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Assistive Technology

Special Ed Part 1 Educational Rounds

Ms. Fanone's Class

on 31 July 2013

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Transcript of Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology, the key to inclusion
Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology (AT) is any technology that helps a student improve or maintain his/her level of functioning. AT supports cognitive, physical, communication and/or learning needs (OTF website)
Low level technology examples: Colour-coding systems (highlighters, pens, coloured paper), colour transparency overlays, stress-balls, manipulative counters.
What needs to be done to broaden teachers' knowledge of what AT is available, and how it can assist their student?
Mid level technology examples: Tape recorders/Dictaphone, timers, magnifiers, reaching aids.
High level technology examples: Computers, specialized hardware and software
Types of AT
No SEA? No problem!
Student perspective of what AT can be used for
What might AT look like in your classroom?
Plug in a SEA computer to a projector and model reading strategies using text to speech software (perhaps during shared reading).
Put text through OCR convertor (info in this video) and use WordQ (OSAPAC software) to model readiing strategies.
What can teachers do?
ask for help from other teachers/learning coordinator/principal
Points to Consider
Maccormack suggests that touch-screen technology is an immeasurable improvement over conventional computer setups for students with autism.

Social Influence / Stigma
Gasparini and Culen suggest using mobile assistive technologies such as ipads minimizes stigmatization of the ones using it.


All figures presented are reflective of
pricing for the Halton District School Board.

Samsung Galaxy Tab (16GB) $328.41
ipad 2 (16GB) $399.00
ipad 4th generation (16GB) $499.00
ipad mini (16GB) $329.00
macbook (4GB) $1100.50
Dell Latitude (4GB) $757.14
Asus Netbook (2 GB) $269.00
Summary / Overall Impression
With competitive pricing, an increasing number of well designed functional apps for AT, and the user pride and social acceptiveness, many believe the ipad is superior to the other vehicles of assistive technologies in the market place.

However, students, parents, and educators must remember that the ipad is not a miracle drug. Everyone is unique and each case should be given careful consideration before making the purchase.
find professional development oppurtunities or make your own
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Teacher Tube
introduce this site to your students, they always have manipulatives with them
Here are some ideas and links that can get you started using technology- good for all students!
similar to youtube with fewer ads
alternate to written report, creates videos in seconds, can add text to help tell a story
who doesn't love comics, free in Ontario
Ontario Educational Resource Bank
interactive tools to compliment lessons or review concepts, need a username and password from a School board in Ontario
Kurzweil 3000 Tutorial
Setting up a profile with Dragon Naturally Speaking
Using Kurzweil as a teaching tool
The SEA Process
Purpose of SEA Funding

The Special Equipment Amount (SEA) provides funding to school boards to assist with the costs of equipment essential to support students with special education needs where the need for specific equipment is recommended by a qualified professional. This equipment is to provide students with accommodations that are directly required and essential to access the Ontario curriculum and/or a board-determined alternative program and/or course and/or to attend school.
Documentation Required for SEA

Boards must continue to maintain documentation for both claims-based and SEA Per Pupil

Amount purchases that correlate equipment to the students for whom it has been purchased.

All documentation maintained by boards may be requested for review by Ministry staff.

All SEA equipment must be documented by:

• an assessment or assessments from an appropriately qualified professional;

• evidence of proof of purchase, such as a copy of a paid invoice;

• a copy of the student’s current Individual Education Plan (IEP) that provides evidence of the intended use of the equipment in the student’s program signed by the principal.

The appropriately qualified professional will vary depending upon the nature of the student’s need and the purpose and function of the equipment. Assessments must include a diagnosis of the condition the equipment is meant to address and a functional recommendation regarding the specific types of equipment the student requires to address his or her strengths and needs. In some cases more than one type of professional will need to be consulted in order to provide a complete picture of the student’s needs and recommended equipment.

The student’s IEP must demonstrate the use of equipment such that it:

• aligns with program and report card,

• reflects a logical thread from assessment data to the student’s areas of strength and need, accommodation and/or program section,

• provides, in the program section, measurable learning expectations related to Ontario curriculum for modified subjects/courses, and/or includes alternative skill areas as appropriate;

• demonstrates the student is using the equipment, and, where appropriate, that the student is using the equipment for provincial testing.

