ATIA 2018 Session Strands

The ATIA 2018 education program is planned around 11 strands that take a balanced approach to exploring the most important questions and issues facing AT professionals today, allowing you to focus on a specific area of interest or need. Each strand is led by invited leaders in the strand content or subject matter area. Sessions undergo a blind peer review by strand advisors under the leadership of Joy Zabala, education program chair, Ed.D., ATP to be selected for the final conference program.

Accessibility (ACC)

Strand Advisor: Chris O’Brien, Accessibility Officer, Accessible Media Inc (AMI)

Sessions focus on the design and development of accessible technology as it relates to hardware, software, websites, mobile applications, proprietary applications, content, and documents. Topics in this strand may be of interest to developers, designers, testers, content creators and others involved in the development life cycle, as well as managers and executives who support the implementation of accessibility and accessible/assistive technology.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Standards, policies, and best practices related to the design and development of accessible/assistive technology solutions
  • Mobile and other accessible technology implementations
  • Multimedia accessibility considerations and innovations
  • Accessibility practices and services in higher education
  • Issues and challenges related to accessibility
  • Testing and tools related to accessibility
  • Interoperability between information technology and assistive technology
  • Business cases for supporting accessibility
  • Digital/technology inclusion initiatives

Questions? Contact the strand advisor at AccessibilityStrand@atia.org.

Adult Living and Workplace (ALW)

Strand Advisor: Teresa Goddard, Senior Consultant, Job Accommodation Network

The Adult Living and Workplace Strand focuses on technological and situation-based strategies to support young people and adults with disabilities as they explore meaningful activities towards greater independence. Transitioning from educational settings into internships, volunteer opportunities, post-secondary education, or part-time and full time employment is an important part of becoming an independent adult. For many adults with disabilities, activities such as volunteering or working part or full time provides meaning and independence. Topics in this strand will include utilizing technology tools to maximize independence of transitional youth and adult in various community settings including employment.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Assistive technologies for work related tasks and activities of daily living
  • Apps for use by transitioning students, employees, and adults with disabilities in various community settings
  • Access-for-all or ease-of-use technologies to reduce recruitment and employment challenges for people with disabilities
  • Accessibility issues for the workplace and personal use
  • Resources for action plans to promote adult success

Questions? Contact the strand advisor at AdultLivingandWorkplaceStrand@atia.org.

Assistive Technology for Improved Function (ATIF)

Strand Advisors: Sandy Hanebrink, OTR/L, Executive Director, Touch the Future. Inc., representing Technology SIS, American Occupational Therapy Association; Robin Jones, Director, Great Lakes ADA Center, representing Technology SIS, American Occupational Therapy Association; Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA, Assistive Technology Trainer, Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn, Virginia; representing Early Intervention & School & Technology Special Interest Sections, American Occupational Therapy Association

Sessions focus on improving function, access, and meaningful participation by individuals with disabilities or functional limitations through the use of a continuum of assistive technologies including those acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, as well as address barriers related to aging in environments and communities such as school, home, work, recreation, and general public access.
Technologies or systems may include:
alternate keyboard/mouse, eye gaze, head pointers, scanning, switches, innovative text entry technologies, environmental control units (ECUs), mobile devices and apps, mounting devices, functional seating and mobility technologies, home modification technologies, activities of daily living technologies, adaptive recreation and disabled sports technologies, and technologies for improved public access. Sessions in this strand may be of special interest to occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathlogists, special educators, engineers, assistive technology professionals, makers and independent living specialists, as well as others who support individuals with disabilities and functional limitations that may impact access, participation, productivity, and achievement.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Aging in place
  • Accessible toys, play, and playgrounds
  • Community access technologies
  • Computer access technologies
  • Education access
  • Employment access
  • Environment access
  • Functional seating and positioning and AT in rehabilitation
  • Home access technologies
  • Adaptive recreation and disabled sports technologies
  • Transition to environment/community
  • Independent living
  • Customized 3-D printed solutions

Questions? Contact the strand advisors at ATIFStrand@atia.org.

