Webinar: Technology and Employment

 

 

 

 

 

audio version (opens in a new tab)

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing with my webinars theme, today I am sharing a webinar I attended in 2020 pertaining to youth  with disabilities. It occurred on 3 days, 90 minutes per day, and  was presented by the

“Yes! Center”.

The webinar is entitled “Technology, Communication & Employment for Youth with Disabilities”. Here is a

link to webinar recordings and materials.

In this blog post, I will summarize what I learned from the 3-day webinar.

 

Session 1, on October 15, 2020, focused on communication from an academic standpoint. It is important to communicate succinctly and sufficiently. People with disabilities need the same access and rights as everyone else. People with disabilities are sometimes marginalized. To engage with people, motivational material is important. Modeling what is expected can help with engagement. Part 2 occurred the following week.

 

Session 2, on October 22, focused on the importance of cultural competency and technology. Specialized job skills and sufficient support systems are important for the workforce. Time management can help an employee be efficient. Cultural competency is an important skill, which means understanding cultures including disability culture. Emotional intelligence can help people comprehend the emotions of others. It is also important to consider technology’s effects.

 

Technology affects our lives in various ways. Inaccessible technology can have a negative effect on the disability community. Technology should be used for positive use to drive innovation. According to the presenter, people with disabilities do not use technology as much as those without disabilities. Examples: They have less access to smartphones and the Internet. The main barrier to access is equal opportunity. A lack of digital literacy (knowledge of technology) and knowledge translation (how we learn to use technology) are also negative factors. Universal design was also discussed.

 

Universal design is critical for equal technology, meaning people can use software or services whether they have a disability or not. Technology can help with skill development. Ultimately, it is people using technology and their experiences using it which matter most. Part 3 of the webinar occurred several weeks later.

 

Part 3, which occurred on November 12, focused primarily on the perspective of someone with a disability who uses an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. To be successful, AAC users need to use the technology at as early an age as possible in a variety of settings. some AAC users choose  speech-generating devices.  Other people prefer a letter board. Each person has the right to communicate in the way which works for them. The theme I identified after hearing all 3 sessions is that  technology can help facilitate and increase communication for people with disabilities.

 

Question for readers: After reading my summary of the webinar, which points made are you interested in learning more about? I will return next week with another article.

 

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