Each board will different protocols. If there is a student in your room that you feel would benefit from AT, then speak to your Resource teacher.
How can schools address the need for adequate training and monitoring the use of assistive technology for students, teachers and parents

With the cost of personal devices and apps going down, their integration in classrooms will increase as teachers embrace their use. It is good to see that technology is becoming more and more user friendly in the hopes of someday almost eliminating the need for technicians and complex training. As Tim Nichols, VP of global marketing, Endace says "Trying to stem the tide of BYOD is akin to trying to keep the sun from rising. (Tim Nichols, VP of global marketing, Endace June 25, 2012; Don't fear BYOD, embrace it and monitor it)". Monitoring tools for BYOD devices are just emerging on the market now. Our next step is for the Board to guide us in the use of byod devices: do we seek out apps that monitor the devices from a central location? Is there a board based software that we are supposed to use? All questions regarding the use of byod will have to answered by each and every board through their vision and policies.
Programs Available Now
What programs exist on laptops or PC's for the use of students with exceptionalities and what benefits do they have as opposed to tablets/iPads?
Dragon: Naturally Speaking
A speech recognition software device available on PCs and laptops.

Of great benefit to those students with developmental or physical disabilities for whom writing or typing is difficult. These students may have above average abilities that are limited by their physical disabilities.
Teux Deux or Windows Calendar

Calendar programs on any laptop or PC as well as online programs such as Teux Deux are organizational tools that should not be overlooked. Having a routine schedule is very important to ASD students, as well as those with learning disabilities and ADHD. An interactive schedule program will let the student know exactly when a due date is coming up, or when it is almost time for recess.
Kurzweil 1000 or Word Q
These programs will read print and digital document aloud. It has highlighting and magnification functions as well as study tools.

Clicker 5, Photostory
Clicker 5 and Photostory are programs which center around curriculum and communication. Clicker can be used to create books, social scripts, or to share knowledge and experiences using pictures, sounds, text, and even video. Photostory operates much the same way but the graphics are more sophisticated because the stories are not meant to have text.

This would be great to use with students who have learning disabilities, ASD, Speech/Lanaguage, ADHD and Gifted students. You can assign them projects to work on at home or in school because all work is stored online. These programs are easy to use and could be used to make social stories or to expand the current lesson using research for gifted students.
FaceMouse and Sip n Puff
FaceMouse and Sip n Puff are both programs to assist those students with very limited mobility. Claro’s FaceMouse turns a standard webcam into a mouse operator, allowing students to use their head and facial gestures to perform a number of tasks, including pointing the cursor, clicking on sites, or typing on the keyboard. Sip n Puff is a "mouthstick" which operates like a joystick and can be used to operate a computer just as a mouse would.

These technologies are only compatible with PC's and some laptops.
What are the benefits?
- Already available in schools, technology can be available to all income levels
- Potentially harmful WIFI does not need to be installed in schools (Monette, Michael. "Wifi in Schools". Canadian Medical Association. Journal)
-less opportunity for distraction than on personal devices
-mobility programs/ technology not offered on touchscreen devices

This is great for students who are visually impaired and with dyslexia who can have text read to them and take notes in one effective program. It also has magnification features that are great for making paper-pencil worksheets for other lessons.
Alternative, touch screen programmable keyboards. Great for physical limitations, speech and language disabilities as well as those with ADHD, ASD and Learning Disabilites. These touch screen keyboards can be adapted from letters to words, phonemes or sentences for class participation.
At the Board level, conditions needed for effective implementation of AT
« Effective assistive technology implementation is only as good as the plan that guides
that implementation. Successful implementation plans… » (SET-BC)

All components of the plan have to align with the vision and support each other in order for the plan to work.
Shared Vision
At the School Level
An effective implementation plan:

• “Addresses
four main areas
that are developed and carried out collaboratively by the student’s school based team
from identifying the goals established in the student’s IEP
(Individualized Education Plan) and proceeds based on assessment and performance data with emphasis on realistic integration of the technology in the student’s curriculum and daily activities so that implementation of the technology proceeds at a comfortable pace for both the student and school based team”. (SET-BC)

