Start Learning Early
Pre-conference seminars are one- or two-day educational seminars designed to give attendees in-depth education on critical assistive technology topics. They deliver the in-depth professional development needed to successfully implement assistive technology in a variety of settings—including school, work, and at home—and are led by internationally recognized leaders in the field.
Two-Day Pre-Conferences by Strand:
- Assistive Technology for Improved Function
- Education & Learning: Early Intervention – 12
- Mainstream & Web Accessible Technologies
- Vision & Hearing Technologies
One-Day Pre-Conferences by Strand:
Two-Day Pre-Conference Seminars
Tuesday, January 29 – Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 8 AM – 4 PM
Assistive Technology for Improved Function
PRE-1TW: Communication, Learning and Access: Severe Physical and Multiple Challenges
Are you working with children who face severe physical and multiple challenges in addition to complex communication needs, such as Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Rett Syndrome, and/or Multiple Disabilities? Do you find them struggling to juggle the challenges of motor coordination, sensory processing, communication, language, vision and cognition needed to effectively communicate what they are thinking? For many of these children, direct access using their hands to operate a communication device or access a computer is not an effective strategy. In addition, for some of these children, cortical visual impairment complicates this process even farther.
Where do you start? How do you motivate children to engage their brains in an active learning process? How do you tap into the child’s communicative intent? How will the child have some control to be actively engaged? How do you develop language skills so that children can begin to communicate what they are thinking? How do you teach movements for communication and motor skills for accessing communication devices and computers? How do you provide a comprehensive aided language and motor learning environment for children who face such significant challenges? How do you move children beyond cause and effect to discrimination and functional use of switches? How do you help children develop the motor automaticity needed to use switches for communication, curriculum access and demonstrating knowledge? How do you help children develop skills for eye-gaze access? This two – day course will cover a range of practical strategies to answer these questions.
This workshop will introduce the concept of providing a receptive aided language learning environment, and demonstrate how learning alternative and augmentative forms of communication can and should parallel the developmental process that typical children go through in learning speech. We will also take a brief look at Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Communication books developed by Gayle Porter, in Melbourne, Australia. (Please note: This is not an official Introductory PODD course, which would require two full days training on just that topic.
We will look at the early steps and strategies needed to help children make motor/cognitive connections and to provide appropriate opportunities for moving beyond cause and effect to two switches -two functions and eventually to full scanning access. Strategies to develop the motor automaticity needed to use switches for communication, curriculum access and demonstrating knowledge will be shared.
A range of technologies from ‘light tech’ to ‘high tech’ will be demonstrated in this session. The “9 essentials” from Anat Baniel, and the “Stepping Stone Process for Switch Access” by Linda Burkhart will be used to illustrate effective strategies. Come and explore creative and practical strategies to overcome these complex barriers to access language and learning.
Linda J. Burkhart
PRE-2TW: iPAD Bootcamp: Awesome New Apps, Accessories and Adaptations
The iPAD continues to be a profound tool in helping individuals with disabilities maximize independence and participation in all life functions at home, school, work and play. In October 2018, it is expected that IOS 12 will be released with new features that will benefit individuals with disabilities. These new features will be discussed and demonstrated along with existing features to support students and adults with disabilities. Methods, materials and resources for selection of appropriate apps to achieve success will also be discussed. In addition, this two day iPAD Boot Camp – will discuss, demonstrate, and provides hands on activities interacting with apps, accessories, adaptations and participants will also create iPAD adaptations to accommodate for physical, sensory or cognitive impairments.
Specific topics that will be included during these two days include:
- IOS 12 and IOS 11 and innovative ways to use the built in features of the iPAD to support individuals with disabilities.
- There is an app for that – so what. The importance and methods for feature mapping of apps and the select the appropriate app based on the SETT framework.
- Resources for finding appropriate apps.
