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What challenges face special schools this year?

As a colleague also working in the AT area I wonder if you would contribute to a discussion on the above topic. Money is always scarce . Training is a key component to successful AT. Devices are often expensive . So what are your priorities?

Replies

  • Hello Myles,

    Thanks for your question, it's a really interesting one. As an AT who works in a school for children aged 3 to 19 funding is thankfully in place therefore that side of things is considered taken care of (depending of course on the cooperation of the particular learning authority).

    My very first priority at the beginning of a new school year is assessment, it is vital that all our students have the right pieces of equipment to enable them to access the curriculum. I work in conjunction with speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists as well as school teachers and staff to make sure in the first few weeks of the school year we know what the students need. 

    Then of course it is a matter of distributing the kit if the school has a stock of it, or as I mentioned above, working with local authorities to get the more tailored and expensive equipment (such as communication aids). 

    Then once all that is in place onto training. As you said, training is key. I am very fortunate at Craig y Parc school, all the staff are eager to keep on top of developing technologies, so they're always great when it comes to training. 

    So in short, I would go for:
    1. Assessment (who needs what)
    2. Equipment (distribute equipment to students, apply for more expensive pieces from particular LA)
    3. Training (Staff, family)
    4. Regular check ups, is the equipment still suitable? Did the staff understand the training? Are there any gaps to fill?
    I would be interested to hear your views, what are your priorities?

    Thanks for your question and I look forward to hearing from you.


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