The title ‘assistive technologist’ (AT) has a number of different interpretations: The title ‘assistive technologist’ (AT) has a number of different interpretations



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The title ‘assistive technologist’ (AT) has a number of different interpretations:

  • The title ‘assistive technologist’ (AT) has a number of different interpretations:

    • One is Clinical, and refers to ‘clinical rehab engineers’
    • This is common in the NHS
    • Beaumont College and the DART project uses a somewhat different definition:
    • If anyone wants the sample job description, person spec and role profile please contact me
    • This job is more education focussed, and as such the post holders:
      • Ideally should have a teaching qualification, minimum 7307/7407/PTTLS or equivalent, and preferably a PGCE/cert ed
      • Be educated to degree level in an IT related subject or have equivalent skills and knowledge gained from a suitable setting
      • We want ‘people’ people who are technically literate


The Assistive Technologist

  • The Assistive Technologist

    • This role was developed during the Wheeltop Project at Beaumont College
    • Funded by BT from 2007-2010
    • Integrate off the shelf Tablet PC technology in place of dedicated communication aids
    • Reduced the cost of the hardware and increased flexibility of solutions
    • The technologist role was the most important development from the Wheeltop Project


The Assistive Technologist

  • The Assistive Technologist

        • Sits at the interface of people and technology
    • Works as part of a trans-disciplinary team, which includes OT, SLT, teachers, social care staff
    • A new ‘hybrid’ role that does not replace any existing role
    • The technologist becomes the ‘chief integrator’ of the assistive technology solution provided to the student




Caseload allocation, all students have a named technologist

  • Caseload allocation, all students have a named technologist

  • Each technologist is allocated a number of teachers/sessions to support

  • Preparation of resources for SLT / Teachers, that could be student specific or subject specific

  • Implementation of bespoke or customised hardware and software solutions

  • Research and development in line with all of the above

  • Project work (more soon)































2010/12 DART1, an LSIS funded project

  • 2010/12 DART1, an LSIS funded project

    • Beaumont College and National Star College worked with 8 colleges, in a ‘deep support’ capacity
    • Beaumont and Star are ISC’s : Independent Specialist Colleges
    • One of those DART1 colleges was Henshaws
  • Now we are running DART2, a JISC Advance funded project:

    • Beaumont College, National Star College, Henshaws College, Colleges Scotland, NATSPEC, JISC all working together
    • 10 deep support colleges, 2 in Scotland
    • 3 workshops, delivered twice, once in Birmingham, once in Stirling


The DART project seeks to:

  • The DART project seeks to:

  • Improve AT practice in the sector

  • Enable the replication of the innovative Assistive Technologist role

  • Produce AT case studies for the sector

  • The project is achieving this through:

  • ‘Deep Support’ for ten providers

    • A Workshop series
    • A Natspec sponsored research project


Following an application and shortlisting process that was overseen by JISC TechDis 10 Colleges were selected

  • Following an application and shortlisting process that was overseen by JISC TechDis 10 Colleges were selected

  • Applications for the ‘deep support’ element were heavily oversubscribed, with approximately three times more applications than places available

  • This indicates that there is a large unmet need in the sector.

  • Unsuccessful applicants received priority booking for the workshop series. After the priority booking period, places will are allocated on a first come, first served basis









The technology strategy in a College stands or falls based on:

  • The technology strategy in a College stands or falls based on:

    • Relationships between teams
    • The College Structure
    • Relationship of the IT/Technology team with:
          • Teachers
          • Therapists (where present)
          • Supporting staff
          • People in the AT role


We have used income from projects / grants / consultancy etc. to build the service described today

  • We have used income from projects / grants / consultancy etc. to build the service described today

  • The assistive technologist role that works within the context of the AAC COP trans-disciplinary team model has had a significant impact on service delivery

  • This is evidenced in our Ofsted reports:

          • “Since the inspection, the college has increased further the priority it gives to the use of technology to support learning. Technology specialists have an allocated number of learners to work with and they spend more time in the classroom to ensure that maximum benefit is derived from the equipment.” Ofsted 2012
  • Improved OTL grades

  • Feedback from both students and staff has been good

  • In short we can most certainly provide the ‘bells and whistles’ through the service described today

  • And we are now assisting others to do just that through projects such as DART and it’s successors







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