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Technology Assessment: Tips, Tools, and Resources

This is the 2nd of a two-part series on AT Assessment, containing resources, tips and tricks to help you conduct a meaningful AT Assessment.

In the first article in this two part series entitled Technology Assessment: Components of a Meaningful Technology Assessment, we looked at reasons to conduct an AT assessment and components of meaningful evaluation.

This installment will focus on tools and resources you can utilize when assessing students as well as some sample assessments that may help you put together your own assessments.

Published Resources

Assistive Technology for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired is available on Amazon. Note: The updated version of this book is Access Technology for Blind and Low Vision Accessibility by Dr. Ting Siu and Ike Presley. This is a comprehensive guide to assessment in the area of assistive technology. Though the book was published nearly ten years ago, the principles are still much the same as they were then.

This free publication from the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative (WATI) is a free chapter by chapter download.

CRC Press published a book entitled Assistive Technology Assessment Handbook (also available on Amazon.com).  Though this book is not specific to individuals with visual impairment, it is a good overall resource for various types of assistive technology for students with various types of disabilities.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep up with our professional journals!  JBVI (the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness) and AccessWorld.

Online Resources

Teachingvisuallylimpaired.com has a couple of nice resources.  Their page on Assistive Technology Assessment has a data collection sheet as well an accessible PDF entitled Vision Aids Evaluation.

The Texas School for the Blind has a comprehensive list of resources and checklists.  Some are older than others, but many continue to be useful.

Perkins School for the Blind’s page Teaching Assistive Technology to Students with Visual Impairments has some good general resources, links, and useful information for TVIs on a variety of AT subjects.

Self-Created Resources

Once you’ve done a few AT assessments of your own, you may realize that no one checklist is what you’re looking for.  And that’s totally OK! That’s when it’s time to start creating your own personalized checklists and assessment materials.

For example, I spent several weeks picking the best material from the resources listed and compiled my own checklist.  It is EXTREMELY comprehensive and covers a variety of areas because assessment is a huge part of my job as an AT Specialist.

This document is NOT designed to be administered in its entirety…choosing which areas pertain to the student being assessed is the most effective use of the tool.

Feel free to use and redistribute this assessment in either the Docs or Sheets version.

Sample Assistive Technology Assessment

The samples I’ve included are based on real assessments I have conducted.  Names and other identifying information have been redacted.

Also, please note that the following assessment samples are only examples and there are a variety of ways to put together AT assessments.

Conclusion

This article contains a lot of information and I hope you find it useful.  It looks overwhelming, and it can feel that way at first, but as with anything else, the more experience you have with doing AT assessments, the more comfortable you will feel.  Your methods and materials will change over time, and that’s perfectly OK. As technology constantly evolves, your materials and methods must follow suit to continue to be current.

Do you have any favorite AT assessment tools?  Any advice for conducting assessments? Please share in the comments below.

By Snowflake_tvi

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