The Special Education Technology Center of Washington State

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1 1 The Special Education Technology Center of Washington State Jerry Connolly Director, SETC A Statewide Needs Project Funded by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Administered by Central Washington University Assistive Technology (AT): It s All About Access Special Needs Student Disability Related Barriers Meaningful Curriculum Learning Experience

2 2 Assistive Technology Defined Assistive technology is used by individuals with disabilities to enable themselves to perform functions that otherwise would be challenging to impossible. Assistive technology can include: Mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs Braille or digital text read by a computer Adaptive switches and accessories Computer access devices such as an adapted keyboard or mouse TTY text telephone for those who are deaf Speech generating devices Software for literacy support for those with print related disabilities And many more technologies AT as Adaptation or Accommodation in the School Setting Physical access Vision & hearing support Communication support Curriculum adaptations Literacy support Math support Testing accommodations

3 3 SETC Services: Lending Library Technology Consultations Professional Development Dissemination of AT Information The SETC is the only AT resource center in the State of Washington that focuses specifically on AT implementation in K-12 classrooms Special Education Technology Center: Lending Library Loan AT to school districts for one month no fee Purpose: Preview AT prior to purchase Trials with students Professional development Includes: Communication devices Laptops with over 100 software programs & tutorials Adaptive switches and accessories for physical access Computer access alternatives Resource books and videos

4 4 Special Education Technology Center: Technology Consultations Focus on: Individual students Classroom-wide needs District-wide needs Assistance in: Selecting appropriate AT Implementation Customization Formal or informal Face-to-face at SETC site On site at school Video conference Telephone or Special Education Technology Center: Professional Development (PD) Training centers in Spokane, Ellensburg and Federal Way Additional training provided per request on site at ESDs and school districts SETC PD includes: Annual mini-conferences in Spokane & Federal Way Presentations Hands-on workshops Hands-on technical assistance Webinars

5 5 Special Education Technology Center: Dissemination of AT information SETC website resources: AT software database Tech. assistance papers Video tutorials (NEW) Links to other AT resources SETC newsletter & e-bulletins Regional AT support groups Puget Sound (WAATS) Bellingham (WWU) Kitsap County Yakima Valley The SETC Forum: AT Q & A platform For professionals and families Assistive Technology: What it does for students with special learning needs Provides tools for increasing learning opportunity Helps reduce overtime studying Provides more efficient means for demonstrating knowledge Reduces frustration Learning is made easier Learning is more enjoyable Learning is more interactive

6 6 Categories of Assistive Technology Products AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) Adaptive switches Environmental control Alternate computer input Specially designed computer software for adapted activities in reading, writing, math, etc. SETC does not design adaptations or lend devices for mobility, positioning, vision or hearing. Speech Output Devices: How They Work Speech output may be digitized (digitally recorded) or synthesized (electronically generated). Messages are assigned to keys to which picture or word labels can be attached. The user selects a message to be spoken either by direct selection or through scanning. Message duration ranges from 1 second to a minute or more.

7 7 SETC Can Help with AAC Device Selection and Setup Physical access mode? Vocabulary capability? Vocabulary organization? Feedback required? Portability? Environmental issues? Adaptive Switches Provides physical or cognitive accommodation Various designs for use with any intentional physical action Provides access to augmentative communication devices, computers, lights & appliances

8 8 SETC Can Help with Switch Selection and Positioning How much pressure is required to activate the switch? How small a switch can the student activate? What action is required? Feedback required? Where should the switch be placed for reliable activation? Environmental Control (Control of Appliances, Lights, Etc. ) X-10 technology Wireless remote control Computer based control Voice activated

9 9 Adapted Computer Access Alternate Keyboards Mouse Alternatives Trackball Joystick Trackpad TouchWindow Mouse emulation Adapted Computer Access: Keyboard Emulation Speech recognition On-screen keyboards Morse code input o o - - o o o o - o - - o o

10 10 SETC Can Help with Selection and Implementation of Keyboard and Mouse Alternatives Match input device to physical access needs of the student Match input device to computer tasks the student will need to perform Where to position the keyboard or mouse for most effective access Customization of keyboard setups and layouts Software Tools for Literacy Support Text-to-Speech software Speech recognition software Word prediction software Abbreviation expansion Scanner with optical character recognition Concept mapping Electronic study aids Multimedia CD-ROM books and presentations NIMAS / BookShare digital books Video streaming Many of the above software products have great application for ELL students as well.

11 11 SETC Can Help with Selection and Implementation of Software Tools SETC offers webinar overviews of software at no cost Webinars can be scheduled at your convenience SETC provides hands-on software implementation assistance (fee for service) Explore SETC on-line software database or borrow a laptop The Technology Support Team Parents Student Teacher Speech and language pathologist Occupational therapist Physical therapist Vision or hearing specialist Paraprofessional aides Technology specialist Administrator or Education specialist

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