Tag: Education/K-12

Gilbert’s Literacy Lessons

Our team has used the book ‘Comprehensive Literacy for All’ by Dr. David Koppenhaver and Dr. Karen Erickson as our guide for implementation of our pilot literacy project.

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.

A Multi-Tiered Approach to Assistive Technology from the Ground Up

Evidence for this presentation comes from the following sources: Every Student Succeeds ACT (ESSA) 2015, Florida State MTSS resources, the Specific Language System First approach by Chris Bugaj, and the Mesa Public Schools assistive technology growth data.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Describe 3 free tools that can be implemented across settings for all students and staff.
2. State 3 benefits of a multi-tiered approach for assistive technology.
3. Identify 3 resources that could be used to educate stakeholders on the benefits of a multi-tiered approach to assistive technology.

Coding Education and Accessibility in Schools

Software developing is one of the fastest growing fields in America. Because of this coding is being integrated into schools from a very young age. With a gap in coding education for students with visual impairments, APH has sought to provide adapted coding education materials. According to a 2018 Stack Overflow survey of 64,000 developers, 1 out of every 100 software developers is blind/ visually impaired. In January 2022 survey of 1,000 U.S. students commissioned by KX, a global provider for real-time analytics and data management software, found that 35% of the students surveyed reported that cannot currently code said that the lack of educational access is the primary barrier holding them back from learning. Code Jumper, Code Quest, and the Accessible Code and Go Mouse are available under Federal Quota and help bridge the gap in coding education for students with visual impairments.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain knowledge of the Coding products that are available for students through APH.
2. Participants will learn the strengths and differences of each device to better determine which product will work best for each student they service and how each device can be integrated into all school subjects.
3. Participants will be able to code on the Code Jumper, Code Quest, and Assessable Code and Go Mouse

Powered Mobility in the Classroom

Research shows that those who used powered mobility devices showed improvements in cognitive skills, including attention, problem-solving, and spatial awareness. Research also shows that powered mobility use was associated with improvements in language skills in young children with mobility impairments. Studies also show that children who used powered mobility devices were more likely to participate in mainstream educational settings, which provided them with increased exposure to language stimulation.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to use a kill switch to keep all students and adults in the classroom safe.
  • Understand how to toggle from attendant control and student control to use the power chair throughout the entire school day.
  • Provided integrated activities so language, mobility, literacy and AAC skills are being addressed through powered mobility.

Incorporating Mental Health Supports and Assistive Technology for Our Individuals in All Settings

In creating this session, the presenter has utilized a number of evidence-based approaches. First, formal research studies have provided the foundation for both understanding the increased anxiety levels in all individuals today as well as the application of needs which have shifted since the inclusion of virtual connectivity. Anxiety research includes published studies on both students and adults, e.g. Wu, Kuan, et al. (2023), Haliburton, et al (2021), and others.

The focus on both activities for de-escalation has come from direct interviews with experts as well as anecdotal observations in actual settings. For assistive technology, the research around it has provided a foundation for working with groups to directly identify strengths and weaknesses or various devices as well as the ability to distinguish which tools can be most beneficial. The presenter will interact with the attendees to pursue the lines of questioning to be addressed before trials might begin on appropriate assistive technology.

Because of this combination of published research, expert interviews, and anecdotal field experiences without bias toward any specific approach or device, attendees will be able to make more informed decisions on the best supports for their individuals as there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach which works.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will learn and try multiple ways to calm themselves down in an effort to be able to share that with their students or consumers.
2. Participants will engage with various forms of assistive technology to enhance what they are able to do in classroom and workplace settings.
3. Participants will discuss the various tools and applications that they currently use and how those could be adapted into other settings or activities.

Getting In Touch: Providing Classroom Solutions for Blind Children through Technology and Tactile Literacy Skills

The Monarch is an incredibly innovative device which is slated to be released to the public during the fall of 2024. It has the potential to make available to blind students a world of tactile graphics and multi-line electronic Braille text to which students have never had access. However, research, combined with a large amount of anecdotal evidence, suggests that, in order to maximize the potential benefits of the Monarch, blind students need far more intentional instruction in tactile literacy than they are generally receiving.

