Organization

Organization

Organization Assistive Technology - the What, When, Who and Why

What is Assistive Technology for organization support? Assistive technology (AT) tools can help a person plan, organize, and keep track of his calendar, schedule, and homework. AT can be anything that helps support someone with weak organization skills that affect the ability to store and retrieve information for learning. Assistive technology can help students use self-monitoring techniques, visual organization, and time management. “Executive functions” are high-level mental abilities that direct attention and memory and help us to plan, organize, pay attention to and remember details, start and stop actions, form concepts and think abstractly.

Parent & Child using Time TimerWhen do I need to use them? Students need the right tools (such as notebooks and assignment pads) and basic study skills (such as reading and note-taking skills) to be successful in school.

Who? Weak executive functioning skills can be common in individuals with ADHD and learning issues like dyslexia. There are strategies that can be learned to help organize thoughts and belongings at home, school, work, and community.

Why are strong organizational skills important?

Strong or weak organization skills affect learning in four key ways:

  • Following directions
  • Learning to read
  • Literacy learning (combination of reading, writing, and grammar)
  • Learning math. See AT Discovery for Math

Where in an education setting is "organization" as a skillset needed? To be successful throughout the educational process and school system, a student must develop good organization skills to make sure that he is not causing a barrier to the development of his tasks and projects.


Information on this page addresses Assistive Technology for people with organization disabilities in...

EDUCATION   |  EMPLOYMENT  |  COMMUNITY LIVING
(click the titles above to jump to the content area)

For more information, please contact Brenda Dawes, Program Manager,
at brenda.dawes@okstate.edu or 800-257-1705

EDUCATION

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Talking Points for Organization Assistive Technology in Education

For students who struggle with time management, prioritization, organization, and focus, there are a variety of no tech, low tech, mid tech, and high tech aids and AT that can help. Students often lack self-monitoring skills, but there are a variety ways to help them learn to stop being distracted or to notice when they are off task. Think of these tools as that gentle little nudge we all sometimes need when we just aren't on our game.

The category of Education encompasses children - young and old - who are participating as a student whether at the pre-school, elementary, middle/junior/high school levels as well as institutions for higher education. The following talking points are most applicable to students grades preschool through high school.

For children transitioning into the public school at age 3 - To ensure successful AT transitions for children turning 3 years old, it is important for any AT the child is currently using or may need to use in school, whether written into the child's Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or not, be incorporated into the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). You'll find this information in the Community section below.

For students transitioning into the community or employment settings upon high school graduation - To ensure successful AT transitions for students aging out of school services, it is important for any AT the student is currently using or may need to pursue employment outcomes, whether written into the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or not, be incorporated into the student's Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). IPEs are developed through collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) using a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor. You'll find this information in the Employment section below.

Situations Where a Child Might Need Assistive Technology for Organization:

School Environment

  • K-12 classes
  • Extracurricular activities (band, athletics)
  • Group projects

Socialization

  • Making time for friendships and activities
  • Managing time and social media

Family / Home Environment

  • Homework
  • Studying for quizzes or tests
  • Time management
  • Organization and planning

Community

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Time management to attend events

Commonly Asked Questions for a Student Who Has Organization Needs

Please listen to this section and/or download a transcript here: TXT format

Solutions for Students with Organization Needs
(click to open the accordions below)

Helpful Links & PDF Resources
Understood.org and Understood Tech Finder
Online Rubric Maker for Teachers
Online Website Bookmarking Tool
AskJan.org maintains "Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) system designed to let users explore various accommodation options for people with disabilities in educational settings.
At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Executive Functioning Issues
8 Key Executive Functions Explained
Video/Webinar/Podcast Resources
Video: Free to Low-Cost Assistive Technology Solutions– Explore free to low-cost (under $50) AT solutions for multiple disability categories including communication.
Video: Assistive Technology for Learning and Cognition
Video: Assistive Technology in Action Video Series
Webinar: Learning, Cognition, and Development
 

Funding Sources for Students with Organization Impairment

The following resources are from ABLE Tech's listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for organization devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma:

EMPLOYMENT

Organization Matrix Employment

Talking Points for Organization Assistive Technology in Education

The category of Employment encompasses those people of working-age who are currently employed or who are seeking employment.  The following talking points may be applicable to individuals with disabilities as well as employers.

Some individuals with learning disabilities may have difficulty managing time and staying organized. This can affect the person's ability to prioritize tasks, adhere to deadlines, maintain productivity standards, or work efficiently. The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.

Executive functions all serve a "command and control" function; they can be viewed as the "conductor" of all cognitive skills. Executive functions help you manage life tasks of all types. For example, executive functions let you organize a trip, a research project, or a paper for school. The executive functions are a diverse, but related and overlapping, set of skills including initiation, working memory, planning/organization, organization of materials, and self-monitoring.

