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Athabasca University

Acquiring the right technology?

Questions to think about when researching your assistive technology needs including funding applications:

  • Do you have any technical aides or equipment that assists you with reading, writing, or learning activities?
  • Who funded the aides?
  • How old are they?
  • Do you have a computer?
    • Did you purchase it or did you receive funding? If it was funded, who gave you the funding and when did they give it to you?
    • What are the specifications for your computer: Processor, RAM, type of sound card, USB ports, etc?
    • Do you have a printer or scanner?
  • What kind of computer experience do you have?
  • What software are you using? What versions do you have? Was it funded?
  • Check student financing documentation guidelines.
  • Investigate their recommended system specifications.

If you are obtaining quotes through a store, please protect yourself by asking some of the following questions:

  • How long has the store been in business? (recommend 5 or more years)
  • What is the warranty? (1 to 3 years expected)
  • How costly is an extended warranty and what benefits does it provide? (may provide in home service. Please note that students are expected to bear the cost of warranty with most funding programs.)
  • Does the system require reconfigured software or hardware for that brand-name?
  • Where is servicing done and is replacement equipment provided? (in town with replacement available if repairs will extend beyond a few days may be optimum)
  • What technical support is available? (help from vendor beyond the on-line support)
  • Which Microsoft Office is Right for You? (MS Office Comparison Chart)

Updated April 30 2014 by Student & Academic Services

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