Track: Assistive Technology

Vendor Benders: Ethical Assistive Technology Service Delivery

Assistive technology providers and the solutions or strategies they recommend often must straddle the lines ethically. Concepts such as vendor neutrality and putting the consumer first are important to ensure high quality, consumer-driven solutions and services. This session will cover the Best Practices for AT assessments and vendors developed in Wisconsin. This working model can guide service delivery for assistive technology. The CRC Code of Ethics will be applied to service delivery and ethical decision making through the use of case studies. The application of an ethical lens to the work we do in assistive technology can yield successful outcomes for the individuals that we serve.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will be able to list three ethical best practices for assistive technology assessments.
2. Participants will be able to list three ethical best practices for assistive technology for vendors and trainers.
3. Participants will apply AT service provision criteria and how they are covered by the CRC Code of Ethics

Technology for All: Learn How Alexa Is Helping Self-Advocates Gain Independence

Off the shelf technology offers new opportunities for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to be fully included in their communities. The use of devices such as Alexa can help people do everything from calling a loved one, ordering groceries, controlling lights, temperature, and entry doors in their home and even learning how to read (Alexa Learn to Read app). The presentation will be made by a leading national self-advocate, David Taylor, demonstrating how the Alexa has helped him enhance his skills and independence. Did you know you can video conference on Zoom though the new Alexa device.

Key Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn how to :
1. use Alexa for Zoom, and operating home devices like lights, temperature.
2. get help with reading, set calendars, and reminders.
3. make calls to friends and family over Alexa.

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.

Magnify This! Choosing the Best Magnifier for My Students

Choosing the right magnifier for your students can be hard. Join as we explore the 4 magnifiers available through the American Printing House for the Blind. In this session we will explore the strengths of each magnifier to better determine which one is best for your student. The 4 magnifiers are the Video Mag HD, Juno, Jupiter, and MATT Connect. These are all available through Federal Quota.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain knowledge of the 4 different magnifiers available through APH Federal Quota.
2. Participants will gain knowledge on how to OCR pictures on the Juno.
3. Participants will able to identify which magnifier is best for their students.

A Novel Approach to Communication for Individuals with Complete Paralysis

“This session introduces an innovative communication system designed for individuals with complete paralysis, such as those experiencing locked-in syndrome. Our approach utilizes a video game-like interface to control an articulatory speech synthesizer through imagined limb movements, enabling users to produce speech. The system leverages virtual reality and adaptive learning techniques, resembling the process of learning to play a musical instrument.

This pioneering method provides a potential breakthrough in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies, offering a new avenue for expressive communication beyond traditional methods. Attendees will explore the system’s conceptual framework and the collaborative effort required to realize its potential. This presentation seeks to foster dialogue on enhancing accessibility and empowerment for individuals facing severe communication barriers.”

Key Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:
1. explain the currently available AAC options for individuals with complete paralysis, including their limitations and the challenges they present in enabling effective communication.
2. identify the principles of motor learning and adaptability that underpin a user’s ability to control speech synthesizers through imagined limb movements, offering insights into potential rehabilitation and AAC applications.
3. discuss the potential impact of innovative AAC systems on enhancing the quality of life and communication capabilities of individuals with severe motor impairments, fostering an attitude of innovation and collaboration in addressing complex accessibility challenges.

Switch It Up: Creative Solutions for Play!

Get ready to revolutionize your pediatric therapy toolkit with Switch It Up: Creative Solutions for Play! This dynamic class delivers an abundance of innovative strategies to engage and empower children with diverse abilities. From outdoor activities to artsy escapades, from themed parties to magical journeys inspired by Harry Potter, our curriculum is bursting with excitement and limitless possibilities. Join us as we redefine the boundaries of adapted play, offering you a comprehensive playbook of adaptable strategies and inventive approaches. Leave our class feeling empowered, invigorated, and supplied with the tools to transform your practice and elevate your impact. Let’s ignite our creativity together as we discover new avenues to connect, engage, and empower the children in our lives!

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will understand what a switch is and how to place it.
2. Participants will be able to identify different types of switches as well as other switch adapted equipment.
3. Participants will be able to identify at least 10 fun ways to incorporate switches into their classroom/therapy/home!

Unleash Your Creativity: Book-Related Strategies to Support AAC and Literacy

Have you ever left an amazing conference with so many ideas your head just can’t hold them all? Have you left with a sense of how you are incorporating AAC and literacy and when you get home it’s clear as mud? Us too! So let’s help each other organize research based emergent literacy instruction ideas and books you own to apply all that you know. We will give examples of books and activities that target research based literacy instruction and take it one step further by unlocking your creativity to apply it all to your favorite books. Bring favorite books and be ready to share them (might need your Amazon cart) and apply all that you know about literacy and AAC.

Key Learning Outcomes

As a result of this presentation participants will be able to:

1. Compare books to select those that lend themselves to specific research based literacy instruction AND enhance motivation.
2. Apply literacy instruction ideas to a wide variety of books for students of all ages – including age respectful books for older students who are emergent readers.
3. Customize the activities demonstrated by the presenters to meet the needs of their own unique students

Makers Making Change AZ Chapter

The growing trend of connecting the MAKER community with the field of Assistive Technology offers numerous advantages. These include the fact that creating AT provides more cost effective solutions, helps to avoid delays in the funding process, and allows for increased customization of equipment.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand what the Neil Squire Society is and MMC.
2. Define Maker, Crowdsourcing, and Open-Source AT.
3. Identify AT Maker Resources in Arizona.
4. Identify 5 3D printed tools from Makers Making Change

Write That Down! Supporting Writing for Students with Multiple Challenges

Writers write across the day using the full alphabet, for multiple purposes in multiple environments. Learners with multiple challenges, including individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and/or cortical vision impairment (CVI) need the same opportunities in an accessible, engaging and “do-able” format. With the right alternative pencil, the right activities, and the right feedback, it is possible for these students to become generative writers. This session will cover strategies and materials to support topic setting and writing across the day, including writing in conjunction with academics. Both light-tech and high-tech tools will be demonstrated. This session will provide participants with what they need to get started with writing with their learners!

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.

Phonics Phun – Practical Strategies for Supporting Learners with Disabilities

Students with significant disabilities are frequently thought to be “sight word only” readers; however, research in the past decades has documented that this population of students can successfully learn phonics – and must learn phonics to become successful readers. This session will provide a brief overview of the importance of phonics and the different phonics instructional approaches. I will describe effective research-based phonics instruction for students who have intellectual impairment and little or no speech. The presentation will include lesson demonstration, student videos, and use of apps to support learning and enhance motivation. Informal assessment methods will also be shared. Come see how phonics can be fun – without the drill!

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.

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