UK undergraduate students who experience disability can apply for support with their studies from the UK Government's Disabled Students' Allowance. The scheme itself provides a range of technologies that seek to ‘level the playing field’ for students experiencing barriers to learning as well as provide assistive technology training and study skills support. This is all great but what happens once all the training is delivered and the student is struggling to remember how to use their assistive technology? This is where the provision of an e-learning platform is essential. What is this? Read on to find out more and find out how to get it.
Why should a student with neurodiversity consider Assistive Technology in the first place?
The neurodiversity championing, training, and coaching organisation , Genius Within, describes neurodiversity in the following way:
“Neurodiversity is the concept that all humans vary in terms of our neurocognitive ability. Everyone has both talents and things they struggle with. However, for some people the variation between those strengths and challenges is more pronounced, which can bring advantage but can also be disabling.
Neurodivergent people tend to find some things very easy and other things incredibly hard. This usually leads to an inconsistent performance at school or work.
Neurodiversity can be a competitive advantage when the individuals are in the right environment, making use of their strengths, instead of constantly trying to overcome challenges.”
Within education, a student who is neurodivserse may find that studying plays to their weaknesses and that the effort to manage the challenges of studying in this context is physically and emotionally draining.
Neurodiversities include Dyslexia, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, poor mental health, Autism, Dyspraxia, and Dyscalculia.
All the above neurodiversities meet the UK Government’s definition of disability and as such are eligible to apply for support that involves the provision of specialist software that can be used to overcome some of the educational challenges of being neurodiverse. The aim is to unlock educational potential by helping a student become more autonomous, more engaged, more confident, and more productive with their studying.
Initially, a successful application to the DSA will result in the provision of assistive technology, training for that technology as well as study skills training but sometimes it can be difficult to fully process the assistive technology training and the student can find that they forget how to use the technology and then risk not using it effectively. It is then a wasted opportunity for them as well as a waste of resource. Increasingly, students are now being given access to e-learning platforms such as FindMyFlow to bridge that gap between attending assistive technology training and then remembering later on what they had learned.
What is an assistive technology e-learning platform?
An assistive technology e-learning platform should help the student to recap on their AT training, refresh their knowledge and develop positive strategies for learning along their academic journey.
The following video gives an overview of how this particular e-learning platform works:
The delivery of assistive technology and the respective AT training may feel like it all arrives at once and perhaps not at the time of most pertinent need. With challenges with slow processing and working memory being common with neurodiversity, it is possible that some neurodiverse students will need a ‘training top-up’ on their assistive technology provision over time.
At Aventido we highly recommend the use of an e-learning platform such as FindMyFlow to students who find themselves in this position. FindMyFlow more specifically can guide the student in how to use their assistive technology for specific ‘workflows’ as well as provide that ‘top-up’ that can be engaged with at the time of need.
Want to know more about FindMyFlow? Click on the banner below.