I T E C7530 A T

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James Bell's Powerpoint presentation on Assistive Technologies

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I T E C7530 A T

  1. 1. An Overview to Help Teachers Overcome Their Instinctive “Go for the Gold Urge”
  2. 2. <ul><li>According to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 0f 1990, and subsequently reauthorized in 1994, Assistive Technology refers to “any item piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Other key AT phrases include, but are not limited to: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Equitable use of technology resources: All students, regardless of individual disabilities, must have equal access to class room technology, most often provided via appropriate AT. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>2. Inclusion: Making certain that all students have equal access to class room learning opportunities, notwithstanding individual disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Individual Educational Plan (IEP): A written educational plan for all students who qualify for special education, developed collaboratively by all contributors to a students education, from teachers to counselors, and incumbent on teachers to implement. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Least restrictive environment: Since all class room physical environments impose restrictions on students with physical disabilities, e.g., wheel chair bound students, there is a critical need to minimize such restrictions, e.g., by providing handicap access doorways and aisles, adjustable desks, rest rooms, etc </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Given the previous definition of Assistive Technology (AT), one can only wonder how many different types of At are available for use in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>To better under the range of AT out there, experts in the field describe it as ranging from High-Tech to Low-Tech. </li></ul><ul><li>In our overview of the AT continuum, we will begin at the Low-Tech end, which is the cheapest and therefore most available, and end with the High-Tech end, which is the most expensive and consequently the least available. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the major benefits of overviews is that once teachers are aware of all possibilities, they will be less likely to “go for the gold”, i.e., begin at the High-Tech and most expensive extreme. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>We begin at the low cost extreme of the AT continuum with Low-Tech types of AT, which commonly include: calculators, talking picture frames, spell checkers, timers and battery-adaptive toys. </li></ul><ul><li>However, in reality, low-tech AT can be found almost anywhere in the form of paper clips, duct tape, clothespins, sticky notes, etc., which can really lower costs, often at little to no sacrifice in outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>For more information on Low-Tech AT check out the following links: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Technology Begins at Home: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.edutopia.org/classroom-technology-beginner </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>2. The Journal: Transforming Education through Technology </li></ul><ul><li>http://thejournal.com/articles/2003/02/01/accessible-education-through-assistive-technology.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>3. Wikipedia’s definition of AT: </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>We continue with mid range AT which typically includes: CD/MP3/other media players, audio/video recorders, talking dictionaries, Braille note takers, Closed-Circuit Television Magnification (CCTV), Descriptive Video Services (DVS), American Sign Language software, text messaging, captioning, Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDDs), leveled voice output devices, scanning reading pens, electronic organizers, hyperlinked multimedia; ergonomic, alternative, programmable, or virtual keyboards, large-print word processors, portable word processors; prewriting, organization, concept-mapping software, and finally, word processing software. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>For more information on Mid-Tech AT check out the following links: </li></ul><ul><li>1. CAST: Center for Applied Special Technology; </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.cast.org/learningtools/index.html </li></ul><ul><li>2. Guidelines to choosing Assistive Technology </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ldonline.org/article/8088 </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>High-Tech AT typically includes: abbreviation-expansion software, eye-tracking technology, touch-sensitive pads; trackball, mouse stick, and switches, word-prediction software, text-to-speech software, FM amplification systems, voice recognition systems, speech synthesizers; augmentative or alternative communications devices, environmental controls. </li></ul><ul><li>For more information on Mid-Tech AT check out the following links: </li></ul><ul><li>1. The Assistive Technology Blog: Hosted by the Virginia Department of Educational Training and Technology Center: </li></ul><ul><li>http://blog.vcu.edu/ttac/universal_design_for_learning_udl/ </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>2. Access and Productivity Tools for computers: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.synapseadaptive.com/edmark/prod/tw/default.htm </li></ul><ul><li>3. Wikipedia’s definition of AT: </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Being aware of the entire range of AT available empowers because, more often than not teachers begin at the expensive High-Tech end of the range, rather than the inexpensive Low-Tech end, since that’s what most people consider AT. </li></ul><ul><li>However, once teachers realize that AT is not just expensive voice synthesizers or voice recognition systems, they can begin at the Low-Tech, rather than the High-Tech end, and then work their way toward the High-Tech end as budgets and needs dictate. </li></ul>

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