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Early Childhood and Assistive Technology. Use of This Power Point Presentation The information in this presentation is accurate and current as of November.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Childhood and Assistive Technology. Use of This Power Point Presentation The information in this presentation is accurate and current as of November."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Childhood and Assistive Technology

2 Use of This Power Point Presentation The information in this presentation is accurate and current as of November 2011. You may copy and distribute portions of the Power Point without prior consent. Of course, we would appreciate attribution to the Family Center on Technology and Disability, under U.S. Department of Education Grant H327F080003. Page 2

3 Identification of Products Products that are identified in this presentation are meant only as examples. The Family Center on Technology and Disability and the U.S. Department of Education do not endorse specific products. There are many other fine AT devices and resources available in addition to those discussed and pictured in this tutorial. Page 3

4 What Is Assistive Technology? Page 4 Devices Services “... any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether bought off the shelf, modified, or customized, used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities.” “... any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of assistive technology.”

5 AT Continuum No Tech Medium Tech Simple Modifications Relatively Complicated Without Technology Mechanical Devices Low Tech High Tech Less SophisticatedVery Advanced Low-cost Tools Computers and Digital Devices Page 5

6 Categories of AT for Young Children Adapted & Universally Designed Toys Communication Tools Computer Access Daily Living Aids Educational Aids Mobility Aids Sensory Aids Page 6

7 Examples of Daily Living and Mobility Aids Daily Living Aids -Utensil cuff -Sippy Cup -Pediatric reacher Page 7 Mobility and Ambulation Aids -Manual/Power Wheelchairs -Leg Braces -Platform Walker

8 Seating and Positioning Supports In getting ready for play, make sure that children have the necessary physical supports so that all their efforts can focus on playful interactions. Page 8

9 Seating and Positioning Supports Motor and positioning supports include items that stabilize a position, i.e. sitting or standing and allow a learner to be independent in a learning activity, i.e. reading or writing. An occupational or physical therapist can provide valuable input regarding seating and positioning. Page 9

10 Seating and Positioning Supports Supports include: – Seat and table at correct height and depth – Modifications to standard seat or desk – Alternate seating – Adapted seating or stander – Custom fitted wheelchair or insert Page 10

11 Sensory Aids Page 11 Make simple low-tech adaptations to sensory materials and look for tools that meet children’s individual needs by: - Increasing attention - Eliminating distractions - Improving focus

12 Examples of sensory aids Device that provides sensory input to help the learner to attend (Pictured – Disco Sit) Aid may have heightened or lessened sensations of taste, touch, vision, accompanied by examples Page 12

13 Communication is Power! The ability to make choices is a powerful method of communication! Page 13 - Alleviates frustration -Provides an outlet for expression

14 Communication Sometimes a child is born with little or no speech abilities. Children with little or no speech need a way to communicate their wants, needs and desires. Tools for communication provide a way for these children to interact with their environments. Page 14

15 Tools for Communication Tools can be as simple as a gesture or paper symbol or as complex as a computer system with a digitized voice. Often more than one tool or strategy will be used to create a language-rich environment. Page 15

16 Tools for Communication Sometimes parents and teachers are afraid that if their child uses an alternate tool to communicate that regular speech will never develop. Research has consistently shown that the use of alternative or augmented communication tools will not hurt, and will often help, the development of normal speech. Page 16

17 Communication & Social Interaction Young children benefit from using communication symbols and communication devices as a bridge to language. Make sure that children have the necessary communication supports to be a play partner. Consider how the child will make choices and communicate their wants and needs during play. Page 17

18 Communication Tools Picture Symbols: -May be organized as symbol sets -Can be used to create simple activity boards -Reinforce basic literacy skills Voice Output Devices: -Range from mid-tech to high- tech -Allow a child to have a “voice” Page 18 BIGMack by AbleNet Boardmaker Symbols by Mayer-Johnson

