Assistive and Adaptive Technology

Admissions Requirements

All applicants to the graduate certificate program in Assistive and Adaptive Technology must have at least a bachelor’s degree and meet Spalding University Graduate admissions requirements, as well as a demonstrated record of intellectual ability, an elevated level of motivation and a commitment to the rigorous study necessary for advanced education. Applicants must complete a Spalding University Graduate School application, provide transcripts from all previously attended universities, and provide evidence of a professional degree along with certification/licensing and have a minimum overall 3.0 GPA in previous coursework. Accepted Assistive and Adaptive Technology certificate program students will be eligible to begin the program at the start of the next trimester offering.

All courses in the Assistive and Adaptive Technology certificate program will be open to Spalding University students as electives in occupational therapy, education, nursing, psychology, social work, and communication programs, even if they are not seeking the graduate certificate degree. Undergraduates that are within the professional programs may be eligible for course participation with approval of the degree program chair and must follow all Spalding University policies for undergraduate students taking graduate courses as outlined in the University Catalog.

Students must complete all of the following required courses:

Required Courses: Courses are recommended to be cross listed as Assistive Technology, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Nursing, and Education and Communications.

HS 600 Introduction to Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology (3 cr.)
Description: This interdisciplinary hands-on course provides participants with an overview of assistive technology concepts and the application of assistive technology in all life settings for individuals affected by physical, sensory, or cognitive limitations. The effective practice of assistive and adaptive technology for individuals with disabilities is discussed. The course covers design methods and problem-solving strategies; institutional review boards; human factors; human-machine interfaces; community perspectives; social and ethical aspects; evaluation and assessment; and assistive technology for motor, cognitive, perceptual, and age- related impairments. Methods, materials, and resources for obtaining and providing assistive technology services will be discussed.

HS 605 Assistive Technology Assessment, Funding, Leadership, and Advocacy (3cr)
Description: Theoretical models are used to guide the assessment and selection process of assistive technology. This course will provide knowledge of assistive technology frameworks and how they can be utilized in the assistive technology process.  Students will become familiar with assessment tools for recommending assistive technology and/or environmental accommodations to various populations. Students will explore how this information can be utilized to set up treatment plans for their clients. Students will also engage in exploration of potential funding sources to cover the costs of assistive devices once the recommendation has been made. In addition, student students will learn how outcomes from AT assessment impact leadership, advocacy, and ethical practice when assessing and recommending assistive technology services.

HS 610 Assistive Technology for Individuals with Sensory, Communicative, and Cognitive Disabilities (3 cr.)
Description: This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to the broad spectrum of issues surrounding the design, development and use of assistive technology devices and services that benefit individuals with sensory, perceptual, and cognitive disabilities. The course includes lectures, hands-on experiences and discussions of current trends and issues in assistive technologies for application in school, clinic and community settings. Students will explore the application of various technologies for individuals with visual, auditory, cognitive and communication impairments. Included are: blind and low vision aides, assistive listening devices, alternative and augmentative communication devices, memory aides, and prompting aides.

HS 615 Assistive Technology for Individuals with Physical Disabilities (3 cr.)
Description: This course consists of: (a) exploring the impact that technology has on human lives; when technology becomes assistive technology, and when assistive technology becomes universally designed technology for all; (b) exploring technology through hands-on exploration of hundreds of assistive technology solutions (e.g., devices and software); (c) analyzing case studies of individuals whose lives have been affected by this technology; and (d) developing creative problem-solving skills for everyday life challenges.


Each student will focus individual learning needs by selecting from 1 of the following electives:

Electives: Students will choose 1 from the following

HS 620 Special Topics: Using the iPad to Support Children with Disabilities (3cr.)
Description: The iPad is changing the way we engage in varied life activities. This technology embraces universal design and principles of universal design for learning (UDL) and enables children with significant disabilities to learn, play, engage and participate in ways never thought possible just a few years ago. Students will engage in learning outcomes designed to enhance knowledge of iPad use with children from early childhood through adolescence for learning, community living, and play. The iPad is a tool for delivering multimedia content and embraces the use of multi-modal learning. This technology finally levels the playing field to support all children including those with disabilities.

HS 625 Living and Doing through Technology (3 cr.)
Description: This course consists of: (a) exploring the impact that technology has on human lives; when technology becomes assistive technology, and when assistive technology becomes universally designed technology for all; (b) exploring technology through hands-on exploration of hundreds of assistive technology solutions (e.g., devices and software); (c) analyzing case studies of individuals whose lives have been affected by this technology; and (d) developing creative problem-solving skills for everyday life challenges.

HS 630 Assistive Technology for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (3 cr.)
Description: Integrative Assistive Technology devices that facilitate an individual’s communication are referred to as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and include speech generating devices. AAC devices are used to assist individuals in expressing thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. Varied low tech and high tech devices can assist individuals in communicating their needs. This course allows students to engage in tasks and activities to gain an understanding of AAC devices and to increase competence in the use of augmentative communication system components in various environments including health and educational settings. Students will discuss application of appropriate communication systems or strategies. Additionally, students will conduct an interview using an augmented communication device.

HS 635 Introduction to Telehealth (3cr)
Description: Telehealth is the use of information and communication technologies to deliver health care services, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. This course provides an overview of telehealth and its clinical application in health care. Content focus includes telehealth terminology, technologies, standards and guidelines, practice considerations, and clinical applications. Students will discuss pertinent telehealth outcome research.

HS 640 Ergonomics, Universal Design and Assistive Technology in the Workplace (3cr.)
Description: This course focuses on the application of knowledge about human capabilities and limitations to the design of workplaces, work methods and jobs for optimal safety, efficiency, productivity and comfort.

HS 645 Health, Technology and Aging (3 cr.)
Description: This course focuses on technology solutions for overcoming physical, sensory and cognitive challenges faced by aging adults. Special tools, devices, smart technology, and home modifications are major focus areas. Students will demonstrate competence in selecting appropriate devices and conducting home modifications to improve independence, safety, and quality of life for aging adults.

HS 650 The Role of Technology for Learning in the 21st Century (3 cr.)
Description: Computing is increasingly harnessed to address pressing educational challenges of the 21st century. This course covers theory and practical applications of the Learning Sciences, Educational Technology and Human-Computer Interaction. Students will work in groups to design projects that tackle educational problems of their choice using platforms such as cellphones, interactive videos or gaming, or varied computer interfaces.

Program Sheet:
Graduate Certificate in Assistive and Adaptive Technology