A visual model for successful implementation as per Karen A. Morrison Of UWO:
Classroom Monitoring Tools
From the International Summit on ICT in Edcuation 2011
Proactive leadership in developing a shared vision for educational technology among all education stakeholders including teachers and support staff, school and district administrators, teacher educators, students, parents, and the community
Empowered Leaders.
Stakeholders at every level empowered to be leaders in effecting change
Implementation Planning.
A systemic plan aligned with a shared vision for school effectiveness and student learning through the infusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) and digital learning resources
Consistent and Adequate Funding.
Ongoing funding to support technology infrastructure, personnel, digital resources, and staff development
Equitable Access.
Robust and reliable access to current and emerging technologies and digital resources, with connectivity for all students, teachers, staff, and school leaders

Skilled Personnel.
Educators, support staff, and other leaders skilled in the selection and effective use of appropriate ICT resources
Ongoing Professional Learning.
Technology-related professional learning plans and opportunities with dedicated time to practice and share ideas
Technical Support
Consistent and reliable assistance for maintaining, renewing, and using ICT and digital learning resources
Curriculum Framework.
Content standards and related digital curriculum resources that are aligned with [state or other official curricula, and especially those supporting] digital-age learning and work
Student-Centered Learning
Planning, teaching, and assessment center around the needs and abilities of students
Assessment and Evaluation.
Continuous assessment, both of learning and for learning, and evaluation of the use of ICT and digital resources
Engaged Communities.
Partnerships and collaboration within communities to support and fund the use of ICT and digital learning resources
Support Policies.
Policies, financial plans, accountability measures, and incentive structures to support the use of ICT and other digital resources for learning and in district school operations
Supportive External Context.
Policies and initiatives at the national, regional, and local levels to support schools and teacher preparation programs in the effective implementation of technology for achieving curriculum and learning technology (ICT) standards.
Sample Plan

By Agnes Beneteau
"Nationwide study indicates that 15-20% of the general population is in need of some type of "cognitive task assistance"


Benefits to learning styles
If you consider Gardner and his theory of Seven Multiple Intelligences, the use of assistive technology reaches out to each of the types of learners he describes.
How can it help?
There are a variety of ways, here are a few examples;

*Students with limited reading skills can use screen readers to help navigate difficult texts.

*Word prediction programs help with those who can't recognize spelling or grammatical errors.

*Screen enlargers can help students who wear glasses or those that may be in need of them, enlargers also help all students focus on specific information at a time.

*Talking dictionaries help all students with grade level vocabulary.

Classroom Management
Is there a difference?
Assistive Technology= technology specific to a student.

Educational Technology= technology for the entire class.

Consider this;
You have a class of 30 students ranging in levels from IEP to level 4. You assign a task/project and within minutes someone is either bored, done or wants to chat away. You now have to give up one on one time to deal with behaviours. It has been shown that with the use of technology students are engaged for longer periods of time and less management is needed.

Assistive technology applied to the whole class can give teachers the time they need to work with individual or small groups of students on concepts.

The following clip is an overview of assistive technology and how it is useful to a variety of ages and abilities. It is from a California company but the message is what is important. Enjoy!

Is There An APP For That?

Begin With A Purpose
1. What do you want to accomplish with these APPs?
2. What are the student's needs?
students already have the device
they know at least the basics of using the technology
APPs have a range of prices from free to $$$
the APPs can add more useful potential to the device
new APPs are always coming along
some APPs can be very costly
training is necessary for students, parents and teachers to use some APPs
new APPs are always coming along
a LOT of APPs to chose from
How do you know you have the best APP to meet your need?
Interactive site to find the proper app
Insignio Search Tool for Android
and Apple APPs:
sort by cognitive range, embedded
skills and more
Graphite Search:
sort by subject, grade, price
Several different rubrics are available to help you assess the usefulness of the APP you are considering using:
APP Rubric
You Prefer a List?
There are several websites that have fantastic, up-to-date lists of apps that are available. Most of these sites have lists that are sorted by need, evaluate the APPs, and have links to how to videos. Three sites that have very comprehensive lists:
APP Wheels
APP Wheels
You Have A Purpose:
What's Out There to Fit The Need?
To help narrow down your choices:
APP wheels
Living lists
"We believe that it is more important to focus on the person who will be using the technology, rather than the device itself."
Full transcript