Lifestream, Inc. Launches Assistive Technology Academy – New Bedford Guide


Stream of life and Bridgewater State University (BSU) recently launched The Assistive Technology Academy, an assistive technology (AT) training certificate program for direct assist professionals in southeastern Massachusetts.

The format of the program is a combination of online and in-person/classroom options. It includes classroom/lab activities on the BSU campus and in-context learning activities. The program takes place over a period of ten weeks, at the rate of approximately 1.5 hours per week.

Melissa Pepin, by LifeSteam Director of TA and Therapy Services, oversees the program with Dr. James Feeney, assistant professor at BSU. “Assistive technology has become an essential part of disability support services, helping to increase independence and socialization,” said Ms. Pepin. “The program helps direct support professionals develop and implement a personalized AT plan, provides access to training materials and other resources, and offers up-to-date information on a wide range of tools AT.”

The courses focus on topics such as “What is AT?” and “Enhanced Communication,” as well as instructions for conducting a screening assessment and developing a support plan. All courses aim to help participants increase the independence of those they support. At the end of each ten-week session, each participant presents a project related to TA and coaching an individual based on what they learned during the course.

The pilot program was a huge success, with participants actively demonstrating the knowledge and skills they used with the people they support. “One of the most rewarding aspects of this program is seeing how participants apply what they’ve learned to real-life situations,” Dr. Feeney said. “Many of them noted how surprised they were by the abundance of AT services available and how much they learned from the program.”

For more information, please contact Melissa Pepin at [email protected]
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