By: Keegan Newberry
Technology has become part of every aspect of our daily lives, from electric toothbrushes to smart TVs. For individuals with developmental disabilities, skill attainment in this area can support increased independence, community participation, and enhanced communication.
This summer, we had the opportunity to offer iPad and assistive technology classes for residents taught by our technology program worker, Amy.
Each class is individualized to its participants, presented in 1:1 or a small group format as appropriate, and may cover a wide variety of skills ranging from simple, fine motor and touch interaction activities to complex communication and task-completion practice using assistive technology supports. Residents at our Arlington residence have even incorporated iPad technology into their cooking program as recipe support.
One of the more unique programs being offered is a weekly social, interactive iPad games class. This class is offered in a large group format and brings learners together from our various sites to practice skills through organized iPad games, modelled social interactions using assistive technology, and some healthy competition for motivation. Feedback on these classes has been extremely positive and the impact Amy has had with these classes is evident in the enjoyment and engagement seen in its participants.
With the rapid pace at which technology advances, it is important that learning remains a continuous process to ensure growth in our own skill development and for those that we support. Through the continuation of these classes, our hope is to maintain this educational momentum, encouraging personal skill development and enjoyment of learning for both staff and residents.