AT and College and Career Readiness Standards (CCR)

Strand Advisor: Karen Erickson, representing the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, with projects supported by the U.S. Department of Education and Rettsyndrome.org

College and career readiness is now a common goal for all students, including those with identified disabilities. While specific standards vary from state-to-state, college and career readiness and preparing students for success in school and beyond is a common emphasis. For students with disabilities, AT plays an important role in achieving college and career readiness standards. Sessions in this strand focus on the specific ways new and existing assistive technologies and approaches can help students of all ages and abilities achieve college and careers readiness standards and success in school and beyond.

Questions? Contact the strand advisor at ATStandardsStrand@atia.org.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Strand Advisors: Amy Goldman, United States Society for AAC (USSAAC), Carole Zangari, Professor, Nova Southeastern University

Children and adults with complex communication needs (CCN) due to developmental or acquired disabilities may benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and services. Sessions in this strand focus on the ways in which existing and emerging technologies, tools, and strategies are used to enhance communication, language, literacy, and independence.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • AAC assessment approaches, models, tools, and outcomes
  • Development and use of visual supports
  • Using AAC to build language and interaction
  • Effective AAC intervention strategies
  • Family supports for AAC
  • Funding for AAC devices and services
  • Implementation issues, such as generalization to real-world settings, teaming, and collaboration
  • Literacy supports for people who use AAC
  • Partner training and support
  • Pre-service training and professional development in AAC
  • Public policy issues that impact AAC
  • Service delivery models
  • Speech generating device (SGD), mobile device, AAC app, and interface design, features, and functionality
  • Supports for high-quality AAC services in educational, healthcare, and community settings
  • Technologies for teaching AAC skills
  • Vocabulary selection, development, and teaching

Questions? Contact the strand advisors at AACStrand@atia.org.

Education/Learning (EDU)

Strand Advisors: Kirk Behnke, M.Ed., ATP, Behnke Consulting, Education and Technology Consultant; Kelly Fonner, Fonner Consulting, Assistive/Educational Technology Consultant

Sessions in this strand focus on the use and application of assistive technology with students in early childhood, K-12, and university educational programs, including virtual classroom and learning environments. Presentations should be submitted from teachers, faculty, related service providers, parents, or support staff working with students who have learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism, and/or multiple disabilities. Students are especially welcome as a part of the presentation team. Submissions are encouraged on AT implementation presentations of multiple products or systems rather than single-product-related presentations.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Technology to support developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood
  • Assistive technology supports for reading and writing
  • Assistive technology supports for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math)
  • Accessible educational materials and related technologies
  • Differentiated instruction and personalized learning through technology
  • Technology supports for organization, behavior, and/or tasks in educational settings
  • Transitions with technology to higher education
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Questions? Contact the strand advisors at Education-LearningStrand@atia.org.

Everyday Technology (ET)

Strand Advisors: Mike Marotta, ATP – AT Specialist; President, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC

Sessions focus on applications of technologies that are commonly used by the general public but have inclusive features and functions that lend themselves for use by persons with disabilities or those working with persons with disabilities.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Web applications (including web 2.0 , web services, extensions, etc.)
  • Web and document accessibility
  • Applications of commonly used software (built-in features along with customizations)
  • Readily available technologies (Chrome OS, iOS, Android, Windows)
  • Portable and wearables (smart watches, Amazon Echo, VR headsets)

Questions? Contact the strand advisor at EverydayTechnologyStrand@atia.org.

Leadership (LDR)

Strand Advisors: Diana Carl, Independent Consultant; Denise DeCoste, AT Consultant, Accessible Technology Consulting

Those in leadership positions, whether at a team, district, regional, state, or national level, face many challenges in moving policy and change forward to impact achievement of educational, vocational, and life goals. Current realities include meeting national, state, and local mandates with limited funds. Today’s digital networking tools offer new avenues for service delivery, such as providing online learning opportunities and developing professional learning communities.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Meeting legal mandates and moving from policy to practice
  • Supporting research-based methods of systems change to improve services
  • Providing innovative models of AT service delivery that are cost effective and flexible
  • Cross-departmental and family outreach to promote the integration of AT in PK-12 settings
  • Implementing new approaches to professional learning (e.g., online learning opportunities, video conferencing strategies, maker movements, job-embedded professional learning, communities of practice,)
  • Developing professional learning partnerships and leveraging funds
  • Focusing on the provision of AT in the context of the UDL framework
  • Disseminating information by multiple methods and sharing of resources
  • Assessing impact and using data for improvement planning
  • Strategies that ignite and sustain AT services (e.g., marketing, branding, social media)
  • International outcomes that inform AT practices

Questions? Contact the strand advisors at LeadershipStrand@atia.org.

