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Ready to Assist Students with Disabilities

Tools for Back to School

Area school districts are set to welcome students soon. So it's a good time to remind families that Society's Assets staff are resources for students with disabilities. They can be active members of student IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) and transition teams. Tricia Lewis, Director of Independent Living Services at Society's Assets, explains the agency's involvement.

"Students with disabilities need the same things as any student:  materials, teachers, exercise, friends, and technology. In some cases, the things that work for the majority of students also work for students with disabilities. In some cases, those things may need to be adapted or adjusted so that students with disabilities can benefit from them with their peers. For example, while most of the class can read a standard textbook, a student with dyslexia may benefit from an audio book or a colored overlay. With the tool, the student can learn along with their classmates in a way that works for them."

Lewis continues, "Here's another example. While the standard desk and chair meet the needs of many kids, an autistic student may benefit from a sensory cushion or bouncy chair band to best help them concentrate with their class."

Society's Assets has assistive technology experts that can help a student explore technology tools to address physical, visual, hearing, or sensory barriers. There are hundreds of products in the Loan & Demo program that students can try to see what works for them. Staff can also help advocate with schools and care teams to be sure every student has what they need to be successful.

We are a resource for people with disabilities. Services include advocacy, supportive home care/personal care, home/vehicle modifications, a loan closet with equipment and technology for a "Try Before You Buy" experience (partially supported by WisTech), technical assistance regarding the ADA, independent living skills training, peer support, benefits counseling, and transitions to life after high school or returning home from the nursing home.

For more information, call Society's Assets at 1-800-378-9128.