I completed my observation at the State Center. This is a state facility for adult individuals that have a wide array of disabilities. This is a state funded Mental Health/Mental Retardation facility. Because this is a state funded program, many of the individuals have top of the line assistive technology. They are afforded up to date equipment because they have very intense ISP (Individual Support Plan) meetings to ensure that these state residence are well taken care of and they have the best quality of life. Most of the individuals I observed had severe/profound mental retardation. There was also some with Down syndrome, TBI, deaf, blind, and FAS.
I observed many assistive technology devices being used every day. Some of the devices were low tech and some were high tech. The low tech devices that I saw in use were adaptive spoons and forks, bed rails, assistive walking devices, and picture boards. Another low tech device, that I thought was very interesting, was the textured swatches on dorms. These swatches had different textures to assist an individual that was visually impaired find their bedroom. I thought that this was a very simple idea that helped a visually impaired person very much. They would not have to ask for assistance in finding their room, which made life a little bit more independent for them. The high tech devices that I saw in use were Tech Talks, switches, wheelchairs with many attachments, feeding tubes and machines, and adapted computers. Of all of the high tech devices the switches were the most prevalent. They had just about every appliance connected to a switch. They also had a great deal of toys that were switches. My favorite was the Sensory Plate Switch. This switch had a mirror, lights, beads, and music all in one. I saw four individuals use this high tech switch and they all seemed to enjoy it.
One of the problems, with the technology, I observed was the poor training of the staff for using the assistive...