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Assistive Technology Tools and Strategies for Educators.

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Presentation on theme: "Assistive Technology Tools and Strategies for Educators."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assistive Technology Tools and Strategies for Educators

2 Session Goals  Overview of assistive technology  Consideration of AT in the IEP  5 Step Process of Considering AT in Writing, Reading, and Communication

3 What is Assistive Technology?  Assistive technology is a broad and inclusive term that can cover everything from computers to pencil grips.  The legal definition of assistive technology includes any device that helps a person with a disability function in a given environment, but does not limit the device to expensive or “high tech” options.  Assistive technology can include simple devices or “low tech” options such as laminated communication boards, removable highlighter tapes, reading guides and even Velcro.

4 How is Assistive Technology defined in the law?  Definition of AT includes both assistive technology devices and assistive technology services  An assistive technology device is any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

5 Assistive Technology Service  An assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. IDEA ‘97

6 Assistive Technology and the IEP  Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) by Congress in school districts must consider whether a child needs assistive technology devices and services (IDEA, 2004).  Assistive technology services must be considered during the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for any student receiving special education services.

7 Who is eligible to receive assistive technology?  All children with disabilities- birth -21 who are eligible for special education services must be provided with AT  Students who do not qualify for special education, but are determined handicapped under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are eligible for accommodations – assistive technology (Section 504 uses “handicapped” - IDEA uses “disability”)

8 IDEA and Assistive Technology  IDEA requires school systems to educate students 3-21 with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  Parents can be involved in all decisions about identification, evaluation and placement.  In the consideration of AT, decisions must be made with due consideration to FAPE, LRE, parental involvement and parents’ due process rights.

9 Categories of functional need  Reading  Written Expression  Math  Communication  Recreation  Daily organization  Seating & positioning  Hearing  Seeing  Self care  Mobility  Other areas

10 What is under the AT Umbrella?  Curriculum –Written language communication –Reading –Math –Access  Mobility –Wheelchairs, walkers or any device that helps a student move/interact with environment  Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) –Communication boards, devices, listening devices  Environmental Control –Daily living & vocational aids, architectural modifications, and recreational technologies  Sensory: Hearing/Vision –Hearing: hearing aids, closed captioned TV –Visual aids: magnifying devices, cassette tape readings, computer adaptations, Braille writer

11 Enhance Student Learning: Continuum of Devices  Consider impact of: no technologylow technologymid technologyhigh technology  Handwriting difficulty: –Pen/pencil grip –Raised lined paper –Answers tape recorded –If no independence or success-portable word processor/ computer with specialized software  If low tech device meets student’s need, school is not obligated to purchase high-tech device  IEP teams should explore all options, low to high, remembering that high end has requirements for training, maintenance, and repair

12 Let’s Revisit the AT Categories to Enhance Student Learning  Curriculum –Reading and Writing Low tech accommodations »Post-it notes »Page up »Erasable highlighters »Magnification

13 Reading Mid-Tech Accommodations  Reading Pen/Iris Pen Scan and  Reads individual words  Defines  Provides Auditory and Visual Feedback  Increase reading fluency & comprehension

14 Reading and Writing High Tech Accommodations  Software: word processors –Word prediction –Talking word processor –Screen reader –Screen enlargement  Writing With Symbols 2000  Start to Finish Books  Talking Word Processors: –WYNN –Read & Write Gold –Kurzweil –Write:Outloud –Intellitools Suite

15 Reading and Writing  Access –Enlarged keyboard –Keyguards –Trackballs –Touch window –Special switches  Spell Checker  Grammar Checker  Inspiration/Kidspiration  Co:Writer 4000  MS Office Accessibility Features  Talking Word Processors: –WYNN –Read & Write Gold –Kurzweil –Write:Outloud –Intellitools Suite

16 Access-Hardware Adaptations  Alternative Keyboard-Intellikeys  Trackball/Joystick  Touch Window  Key guard  Switch Access

17 Enhance Student Learning in Math- Low Tech High Tech  Manipulatives  Number Line  Math Fact Sheet  Calculator  IntelliMathics –Authoring program –Virtual manipulatives  Equation Editor –View/Toolbars/Customize/Command/Insert/Equation Editor

18 Mobility Accommodations  Wheelchairs  Walkers  Crutches  Orthotics  Standing Aids  Auto Accessories-Mirrors

19 Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC)  Picture communication books  DynaMyte- portable touch screen with audio/visual capabilities  ChatPC  Message Mates

20 Environmental Control Devices  Amplified Photo Phone  Utensil Holders  Built Up Utensils  Elastic Shoe Laces  Velcro Button Tabs

21 Sensory Aids: Hearing and Visual  Visual aids –Magnifying devices –Cassette tape recordings –Computer adaptations –Braille writer  Hearing Aids –Hearing aids –Closed captioned TV

22 Assistive Technology in the School  Assistive technology must be considered when a child’s IEP is developed, reviewed or revised  All IEP team members need to know when & where specific technologies are used to meet needs of the student’s educational program  AT in the IEP can be listed in: –Supplemental Aides & Modifications Provided in regular classroom to be educated in LRE –Special Education AT will specifically relate to IEP Goals & Objectives Using specific software to complete a task –Related Service Supportive services that are required to assist a child with a disability benefit from special education Similar to OT, PT, Speech, counseling, mobility services IEP Goals must be developed when AT is related service

23 Resources  RESNA-Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America  Closing the Gap  Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)  Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)  The Alliance for Technology Access  Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative  AbleData  Fidgets  OnionMountain om/index.php om/index.php


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