Computer assessments involve a fully trained Occupational Therapist (OT) working with the student and professionals to recommend some computer equipment and/or software that might help the student to communicate and record appropriately.
To request a computer assessment please use the referral form and select ‘computer assessment’ from the suggested resources and strategies.
Computing and assistive technology has great potential in providing access for learners who find it very difficult to record their work using conventional pen and paper. Assistive Technology and computing mean that there are now other options that can be used across all key stages. Effective integration of technology into the classroom, and across the curriculum can reduce the barriers to achievement, and help pupils who find it difficult to read or write access the curriculum, and complete work at a level that evidences their learning rather than their limitations.
Handwriting is a complex process requiring the integration of many processes including visual motor perception, neuro-muscular abilities and motor components. Cognitive and social emotional factors such as confidence and motivation also influence the pupil’s abilities. Writing by hand can therefore be a very daunting task for many pupils throughout the age range in our schools. As a result they typically produce work that does not reflect their verbal answers in class. Assistive technology can help alleviate this so that pupils are able to focus on the content of the written work rather than the difficulty in producing legible handwriting.
A computing assessment with the SENDAT Service aims to provide schools with advice and support about ways they might use technology to maximise a pupils independence in recording and access to the curriculum.
Initial assessment will take place in the mainstream school or at the SENDAT office in Bury St Edmunds, and will be followed up with a written report and recommendations. A follow up visit to evaluate progress and support implementation in the classroom is offered approximately half a term later.
SENDAT Outreach have worked with the local authority to develop the following grading system for computer referrals.
Computer assessment matrix
Description of student need
Student has a diagnosis of physical disability e.g. cerebral palsy, neuro-muscular conditions.
Student has a physical difficulty
Hypermobile with other complex issues e.g. dyslexia, Irlens Syndrome , DCD
Difficulties with writing and recording (not at age appropriate level)
Student is working at age appropriate level but unable to record enough using hand writing
Student has global developmental delay
Those graded 1-3 are eligible for a SENDAT Outreach Computer assessment
Those graded 4-5 do not fit within the core offer of the outreach service commissioned by the local authority. SENDAT is able to offer computer assessments through Outreach + our traded service.
in the core service there are usually two sessions per referral ‚ assessment and follow up
In some cases a third session maybe offered for training if its related to a specific referral. This may be grouped with other schools. Other training would be charged under ‘Outreach plus’
The cost of a computer assessment would be £175 for 1 session, £300 for two sessions.