Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Technology Tuesday

Today’s Technology Tuesday post comes from Erika Schroeder, Communications Teacher at Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department. 

Tech Lab Touch Screen Offers Options for CLS Participants 

Many of the individuals we serve here at CORE/Labor Source (CLS) with needs for support in communication already have access to a personal communication device. This device travels to and from CLS; at home for conversation with family and friends; then back to CLS for participation in class and work shifts. Some of the classes provided here are for device acquisition skills. One of the problems we have encountered with a traveling device is it sometimes won’t make it to one location or the other. Or, occasionally it’ll make it and will not be charged, or is experiencing technical difficulties. When this happens, we have to think outside the “dyna” box and see what resources are available on site.

One of the resources used in the computer lab is the touch screen computer monitor. In the lab we have three working touch screens. In the absence of an individual’s personal communication device (or in addition to it), this can serve as a great opportunity to practice fine motor skills by using a pointed finger to make choices and practice transferrable skills such as object identification. For example, on one client’s personal communication device, there are pictures of her favorite movie characters to flip through. On her device she has a one direction arrow button to go to the next page. She has been doing that independently and successfully for a while now. When using the touch screen monitor in the computer lab instead of her own device, we have access to the internet which means there is a wider selection of images to look through. In addition, the arrows provided by the internet go in both directions which create more choices, as well as allowing her to practice a different range of motion.

The touch screen monitor has been invaluable when working with clients. In our lab we use HP CompaqL2105tm, a 21 inch wide screen monitor, which works with single or multi-touch selection. This resource has made it possible for continued practice and education when developing communication, technology, and fine motor skills with the individuals here.

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