Technology Solutions for Employment
Creating accessibility through technology can take on many forms. From low tech solutions and smartphone apps to specialized equipment or an engineered design, technology solutions reduce disability related barriers and promote access at work and in the community.
Colorado Profile: From speech devices, to tablets and smartphones, Mikelle Learned has been a user of technology throughout her life.
Low and Mainstream Technology
The Job Accommodation Network features solutions by disability-type, including technology solutions. Think smartphones, tablets and virtual assistant artificial intelligence.
Rehabilitation engineering involves the design and build of more complex equipment, systems, or processes for individuals with disabilities.
Assistive Technology Device (AT)
An AT device is an item, piece of equipment, or product system and may be purchased commercially, modified, or customized.
Assistive Technology Resources
The Assistive Technology Clinic at the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering (CIDE) at the University of Colorado Denver provides a full array of AT services.
CIDE’s “Enhancing Employment Outcomes with Assistive Technology” project was accomplished through the collaborative partnership and support of the Colorado Office of Employment First. The purpose of this project was to provide individuals with disabilities, family members, service providers and other community members information and support about Assistive Technology (AT) to support successful transitions from school to Competitive Integrated Employment. Check out all of the great resources including recorded demonstrations of various low tech and high tech devices Here.
Selecting Assistive Technology
Smart selection of assistive technology typically involves a series of steps, often with an AT specialist:
- Defining the need
- Recommendations and review of AT solution options
- Trials of AT solution options
- Selecting the AT solution that meets the need
- AT Training as needed
Statewide Assistive Technology Augmentative and Alternative Communication (SWAAAC)
The Colorado Department of Education’s school-based SWAAAC teams provide multidisciplinary AT services to provide students with disabilities equal access to the curriculum and full participation in their education and classroom. There are over 60 participating school districts and 500 SWAAAC team members across the state of Colorado.
Check out this great Assistive Technology and Transition FAQ document that has been created in partnership between the Colorado Department of Education, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the University of Colorado Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering/SWAAAC around assistive technology access in secondary and postsecondary settings for students, family and educators. The document covers the following topics:
- Assessment of Assistive Technology needs
- Purchasing devices and loan bank
- Working with Assistive Technology specialists
- Responsibilities of staff
- Transition services and transferring equipment
Advancements in Technology Solutions and Technology First
Through public policy, outreach, research, and conferences, the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities is a leader in the advancement of technologies for people with disabilities in Colorado. The institute is leading early efforts for Colorado to fully embrace and expand access to technology for people with disabilities by becoming a Technology First state.