As our firm strives for excellence in the assistive technology consulting, teaching and support industry, we run across one common thread amongst those struggling to learn their technology. That thread is that they are afraid of it in one form or another.
As a teacher of access technology this scares even me because often times the instructor never picks up on what the clients barrier to understanding is and the student leaves there class even more frustrated than what they were when they started that day.
I personally was consulting a woman remotely, answering her questions and moving through the session at a pretty good clip until she stopped me dead in my tracks. She said “I don’t press buttons or venture out of my comfort zone because I’m afraid something will break and I will not know how to fix it”.
This is something that we find is most often the problem with the blind and their use of assistive technology. It’s frightening to me because the state, the student or a business has paid for this client to master these skills and they come out of a “completed” course with a certificate of completion and no clue how to effectively use there new shiny tools to build a successful platform for themselves.
We can all agree that technology for the blind has improved over the years and that Apple and others have made game changing strides in this area, but even with the ease of access and information at our fingertips individuals still walk away more confused and immobilized as ever.
Fedora Outlier LLC has a way to look at teaching (not training) in order to assist in remedying this paralyzed state and a way to empower the client to gain mastery over their technology and furthermore their lives.
We focus on what we call key result areas (K.R.A’s). These key result areas are realized early on in our intake/initial assessment and helps the instructor greatly with their specific lesson plans and modules. The formula is simple, we focus on the students strengths and build from there. If a client knows how to turn on his or her device and can do a few keystrokes that demonstrates they have a clue, we take it from there and find out how they visualize the technology and themselves using it.
Visualization of the technology from the clients perspective is a key indicator of how they will view future instructions. If they view Numbers as a spread sheet that they will never use or iPhoto as an application for sighted photographers then we can aid in changing this perception.
Once we know what paralyzes the student we can break down those walls and strengthen there knowledge of how to use technology and assistive technology hand and hand and remove the fears that hinders them.
You don’t have to take our word for it, just stand outside of a assistive technology class and take a survey of the students and you’ll see for yourself that most all students are afraid of technology, afraid even more of assistive technology and this behavior is never properly identified or addressed at any point of the “training”.
Fedora Outlier LLC WILL provide high quality teaching at a level that is unheard of in the market and produce a product that is BETTER THAN EXCELLENT!!! Don’t be paralyzed, be empowered!