UNBSJ’s New Assistive Technology Specialist: A position that will benefit students with learning disabilities

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UNBSJ students with learning disabilities who are looking for technological assistants can look no further. Rob Pafford is UNBSJ’s new Assistive Technology Specialist on campus.

“I’ll be here to assist any students with hardware, software [and anything else on] their laptops. Or maybe even a separate device to overcome a learning disability,” says Pafford.

With a B.A and B.Ed in one hand and a computer certificate in the other, Pafford believes that he has the tools he needs to be successful and thoroughly help students who need it. Students are not the only focus; Pafford states that he is also available to professors.

“Part of the reason why I like this job is because I have a hearing disability myself, so I know what it is like to go through school with a disability […] now that I have been through, I’m in a job where I can hopefully give back and help other students like me,” states Pafford.

Pafford explains that one of the most common programs students with learning disabilities who use computer software is called Dragon. Dragon is a program that records what you are saying and writes it onto a word document for you. These programs are available to students on the basement computers in the Hans W. Klohn Commons building.

Students who have disabilities can go to the accessibility center through student services, located on the ground floor of Oland Hall, where they will determine whether or not a student is applicable for funding in order to help with their studies. “Lacking here [at UNBSJ] is someone who can help students with it [technology] if they have a technical problem, if they need training on it, if they get an error and they don’t know what to do. I would be the tech support for that,” says Pafford.

Pafford states that part of the reason he was brought in to UNBSJ was to see what the demand is, what he can do with what UNB already has, and how he can use that to help students with a specific need.

If students have any questions or would like to book an appointment, Rob Pafford is available through email at robert.pafford@UNB.ca or by telephone at 506-648-5840.