Assistive technology plan, denoted as ATP, is applied to children or rather learners with physical impairment and is described as any system, piece of equipment, or device that aids to compensate, work around or bypass learning difficulties by applying them. For some time now researchers have shown the efficacy or rather the efficiency of using AT in teaching persons with learning disabilities. This program does not eliminate or cure learning problems, although it can assist kids to attain their potential as it permits them to capitalize much on their strengths and avoid areas of complexity. For instance, a learner who has problems with reading although has amicable listening capabilities can do well from listening to taped books (Stanberry & Raskind, n.d.).
Jane is a grade six student in a nearby school, but unfortunately for her, she suffered Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) when she was aged two and this condition has been a challenge to her throughout her life. This disease affects most of her joints thus she had to incorporate a wheelchair or crunches to enhance her mobility.
Academically, Jane is an above average student, but being late to school and sometimes being absent for even weeks has been affecting her greatly. She is a quick learner, fast to ask questions and always eager to learn new things each day. Though she is very active student, her communication and mobility is sometimes impaired. Sometimes it becomes hard for her to point at things using her hands as she has difficulties in raising them due to the joint and limb swelling. Concerning movement, most of the time she uses her wheelchair or the crunches to move around the school as her lower limbs are affected by the JRA (Stanberry & Raskind, n.d.).
Socially, it’s a bit challenging for her to move around with other students and also in classroom environment as many students see her as a lesser or rather challenged kid thus looking down upon her. This is quite traumatizing to her but with the help of her class teacher she manages to pull through all that. Access to co-curricular activities poses another difficulty as she is to a great extent physically incapacitated to play with other students in the playgrounds as she is in a wheelchair. Her family is largely involved in preparing her to attend school, bringing her to school and coming for her in the afternoon when classes end (Stanberry & Raskind, n.d.).
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One major challenge for Jane is the long sitting in one place while in class as this exacerbates pain in her body. This pain may cause her concentrate less to lectures hence missing on important lessons being taught; to counter this, she should be given the freedom to move around the class and stretch from time to time. Also the tutor in the class should support short activity every 25-30 minutes. Also she has to be provided with appropriate work station or rather tables with fitting height to avoid straining while writing.
Another difficulty Jane experiences when writing as her fingers are affected by JRA. This can make her not take notes, therefore the teacher has to allow her to tape-record the lectures, assist her to work with other student partners during lengthy writing quizzes. Also incorporation of high-tech tools like computers would greatly help her to type her work instead of writing. Applying low-tech instruments like pencil grips to help in tiny motor control and aid in reducing ache from clumsily clutching writing devices is also of great help to Jane. During arithmetic, Jane should be offered a large-key buttoned calculator since the one with small buttons gives her difficulties while using it (Stanberry & Raskind, n.d.).
Socializing is a challenge to her as many students see her as a disabled kid; therefore it is hard to interact with her. This lack of interacting with her peers in class causes her to feel neglected and stigmatized, hence the teacher has to take the initiative and talk to the whole class regarding Jane’s situation so that they accept her as their fellow classmate. Seemingly, the teacher also should start class discussion groups and through them Jane would interact with her peers and they come to know each other (Stanberry & Raskind, n.d.).
Mobility between classes is impaired as Jane tends to experience stiffness, hence lengthening the time to move from one classroom to the other. Another barrier to access and be in class in time is presence of stairs connecting classes. To solve this, Jane should have access to the elevators or ramps built alongside staircases for her to use them to access classes. Also the teacher responsible should allocate a learner aide to help her carry books and drive her around classrooms (Ligon, 2012).
In co-curricular activities it’s hard for her to participate, hence loosing on her physical fitness. Specialized PE instructors should be deployed to help Jane in the field. Also, teachers coming up with alternative activities like swimming as it helps to strengthen her limbs immensely.