PDA Intervention Plan: Implementing Electronic Memory and Organization Aids

Yvonne Gillette, PhD, Roberta dePompei, PhD, Elaine Goetz, BA, NIDRR and University of Akron
PDA Intervention Plan: Implementing Electronic Memory and Organization Aids

PDA Intervention Plan

Use this guide to provide assistance for intervention team members to assess the need for electronic memory/organization intervention, develop an intervention plan, and monitor progress through evaluation forms.

Electronic Memory Organization Aids

PDAs, Smartphones, and cell phones all include personal assistance functions. Cell phones are included since many feature the same functions as PDAs.

PDA stands for personal digital assistant and is the most complex and computer-like of all the devices. In fact, PDAs are often referred to as pocket computers or palmtops. Functions include address books, alarm, calendar, internet, e-mail, and word processing software.

  • Examples: Palm Zire™, Dell Axim™

Smartphones combine a full-featured mobile phone with handheld computer functions such as touchscreens, miniature QWERTY keyboards, calendar, address book, and notepad.

  • Examples: Blackberry™, Nokia™

Cell phones are portable electronic devices used for mobile communication. Memory aids on cell phones include alarms, calendars, and e-mail access.

  • Examples: Motorola™, Nokia™, Samsung™, etc.

Key Concepts

  • Increase independence for your client
  • Assist with organization and memory
  • Provide a means of planning
  • Promote increased socialization with peers and family

Tips for Interventionists

  • Acquire knowledge and experience about devices to better assist your client.
  • Work on your client’s responses using the device and then move to teaching entry if possible.
  • Involve the intervention team in the use of device.
  • Begin with frequent intervention and gradually increase sessions over time.
  • Encourage your client to wear the device, for example on a lanyard, to prevent loss or theft.
  • Get feedback from team and your client on a regular basis.
  • Encourage exploration of device through use of various functions, including games.
  • Remember that the use of device is not limited to work-tasks and can be used for fun.

Please click here to download the complete PDA Intervention Plan: Implementing Electronic Memory and Organization Aids document.

Posted on BrainLine November 6, 2008.

This work is produced in partnership with the Assistive Technology Collaboration on Cognitive Disabilities (University of Akron, Temple University, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Brain Injury Association of America) and was funded by the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Project Number H13A030810. For more information, go to www.biausa.org and click on Research, then Assistive Technology.