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DIS-FORUM  March 2010

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Subject:

Query about Educational Psychologists and their remit

From:

Karen Farmer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Karen Farmer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 15:32:01 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (36 lines)

Apologies for cross-posting... 

Can anyone please tell me whether Ed Psych's who are members of PATOSS, BDO and NASEN are being told to put technical recommendations into their diagnostic reports?

As a needs assessor I am encountering problems as a result of one Ed. Psych adding the following (or variations thereof) to their reports

"STUDENT is also in need of a number of items of equipment to support him, including Dragon Naturally Speaking. This software will allow him to transfer what he says speak into text on his laptop/PC. It will also support him in composing emails and the latest version will also assist him in researching on the Internet using his voice..."

Of course, the student, knowing no different, accepts this statement as gospel, and when I sit with them and explain the pitfalls and limitations of Dragon NS (or any other voice recognition software), they either think that I am being 'mean' in not recommending this modern miracle, or else it undermines their faith in the Ed.Psych - which is not my intention, and I do make sure to explain that it is not part of the EP's role to understand the limitations of the technology whereas it IS part of mine. 

Frankly, when I meet someone who tells me that they cannot talk in a smooth sentence, has no idea of where to place punctuation, and cannot differentiate between similar looking words, then VRS would not be the first thing on my list of helpful items for them.  That and of course the need to constantly train new vocabulary slows the creative processes to a crawl... 

Note also that a great many of these students do not already have a laptop/PC and the Ed Psych seems also to be building the expectation in them that this will be forthcoming... 

I would dearly love to know how the EP thinks that having Dragon is going to help with researching on the internet, or indeed why this particular student would want to do this when the student is already a whizz touch-typist (far faster and more accurate than I could ever hope to be)... 

I am meeting students who have been diagnosed by this person, and finding that the expectations being built in them are not at all helpful - for any of us.  

What I would like to know from all of you is - is this person acting according to guidelines from within their professional bodies (member of more than one) or not? And if not, is there any professional way to request that they stick to doing their job and not stray into mine (seemingly without the necessary experience to do it right). 

Regards

K


Karen Farmer
DSA Needs Assessor
Professional & Academic Development (PAD)
University of Bedfordshire
Park Square, Luton
LU1 3HZ

Tel: 01582 74 3422 
Internal ext: 3422
Fax:  01582 489 349

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