- 101 ways to use the iPAD camera and video to support physical, sensory, communication and intellectual disabilities
- Hands free interaction with the iPAD using your voice for navigation and reminders
- Hands free interaction with the iPAD for executive function impairment with auto prompting
- Hands- On Fabrication of a key guard for an iPAD – For communication access
- Hands- On Fabrication of an Adaptive Stylus for the iPAD using Instamorph, PVC, Microfiber Mesh, and Universal Cuff for physical impairments
- Hands- On Fabrication of a Tactile Graphic Overlay for Vision impairments using Remo 1, Foamies and Transparency Film
- Hands- On Fabrication of a multi use iPAD holder for hand free access
- Hands –On Fabrication of a Vertical iPAD Holder for vision
- Creation of a scan and read station for students who experience learning disabilities.
- Creating Switch Access Recipes to work with a Drone and web based interfaces such as youtube and PBS Kids.org
- Hands on exploration of new switch interfaces for the iPAD. New iPAD adaptations to support users who experience physical, sensory, or communication impairments.
- Overview of new amazing apps for vision, hearing, communication, learning and intellectual impairments.
- App Feature Mapping – How to select an appropriate app
- Apps and Adaptations for Students who experience limitation in reading and writing
- Apps for Reminding, Finding and Prompting for individuals who experience executive function impairments.
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Attendees must bring their own iPADS.
*There is a $20 materials fee associated with this program. Fee covers the in-session supplies and should be paid to the speaker directly during the seminar.
Director of ATinNH
University of New Hampshire
Education & Learning: Early Intervention – 12
PRE-3TW: Innovative Technologies for Learners with Reading and Other Learning Differences
Many students with high-incidence learning differences are often overlooked when IEP teams consider assistive technology needs. Additionally, many IEP teams struggle with how best to consider, plan and implement appropriate assistive technologies with their students with learning variabilities. This collaborative, fast-paced and highly interactive pre-conference, updated for 2019, will focus on providing a neuroscience foundation, based upon the work of Judy Willis, MD (neurologist and classroom teacher) and exploring technologies to support learners with reading, writing, executive function and math challenges.
With the focus on reading and writing during Day 1, participants will understand the educational rationale for using assistive tools that support students with alternative ways to access curriculum and innovative methods which help students demonstrate learning, while accommodating for areas of variability. Numerous innovative technologies will be modeled so that participants will experience a variety of tools as learners. Universal Design for Learning principles will be modeled and embedded in the instructional methods used throughout the workshop. Day 2 will focus on executive function skills, such as time management, organization, productivity, research, note-taking and study skills, and math abilities, as well as work with specific case studies to develop a plan of implementation.
Director of Technology
The Southport School
Assistive Technology Consultant
EdTech Solutions, Inc
PRE-4TW: The Changing Role of AT Teams
During the 2-day workshop, we will challenge you to envision AT services in the context of Universal Design for professionals, and to develop your team vision of ways to meet the changing role of AT teams. Interactive activities on Day 1 will offer an opportunity for you to analyze your current service model, focus on improving service delivery, use more online tools to increase efficiency and data collection, build agency-wide capacity, and plan effective outreach. You will identify areas of need, rethink the vision for your AT services, and take time to design a multi-faceted 3-year plan. AT specialists are encouraged to attend in teams, develop team objectives, and discover practical ways to ensure the viability of your team.
On Day 2, participants will hone their AT service delivery redesign and have opportunities to work with alumni AT service providers to gain input on their 3-year plan. Activities will include a panel of previous preconference participants who address “new ways of doing new things”, mini-sessions on new trends in AT. And a discussion about what has been learned from the journey of AT Teams on the road to building capacity.
Here are some questions that may help you decide if you and other members of your education-based AT services team would benefit from the Changing Role of AT Teams. If you answer “no” to one or more of the following questions, this preconference will be of interest to you.
- Do you provide AT services that are equitably distributed for low and high incidence students?
