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Assistive Technology Presentation

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Module 4 assignment for ITEC 7530, Spring 2014 @ Georgia Southern University

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Assistive Technology Presentation

  1. 1. ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: EDUCATIONAL APPLICATIONS Elizabeth Harris ITEC 7530 – Spring 2014
  2. 2. Overview • This presentation will present: • an overview of the procedures and policies in place for students who have special needs and their legal basis • information concerning the history and make-up of accommodation systems • resources that can enhance students' educational experience • how assistive technology can benefit the entire class • suggestions for educators to include in their planning
  3. 3. Purpose • Due to existing conditions, which may be temporary or permanent, some students may need varying accommodations to allow them to fully participate in the process of education - due to impairments or disabilities that affect/limit their abilities to: • • • • walk, breathe, eat, or sleep communicate, see, hear, or speak read, concentrate, think, or learn stand, bend, lift, or work • Most important thing to remember? • Above all else, a student is a student • A student is not the tools of which they make use
  4. 4. Legal developments • U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 (1) • First ensured that students with “limitations” would be entitled to various accommodations to allow them to participate in public schools • Still exists in “504 Plans” • Education for All Handicapped Children Act, 1975 (2) • Ensured access to special education and supportive services • Amended in 1998, renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (3) • IDEA was further amended in 2004 • Establishment of the Individual Education Program (IEP)
  5. 5. 504 Plans • Section 504 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 allowed for the development of specialized plans to assist students with impairments while participating in public schools (4) • 504 plans provide assistance to overcome limitations in both physical and mental processes in order to ensure fair treatment at school • Not the formalized process that surrounds the current procedures for IEP development, but still should involve the student and parents as well as school personnel • Plans should be reviewed annually to determine current needs of the student
  6. 6. 504 plan options • • Examples of accommodations in 504 plans include: • preferential seating • extended time on tests and assignments • reduced homework or classwork • verbal, visual, or technology aids • modified textbooks or audio-video materials • behavior management support • adjusted class schedules or grading • verbal testing • excused lateness, absence, or missed classwork • pre-approved nurse's office visits and accompaniment to visits • occupational or physical therapy Many of these are involved in IEPs as well – and are examples of non-tech assistive devices/methods
  7. 7. IDEA & IEPs • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) established the formal system of Individual Education Program (IEP) development to ensure the most supportive services are available to students in public schools (5) • Development of IEP includes • assessment of the student’s skills and limitations by various professionals, presentation of needed accommodations • Involvement of educational professionals to accurately apply the assistance to the curriculum • Parents and the student are important members of the team • SMART goals are established (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) for the student’s school year. • Reviewed annually
  8. 8. From plans to programs • No longer just a case of different seating and / or testing arrangements • IEPs include a variety of educational adjustments • Students may receive therapy during the school day • Therapists may work with the classroom teacher on inclusionary techniques for use in the general classroom • Student may attend some classes in a separate room, but many will be in a general classroom – with accommodations as needed • Goal is to support the student, not have them stand out • Older students should be allowed flexibility in accommodation methods to help support high levels of self-esteem and awareness
  9. 9. Assistive Technologies • Assistive technologies (AT) are now included – not just non-tech methods • Definition: “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (6) • Levels of technology: (7) • Non-tech: pencil grips, page turn tabs, picture directions rather than written, computer carrels for isolation/removal of distractions • Low-tech: computer for writing (rather than by hand), adjustments to software for easier visibility, tactile demonstration models, communication boards, variations on input devices (keyboards, mice, touch screen options) • High-tech: OCR / text reader programs, speech-to-text software, note taking systems (some with audio or video recording capability), ebooks, educational applications running on in-class tablet devices
  10. 10. AT applied to instruction • Lahm and Morrissette (1994)(8) outlined seven areas of instruction where AT can be useful: • Organization – developing concept maps and outlines can help with recall • Note-taking – students are not limited to just what they can get written down – even video or audio recording can help with review • Writing Assistance – computers remove the limitations of pen & paper – voice recognition software takes the ease even further • Productivity – from calculators to computers, tools can assist with task completion • Access to reference materials – multimedia methods of research allow for research to be completed with a minimum of movement • Cognitive Assistance – programs to help student through tutorials, drill and practice, problem-solving and simulations • Materials Modification – not just from the instruction side – students themselves can create materials through a variety of methods
  11. 11. Not just for IEP students • It is not only those students with IEPs that can benefit from the application of AT to the classroom • Tools to help develop organization and provide cognitive assistance can benefit all students in their educational pursuits • The completion of multi-media research and the development of alternative materials can help students to become aware of not only their own level of knowledge, but how to present their findings • The help of productivity software and word processing programs can make more students comfortable with writing and expressing themselves • Students with varied learning styles will benefit from the options • Working together as a team can help all students in the room (and help the IEP student not “be different”)
  12. 12. Useful planning tools • Developing lesson plans that include the use of instructional or assistive technology can produce a classroom that supports all of its students • Tools are available to provide information about what is available and how it can be applied to lesson development – one suggestion: • Various publications from the Technology and Media Division of the Council for Exceptional Children (9) • Technology Fans – assistive technology suggestions • TAM Series – “Practical Ideas for Practitioners” • Planning Tools – “designed to be used by practitioners as they consider and implement assistive technology, instructional technology, and Universal Design for Learning”
  13. 13. References (Cited) 1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_504_of_the_Rehabilitation_Act 2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_for_All_Handicapped_Children_Act 3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individuals_with_Disabilities_Education_Act 4) http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/learning/504-plans.html 5) http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/learning/iep.html 6) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology 7) http://assistivetechnologyforeducation.com/examples-of-assistive-technology/ 8) https://www.teachervision.com/assistive-technology/teaching-methods/3791.html 9) http://www.tamcec.org/publications/
  14. 14. Additional References • Creating SMART goals: http://topachievement.com/smart.html • US Department of Education IDEA site: http://idea.ed.gov/ • Georgia Project for Assistive Technology: http://www.gpat.org/Georgia-Project-for-AssistiveTechnology/Pages/default.aspx • Technology and Media Division of the Council for Exceptional Children: http://www.tamcec.org/ • Assistive Technology for students with Mild Disabilities-Update 2002: http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-1/assistive.htm

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