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Assistive Technology Instructor
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Watertown, MA Posting Date:
Assistive Technology Instructor
Program: Career Launch
Schedule: Full-time, 37.5 hours/week
Perkins is a progressive, multi-faceted organization committed to improving the lives of people with blindness and deafblindness all around the world. Our five areas of focus support Perkins’ aspirational mission. Our organization is driven by a proven team of experts and supported by a community that's committed to upholding our core values. Our history of excellence pushes us to actively seek the next innovation the world holds. We are Perkins – ever evolving to meet the challenge.
The transition from high school to young adulthood is challenging. This is particularly true for blind and visually impaired young adults who face significant barriers to employment as they transition from high school.
According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, only 38% of working age individuals (age 16-64) with vision loss are employed, while the employment rate among their non-disabled peers is over 75%. In addition, many individuals who are blind settle for part-time or non-competitive jobs. Younger workers with visual impairments are even more likely to be unemployed. They face misperceptions among employers about the capabilities of workers who are visually impaired and about the costs of onboarding persons with disabilities.
Perkins is ON A MISSION to change these statistics, shift attitudes among employers, and equip young adults who are visually impaired with in-demand skills and practical support that put them on the path to success.
To do this, Perkins is creating an innovative program -- Career Launch @ Perkins -- that aims to prepare young adults for in-demand roles across industries that require skills in customer service, support and interaction. The program features 9 weeks of training followed by a 3 month internship with ongoing classroom learning, job placement support, and one year of job coaching.
Perkins plans to pilot Career Launch sometime in 2019 and roll out a full program launch in September 2019.
The Role & Candidate
First and foremost, we are looking for someone adept in using mainstream business software on both Apple and PC computers, including Assistive Technology such as Fusion and Voice Over, from introductory skills to more advanced techniques.
Our ideal candidate is an experienced instructor, someone comfortable working with young adults, and if possible, with exposure to people who are blind or visually impaired. In addition we want someone experienced in individualized curriculum development and lesson planning, with a continuous improvement mindset, ensuring every student is learning what she or he needs to develop their “tool kit” of Assistive Technology and computer skills.
You will join a team of individuals who contribute to and support the program in various ways, including the teaching of blind and visually impaired young adults, career placement services and job coaching. In collaboration with the team, you will ensure Career Launch participants develop an awareness of, and skills in using appropriate technical solutions to enable them to meet the basic productivity expectations of employers of office workers, effectively and efficiently.
What You Will Do:
Model a growth mdindset and problem solving techniques while guiding Career Launch participants toward appropriate and innovative independent technology use.
Develop and administer a rubric to assess applicants’ competency in essential technology skills for competitive work -- the “tool kit”. This will include basic software packages and any necessary Assistive Technology.
Participate in admissions decisions based, in part, on demonstrated competencies and gaps in an applicant’s use of AT.
During the program, provide differentiated instruction for participants to ensure they become proficient in the “tool kit” of useful technologies for their working style.
Provide direct instruction on laptop computer skills, specifically with VoiceOver on Mac computers, Fusion on PCs, and magnification features. Provide sequenced instruction in essential technology skills including accessing email, document creation, attachment of documents, note taking, filing documents, using calendar function, using excel, web search, and other typical laptop operation
Provide support to participants transitioning skills from iPad to laptop or notetakers.
Evaluate participant progress throughout the program, refine the instructional approach if needed, and raise issues if the participant is not achieving mastery in the time frame available.
Collaborate and consult with the program staff to ensure that technology is woven into all learning components when possible, in order to reinforce skills
Ensure participants know how to effectively advocate for support from their employer’s technology department and / or human resources department.
Keep abreast of technological developments related to productivity in work environments, and, in consultation with other program staff, update the curriculum accordingly
What You Should Have
Competency in mainstream word processing (from document creation to formatting), mainstream spreadsheet, email management, web navigation, mainstream calendar, instant messaging, e-learning, and cloud document storage is needed
Fluency with key commands specific to the applications.
Familiarity with digital braille displays, electronic video magnifiers and OCRs.
Experience working with young adults, preferably in a learning or business context.
Exceptional instructional delivery skills and enthusiasm for inspiring, motivating and training young adults.
Interest in working with individuals with visual impairment; experience working with young adults with special needs is a plus.
Experience in adult learning and instructional design.
The ability to learn quickly and collaborate easily with others.
Strong written and interpersonal communication skills, as well as research and analytical skill
Able to move between the forest and the trees. You can think strategically about the big picture, internalizing the landscape in which we work and the broader goals for our program, while also getting into the details of how to execute on those goals.
A detailed doer. You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting deadlines, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely you have experience in a startup environment.
A creative problem solver. Developing a new program from scratch is massive and involves constant changes, challenges and curve balls. You need to be flexible, ready to adapt to these changes as well as solutions-oriented, approaching problems with a can-do attitude and spirit of creativity.
Very collaborative. You will need to work very closely with a program team comprised of researchers, recruiters and other training staff who bring diverse experiences and perspectives to our work.
Join our dynamic team and help create a training program that can change lives by giving blind or vision-impaired young adults a shot at the sustained financial independence needed to build the life they want to live.
Education and/or Experience:
Bachelor’s degree or higher, with coursework in education, assistive technology, special needs education, business, or related fields. Preference will be given to candidates with
Bachelor’s degree in Assistive Technology
Experience and expertise in assistive technology for visual impairments
Prior experience working with young adults with visual impairments who may also have additional disabilities or who are deafblind.
Current certification such as:
ACVREP certification ACVREP certification (CATIS, CLVT)
Appropriate Massachusetts or national certification for field of expertise
Massachusetts teacher certification in Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
Massachusetts teacher certification in related field (ie. education, social work)
Benefits: We provide a complete benefits package, which includes, recess time, tuition reimbursement, medical and dental insurance, LTD and Life insurance, retirement programs and staff devel
Perkins seeks to enhance its community of intellectually, culturally, and socially diverse individuals to enrich the educational experience of our students. Applicants from a multicultural background, are bilingual, and/or who have life experience are encouraged to apply
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYEE