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The New Three Rs in Assistive Technology for Post Secondary School Student Success

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Approximately two hundred years ago there was the premise that reading, writing and arithmetic, often referred to as the “3 Rs”, were the fundamental necessities of a skills-based educational system. Building upon this foundation, there has been ongoing strategic movement toward our present day educational system. Well-defined pedagogical practices have further delineated the understanding of requisite and knowledge translation skills in the post-secondary school setting. At the same time, the landscape of mainstream and assistive technology is changing at an ever rapid pace, with ongoing integration of functions and applications. This presentation will provide an overview to a clinical and educational framework that demonstrates the evaluation and provision of assistive technology supports at the post-secondary school level for persons who use augmentative and alternative communication [PWUAAC], thereby achieving the new “3Rs”-revolutionary, reliable and responsive. At the forefront of the dialogue, it is invaluable to garner the perspective of the student. It is important to explore the question of how the addition of education based technologies will be integrated into the current foundation of augmentative and alternative communication strategies for PWUAAC. A mapping process has been developed to support assistive technology practitioners in facilitating knowledge translation for current and future technologies, thereby providing students with optimal recommendations. A matrix illustrates a variable combination of continuum-based technology solutions to meet individualized educational goals across environments. Opportunities and reference materials are available and disseminated to assist students in how to best incorporate peer and staff supports into their educational plan.


Kathleen Raum    
Grand River Hospital


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