During the first part of this presentation, participants will learn about and discuss tactile literacy teaching strategies for students of all ages. We will explore what works, what doesn’t work, and why.

During the second half of the session, participants will learn about the Monarch itself. We will explore its key features, demonstrate its powerful capabilities, and brainstorm a number of use cases as a group. Participants will also have an opportunity to touch the Monarch, with particular emphasis on viewing its tactile graphics and graphing capabilities.

For more information about the Monarch and the organizations involved with its development, please visit: https://www.aph.org/meet-monarch/

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will learn and brainstorm at least 3 key strategies for helping blind students to interpret tactile graphics.
2. Participants will learn how the Monarch’s Editor, Braille Editor, Tactile Viewer, and KeyMath apps can support various classroom activities and assignments.
3. Participants will develop, as a group, at least three use cases for the new Monarch Braille Device.

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

There are many reasons why accessible materials are important and beneficial for learning. Here are some of them:
– Accessible materials can increase the availability and use of educational materials and technologies for learners with disabilities across the lifespan. This can help them achieve their academic and career goals, participate in society, and enjoy a better quality of life.
– Accessible materials can improve the learning outcomes and satisfaction of all learners, not just those with disabilities. They can provide multiple ways of representation, expression, and engagement that can match the diverse needs and preferences of learners. They can also enhance the usability, readability, and attractiveness of educational materials.
– Accessible materials can support the legal rights and obligations of learners, educators, and institutions. They can ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations that protect the civil rights of learners with disabilities and require equal access to education. They can also promote ethical principles and social justice in education.

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.

The 3 AEMigos: Accessible Materials, Assistive & Accessible Technology

The U.S. Department of Education has stated that timely access to appropriate and accessible materials is crucial in ensuring that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) and can participate in the general education curriculum as outlined in their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

The connection between AEM, AT, FAPE, and participation in the general education curriculum is significant, highlighting the importance of IEP teams to consider the need for AEM/AT for each student and specify the requirements in their IEPs. Providing AEM in a timely manner to students who need them ensures that these students have an equal chance to learn and apply the same knowledge and skills as all other students. When students receive AEM on time, they are more likely to increase their independence, participation, and progress in the general curriculum and fulfill their IEP goals.

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.

Phonics Phun – Practical Strategies for Supporting Learners with Disabilities

Ehri (2004, 2015) asserts that successfully identifying words – including unfamiliar words – is one component to successful silent reading with comprehension, and that doing this efficiently requires readers to use a variety of skills and strategies. This is far beyond ‘sight reading’, as documented by Adams (2000). Many of the current methods of teaching phonics have been documented to be difficult for students with significant disabilities (Flores et al, 2004). This session will cover strategies that are evidence based for students with disabilities including making words (e.g., Hanser and Erickson, 2007.) and onset + rime (Greasley, Tanner, & Chapman, 1997). For a summary of research, see Comprehensive Literacy for All by Erickson & Koppenhaver, 2020 (pp. 165 – 181).

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will review informal phonics assessment tools.
2. Participants will analyze multiple strategies for phonics instruction and select those most appropriate to their students.
3. Participants will identify two light tech and two high tech tools to support phonics instruction.

Write That Down! Supporting Writing for Students with Multiple Challenges

Dr. Karen Erickson and Dr. David Koppenhaver devote a chapter of their groundbreaking book, Comprehensive Literacy for All, to the topic of emergent writing. See pages 64-65 for the research brief about emergent writers. They site numerous studies showing that , for example, ‘children significant disabilities do benefit when provided with the range of learning opportunities reported in preschools serving typically developing students (p. 65).

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Describe at least 4 alternative pencils and match them to student needs.
  • Summarize at least 3 activities for generative writing throughout the day for emergent learners, including individuals who use AAC and learners with CVI.
  • Recommend 3 strategies for providing feedback regarding writing to emergent learners.
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