Research (RSCH)

Strand Advisors: Anya Evmenova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University, representing the Technology and Media division (TAM) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); Lori Geist, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Heidi Koester, Ph.D., President, Koester Performance Research, representing the RESNA Research Committee

The goal of the research strand is to advance the AT industry by showcasing research that impacts the field of assistive technology and to facilitate evidence-based demonstrations and case-based dialogue regarding effective AT devices and services. In doing so, research sessions will foster communication among stakeholders about research in the field of AT, including manufacturers, sellers, practitioners, policy makers, consumers with disabilities, and family members. In return, this will help stakeholders advocate for effective AT devices and services.
Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research is invited. Peer reviewers will be looking for major elements of the study design, conclusions, and implications for practice.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Research and development of specific assistive technologies
  • Studies of consumer performance, perceptions, attitudes, use, and abandonment related to assistive technology
  • Examination of assistive technology assessment, intervention, and service delivery
  • Systematic research investigation: Reviewers will be looking for your problem statement and hypothesis, the nature of your sample, a description of the intervention (where applicable), some discussion about your research design and methodology, and your results (or preliminary analysis). Reviewers of proposals that relate to case studies and action research will be looking for similar features, as appropriate.
  • Product development research: Reviewers will be looking for a description of the innovation, the design process, target population(s), and how it is being implemented.
  • Surveys: Reviewers will be looking for the problem or issue being addressed, population surveyed, and the survey itself. Reviewers will be interested in a summary of your analysis.
    Special consideration will be given to graduate and post-graduate student poster submissions.

Questions? Contact the strand advisors at ResearchStrand@atia.org.

Sensory Impairment (SI)

Strand Advisors: Ike Presley, National Project Manager, American Foundation for the Blind; Carmelina Hollingsworth, Project Director Resource Materials and Technology Center: Deaf/Hard of Hearing (RMTC-D/HH)

Sessions include Blind/Low Vision, Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Deaf/Blind presentations related to issues that impact the use of assistive technology in personal, educational and workplace solutions.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)
  • Audio and Sound technologies of interest to hard-of-hearing persons
  • Communication devices of interest to deaf persons
  • Remote communication services for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons
  • Electronic braille displays
  • Braille translation software and braille embossing
  • Digital talking books, E-book readers (apps and dedicated devices
  • DAISY, ePub and other digital book formats
  • Accessible cell phones and apps
  • Accessible tablets and apps
  • Scan and read systems (dedicated devices, computer based systems, apps for smartphones and tablets)
  • Screen reading software
  • Screen magnification software & hardware
  • Speech-to-text services and voice recognition software
  • Desktop and portable video magnifiers (CCTVs)
  • Web accessibility for screen reader/screen magnifier access
  • GPS and other wayfinding systems (dedicated devices and apps)
  • Accessible medical & health monitoring devices

Questions? Contact the strand advisors at SensoryImpairmentStrand@atia.org.

State Assistive Technology Programs (SATP)

Strand Advisors: Kathleen Laurin, Ph.D. | Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs AT3 Technical Assistance Center Specialist

State Assistive Technology Programs under the Assistive Technology Act provide a wide array of services to improve access to and acquisition of assistive technology for persons of all ages and abilities.  Sessions in this strand will be of interest to attendees who administer or implement these activities on a local, regional, or statewide level (including but not limited to AT Act personnel) as well as those who need to know about those activities on behalf of the people they serve.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • AT device demonstration and AT equipment loan and lending library management
  • AT reuse programs and policies
  • AT advice and services
  • Models for providing training and technical assistance in AT
  • Coordination and collaboration models for improving “systems”
  • AT and Emergency Preparedness
  • Strategies for funding AT
  • Fee-for-service models for providing AT services
  • Innovative strategies for promoting your AT services
  • AT and aging programs and policies
  • AT and transition from school to work programs and policies
  • AT and transition from institutional to community living programs and policies

Questions? Contact the strand advisor at StateATProgramsStrand@atia.org.

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