ‘deep support’ to help specific colleges develop a high quality assistive technology service, DART 2 is working with partners to provide free training events across the UK, including three events hosted by the College Development Network in Stirling, Scotland:

Assessment for Assistive Technology: 7th February 2013
http://events.scotlandscolleges.ac.uk/events/show/4590 

Developing an Assistive Technology Role: 30th April 2013
http://events.scotlandscolleges.ac.uk/events/show/4608 

Learning more about specific Assistive Technology: 12th June 2013
http://events.scotlandscolleges.ac.uk/events/show/4591 

One of BRITE’s assistive technologists, and a regular contributer to the BRITE blog, Fil McIntyre, will be at the first event. While these events are free, booking is essential as places are limited (note that DART 2 events elsewhere in the UK have quickly become fully booked).

Remote DSA Needs Assessment

IdeenIn 2011, the University of the Highlands and Islands achieved validation as an assessment centre, authorised to conduct needs assessments for the purposes of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

The university’s innovative use of video conferencing for needs assessment can benefit learners who would otherwise incur the cost of travelling to an Access Centre elsewhere in Scotland.

This Sharing Stories recording by JISC Scotland and Scotland’s Colleges features members of the UHI team discussing how it all works and the pros and cons involved. Edited to add: Click here to read the case study.

BRITE was delighted to provide guidance to UHI prior to the implementation of Adobe Connect to facilitate online assessments. Since 2010, BRITE has been using Adobe Connect Pro to deliver accredited online training, gaining recognition from Adobe themselves who featured BRITE as a European Success Story.

If you’d like to know more about our virtual courses, or consultancy services, visit our website or contact enquiries@brite.ac.uk