Helen Hayes Hospital
Route 9W, West Haverstraw
NY 10993
Assistive Technology for Schools Age Children - Helen Hayes Hospital New York
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CRT – Assistive Technology for Schools

The Center for Rehabilitation Technology provides a variety of assistive technology services which can be tailored to the needs of school children with disabilities. The focus of these services is to identify and provide adaptive interventions which reduce the barriers to academic progress related to a child’s sensory, physical, or learning disability

Augmentative/Alternative Communication

This program provides services to students who have a disability or impairment of expressive communication. AAC services attempt to compensate permanently or temporarily for those with severe speech-language and writing impairments. For young children, we design AAC interventions to increase communication opportunities and teach specific communication and social interaction skills and also to encourage communication readiness. The approaches taken need to be integrated throughout a child’s educational program. These approaches should include: evaluation, implementation, coordination of technologies and of the service providers.

Computer Access

Computers and tablets have become indispensable in many academic programs. For persons with disabilities, computers and tablets can be an excellent assistive device to compensate for impairments that cause individuals to struggle in an academic setting. The assistive technology professionals in the CRT have the knowledge and skill to design a customized educational plan to assist individuals in using computers and tablets to achieve their full academic potential. Therapy staff Is able to work directly with school districts and teachers to help include the use of adaptive computer technology in the classroom in a way that is simple and efficient. Adaptations may include software or hardware solutions selected specifically to meet each students’ unique needs.

Classroom Seating and Workspace Accommodation

For those students with disabilities which compromise balance and the ability to sit in a standard classroom chair, it is important they be provided with a seating system/desk that offers proper body support and easy access to their books and materials. The ergonomics of their particular school work environment is critical to maximizing their potential with regard to academic performance. For children who use a wheelchair for mobility, ergonomic considerations involved the determination of fixtures and workstation adaptations which maximize access to materials. CRT clinicians will assess these ergonomic needs for the particular student, and develop options for addressing them in a practical, cost effective manner.

Environmental Accommodation

This includes any change to a student’s tools or educational environment that will accommodate a disability and allow him or her to successfully function. This would encompass architectural modifications such as ramps and widened doorways for wheelchair users, rearranging work spaces to make them more functional, instructions and reminders for those with memory difficulties, assess to laboratories, gyms and all other environments.