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Fiona is a student in her first year of a civil engineering course. Fiona is dyslexic and has difficulties in reading course material and in carrying out assignment work. Her dyslexia was not diagnosed until her last year in secondary education.
Fiona has used computers, including the internet, at home and for her education on a daily basis before coming to the Athlone Institute of Technology, but has stated that it was, sometimes, a slow process. Fiona has accessed information in relation to assistive technologies from the Disability Officer and the AT technician in the Athlone Institute of Technology. Before going to college she had no information on assistive technology and she feels there is a lack of information available, particularly in the primary and second level education.
She will require the use of assistive technology to complete her education and will also require it in the future in the workplace. Fiona feels that AT has improved her quality of life and helped increase her self confidence.
A scribe is provided when Fiona is sitting exams. The scribe reads the question so that there is no misinterpretation and Fiona will write the answer. In addition to this, she is allowed additional exam time. Without the use of assistive technology Fiona would be able to attend college and take part in the education process, however, the potential for misinterpretation of information would be a constant issue. In the college a number of lecturers use larger print and also spend more time with Fiona to explain educational material.
Fiona's favourite AT, is a Mind Mapping software package. This was supplied to Fiona by the college. This mind mapping package helps Fiona to organise concepts and her ideas when working on assignments. She uses this package on a daily basis in college. The AT technician in the Athlone Institute of Technology provided a number of training sessions over a two week period in the use of this software. Fiona felt she was competent in the use of the package after this training. She also stated that if problems arose training on request was available to her and she prefers training in a one to one setting.
Fiona's challenge as an engineering student is the requirement to use a technical software package called Auto CAD. She does not use assistive technology when using Auto CAD and this can give rise to some problems.
Fiona has recently been supplied with reading and writing software, which has predictive text, a facility to scan in books and an engineering function.
Fiona believes that knowledge of assistive technologies needs to be promoted among employers.
|Scanning pen (generic)
|Software dictionaries and thesauri.