Assistive Tech 'Lifeline' for MT Students with Disabilities During Pandemic
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
MISSOULA, Mont. -- Technology from the University of Montana will provide a big assist to students living with disabilities as the school year begins.
Within the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, the MonTECH program provides assistive technology to people across the state. Molly Kimmel, the program director, said assistive technology can be any device that makes life easier, from eyeglasses to eye-gaze-activated equipment. MonTECH provides free, 30-day loans of its equipment, and Kimmel said they've been stocking up in preparation for schools with remote and hybrid learning models.
"We just wanted to make sure that we had enough iPads and tablets, and telepresence robots and things like that, to meet the needs of some of these students who might be viewing school from home instead of in person," she said.
Kimmel said the issue with some of this technology is the lack of broadband internet in rural areas. So, MontTECH is adding hot spots to its inventory as well this month.
Michelle Allen, an assistive technology specialist with MonTECH, said remote learning in the spring was eye-opening for many parents.
"I think a lot of people didn't realize how important these things were until they started teaching their child at home, and really seeing where the breakdown was," she said.
Allen said this is where MonTECH steps in to help parents, and Kimmel added that it's a joy to see their technology work for someone.
"When you see someone connect with the right piece of technology, it is one of those beautiful, lightbulb moments," she said. "It can be completely life-changing when the right thing is introduced."
She said MonTECH plans to host multiple webinars for teachers this fall to showcase the tools available through the program.
get more stories like this via email
This is the last weekend to get involved in a photo competition designed to encourage Montanans to explore the wilderness with their pets. There …
In a new poll, about a quarter of Hispanic students in post-high school education and training programs report feeling discriminated against…
New Yorkers are preparing for an impending government shutdown. State officials are worried about how it could impact the work state agencies have …
Advocates are drawing attention to systemic racism in farming across North Carolina and the nation. The National Farm Worker Ministry is hosting its …
Researchers have found the amount of land affected by saltwater intrusion on the Delmarva Peninsula has dramatically increased in recent years…
This weekend marks the kickoff of National Bullying Prevention Month. Those raising awareness hope schools in South Dakota and elsewhere work toward …
The arrival of fall has farmers transitioning to the harvest season, but what if some gathered their crops with rows of solar panels right alongside …
A new report finds more than half of the sewage facilities in Idaho had pollution violations in 2022. The sixth annual analysis by the Idaho …