Learning Technology Volunteers

A variety of assistive or learning technologies (AT/LT) are being used successfully within the education system to support the learning process. As is the case with any new software there is a significant learning curve for new users. Through an innovative combination of trained volunteers and online resources, the Volunteers in Education program is training volunteers to support students as they begin to use learning technology, so they can reap the benefits of these tools as quickly as possible.

The demand for assistive or learning technology trained volunteers far exceeds the supply. If you live in the National Capital Region (Ottawa Ontario Canada) please consider volunteering in OCDSB, CEPEO or CECCE schools through the Volunteers in Education/Bénévoles dans l’éducation program.

To volunteer in Ottawa, click here.

If you are interested in setting up a volunteer program in your school community, this website provides you with the information and tools you need to train volunteers. Select the TRAINING tab in the Volunteer section of this website for more information.

Volunteers can:
*scan resources, novels or other curriculum materials and prepare the files for reading by editing the zones and underlying text in text to speech software
*support a student who needs a quiet place to use speech to text software
*coach a student with the pre-writing and writing process using Mind Mapping software
*coach students to use the study tools and the test taking tools in Kurzweil 3000
*prepare document for test taking
*support a student who is allocated more time for test taking
*supplement the school board technology training so students get extra practice they need to become fluent
*supplement the training of new students on voice to text software to create accurate word recognition files
other tasks as needed by the teacher or student

By choosing to become a school volunteer, you will join the increasing number of Canadians committed to enriching our education system.

Sharing your skills, life experience, and professional expertise with young people is rewarding enough. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are playing an important part in the success of our future generations.

Featured Testimonial

Hear about how assistive technology helps in the classroom.

Video Resources

The Assistive Technologies Support Initiative has produced a series of videos for students designed to show how AT can help them with tasks such as reading, writing, and editing. These short 3-5 minute videos are also recommended for parents and anyone who supports student learning. They can be found in the Students Video section.

Resources for Volunteers

Learning Assistive or Learning Technology is a lengthy but rewarding process. Not only will you be able to support students that need your help, you will learn 21st Century learning technology skills that you can use at home or work. If you are considering a career in teaching, learning assistive or learning technology will help you be more marketable!

Have you ever watched the FAT City Video?

  • If not, borrow a copy from your local library or Learning Disabilities Association.
    “HOW DIFFICULT CAN THIS BE?” The F.A.T. City Learning Disability Workshop by Richard Lavoie
    F.A.T. City stands for the Frustration, Anxiety and Tension which comes from living with a learning disability.
    Rick Lavoie’s resources will change your perspective and help you help your child.

Mathematics and Disabilities Handbook: Your Guide for Students with LD, ADHD, TBI and Wounded Warriors eBook can now help you with more students with different disabilities and render up-to-date advice to faculty, disability services providers and administrators on helping students with disabilities.

The Learning Disabilities Resource Guide is a fantastic resource for volunteers, educators and parents. It’s considered “the best resources out there” to help match assistive technology and learning strategies to the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

This is a fantastic site Canadian about Attention Deficit Disorder with great video clips – makes you laugh, but gives you great information too.

The Landmark College website is a wonderful resource for volunteers, students and parents. The site includes a summary of each learning technology with videos and PDF files to download.

If you are interested in learning more about Assistive or Learning Technology and how to support students with learning disabilities these resources are well recognized by educators.

For volunteers interested in becoming teachers, Learning Strategists, or Assistive Technology trainers Cambrian College offers online courses. At a minimum take the Understanding Learning Disabilities course. These online courses are also recommended to parents with children with learning disabilities.

ONFE Ottawa Volunteers in Education:

SNOW is the branch of the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University that focuses on inclusive education and learning. This Canadian site provides information and training for educators, parents and students with disabilities on technologies for learning both in and out of the classroom as well as promote understanding of inclusive practices.

Also visit resources in the Students, Teachers and Parents sections.


Online Resources

Training for Volunteers

The ATSI Volunteer Training Workshop Toolkit is for use in any school board, learning disability association or other non-profit organization to train volunteers to support students who use assistive technology. The toolkit is meant as a suggested low cost “train-the-trainer” model using the newly created ATSI videos located on this website and existing online support. Non-profit organizations can download the Powerpoint presentations and modify them to train volunteers in your own community schools.

The ATSI workshop will allow you to get familiar with some assistive technology software programs and learning strategies currently being used in education to support identified students. The workshop will also provide you with the background, training and ideas on how you can support students that use AT, and how you can support teachers that want help implementing AT into their classrooms.

You will receive a broad knowledge of assistive technology and related learning strategies used in elementary and high school educational settings.

  • Background and relevance
  • Overview of AT
  • Overview of Learning Strategies and AT
  • Technology Training in Kurzweil 3000, Dragon NaturallySpeaking
  • Links and Organizations

The toolkit is flexible and can be used as a self paced model or in a group setting. The workshop includes reviewing the ATSI videos, along with self paced learning and suggestions for additional training.

ATSI Training Outline (PDF Document) is to help you get organized and advertise your AT training event.

If you want to organize a parent AT training event at you school, visit the Volunteer Training page.

If you would like to enhance this training workshop by offering your own training tips and resources, please contact Heather Kotelniski at hkotelniski@onfe-rope.ca

ASTI Volunteer training Part 1

The Assistive Technology Support Initiative Volunteer Training Toolkit Part 1 provides:

  • Background on ATSI
  • Volunteer support and training

AT Training Part 1 PowerPoint Presentation (2.54 MB)

ATSI Volunteer Training Part 2

The Assistive Technology Support Initiative AT Training for Parents Part 2 PowerPoint Presentation (176 KB) is meant as a cost-effective “train-the-trainer” model to train volunteers and others to support students who use AT.

Training Resources

Applied Learning Disability Specialist (LDGC)

This program will provide the necessary framework for individuals interested in acquiring the skills and training required to take on the role of educator for students with learning disabilities. This program has two streams, enabling course participants to specialize in either the Learning Strategies or the Assistive Technologies stream. This course may be of interest to both parents and educators.


Help improve our content

Your help to improve and add content to this site is appreciated. Your organization will be given credit for all contributions you want to share: tip sheets, training manuals, websites, etc.

Please send your contributions and ideas to:

Adriana Johnston
Program Manager, Volunteer Programs
900 Morrison Drive, Suite 205
Ottawa, Ontario K2H 8K7
Tel: 613-366-3085 ext. 259