Technically Speaking: Improving Student Communication and Outcomes Through Assistive Technology

with Sama Bellomo, Rehabilitation Technologist

Picture of a brain as circuit board

Technology exists to help humans perform functions. We use technology to learn new facts online and become informed, to relax with our families and be entertained, to communicate, and to do work. Assistive Technology (AT) is an expansion on that idea, where we use technology to adapt some functional difference that is not customary to the population at large. That is, Assistive Technology exists to help people with challenges do the same things that people without those challenges do, by doing them in different ways.

We use technology to both adapt the world to the person (e.g., wheelchair ramps), and to adapt the person to the world (e.g., social story videos). Within the school system technology can level the playing field and increase student outcomes. Often, it’s just a matter of thinking about standard technologies in new ways. Other times, specialized hardware and software can prove invaluable to the learning process. Getting technology supports implemented into the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and into the classroom are two separate steps that must both be taken boldly.

Please join us on an adventure to:

  • Define key terms and communicate with a “Tech-Positive” attitude
  • Learn about AT for a range of disability types
  • Preview common AT hardware and software titles
  • Explore how common technologies can be used in adaptive ways and why they should be considered in AT planning
  • Investigate the value of including the student on the IEP Meeting
  • Learn about how Rehabilitation Technologists help students decide what technologies are appropriate
  • Learn about collaboration methods and why collaboration is invaluable
  • Discover methods to improve student buy-in to using AT and overcoming technophobia
  • Learn more about how AT is procured

About the Presenter: Sama Bellomo is an IT Professional and Rehabilitation Technologist with over fifteen years of experience in the technology field. Sama currently provides Assistive Technology Assessments and Training for the Maryland Division of Rehabilitative Services, as well as Autism Services supports. Hobbies include Adaptive Martial Arts and writing.


Saturday, March 24th, 2018
9am – noon


John Carroll Elementary
1400 Nalley Terrace
Hyattsville, MD 20785

Register here

We look forward to seeing you!