Tag: Education/Post-Secondary

Inclusive Pathways: Enhancing Higher Education for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Over the past decade, a significant expansion has occurred in national programs offering post-secondary options for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). However, few of these programs exhibit full inclusivity and possess empirical evidence supporting their efficacy. According to Alqazlan et al. (2019), individuals with I/DD who access opportunities and support within inclusive post-secondary education (PSE) settings are poised for meaningful employment, community integration, social acceptance, and independent living (Miller et al., 2018). Additionally, peer supports, including peer mentoring, have demonstrated effectiveness in fostering positive academic, social, employment, and mental health outcomes (Wilt and Morningstar, 2020). Nevertheless, data suggests minimal opportunities and supports in Arizona to facilitate these outcomes effectively (Cawthorne, 2016; Milem et al., 2016). The Supporting Inclusive Practices in College (SIP-C) program provides comprehensive support to students with I/DD across Northern Arizona’s expansive territory. A SIP-C participant will share their firsthand experience navigating college with a learning disability, illustrating how academic and natural supports contributed to their success and positive collegiate experience.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the significance of inclusive higher education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including its impact on employment, community integration, and independent living.

2. Explore effective peer support strategies, such as peer mentoring, in fostering positive outcomes for students with disabilities in post-secondary education.

3. Gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of inclusive practices in higher education, focusing on the SIP-C program in Northern Arizona and its role in supporting student success.

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.

Including a Co-Teacher with an Intellectual Disability in a University Class: Meet Justice and John

There is not a lot of research on this subject but we are going to highlight feedback from our students both formally and informally that will demonstrate how Justice has had a positive impact on the class.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will be encouraged to think outside-the-box in what kinds of jobs people with intellectual disabilities can do during work transition programs and beyond.
2. Participants will learn specific strategies on how to co-teach with someone with an intellectual disability in a university setting.
3. Participants will understand that including a co-teacher with an intellectual disability helps the teacher with ID learn valuable work and leadership skills while also helping to enrich the classroom and give the students direct access to the lived disability experience.

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.

Open Roads: Resilience and Collaboration of a TPSID Program Serving Different Spectrums of Rural Arizona

Supporting Inclusive Practices in Colleges (SIP-C) is a postsecondary transition program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. SIP-C services rural Arizona, including border communities, throughout their northwest, northeast, and southwest zones. SIP-C provides tailored services to program participants as they develop the skills necessary for higher education, employment, and successful integration into their communities. A pillar of SIP-C is collaboration with community partners ranging from tribal and state agencies, community and tribal colleges, and high school districts. Through this collaborative, tailored approach, SIP-C promotes inclusivity, empowerment, and independence for individuals with intellectual disabilities in rural Arizona.This presentation will focus on the intersection of disability and geography, highlighting the experiences of SIP-C staff and students as they strive for collaborative success in diverse rural settings.

Key Learning Outcomes

Key Learning Outcomes:
Participants can identify distinct barriers to post-secondary education that rural Arizona regions face, and how achievement of college aged students with intellectual and developmental disabilities is impacted by the barriers in each region.
Participants will gain insight into current innovations in the area of improving outcomes for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who transition to post-secondary education in rural Arizona, the goals of current initiatives, and the community partners that provide support.
Participants will recognize the importance of continued collaboration in fostering resiliency and success in post-secondary students with I/DD, demonstrated through student and staff success stories.

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.

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’s 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 regularly add new capabilities; other companies leverage ChatGPT’s “engine” to create specialized tools, custom GPTs, and plug-ins; and well-established apps are adding AI features.

How do we make informed technology decisions in a rapidly-changing world where seemingly everything short of frozen lasagna proclaims it is now “AI-powered!”?

Using examples and 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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