The iCommunicator is a unique and powerful communication access technology for persons who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, as well as individuals with other unique communication challenges. Though it has been designed to be simple to use, systematic training in the use of the iCommunicator program is strongly encouraged to achieve optimal results with this technology.
Purpose and Value of Training
End users, speakers, and implementation managers should receive training in the operation of the iCommunicator program to achieve positive outcomes. Implementation managers should possess computer literacy skills necessary to use and maintain the computer, software program and peripherals, and to train both end users and speakers in the unique features of the iCommunicator technology.
Who Should Receive iCommunicator Training?
The preferred training model is a "train the trainer" approach, which ensures that the owner of the system has key persons trained in all aspects of iCommunicator use and applications. The trainer would then be responsible for training both speakers and end users and ultimately serve in the capacity of manager of the system. For successful iCommunicator training to be achieved, it is recommended that end users and managers be adept at the computer skills listed below. These computer literacy skills are comparable to those offered through a Beginning Windows 2000 course or its equivalent. Prerequisite skills include basic knowledge of Windows 2000, the ability to modify the basic computer environment, multitasking, and file management.
• Keyboard familiarity (ability to type, familiarity with using shortcuts)
• Use of the mouse (how to move the mouse; how to point and
click, double-click, and click and drag)
• Familiarity with accessing menu commands
• Familiarity with manipulating windows (how to activate, move, resize, minimize,
• Familiarity with opening, closing, and saving a simple document
• Thorough understanding of folder hierarchy (ability to navigate to and select folders,
sub folders, and the documents contained within)
Implementation managers should also be familiar with the Microsoft Accessibility Options, such as the high contract screen and onscreen keyboard, as some end users may require this type of accommodation.
The iCommunicator Training Manual provides owners, implementation managers, speakers, and end users with an organized presentation of information pertinent to the effective use of the software program and peripherals. The manual includes numerous photographs and screen captures to illustrate the process, helpful charts and tip sheets, and a variety of reference materials. As an additional reference, the Training Manual also is available online by clicking here
Contact an Authorized iCommunicator Reseller to discuss onsite training opportunities. Email training questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training Required Under the IDEA
Assistive technology (AT) service, as specified in the Individuals with Disabilities in Education (IDEA) 1997 Amendments (300.6) requires that training or technical assistance be provided for a child with a disability, and if appropriate, the child's family. This would apply to the iCommunicator software program, if it is recommended by the evaluation/planning team as an appropriate AT. The IDEA also requires that AT training be provided for professionals rendering educational or rehabilitation services, employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are in any other way substantially involved in the child's major life functions. As such, local education agencies (LEAs) have a responsibility to remove barriers to the use of AT to enable a student to have independence in major life functions, one of which is communication.
For applications in the workplace, higher education, public access venues, and other sites, systematic training also is encouraged to maximize the potential of the iCommunicator program for both end users and speakers.
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