BEYOND BOUNDARIES AND INTO THE UNIVERSE OF ACCESS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A UNIVERSAL DESIGN TEAM TO EMPOWER ALL STRUGGLING READERS AND WRITERS

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1 BEYOND BOUNDARIES AND INTO THE UNIVERSE OF ACCESS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A UNIVERSAL DESIGN TEAM TO EMPOWER ALL STRUGGLING READERS AND WRITERS WHAT DO ALL THE FOLLOWING TOOLS HAVE IN COMMON? READING ACCESSIBILITY TOOLS FOR OUR STRUGGLING READERS AND WRITERS ON MAC, WINDOWS, IPAD AND ANDROID TEXT-TO-SPEECH FOR TEXTBOOKS, NOVELS, NEWSPAPERS, WORKSHEETS, WEBSITES, AND MORE!

2 SUPPORT FOR EMERGING WRITERS AND STRUGGLING SPELLERS SIMPLE SPEECH RECOGNITION PHYSICAL ACCESS TO CURRICULUM SWITCH AND KEYBOARD ADAPTATIONS, SWITCH-ACCESSIBLE WEBSITES

3 ADAPTATIONS FOR VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS HEARING IMPAIRMENT ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES AUDIO CONNECTIONS FOR DEVICES LIKE IPADS TO COMPATIBLE HEARING AIDS, FM SYSTEMS, AND COCHLEAR IMPLANTS ADAPTATIONS TO SUPPORT ATTENTION TO TASK AND FOCUS FROM THIS TO THIS

4 WHAT DO ALL THESE THINGS HAVE IN COMMON?? THEY ARE ALL TOOLS THAT ARE BUILT IN TO MANY NEW DEVICES AND AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW FOR OUR STRUGGLING READERS AND WRITERS. So What Is Universal Design? Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. What is Universal Design for Learning? A set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. Methods of providing access to curriculum through built-in technology supports available to all learners Light technology solutions that do not need to be highly specialized or individualized for any student.

5 How Did This Journey in Albuquerque Start? With a Desire to Provide Access to ALL Curriculum to ALL Students Based on Their Learning Styles Our Previous Approach for Assistive Technology in Albuquerque Public Schools Individualized, highly specialized equipment was evaluated for each student with unique needs. Students were assigned to an AT case manager. Less than one percent of the district population was directly serviced.

6 Why Did We See a Need to Evolve This Model? The Speed of Technology Technology has changed dramatically, and tools are now available built in to many systems to help all our struggling readers and writers. Light Technology Tools Abound There were many students who needed simple text-to-speech and word prediction tools that were already available at the schools but team members did not know how to utilize them. Digital Classroom We are moving toward a digital environment in the classroom, including curriculum and evaluation tools. Common Core State Standards Through Digital Access All students in Special Education should have the opportunity to access General Education textbooks. Computer products and access begins in Kindergarten; students need to explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers. By the 4th grade students will be expected to demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting with Common Core State Standards. Digital Standardized Evaluation Tools: PARCC and Smarter Balanced Permitted Accessibility Features Include: Text-to-Speech Digital Notes Line Guides Visual Adaptations, Including Magnification Highlighting Many More!

7 Where Did We Start? Text-to-Speech and Word Prediction tools were purchased for ALL students: General Education, Special Education, and English as a Second Language Learners A district-wide education initiative was launched to teach schools about these tools and accessible e-books for Qualified Print Disabilities bookshare.org. 158 OF OUR SCHOOLS NOW HAVE ONE OR MANY MORE MEMBERS OF THEIR ADMINISTRATION AND STAFF TRAINED IN TEXT-TO-SPEECH, WORD PREDICTION, AND ACCESSIBLE E-TEXT WITH BOOKSHARE.ORG. What Did We Discover Through This Outreach? There was SO much more we could do to raise awareness for UDL tools and accessibility in our District!

8 With the Leadership of Our Special Education Administration, a Specialized UDL Team Was Created The UDL team was created to cross barriers between departments and includes: A Member of the Technology Support Department A Reading Specialist from the Special Education Curriculum Services Team An Assistive Technology Specialist/ Occupational Therapist Ongoing consultation with a Math Specialist from the Special Education Curriculum Services Team Other Strategic Decisions Proximity is Key The UDL team was placed on the same floor with the General Education and Special Education Curriculum Services Teams and in the same building as District Technology, Research, Deployment and Accountability, and District Administration. UDL Representation Members of this team joined committees to help with the PARCC Implementation Team, District Technology Planning Team, Online Learning Groups, Special Education District Support Specialty Groups, and more. Teamwork Across Lines All members of the team joined with a district-wide group who became Certified Apple Foundation Trainers, integrating Accessibility and a UDL perspective into all new technology trainings. Who Do We Target for Trainings?

9 Administrators from Across the District Our focus is on supporting both General Education and Special Education Curricula for all students. Therapists and Special Education Teachers We target specific accessibility tools for their unique populations and challenges. General Education Faculty and Staff Trainings focus on tools they can use to help empower the struggling readers and writers in their classrooms and make accessibility tools available in an evaluation environment.

10 What s Next? ipads to Support Curriculum Currently we are rolling out 970 ipads to district programs to support a curriculum called Unique Learning, an online classroom curriculum by N2Y that is aligned to Common Core with built-in technology supports for accessibility and adaptation for all students utilizing the curriculum. ipads Are Prepared with All Devices Ready and Protected. Strong Cases Chosen icloud Accounts Prepared District Management (MDM) Tools Installed Apps Supportive to the Unique Learning Curriculum Were Purchased and Installed, Including: Writing: Clicker Apps for Supported Writing Grids and Word Prediction Learning Sight Words: BitsBoard Pro Reading Supports: Read2Go and/or Voice Dream for Bookshare Access Curriculum Adaptation: Nearpod, Creative Book Builder, and Sounding Board N2Y App and Curriculum Access on ipad

11 Each Teacher Receives 3 Days of PD to Learn ipad Use, Its Accessibility Features, and Strategies for Integration into the Classroom Redefinition! Students Begin Integrating the Tools in the Classroom for Richer Educational Experiences. Immersive Math Activities Interactive Reading Activities Writing Development

12 Curriculum Support and Redefinition of the Educational Environment Data of Student Improvement is Collected with Unique Learning Benchmarks, Apps Used, Time Allocated to Activities, and Student Samples, Including Pictures and Videos. Where Are We Going From Here? Empowering our students to succeed with Universal Design Tools Continued support of the 1,000 ipad roll-out to our Intensive Support environments to access the Unique Learning curriculum A strong voice in our 1:World initiative for all APS students Expanding accessibility and immersive curriculum choices such as curriculum interaction tools, augmentative reality, and more to redefine education for our students!

13 UNIVERSAL DESIGN TOOLS CAN EMPOWER ALL OF OUR STUDENTS UNIVERSAL DESIGN TOOLS CAN EMPOWER ALL OF OUR STUDENTS TOWARDS SUCCESS!

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