University of Edinburgh

Motivate - Engage - Influence - Control: assistive and communication technology for learners with severe and complex ASN including visual impairment

Presented on Wednesday, 28th August 2019


This course explored good practice in use of assistive and communication technology at the earliest levels of learning for young people with severe and complex additional support needs including those with visual impairment. We looked at strategies for motivating and engaging pre-intentional learners with technology and to help them make progress toward an understanding of cause and effect.

Ian highlighted positive examples of young people working at a cause and effect level across a range of access devices and shared assessment and recording materials, teaching strategies and lesson ideas to help them consolidate their understanding that they are able to extend influence and control over the world around them.

Participants were allowed access to comprehensive handouts which include links to free assessment and recording materials, developmental skills progression guides and over 300 free teaching activities for switch, touch-screen, mouse and eye gaze users.

Participants said:

"I have gained a much greater understanding of how to progress switch skills, this will enable me to be much more effective in planning for specific pupils."

"Interesting and entertaining presentation - really enjoyable but learned a lot. Fantastic tips/links and ideas about how to present activities."

Target Audience

Teachers of children with complex ASN, headteachers/depute headteachers of special schools, teachers of visual impairment.


Ian Bean, Independent Special Needs ICT and assistive technology specialist


10.15 am Making sense of the world around us Ian Bean

11.25 am Initiating and taking control

1.30 pm Assistive Technology as a normal part of every day

2.30 pm Making progress and moving on

3 pm Resources and Sign Posting

3.30 pm Questions and Evaluation