AT-SAM Pro: Access Technology Skills Assessment Measure

(Professional Edition)

A technology skills screening / hiring tool for applicants and new hires with disabilities


The AT-SAM (Access Technology Skills Assessment Measure) tool is a person-to-person V-Learning process intended to produce a functional baseline assessment of computer-linked assistive technology skills of a person with visual impairment. The person assessed may be a job candidate, a new hire, or an employee in need of assessment for AT skill-training connected to job risk, job change, or promotion within the enterprise.

The person assessed may be blind, have low vision, or have other visual impairment, or learning / physical disabilities that limit their ability to read hard copy print or operate a standard Windows PC / laptop without the aid of Assistive Technology (AT) hardware, software, or peripheral equipment, including computer Braille

Applicants and new hires work at an accessible workstation at the local Company site where they would eventually work, if hired. They are hosted and assisted by their local HR/Personnel rep, who also takes and processes their job application.

Assessors work remotely from replica accessible workstations in the VVT Access Learning Center located in Greater Philadelphia, PA.

Why screen people for Assistance Technology skills? Since its first use in a large corporate enterprise, AT-SAM has been 99% reliable as a predictor of success for job candidates with disabilities hired into computer-linked corporate jobs. After one year, all candidates hired using the AT-SAM screening process were still in their jobs; and most excelled, with high rates of productivity, efficiency, and accuracy when compared to their sighted colleagues.

In contrast, visually impaired candidates hired into corporate positions without AT-SAM skill screening resulted in a 50% job failure / turnover rate.

Using functional performance measurements and careful V-Learning observation methodology, the AT-SAM assessment team develops a baseline of the blind or low vision person’s abilities to operate a standard Windows computer equipped with Microsoft Office using Assistive Technologies, in a simulated high pressure work environment.

Since the person must use AT to access Windows computers, AT-SAM measures the person’s technology performance skills in two arenas: mainstream & assistive software / hardware.

A written Results Report created by Virtual Vision Technologies assessors gives HR staff detailed scoring data about an applicant’s technical abilities, and by implication, about their chances to succeed in a computer-linked job in a high pressure environment.

HR then weighs this information along other standard hiring and interview elements in order to project an applicant’s prospects for success if placed in the job for which they are being considered. If all looks good, the person is hired.


Since computer training for the blind and visually impaired around the country is not yet standardized, an approach for measuring competence is imperative to making informed hiring decisions. It is important both to employer and applicant to be sure that this person is able to work successfully and happily in the integrated competitive mainstream work environment.

Evaluation Metrics

The AT-SAM V-Learning™ process evaluates five work skill competencies, including measurement of the person’s ability to demonstrate hands-on ability with job tasks. The primary goal of AT-SAM is to measure the person’s ability to use Access Technology (AT) hardware and software to complete computer tasks quickly and efficiently.

AT-SAM measures the applicant’s demonstrated skills to use Low Vision and/or Blindness Assistive Technologies (AT), including:

  • AT talking screen reader software such as JAWS, HAL, or WindowEyes
  • AT Screen magnification AT software such as MAGic or ZoomText
  • (optional) Computer Braille reading devices, such as the FOCUS Braille Display
  • This high tech AT enables the skilled user to access and operate and perform work tasks with:
  • A Windows computer (PC / laptop)
  • Microsoft Office, including MS Word , Excel, Outlook functions, Email, the Internet
  • Windows keyboard, with minimal Standard typing speed and accuracy

AT-SAM also measures a person’s functional ability to:

  • Follow verbal directions for computer work with accuracy and efficiency
  • Use Assistive Technology applications to access the computer
  • Work calmly and carefully under pressure.
  • Perform simulated job tasks that require one to:
    • Retain and maintain customer information data
    • Address incoming customer assistance requests

AT-SAM Scoring and Results:

Skills are scored using normal minimal Company Performance Standards required of sighted people in the same job role

An AT-SAM Quick-Results Outcome Report is sent electronically to the hiring company’s HR rep within two hours of AT-SAM process completion.

A Detailed Outcome Results Report follows within 24 hours, articulating areas of AT skills scored for strength and weakness.

If AT-SAM scores indicate that the candidate does not meet the company’s minimum standards for the designated role, Virtual Vision’s AT-SAM reports specify areas the applicant should work to improve before applying again.


AT-SAM is a key assessment tool by which both employer and applicant can ensure professional placement with a high level of anticipated retention, job satisfaction and performance success.

The AT-SAM instrument is not intended to screen out job applicants or new hires; nor does it serve a gate keeping function.

AT-SAM is intended to establish a skills measurement baseline and to provide information to HR personnel to help them make sound hiring decisions.

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