Taking Care of Assistive Devices

The term “assistive devices” covers a wide range of equipment made to enable students who are blind or have low vision to participate in most of the same academic and physical activities as their sighted classmates. The term can refer to:

Regardless of which devices your child uses, by the time your child’s in grade school, they should be learning how to take care of the equipment. Here are some suggestions for helping to take on those responsibilities.

  • Give your child a specific place at home for keeping their assistive devices. A shelf or drawer in the bedroom or in the kitchen might be specifically for his equipment.
  • When using equipment away from home, your child should have a comfortable, secure way to carry the items needed. A backpack or fanny pack may work well for this. It’s a good idea to put items such as a magnifier or monocular in a small case, so they don’t roll around in the bottom of a backpack or fanny pack.
  • Teach your child how to care for their equipment. If the portable notetaker needs to be charged each night, instruct your child how to plug in the charger. Over time, the amount of responsibility needed to care for the equipment will increase.
  • Help your child develop a checklist and schedule in braille or print of what is needed to be done daily or weekly to maintain equipment. You may want to have a way to check to be sure all steps are completed. For example, you could have your child put a tactile sticker next to each item on a list as they complete the necessary tasks.

Equipment can be expensive, so you may want to have your child do some “test runs” until you’re sure they can handle the responsibility. One way would be to give an object about the same size as a monocular and have them carry this pretend equipment each day for a week or two. At the end of that time, if the monocular hasn’t been lost or broken, let them try taking care of the real monocular.

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