Taking Care of Assistive Devices

The term “assistive devices” covers a wide range of equipment made to enable students who are blind or have low vision to participate in most of the same academic and physical activities as their sighted classmates. The term can refer to:

Empower Your Child to Take Responsibility

Regardless of which devices your child uses, by the time your child’s in grade school, they should be learning how to take care of the equipment. Here are some suggestions for helping to take on those responsibilities.

  • Give your child a specific place at home for keeping their assistive devices. A shelf or drawer in the bedroom or in the kitchen might be specifically for his equipment.
  • When using equipment away from home, your child should have a comfortable, secure way to carry the items needed. A backpack or fanny pack may work well for this. It’s a good idea to put items such as a magnifier or monocular in a small case, so they don’t roll around in the bottom of a backpack or fanny pack.
  • Teach your child how to care for their equipment. If the portable notetaker needs to be charged each night, instruct your child how to plug in the charger. Over time, the amount of responsibility needed to care for the equipment will increase.
  • Help your child develop a checklist and schedule in braille or print of what is needed to be done daily or weekly to maintain equipment. You may want to have a way to check to be sure all steps are completed. For example, you could have your child put a tactile sticker next to each item on a list as they complete the necessary tasks.

Prepare for Ownership

Equipment costs can be expensive, so it’s wise to ensure your child is ready for the responsibility. Consider starting with a “test run.” Give them an object similar in size to a monocular. Ask them to care for this stand-in for a week or two. If they manage without losing or damaging it, they might be ready. Then, you can trust them with the actual monocular.