 

Situations Where an Individual Might Need Assistive Technology for Organization

Work Environment

  • Interview process
  • Meetings
  • Trainings
  • Daily tasks

Socialization

  • Work lunches
  • Social media
  • Telecommunication
  • Group and committee activities

Family / Home Environment

  • Time management
  • Organization and planning

Community

  • Extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Time management to attend events

Tips that Help Answer Commonly Asked Questions for an Individual Who Has Organization Needs

Tip #1: - Organization, planning and time management are all necessary skills a student needs to be successful in education. Questions such as:

    Does the student arrive on time and ready to learn?
    Does the student arrive with the materials needed for class?"

These are questions that can help you determine what type of assistive technology to try.


Tip #2: - There are a variety of timers such as wrist watches, hour glass timers, and visual timers that show how much time is left to complete an activity. Timers can also help the student transition from task-to-task by mentally preparing him to make the switch.


Tip #3: - Reading guides are good tools for kids who have trouble with visual tracking or who need help staying focused on the page. These are sometimes plastic strips and they highlight one line of text while blocking out surrounding words that might be distracting. The strip is also easy to move down the page as your child reads.

Tip #4: - An inflatable seat cushion or a cushion with vibration can help kids with sensory, processing and attention issues. The cushion can provide enough movement and stimulation to help a child maximize his focus without having to get up and walk around.


Tip #5: - Frequency modulation or FM systems can reduce background noise in the classroom and amplify what the teacher says. This can help with auditory processing issues as well as attention issues. The teacher wears a microphone that broadcasts either to speakers around the room or to a personal receiver worn by the student.


Tip #6: - Graphic organizers can be low-tech. There are many different designs you can print out that can help your child organize his thoughts for a writing assignment. There are also more sophisticated tools such as organizing programs that can help her map out her thoughts. Apps on a tablet or smartphone can be helpful and are geared toward various ages. Text minders, visual schedule planners and apps, such as "Remember the Milk" are helpful.

Solutions for Individuals with Organization Needs
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Funding Sources for Adults with Organization Needs

The following resources are from ABLE Tech's listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for organization devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma:

COMMUNITY LIVING

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Talking Points for Assistive Technology for Organization in Community Living

The category of Community Living encompasses infants and toddlers who are under the age of 3 and not yet in school, those people who were born with or have acquired an injury and are otherwise participating in community activities (not as students or employees) as well as those who are aging in the home.  The following talking points are applicable to individuals with disabilities as well as family members and others providing support and care to these individuals with disabilities.

Sometimes an individual will make it to adulthood and have the necessary assistive technology to participate in the community and at home.  When that is the case, these pages will show other considerations regarding accessibility and accommodations.  When the person requires additional tools to participate, the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) model will be used to show how an individual might best match up with a piece of AT to be used in the community and at home

For those children transitioning into the public school at age 3 - To ensure successful AT transitions for children turning 3 years old, it is important for any AT the child is currently using or may need to use in school, whether written into the child's Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or not, be incorporated into the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Link to Education section

Situations where an individual might need assistive technology for Organization

Socialization

  • Making time for friendships and activities
  • Managing time, social media, and telecommunications

Community

  • Work and School
  • Shopping
  • Various appointments
  • Transportation around the community
  • Entertainment and sports
  • Friends' houses
  • Library
  • Post Office
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Time management to attend events

Family/Home Environment

  • Paying bills
  • TV/Radio
  • Doing chores
  • Games
  • Computer tasks/games
  • Time management
  • Organization and planning

Commonly Asked Questions for a Person Who Has Organization Loss - Impairment - Needs

Q - What types of learning disabilities are there?

A - Learning disabilities (LD), sometimes referred to as “specific learning disorders,” are life-long, but adults who have LD can experience great success in all aspects of life when using their strengths together with the strategies, accommodations and technology that are most appropriate and effective for their individual needs.

Learning disabilities can be divided into three broad categories: developmental speech and language disorders, academic skills disorders, and other (such as coordination disorders). Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Learning disabilities are a lifelong condition; they are not outgrown or cured, though many people develop coping techniques through special education, tutoring, medication, therapy, personal development, or adaptation of learning skills. Approximately 15 million children, adolescents, and adults have learning disabilities in the United States.

 

Q - What is Assistive Technology?

A - AT is anything that helps a person do a task easier, better, or more efficiently, that otherwise would be difficult or impossible to do.

 

Solutions for Individuals with Organization Loss - Impairment - Needs
(click to open the accordions below)

Funding Sources for Persons with Organization Needs

The following resources are from ABLE Tech's listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for organization devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma: