Feb 26, 2016
Assistive Technology in the Classroom
1Welcome back to Assistive Technology in the Classroom!Session 2Overview of Assistive Technology2In this Session 2 presentation I will be introducing you to the field of assistive technology. This will be a very brief overview as the field of AT is very broad. Hopefully, after participating in todays session, you will have an overall sense of the various areas of assistive technology and that you will begin to see how many different types of technologies can help support students of all abilities. Presentation Agenda Definition of Assistive Technology Student Examples Categories of Assistive Technology AT Support from SET-BC AT Online Resources
3During this presentation, I will be discussing the current definition of assistive technology, give you some examples of students using AT, outline the various AT categories, and describe the types of assistive technology support that SET-BC provides to school-based teams supporting students with learning, participation, and communication challenges in the classroom. At the end of the presentation, Ill give you some suggestions for finding AT resources on the internet.
Assistive TechnologyAny item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Examples: adapted mouse, switch, screen magnifier, SGD, text reader, F/M system4As you begin to study and research assistive technology, you may encounter several different working definitions. This is the one that is used most commonly. It states that assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
This definition is very broad and many have noted that, by its wording, effectively includes almost anything that can be used by an individual with a disability to help them complete a task. Following this definition, very little is excluded. However, when those working in the field refer to assistive technology, they are more selective and are usually referring to technologies like you see listed here adapted mice, switches, screen magnifiers, Voice Output Communication Aids, text readers and so on which are generally implemented by those requiring support or assistance beyond what typical individuals would require to complete common tasks.
*** Reflection question: What experience have you had working with assistive technology? Have you supported any students using technology? What technology did they use?
IDEAIndividuals with Disabilities Education ActUnited States legislation amended in 2004 to IDEIASchool districts, by law, MUST provide assistive technology to any student having a classified disabilityResult of legislation significant amount of AT development in North America Currently no analogous legislation in CanadaLevels of AT service provision and support vary widely between provinces5In 1997, in the United States, a piece of legislation was adopted called IDEA or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This legislation was then amended in 2004 and forms the basis of the current AT service provision in the US. It states that school districts, by law, must provide assistive technology to any student with a designated disability. As a result of this legislation, and the consequent demand for assistive technology options, companies across North America and even in the UK and Australia have significantly increased their development and production of assistive technologies. Even though Canada does not currently have any analogous legislation, we have reaped the benefits of this increased research and development and are now able to access a wide variety of technologies for all types of disabilities. However, despite the availability of this technology, without federal legislation the levels of AT service provision and support varies widely between provinces. In British Columbia, the provincial resource program called SET-BC or Special Education Technology British Columbia coordinates and delivers assistive technology support to school districts. We will be talking about this program in more detail later in the presentation.
Think about thisDo you think we need this type of legislation in Canada?What do you think the various implications might be if it were put in place?Would it make your job easier or more challenging?
6Here is something to think aboutDo you think we need this type of legislation in Canada? What do you think the various implications, positive and negative, might be if it were put in place? Do you think it would make your job easier or more challenging if your school district was compelled to provide assistive technology to students who needed it.
*** NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: Bring up one or more task specific chat areas so participants can respond to these questions.JelissaVery capable visually impaired high school studentDual medium user braille and large printJAWS, Magic, Kurzweil 1000, Accessible Graphing Calculator, Braillenote 32
7Even without this type of legislation, we have many, many examples of students who are or who have used assistive technology successfully to complete their educational programs. This is Jelissa she graduated from high school recently and is a great example of how technology designed to help visually impaired students participate in and access their curriculum can work. Jelissa has some sight so she is a dual medium user meaning she uses both large print and braille to read. Over the years she used a variety of assistive technologies including JAWS, a screen reading program, Magic, a screen magnifying program, Kurzweil 1000, a text reading program, the Accessible Graphing Calculator for math, and a BrailleNote the Braillenote is device like a dedicated word processor Jelissa was able to use it to take notes in class and complete assignments in braille.
JohnGrade 12 student with acquired quadriplegiaGifted video maker completed regular programAccesses laptop and software using Jouse joystick and on-screen keyboardAlso uses voice recognition and Kurzweil 3000 for reading and writing
8John was a high school student when he had an acquired injury which left him a quadriplegic. He continued his interest and work in creating original videos by accessing his laptop and video editing software using a Jouse joystick to control his mouse. He typed using an onscreen keyboard but also used voice recognition software for typing and Kurzweil 3000 for reading and writing. He was able to complete his challenging Grade 12 academic program along with his peers because his assistive technology gave him the access he needed.
Shannon15 year old student with multiple physical and communication challengesUses jellybean switch to access her Step-by-Step communication device and Intelliswitch to connect to her laptopJust starting to use Speaking Dynamically Pro
9Shannon, another high school student, has many physical and communication challenges. These dont stop her from being included in her classroom and school activities, though! She uses a jelly bean switch to activate her Step-by-Step communicator to deliver simple messages. She also connects her switch to her laptop using an Intelliswitch and this allows her to use the communication software Speaking Dynamically Pro. Her technology has allowed Shannon to do something we all take for granted communicate with our family and friends.
If you want to learn more about Shannon and how her team supports her inclusion, click the link provided.BryceStruggles with reading and writingUses a Macintosh desktop with Clicker 5 to develop his literacy and numeracy skillsNow able to count, play games with peers, read story books to othersReally enjoys the technology
Learn more about Bryce
10Bryce is a grade 6 student with Down Syndrome. He struggles with reading and writing and so his team requested technology to help develop his numeracy and literacy skills. They put a Macintosh desktop computer in place with the software program Clicker 5. By customizing the activities on Clicker 5, his Educational Assistant reports that he has made tremendous progress with counting and reading simple story books. The dedication and commitment of Bryces team is the critical factor in his successful use of technology to meet his educational goals.
We are going to take a moment now to watch Bryce and his team talk about how his technology has made such a difference for him. When you click the link at the bottom of the slide, youll be taken to a web-page on the SET-BC site youll see a link near the top of that page which will start Bryces video.
NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: Video takes about 5:48 minutes to run.JonathanNon-verbal Cerebral PalsyHigh functioningUses direct selection on Pathfinder and uses not only for communication but as his cell phone!
11Jonathan, like so many students, wants to stay connected to his friends. His cerebral palsy, however, prevents him from talking to others using conventional speech. This didnt stop him! He uses a Speech Generating Device known as a Pathfinder to speak in class and at home and now has it set up to act as his cell phone so he can call up his friends whenever he wants.
TravisLearning disability affecting his reading and writingUses laptop with Kurzweil 3000 and Dragon Naturally SpeakingIndependent technology userHas discovered the joy of