IDEA and IEPs With the re-authorization of the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) in 1997, IEP (Individualized Education Program) teams are required to consider assistive technology devices and services when developing, reviewing, and revising IEPs for students with disabilities. Georgia Department of Education website
IDEA guidelines mandate that school districts must: Ensure that AT devices and services are made available to a child with a disability if required as part of the child’s special education and related services as stated in the child’s IEP. Describe in a child’s IEP any AT devices or services that will be provided in connection with the child’s placement in regular education. http://www.sedl.org/ Empowering Rural Students with Disabilities Through Assistive Technology
Who needs an IEP? Any child who has difficulty learning and functioning and has been identified as a special needs student, must have an Individualized Education Program on file. http://kidshealth.org
Possible reasons for IEPs Learning disabilities Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Emotional disorders Cognitive challenges Autism Hearing impairment Speech or language impairment Developmental delay http://kidshealth.org
What is an AT device? The Georgia Project for Assistive Technology defines an Assistive Technology device as: 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 a child with a disability. Georgia Department of Education Division for Special Education Supports Georgia Project for Assistive Technology
The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. (Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(1) Georgia Department of Education Division for Special Education Supports Georgia Project for Assistive Technology
An AT device: Gives IEP teams the flexibility to provide a range of solutions from low technology to high technology depending on need. May include modifications, accommodations, and instructional technology as required by the student. May include tools and strategies that are components of universal design for learning (UDL). Georgia Department of Education Division for Special Education Supports Georgia Project for Assistive Technology
AT solutions: Academic and learning aids Aids to daily living Assisted living devices and environment aids Augmentative communication Computer access and instruction Environmental control Mobility aids Pre-vocational and vocational aids Recreation and leisure Seating and positioning Visual aids Georgia Department of Education Division for Special Education Supports Georgia Project for Assistive Technology
What can AT do? SWLDs (students with learning disabilities) can be more successful in school, at home, at work, and in social/recreational activities. AT can support both remedial and compensatory approaches for a student. AT should focus on what the device does for a student not on the device or technology itself. Jendron, Janet. “Assistive Technology and Learning Disabilities.” www.sc.edu/scatp/ld.htm
Considerations in selecting AT for the classroom Students’ abilities and needs Goals of the curriculum based on standards of performance Effective instructional practices (Ex: defining purposes and providing authentic opportunities for self-expression, drafting, peer review, etc.) Ways to assess or monitor student progress. CITEd Research Center www.cited.org Using Assistive Technology to Support Writing
Use a general technology tool To serve a particular purpose for students with certain mild disabilities, i.e. illegible handwriting, difficulty in transferring thoughts to paper Examples: Standard text production tools Speech-to-text tools Relevant formatting features in Microsoft Office Using Assistive Technology to Support Writing www.cited.org
Tools to Organize Information To help students generate and organize through building visual relationships. Graphic organizer software Visual thesauruses & dictionaries Online calendars Using Assistive Technology to Support Writing www.cited.org
Tools for Physical and Sensory Access To provide access for students with significant motor or sensory impairments. Color-coded or larger keyboard Computer-generated voice Zoom video on monitors Using Assistive Technology to Support Writing www.cited.org
AT Tools for WRITING Microsoft Word options – Students can set preferences for text color, size of font, and type of font. IntelliKeys – A programmable alternative keyboard Write:OutLouds – Software that provides auditory output to allows students to hear what they are writing. Kidspiration – Helps students organize and develop ideas in a graphic format.
AT Tools for MATH Coin-u-Later – A hand-held device that makes counting money easy. Show Me Math – Software that includes basic math computation with on-screen manipulatives. Time Scales – Software that allows students to match times, choose times, or set a clock using auditory steps.
AT Tools for Reading Audio textbooks – Provides textbooks in audio format for the hearing impaired Books on tape – Supplemental recreational reading resource Large-print books Text Reading Systems – Translates printed text to voice
AT Tools for ORGANIZATION AlphaSmart 3000 – Portable word processor that allows the student to complete and organize written work in up to 8 different folders. PicSyms – Line drawn graphic symbols for student use. Includes sign language symbols.
AT Tools for COMMUNICATION Flip & Talk – System that consists of a spiral bound set of 15 vinyl strips with picture tabs. PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System – Students approach and give a picsym of a desired item to a communicative partner in exchange for that item. Step-by-Step Communicator – A voice-output, one button sequential messaging communication device.
AT Tools for COMPUTER ACCESS TouchWindow – A touch screen that attaches over a computer monitor for direct selection. Microsoft Word Processing options Zoom View – Software to enlarge screen view for visually impaired persons. Standard TehnologyTools Checklist for Elementary http://assistivetech.sf.k12.sd.us/elementary.htm Slides 15- 20
Who is teaching students with disabilities? “96% of general educators report that they currently teach students with disabilities or have done so in the past.” -- Westat (www.spense.org) “Only 1/3 of general educators feel well-prepared to teach students with disabilities.” --U.S. Department of Education
It is our responsibility to be prepared!Let’s work together to find solutions to help our students succeed.