Davis County Student Finds Success with Assistive Technology

Ellie Hamilton, Assistive Technology Specialist

Stock Photo. No photo available of Wendy.

Stock Photo. No photo available of Wendy.

Wendy is a third grader at Davis County Elementary school in Bloomfield Iowa. Wendy is Amish. She has Cerebral Palsy (CP) and is in a wheelchair. Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth (Mayo Clinic, 2016).

What AT Equipment is being used:

Wendy is using a clock communicator where words are attached and Wendy can choose a word using the Gooseneck wobble switch. The Davis County team completed the SETT (student, environment, tasks, & tools) form. Next, they did a trial with the the clock communicator and gooseneck wobble switch by borrowing the items from the AEA Media Center. The team took data and determined the items were a good fit for Wendy.

After documenting the assistive technology items for Wendy on the IEP (individualized education plan) on tab B and tab F (AT IEP Guidance from the procedures manual ), the Davis County School District purchased two clock communicators and one wobble switch for her. One clock communicator stays downstairs in the special education setting and the other stays upstairs in the general education setting. Wendy uses both her hand and her head to activate the wobble switch. She decides which works best for her when she is using the clock communicator and wobble switch.

Wendy is also using the Alternative pencil. Her special education teacher uses this resource to complete the requirements for ELI (Early Literacy Implementation). Wendy needed a tool with access to all twenty-six letters of the alphabet and for alternate assessment.  The Alternative pencil assists Wendy to have access to the letters to begin spelling and writing words. She can identify her written name and knows all of her letters and letter sounds.

What was she doing before?

Wendy was using an informal eye gaze with two choices before trying new assistive technology tools. Her paraeducator and teachers held up two cards and she would make a choice with her eyes. The team notes this method was faster than waiting for her to activate her switch.

When she uses the switch Wendy is more motivated, independent, and has more than two choices. Only having two choices limited Wendy academically and with her peers. 

Now Wendy can sequence, make more than one choice at a time, participate, and interact with her peers. Wendy has demonstrated her assistive technology tools for her classmates so they know how to communicate with her.

Thank you to Wendy’s dedicated team!

Teachers:

  • Mrs. Charlotte Followwill, Special Educator
  • Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Thompson, Regular Education Teachers

Support Staff: Therese Sharp, para-educator

AEA Staff:

  • Joe Hudson, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Marty Hudson, Occupational Therapist
  • Christine Reigel, Speech-Language Pathologist
    Tammy Greiner, Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
  • Amanda Steinbach, Physical Therapist
  • Melissa Grooms, Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Robin Larrington, Special Education Consultant
  • Kibben Rumohr, School Social Worker

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