Assistive Technology Trainer

Introduction

Assistive Technology (AT), also known as Access Technology or Adaptive Technology, is the technology which is used to help someone overcome a physical barrier in their lives. As an Assistive Technology Trainer, you will help people to use this technology - technology that could transform their lives.

Work Activities

As an Assistive Technology Trainer, you will help people to use assisitve technology (AT) in order to enable them to overcome difficulties that they may face in life.

Assistive technology helps people who might have difficulty with:

  • speaking
  • typing
  • writing
  • their memory
  • seeing
  • hearing

AT may also help people with special learning diffiulties, such as dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger's, and autism.

Your role will be to make sure your clients are getting the most from the available technology. You will achieve this by carefully assessing them and finding out exactly what their individual needs are. Then you will be able to make a professional judgement as to what kind of technology will help them the most.

You will carefully train your client with using the AT, according to their specific requirements.

Examples of Assistive Technology, which you could be training people how to use, include:

  • special-purpose computers
  • computer screen readers
  • scanning pens
  • electronic dictionaries
  • digital voice recorders
  • special learning materials and curriculum aids
  • eye-gaze and head-tracking software

As an Assistive Technology Trainer, you could be working in schools, colleges and universities, helping learners with specific needs. Or, you could train people in their own homes or at work.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become an Assistive Technology Trainer, you need:

  • patience and tact
  • great IT skills and the ability to train/teach people to use it
  • compassion and a sense of humour
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills - the ability to explain complicated technology-based solutions in language that is easy to understand
  • the ability to talk and listen to people from all backgrounds
  • to respect each individual's right to keep as much independence and privacy as they can
  • to treat each person as an individual, with different physical needs
  • the ability to work independenly (on your own)
  • to be willing to learn and develop new technology skills on the job

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £22,500 - £24,000
  • With experience: £26,500 - £30,500
  • Senior Assistive Technology Trainers earn £33,500 - £36,500

Hours of work

Assistive Technology Trainers typically work 37.5 hours a week. Shift work, early starts and late finishes are usual. Some employers offer flexitime working, and part-time and temporary work is also possible.

Where could I work?

Opportunities for Assistive Technology Trainers occur in community and residential settings throughout the UK.

Employers include:

  • local authority social services
  • schools, colleges and universities
  • charities
  • private training providers

This career could include working for an agency.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for Assistive Technology Trainers to become self-employed, working through health/care recruitment agencies.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Qualifications are not always needed for entry, though a relevant level 2 or level 3 qualification is desirable. Many employers prefer applicants with relevant experience in a teaching, training or care role.

You must also have a good working knowledge and experience of IT.

So think now about what you can do to try and gain some relevant work experience.

Intermediate and Advanced Level Apprenticeships in a relevant area may be available in your area. You may be able to study for a NVQ as part of the apprenticeship. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Training

If you would like some training, City & Guilds offer a level 3 qualification in ICT professional competence.

Other courses could be available in your area.

Progression

With further experience you could progree into Assistive Technology management roles..

A university degree, alongside experience, may open the door to these higher-level opportunities.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Work Experience

Previous experience in a teaching, training or care role would be really useful for this career.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

This career is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to. This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.

Qualifications

Qualifications such as GCSEs in English and maths will be beneficial.

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

A variety of relevant IT based vocational qualifications are available, such as a City & Guilds or BTEC level 2 or level 3. Relevant subjects include*:

  • BTEC - computing and software technologies
  • BTEC - professional competence for IT and telecoms professionals
  • BTEC - software development
  • City & Guilds - advanced technical diploma in digital technologies (application development)

*exact titles vary

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

Many employers prefer applicants with relevant experience in a teaching, training or care role. Experience is often valued more highly than qualifications.

Training

Intermediate and Advanced Level Apprenticeships in care work may be available in your area.

Courses

Colleges usually consider adult candidates who don't have the regular entry requirements. Check the admissions policy of the college that runs the course you're interested in.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Skills for Care & Development (SfC&D)

Skills for social work, social care and children's services

Address: 2nd floor, Westgate, 6 Grace Street, Leeds LS1 2RP

Tel: 0113 2411240

Email: sscinfo@skillsforcareanddevelopment.org.uk

Website: www.skillsforcareanddevelopment.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Welsh Local Government Careers

Website: www.lgcareerswales.org.uk/

Tech Partnership

Email: info@thetechpartnership.com

Website: www.thetechpartnership.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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