Location: Willow

Gilbert’s Literacy Lessons

Utilizing Comprehensive Literacy for All as a framework, Gilbert Public Schools rolled out a literacy pilot with 3 different self-contained programs (preschool, elementary, high school) during the 2023/2024 school year. Our panel of teachers and related service providers will share lessons learned, successes, and plans for expansion into more classrooms throughout the district.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Identify key components of a literacy plan that could be implemented in other school districts or programs.
  • Identify key components of a literacy plan that should be avoided or prevented to ensure greater success within other school districts or programs.
  • Create an outline of best steps to create a literacy program within your school district or program.

Road to Independence: AT in Transition Planning for Students with Complex Support Needs

Assistive Technology (AT) is often overlooked when looking at a student’s transition plan. During this session attendees will gain an understanding of the importance of AT in transition planning and ways to incorporate it for student success.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will demonstrate an understanding of transition planning and how AT can be included.
2. After attending the session, participants will be able to apply AT to areas in transition planning.
3. Participants will use resources provided to increase their knowledge in adding AT to transition plans.

SOS: Socially Optimizing Situations (Autism)

This session will provide you with the tools necessary to support and increase social skills when working with people with autism. Social interactions can be difficult for students with autism. Some students may not see the function of communication, others might avoid it due to sensory overload, and even others might want to socially interact but may not know how to. We will discuss how to work with all of those concerns when teaching social skills. We will view many practical strategies, cloud-based tech, and some apps to enhance your ability to teach social skills. I will present visual support ideas, use of videos, role-playing, and technology use. This will be a jam-packed fun session!

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to describe the various social deficits that many with autism might experience.
Participants will be able to list a minimum of 3 ways to use visuals to support social situations for a student with autism.
Participants will be able to describe a way to use video modeling to teach social skills.

The 3 AEMigos: Accessible Materials, Assistive & Accessible Technology

Come join the fun as CAST’s Technical Assistance Specialists at the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) to clarify the concepts and relationships of accessible materials, assistive technology, and technology for supporting students with disabilities. Presenters will explore how these components differ and complement each other, and provide examples of how they rely on one another to provide access and accessibility for students who require them. Presenters will also share resources and best practices for implementing them, and facilitate discussions and reflections among participants to help them apply the knowledge to their own contexts.

Key Learning Outcomes

First Learning Objective: Identify what AEM, AT, and accessible technology are

Second Learning Objective: Observe 2 different examples of how AEM, AT, and accessible technology work together.

Third Learning Objective: Discuss one or more ways AEM, AT, and accessible technology are being utilized in their current environment.

Fourth Learning Objective: Identify 3 resources to support continuous learning around AEM, AT, and accessible technology.

Designing for Accessibility from the Beginning: How to Create and Vet Accessible Materials

Accessibility is not just a nice-to-have feature, but a fundamental aspect of design. In this session, you will learn how accessible materials interconnect with assistive technologies. You will explore the advantages of designing for accessibility, the common issues and difficulties that people with disabilities encounter, and the best methods and tools to make sure your materials are accessible to everyone. You will also get practical experience with testing and reviewing materials for accessibility and will gain a deeper understanding of how accessible materials and assistive technologies work together. By the end of this session, you will have the ability and knowledge to design for accessibility from the get-go and make your materials more inclusive and effective.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the concept and importance of accessibility in design and how it relates to assistive technologies.
2. Identify the common barriers and challenges that people with disabilities face when accessing materials and how to avoid or overcome them.
3. Learn and apply the best practices and tools for creating accessible materials, such as using appropriate fonts, colors, contrast, headings, alt text, captions, etc.
4. Test and review your materials for accessibility using various methods and tools, such as screen readers, keyboard navigation, accessibility checkers, etc.

Creating SLP and Teacher Partnerships Through Interprofessional Collaborative Practices

This introductory session will provide valuable information about the benefits of interprofessional collaborative practices (ICP) among teachers and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in the school setting. Have you thought about co-teaching with the SLP, but don’t know where to start? Have you tried co-teaching with the SLP, only to abandon it within a month? Are you currently co-teaching with an SLP, but aren’t sure how to measure its success and student outcomes? No matter where you are on your interprofessional journey, this session will provide you with a quick and easy-to-implement community of practice (CoP) framework for initiating and maintaining co-teaching models and interprofessional competencies.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:
1. Apply the principles of interprofessional collaborative practice during co-teaching models to improve SLP and teacher partnerships and student outcomes.
2. Describe the Interprofessional Community of Practice (ICoP) framework and the five key steps to initiate a co-teaching model with the SLP.
3. Identify strategies and tools for assessing student progress and measuring individual and team interprofessional competence.

Navigating Generative AI Capabilities and Tools in a World That’s Captivated by Artificial Intelligence

In November 2022, OpenAI publicly released its generative AI chatbot ChatGPT, followed quickly by Google Bard (renamed Gemini) and several others. These groundbreaking chatbots used natural language to engage in text-based human-like dialogue across a wide range of topics and tasks.

Fast forward 18 months: ChatGPT and Gemini are regularly adding new capabilities; other companies have leveraged ChatGPT’s “”engine”” to create specialized tools, custom GPTs, plug-ins, and extensions; and many well-established tools are adding AI capabilities. How do we navigate a world where apps, devices, and everything short of frozen lasagna proclaim they are now “”AI-powered!””?

Using demos relevant to education and accessibility, Assistive Technology Consultant Shelley Haven will help participants sort through the ever-growing maze of AI terminology, capabilities, claims, and factors to consider.”

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the difference between discriminative AI (in use for decades) and generative AI (the recent stuff) and why this matters
2. List at least three factors that might impact one’s choice of generative AI tools for different tasks
3. Name three different new genAI capabilities (beyond text-based chatbot) and give an example of how each might be applied to help with specific tasks

Prompting is the New Programming: Writing Prompts That Communicate Effectively with Generative AI Tools

In this new era of generative AI (genAI), “prompting” can be as powerful a skill as programming. Language-based genAI tools like ChatGPT and others are analogous to a complex programming language used to instruct a computer to perform tasks. But unlike traditional programming, which requires writing code in a special language, genAI tools accept instructions as everyday natural language called “prompts”. The key to getting the desired results is knowing how to write effective prompts.

Using examples and demos relevant to education and accessibility, Assistive Technology Consultant Shelley Haven will explain:

  • Best practices for prompt design
  • Strategies to avoid common prompt-writing pitfalls
  • How to continue the “conversation” with genAI to refine responses and improve results
  • Methods to assess the quality of AI-generated content.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. List the six elements of a well-formed (effective) prompt and explain why these are important
2. Describe at least two common prompt-writing pitfalls and how to avoid them
3. Describe at least three categories of prompts that leverage genAI capabilities for teaching and learning

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