5.2.2 Qualifications

Education, Training, and Experience

Assistive technology trainers must

  • have a high school diploma or GED,
  • be knowledgeable about computers and assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired,
  • be familiar with computer and assistive technology applications for people who have visual disabilities and/or other disabilities,
  • be familiar with appropriate instructional methods for people who have visual disabilities and/or other disabilities,
  • have the ability to vary training to meet the specific needs of each consumer, and
  • demonstrate proficiency in assistive technology training on specific assistive equipment in accordance with DBS standards and periodic proficiency tests conducted by DBS.

 

Proficiency Tests

Assistive technology trainers must pass proficiency tests administered by DBS before providing services to DBS consumers.

  • Phase I testing may be completed at the DBS ATU in Austin or online at the discretion of DBS ATU staff.
  • Service providers must successfully complete Phase I testing a minimum of two weeks before Phase II testing.
  • Phase II testing is conducted at the DBS ATU in Austin.
  • If travel is necessary in order to participate in Phase I or Phase II testing, the service provider must pay for all travel costs including transportation, food, and lodging.

Assistive technology trainers must pass periodic proficiency tests administered and conducted by DBS, as well as periodic performance monitoring conducted by the EAS specialist, regional program support specialist (RPSS) or designated representative.

 

In-Service Training

Contract service providers are encouraged to budget funds for each evaluator to attend a yearly conference or workshop relating to assistive technology. At a minimum, each evaluator must attend a technology vendor demonstration or Train the Trainer Workshop in Austin offered by DBS.

 

Provider Authorization

Services must not by provided to DBS consumers until DBS has issued written authorization and a PO.

No service by a provider's employee will be paid for if the service is provided before DBS written authorization is given.

For additional information, see Chapter 1: Basic Standards, 1.6.4 Additional Requirements/Documenting Staff Changes and Chapter 4: Service Delivery Guidelines, 4.2 Staff Information Sheets.

 

Product Authorization

Assistive technology trainers must meet DBS testing and approval requirements on specific products before providing services to DBS consumers.

DBS proficiency tests are product-specific (separate tests are required for each product). Assistive technology trainers must pass the required tests for each product in order to provide training on each specific product.

DBS maintains a list of approved assistive technology trainers and authorized products for each trainer.

 

Performance

Assistive technology trainers must provide training only on the specific products for which they have met DBS testing and approval requirements.

DBS approval is granted for individual trainers only. DBS approval applies to the individual and not the position held by the individual.

 

Staff-to-Consumer Ratio

For the purpose of conducting assistive technology training, the staff-to-consumer ratio for group training may not exceed one staff member to three consumers (1:3).

 

On-Site Visits

DBS may conduct initial and periodic on-site visits to verify that each contract service provider (or potential provider) meets DBS minimum requirements for assistive technology trainers or that the provider has trainers on staff who meet DBS minimum requirements.