Sunday, 9 December 2012

AT Assessment Models

When matching person and technology, you become an
investigator, a detective. You find out what the
different alternatives are within the constraints.

-From Living in the State of Stuck: How Technology
Impacts the Lives of People with Disabilities

Matching Person and Technology (MPT) Model

"Technologies are meant to make our lives easier and better. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out this way. It is important that individuals feel comfortable with technologies and know how to use them to their benefit. While a user must adapt to the unique features and demands of a technology, a technology must be adjusted or adapted to accommodate the individual needs and preferences of the user." 

The MPT model uses tools like questionnaires for the primary and secondary users which consider the user's environment, characteristics and preferences, and the function and features of the technology itself.

Click here to visit the homepage for the Institute for Matching Person & Technology, Inc.

Student/Self, Environment, Task, Tool (SETT) Framework

Developed by Joy Zabala, a former Educational Consultant in Assistive Technology in 1995, this model was developed  "to help reduce the misfits and under usage of technology" . 'Tasks' refers to active participation in the activities within the environment, and 'Tools' are the system of tools needed for the student to address those tasks.

Consideration of the way these four areas overlap is an essential part of the evaluation process. Questions such as 'How does the environment affect the student?' and 'How is the task supported by the environment?' help to determine the optimal fit between student and technology. 

Click here for a comparison of the SETT, ETP, HTC, and ATC models.

HATT (Human Activity Assistive Technology Technology) Model

This model was developed to study human performance in tasks involving technology. It was developed "by human factors engineers and psychologists … to assist in the design and application of technology." It is used to describe the success of a human performing an activity in a given context or environment.

Human: the primary user. Their skills, needs, and interests are all taken into account. 

Activity: 3 main areas (self-care, work/school, and free time)

Context: physical surroundings, social and cultural contexts are all considered.

For further information, please click here.

Education Tech Points

This model was coauthored by Penny Reed and Gayl Bowser, two American professionals in the AT sphere. All products and publications by the two women are available here, and all proceeds are donated to the Coalition for Assistive Technology in Oregon and are used to purchase AT devices for children with disabilities in Oregon.

There are seven points in this model:

1. Consideration and Referral: the team discusses the student and their potential eligibility for AT.
2. Evaluation: Data is collected on the primary user by the team.
3. Trial Period(s): the student takes the recommended AT on a 'test drive'. The team evaluates the student as they explore the technology "until they find the device or combination of devices that meets their needs".
4. Plan Development: Yearly meetings are scheduled to evaluate the progress and plan for the year ahead. 
5. Implementation: The team monitors the student as they integrate the use of assistive technology into a their daily educational program.
6. Periodic Review: The team analyzes and discusses the student's progress and modifies as needed.
7. Transition: Preparation for beginning the next school year so that progress is continued.

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