Track: Assistive Technology

Be Seen and Heard: Breaking Barriers with Your Story

This presentation will provide tips and tools for sharing your story as a way to demonstrate your abilities, advocate for your needs and/or facilitate change in your community. It is based on my Ms. Wheelchair Arizona platform of Always Assume Competence as well my Transforming the Heart of Your Story workshop.

Key Learning Outcomes

1) Participants will learn to share their story in different ways based on the situation (advocacy, explaining their disability to others or encouraging someone else who is going through a similar hardship).
2) Participants will be able to determine the type of storytelling format that they are most comfortable with., i.e. written, video, or spoken presentation.
3) Participants will be able to choose the most important elements of their story that will accomplish their goal in sharing it.

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

For as long as drawings, pictures, graphs, and charts have been a part of the general educational process, teachers have struggled to find ways to help their blind and visually impaired students to assimilate those types of visual data. In turn, blind and visually impaired students have struggled to develop tactile literacy and spatial awareness which could help them to make appropriate use of the data and to understand it as well as their sighted peers. This presentation will introduce Monarch–a ground-breaking new technology, capable of simultaneous display of tactile graphics and Braille text. We will explore many of the key features of this revolutionary device. We will also brainstorm strategies for improving tactile literacy among our blind and visually impaired student population.

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.

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

The world of education and work has changed since the onset of the pandemic. Within our schools, we are encountering “Covid Babies” as well as students who are still working to recover from the sudden shift into virtual learning. For many of our neuro-diverse individuals, this has rooted itself in higher levels of anxiety and fear. For our older individuals, that anxiety has also increased and may cause issues within the workplace. This session will look at socially appropriate activities which can be trained as life skills along with the most appropriate assistive technology tools which enhance the ability to learn and handle workplace tasks. We will cover both the myths and the realities around modern supports for the benefit of all!

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.

Autism, Behavior, Communication: Made as Simple as ABC

Do you work with children with autism who struggle to communicate? Have you tried AAC and feel it is not working? We must consider the characteristics of autism and the researched based strategies of utilizing AAC. When we put these together, we can be more successful. So let’s look at Autism, Behavior and Communication and clarify the process of implementing AAC with this population. Join this class to accurately define what communication looks like using AAC, what changes you can make to increase functional use of the device and what IEP goals reflect this functional communication.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will identify 3 strategies to use when a person with autism displays stimming behavior while using an AAC device.
Participants will identify 3 characteristics of autism that can impact the use of AAC and how to address each one.
Participants will learn 5 (SMART) components of an IEP goal required to measure increased functional communication using AAC.

Powered Mobility in the Classroom

What if you learned five features and strategies you need to have to control the chair that will relieve your fears? Let’s talk about the features available on all chairs that you need to know to keep everyone safe so your students can be independently mobile through their power chair in your classroom and throughout their school. FIrst we need to be sure we are asking for the best features in a powered mobility chair to increase success in the classroom. Then we need to have a framework on how to train staff on these controls so there is a team addressing increasing powered mobility. Then you can see how activities address language skills, access, literacy and AAC while addressing powered mobility.

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.

Coding Education and Accessibility in Schools

The APH Code Jumper, Code Quest, and Accessible Code and Go Mouse make coding accessible to visually impaired students in school. These devices take coding off the computer screen and into the students’ hands. APH Coding products can also be used in everyday school lessons to help with literacy, story sequencing, math, science and more. This presentation will highlight the most common uses of these devices and discuss how to implement their use in the classroom.

These 3 devices are available from the American Printing House for the Blind.

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

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

This learning experience will walk you through one district’s approach to assistive technology, using multi-tiered levels of support as a catalyst for growth. We will explore each tier in depth by demonstrating the tools we are using, sharing the lessons we have learned, and providing valuable resources for getting started.

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.

AAC Adventures: Fun and Functionality with PRC-Saltillo Devices

In today’s ever-evolving technological landscape, the availability of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions continues to expand. Among the leading providers, PRC-Saltillo stands out with its Accent, NovaChat, and Via line of devices, offering a range of vocabularies and features tailored to meet diverse communication needs. In this interactive workshop, participants will delve into the AAC with a focus on these cutting-edge devices, discovering both the practical functionalities and the fun elements they bring to the table.

Key Learning Outcomes

Explore the versatile features of PRC-Saltillo’s AAC devices, including Accent, NovaChat, and Via, to enhance communication and engagement.

1) Learn innovative ways to integrate AAC devices into classroom activities, leveraging their capabilities to support language learning and social interaction.
2) Gain hands-on experience in customizing communication boards and visual supports using the intuitive interfaces of Accent, NovaChat, and Via devices.
3) Discover creative strategies for modifying games and activities from the AAC Language Lab to suit students across different language levels and systems, leveraging the unique features of PRC-Saltillo’s devices.

Hidden Challenges for Assistive Listening Technology in Large Venues

Assistive listening systems provide a means of wirelessly transmitting an audio signal from a venue’s sound system directly to a listener in the audience, dramatically increasing speech intelligibility by removing background noise and bypassing room acoustics. Recent advances in assistive listening technology, such as the development of Bluetooth Auracast, hold promise in making assistive listening technology more available, more accessible, and more affordable for venue operators and listeners alike.

However, several hidden challenges that both existing and new technology face in large venues remain unaddressed. This presentation explores how to overcome these hurdles that even many industry professionals are unaware of.

Key Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:
1. examine whether any given large venue provides an adequate assistive listening solution
2. analyze whether alignment delay poses a challenge in any given venue
3. propose an adequate assistive listening solution for any given large venue

Using the APH Chameleon 20 & APH Mantis Q40 in Education

The APH Mantis Q40 (Mantis) has a QWERTY keyboard with a 40-cell refreshable braille display. The APH Chameleon 20 (Chameleon) is a notetaker with audio output, braille keyboard and a 20-cell refreshable braille display. Both devices support literacy, access to information, and production of school and homework for students with visual impairments. Learn how to use the native apps in these devices, Editor, Terminal, Library, File Manager, and Calculator. Download and read books. Learn how to use these devices with Windows/JAWS, Chromebooks, and iPads. Learn how to use speech with the APH Chameleon 20. This presentation will highlight the most common uses of these devices and discuss how to implement their use.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain knowledge of the APH Mantis Q40 and APH Chameleon 20 and how devices best work with Windows computers, Chromebooks, and iPads. (Only use the APH Mantis Q40 with a Chromebook!)
2. Participants will be able to independently use the Editor in the APH Mantis Q40 and APH Chameleon 20 and will understand that it is a text editor. Participants will be able to create, save, and export student work.
3. Participants will be able to download books in the APH Mantis Q40 and APH Chameleon 20. Participants will be able to access their books and understand the reading commands required for navigation.

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