Agenda Purpose • To be able to answer “What is AT?” • To understand when AT needs to be considered • To learn some new AT tools and strategies • Introduction • Overview of AT Presentation • Questions & Answers
Using Technology Why Would Anyone Use Technology? … to accomplish tasks that would be difficult or impossible to accomplish without assistance where the tasks need to be done in the available time with the available resources
What is Assistive Technology? A system of no tech, low tech, and high tech tools, strategies, and services that match a person's needs, abilities, and tasks
Reading Fact • Roughly 85% of children diagnosed with learning difficulties have a primary problem with reading and related language skills. • Reading difficulties are neurodevelopmental in nature. • Neurodevelopmental problems don't go away, but they do not mean that a student (or an adult) cannot learn or progress in school and life. • Most children with reading difficulties can be taught reading and strategies for success in school. • When children's reading problems are identified early, they are more likely to learn strategies that will raise their reading to grade level.
Decoding Activity: Recognizing Phonemes Phonemes are the building blocks of language. Represented by letters of the alphabet, they are the component sounds of spoken words. Most people automatically hear, for example, that the word "goat" is made up of three sounds: "guh," "oh," and "tuh." Reading requires the ability to map the phonemes we hear to letters on a page, and vice versa. But what happens when this basic skill, called decoding, doesn't come automatically? Imagine struggling to sound out every word because you can't distinguish among phonemes.
Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with this phoneme translation key. Then use it to read the passage on the next page. Phoneme translation key:
Read the passage aloud to yourself -- or to a roomful of your peers! (Here's that translation key again.) When you see Pronounce as qzpbysa, as in bate, as in pet d or tmbpere, as in peta, as in bat
What is Assistive Technology?IDEA (20 U.S.C. Section 1401) includes the following definitions: Assistive Technology Device: 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 functional capabilities of children with disabilities. Assistive Technology Service: Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.
ABILITIES GOALS TOOLS Abilities to Goals
Consideration Use a dynamic, ongoing process of information gathering and decision-making. Trials should be conducted before determining if an AT device is appropriate. Take into account the required tasks within various instructional areas across all relevant environments
Considerations (cont.) Match device features to student’s capabilities, interests and needs Evaluate the student’s AT needs including addressing barriers to student’s performance Team must have knowledge and experience with AT; may consult with other district personnel, use outside agencies or vendors, but the final decision rests with the IEP team
Remember Consideration and training are ongoing processes Factors which may influence the process: Change in the environment Change in the student needs/skills/preferences New technology There are no guarantees: it is important to realize the solution reached at one point in time may not be appropriate later!
Legislation The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) The Assistive Technology Act Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 508 of the Rehab Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) Guarantees all children with disabilities the benefit of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) Services defined in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) AT must be “considered” for every student during the development of the IEP AT that is needed must be provided at no cost to the individual or family
AT Concepts • Assistive Technology is essentially a legal term related to use and need, not to specific items • Includes a broad range of possible devices and services • Not always something to be acquired
AT Concepts • Categories of tools that can be AT if required by a student for FAPE • Assistive Technology • Instructional Technology • Universally Designed Technology • Universally Designed Instruction (UDL)
Functional Capabilities • Reading • Written Expression • Math • Problem-solving • Communication • Recreation • Daily organization • Seating/Positioning • Hearing • Seeing • Self-Care • Mobility • Behavior • Specific task-related skills
Continuum from Low to High Tech Assistive Technology Low Tech Mid Tech High Tech *Simple *Some Maintenance *Complex Electronics *Little Maintenance *Some training *More training *Limited/No Electronics *More Electronics *More Maintenance
Low and High Tech LOW TECH: Equipment and other supports readily available in schools, including off-the-shelf items to accommodate the needs of the students, which can be provided by general/special education through the Student Study Team/IEP processes (e.g., calculator, tape recorder, pencil grip, large pencils) 23
Low and High Tech (cont.) HIGH TECH: Supports and services beyond basic assistive technology, often for students with low incidence and/or significant/severe disabilities, which require more in-depth assessment (e.g., closed circuit television (CCTV), FM systems, sound field systems, augmentative communication devices, alternative computer access, and specialized software)
The Assistive Technology Team is made up of anyone that interacts with the student: Teachers and paraprofessionals, Parents, Other Specialists – speech, OT, Physical Other agencies such as the Regional Center, CCS, outside assessors. However! AT decisions are made by the student’s IEP team.
TheMOST IMPORTANT Team Membership Issue Team membership is flexible and team members are selected basedon thespecificneedsoftheindividual withdisabilities
Gather data from a variety of sources... “That was wonderful, Leonard, but according to our earlier assessments, you are not able to do that.”
The SETT Framework Student Environments Tasks Tools
The Goal of SETT Framework … to help collaborative teams create Student-centered (Self), Environmentally-useful, and Tasks-focused Tool systems that foster the educational success of students with disabilities
The Student/Self The person who is the central focus of the AT process. The person for whom everyone involved in any part of the AT service provision is an advocate.
Environments The customary environments in which the student is (or can be) expected to learn and grow
Tasks The specific things that the student needs to be able to do to reach expectations and make educational progress
Tools The supports and services needed by the student and others for the student to do in tasks in order to meet expectations
Critical Elements of the SETT Framework Collaboration Communication Multiple Perspectives Pertinent information Shared Knowledge Flexibility On-going Processes
Feature Matching • Individual • Needs • Abilities • Expectations • Environments • Future Plans • Technology • Features • Input/User Interface • Processing • Output
Quality Indicators for Eight Areas • Administrative Support • Consideration • Assessment • IEP Development • Implementation • Evaluation of Effectiveness • Transition • Professional Development
Major Categories of Assistive Technology Devices • Computer Access • AAC • AT for People with Learning Disabilities • AT for People with Sensory Impairments • Low Tech Solutions Creative Thinking • Seating/Positioning • Mobility Aids • ADL / EADL • Recreation
For whom? Think STUDENT or SELF For where? ThinkENVIRONMENT For what? Think goals and TASKS Thinking about AT TOOLS
“Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein
AT is Everywhere!! AT does not have to be expensive or complicated AT can be anything that assists a person with a disability
Example of Creative Thinking Battery Operated Kerosene Pump Adapted for switch access Total device cost - under $10 Plant Watering Device
Remember….. Think Outside the BOX!!! Traditional Thinking
Output Modalities • Auditory • Visual • Combination • Interface • Tactile