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How do you do....it? Thread, Tech Plan - Special/Severe Needs in Technical; We're getting a special/severe needs department in the next year and I'll need to adjust our Tech Plan to include ...
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    jmair's Avatar
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    Tech Plan - Special/Severe Needs

    We're getting a special/severe needs department in the next year and I'll need to adjust our Tech Plan to include these kids. I was wondering how some of you addressed this issue in your tech plan. What was your goal, where does technology start and stop and generally any additional advice you could give would be extreamly helpful.

    Thanks

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    glennda's Avatar
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    It all depends on the nature of the special needs e.g if they are visually imparied then something like zoomtext for increasing the size of the information on the screen. We have one student with pretty much no movement at all and they have a special computer (not paid for by us i may add as i believe it was 19k!) which they use by eye movements its called Igaze.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Are you an LA school? We have a special needs dept but some of the children with very specific needs such as near-blindness have been provided with special equipment by the LA.

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    jmair's Avatar
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    I'm actually trying to find out how you guys might have it worded in your Tech Plan to cover these kids. Currently our Technology Plan only targets 'normal' kids, but we need to add a section for these kids also.

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    fiendishlyclever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Are you an LA school? We have a special needs dept but some of the children with very specific needs such as near-blindness have been provided with special equipment by the LA.
    I notice that equipment loans are being cut back by my LA as part of their cost cutting measures (assuming I've understood the blurb correctly) although it doesn't mention what is going to happen to this specialist equipment.

    I'm guessing that students with such a severe SEN will have a statement of special needs which should give you a starting point for accessibility requirements.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Your tech plan would have to be very general as you would have no idea what sort of issues the students may have from year to year - they will vary greatly, surely?

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    jmair (15th October 2010)

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    Your plan needs to allow users to be able to customise their desktop. In allowing users to do it themselves you are providing them with the facilities to change their work area based on their needs. For example allowing them to change screen resolution/apperance, using a magnifier etc. Some of this can be done through the OS but you may need to provide additional software/hardware (as mentioned) for some extreme cases.

    However, as witch has mentioned each pupil would have individual requirements so there isn't a one fit solution. This isn't just a tech problem by the way, your goal should be to make any course accessible to all pupils. You will need to work with the teachers who are creating resources to make them available online so that any pupil can change the background colour, font type/size etc. If you can work together you should be able to identify gaps your current solution has, and see if a change in working practice will reduce them. If there are still problems then you can see if there are any products available which can fill these gaps.

    Take a look here for some useful information. And if you want to look at some free solutions to get a better understanding of what is available the AccessApps is a good place to start.
    Last edited by penfold; 15th October 2010 at 09:35 AM.

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    jmair (15th October 2010)

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    jmair's Avatar
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    You're correct, it's going to something very general. "We will strive to provide individual technology needs blah blah.. " But if that's all that's needed then that's fine with me!
    Thanks guys.

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    You need something in there for exams. Ensure SEN (and to a lesser extent the exams officer) know that any special arrangements for internal / public exams need to communicated well in advance.

    I tend to wander down to SEN and quiz them in the lead-up to exams.

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