19 Low-Tech Communication Boards Inexpensive Easy to Use Require little maintenance Portable Durable Flexible Page 19

20 Low Tech Options Use picture communication symbols to….. Make communication boards Create calendars Design schedules Enhance IEP’s and progress reports Create worksheets, flash cards, and symbol cards And much, much more... Page 20

21 Examples of Symbol Making Tools Boardmaker TheraSimplicity Pogo Boards Mrs. Riley Symbol Mate Picture This Page 21

22 Toy Selection Select developmentally appropriate materials and curriculum Work with the child’s team to develop strategies and address challenges Look for qualities of “Universal Design” Page 22

23 Universal Design for Learning Page 23 Universal Design for Learning (UDL): The design of products to be useable by all people without the need for adaptation Toys that are universally designed might have one or more of the following features: Sound Color Texture Manipulatives

24 Educational Aids - Cause & Effect Software - Early Literacy Software - Writing Aids - Stamps - Pencil grips - Slant board Page 24 Stamping Sticks by Discount School Supply Early Learning 1 by Marblesoft

25 Computer Access Adaptations Page 25 Neurotypical children generally access the computer via a mouse. When a child cannot access the computer via a mouse then an alternate way is needed, such as a switch. A switch is a way for the user to take control of the computer. A switch generally requires less manual dexterity than a mouse.

26 Computer Access Adaptations Page 26 Switch Considerations Style & Type Size Placement Switch Interface

27 Computer Access Adaptations Page 27 Mouse Alternatives Touch Screen Trackball/Joystick Pointing Devices

28 Computer Access Adaptations Page 28 Alternative Keyboards Different Key Configurations Variable Sizes Programmable Availability of On- Screen Keyboards

29 When used appropriately, technology can… Provide support for independence Engage all learning styles Reduce distraction Develop social skills Promote active learning and inclusion Page 29

30 How does AT support inclusion? Communicate: Through augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and methods Participate: Through inclusive playtime Learn: Through adapted curriculum and materials Page 30 Technology can provide a bridge for students to Communicate, Participate, and Learn along with their typically developing peers.

31 What is the process for choosing AT for young children? Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) teams for children ages 0-3 and Individual Education Plan (IEP) teams for children 4- 21 consider and select appropriate assistive technology for each child with a disability. Page 31

32 What is the process for choosing AT for young children? ISFP and IEP teams: – Consider whether AT is needed to assist in the student’s educational development – Identify AT devices and services and any training needed for the child, family, school, therapists, or support staff School districts may have their own consideration processes and forms Page 32

33 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) IDEA is the Federal special education law concerned with educational outcomes for students with special needs. IDEA requires that schools track the educational progress of children with identified disabilities. IDEA requires that assistive technology must be considered for all students with disabilities. This does not mean that it must be provided, but a meaningful consideration process must take place. Page 33

34 What is “Consideration?” Consideration is not defined by law. It is usually part of the process of developing a child’s annual IEP or IFSP. The IEP/IFSP team members consider whether assistive technology and related services are needed by the student to achieve the developmental and educational goals identified in the plan. Page 34

35 Documenting AT in the plan Page 35 IFSP/IEP sections most likely to include AT are: Special Education and related services Present level of performance/strengths Annual goals and objectives Transition goals and objectives Comprehensive evaluation Adaptations and modifications

36 How to pay for AT Evaluation and Devices Page 36 Schools are required to provide AT devices, including assessment, training, and evaluation, if the device is included in the child’s IEP/IFSP. The school then owns the device, even if it has been customized for the child. If an AT device is paid for by a child’s parents or their insurance plan, the family owns the device. Medicaid will only pay for devices that have been documented as “durable medical equipment.” Community Service groups, such as Lions or Elks clubs, may offer partial or total funding.

37 Resources Page 37

38 Additional Resources ABLEDATA - - Center for Early Literacy Learning - Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD) –

39 Additional Resources Infinitec - National Assistive Technology Technology Assistance Partnership (NATTAP) - PACER Center - Tots-n-Tech – http://tnt.asu.edu

40 Family Center on Technology and Disability 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20009-5721 phone: (202) 884-8217 fax: (202) 884-8441 email:

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