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AT 101. Presenter: Rachel Herron Email: [email protected] Including the work of the ATRC Team of Chicago Public Schools. Welcome to AT 101. Who is here?. Why use AT?. What do you want to know?. What do you know?.

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AT 101

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AT 101

Presenter: Rachel Herron

Email: [email protected]

Including the work of the ATRC

Team of Chicago Public Schools

Welcome to AT 101

Who is here?

Why use AT?

What do you want to know?

What do you know?

What is assistive technology?

  • An assistive technology device is “any item, piece of equipment, or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a student.”

  • Assistive technology services include any service that directly assists a student with disabilities in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive device.

What is UDL?

  • Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

  • UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Moving Forward with UDL

Universal Design

The Children’s

Museum of


Universal Design

Accessible Playgrounds of Indiana

Freedom Field, Columbus, Indiana

Taylor’s Dream Boundless Playground, Fort Wayne, Indiana

UDL and AT in Partnership


  • IDEA states that "assistive technology devices and services" must be provided by school districts to eligible children if necessary to ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education.

  • IEP teams consider student need for assistive technology. AT should allow the student to perform a skill (read, write, communicate, etc.) more easily or efficiently in the least restrictive environment or with less assistance.

AT is appropriate when it…

Enables an individual to:

  • Perform functions achieved by no other means

  • Demonstrate age-appropriate fluency, rate, or standards or a higher level of accomplishment

  • Participate in programs or activities which otherwise would be closed to the individual

  • Increase endurance or ability to complete laborious tasks

  • Concentrate on learning rather than mechanics

  • Gain access to information

  • Increase social interactions with peers and adults


AT in Action

Technology currently used in class:

Smart boards


Word Walls

Pencil Grips

These are ALL examples of AT

What would you LIKE to be using?

Continuum from No/Low Tech to High Tech


Please read the following text to yourself:

I susgect th at thechil b wi tha learn ing disadility mu stfre quent lyex ger i               e              n                o                   e                   an alicein won berl an bex is ten ceof the wef in b tba tthe ymu st co ge wi tha n unsta dlew or lb in consistentabul tsa nd haphaza r b gerceg tio nsthey rec on Fuseb dyth erca zys ym dols we piv them gress ureb dy t he leng tho ft imei nwic hto b oi tamb frus tra ted dy regea teb fa ily resth eybo no tlear no hetra bit lon alw ayamb sow ern u stte achth embif Fere ntly.


I suspect that children with learning disabilities must frequently experience an "Alice in Wonderland" existence. Often we find that they must cope with an unstable world, inconsistent adults and haphazard perceptions. They're confused by crazy symbols we give them, pressured by the length of time in which to do it and frustrated by repeated failures. They do not learn the traditional way, so we must teach them differently.

Assistive technology devices

  • The following are ideas of how to use assistive technology to support students in the LRE. Most of these devices do NOT require an assistive tech referral or evaluation.



One line of text shown at a time.

Distractions removed on the page.

Student can focus on relevant text.

Visual tracking is easier.

Line Markers/Reading Guides

Colored Overlays

  • Colored overlays are transparent sheets that come in various colors

  • When placed over text, this may help a student view the text in a clearer manner





Read:Outloud in Indiana:

Read:Outloud 5 Minute Demo:





Choose a letter of the alphabet and write it on the top of the paper.

Copy the words read aloud in a short passage omitting the letter at the top of the page.


Writing (motor)…

Low technology for writing

  • Paper or book stabilizer

  • Pen or Pencil grips

  • Weighted pencil

  • Slant board

Writing (motor)…

Word prediction software


Alternate keyboards

Writing (process)…

Graphic organizer

Concept mapping (or webbing) is a great way to help students organize thoughts. In addition mapping assists with comprehension and studying. Color coding makes the web even more organized.

Different colors can mean different things.

Using a favorite color can be more motivating.

Note Taking Pen

  • Record and playback (up to 400 hours)

  • Save, Search and Organize

  • Send and Share






Colored binders




Communication Activity

  • Pair up and select a “communicator” and a “listener”

  • The communicator will place several marshmallows in each cheek and will describe the picture in the provided booklet.

  • The listener will write down what he or she believes the communicator is trying to describe.





Referral Process for AT and AAC

WATI Referral Page


What task(s) does the student need to do that is currently difficult or impossible, and for which assistive technology may be an option?



  • WATI Resource Guide

  • mATch Up

    (Maryland Assistive Technology Connection HUB)

  • AT Pinterest Board



Take time to PLAY!

The more you know the better you will be at implementation.

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