- Do you integrate data collection into routine practices to monitor AT use and effectiveness?
- Do you have multiple ways of providing professional learning?
Do professional learning opportunities include coaching and mentoring, as well as consultation?
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Attendees should bring any device that will allow them access the internet and the Dropbox files that we will develop for electronic copies of all handouts and materials. (Cell phones are not desirable because of the PPTs and forms that we will be using; tablets, computes and Chromebooks are fine.)
|Gayl Bowser, M.S.Ed.
Assistive Technology Collaborations
|Denise DeCoste, Ed.D.
Assistive Technology Specialist/Consultant
Accessible Technology Consulting
PRE-5TW: AT Bootcamp: Foundations Through Implementation
This 2-day pre-conference workshop experience is designed for people new to the field of Assistive Technology and/or first-time conference attendees. This session is tailored to address the array of overarching assistive technology processes and areas of service which assistive technology professionals will experience in their employment settings.
Day 1 will provide a fundamental overview of assistive technology (AT) service delivery processes that includes AT consideration, assessment, implementation, and application as well as a structure to further your personal learning experience. Through an array of topics, the participants will obtain a snapshot of AT supports related to empowering access for people of all disabilities, ages, and environments. In addition, participants will develop an understanding of how to leverage access to both common and specialized technologies to realize a world where barriers are minimized and access/engagement is emphasized.
Day 2 extends participants’ experiences by strengthening their knowledge and experience working with a range of AT devices, and providing AT services. This session continues participants’ explorations of AT, including communication, literacy, positioning/mobility, cognition, and social integration. This session moves from the overview of AT services delivery processes from Day 1 to a deeper exploration of effective AT implementation using real-world examples.
Both days are designed to allow for some choices in how participants would like to engage in their learning as well as strategies to increase their own personal learning networks. Handouts and resources will be provided electronically, so it will be important that participants bring a laptop, notebook or tablet.
Participants are also encouraged to attend the Free edcampAccess International unconference on Friday night – where the instructors will lead a session focused on the application of all the information that participants experienced throughout the conference week.
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Attendees should bring a laptop or tablet that has access to the internet for online resources.
Education/Assistive Technology Consultant
Kelly Fonner Consulting
Use Your Words, PC
University of Nebraska at Kearney
PRE-6TW: The SETT Framework: It’s Not a Process! It Makes YOUR Processes Better!
When the SETT Framework was introduced in 1985, it was primarily focused on assistive technology devices and services. At that time there was a strong focus on the medical model of assistive technology decision-making in which experts matched the needs and abilities of an individual with disabilities to devices that were expected to assist with human functions that were difficult for the individual. As assistive technology in education grew, it quickly became apparent that expected changes were not happening on a regular basis and that something was missing. Rather than focusing on what was NOT working, Joy Zabala, Diana Carl and many colleagues who were emerging as leaders in assistive technology in education began talking about what WAS working. Two major factors that appeared often in discussions were, 1) collaborative decision-making that included educators, therapists, students, families and others and 2) “matching” devices, not just to the student’s needs and abilities, but also to the places the devices would be used and to the specific tasks for which they were needed. Even though there was evidence that this was important, the move from the expert model to the collaborative model was a heavy lift. Not only did “experts” like being experts, but, even more important, others wanted to keep them in that role because many felt that, if they did not know much about AT devices, they had nothing to add. Although leaders did their best to explain how important it was for educators, therapists, the student, families, to work together and to build their capacities to so, how to do that was an ongoing challenge. From that challenging situation, the SETT Framework emerged.
In this two-day preconference, Joy and Diana will lead participants–through a series of engaging discussions and exercises.
Day 1 will focus on expanding the use of the SETT Framework across all areas of AT service delivery.
- Clarifying that SETT is a Framework, not a process
- Using SETT Scaffolds to support processes in each area of AT service delivery
- Refining SETT Scaffolds to support participant processes
- Leading collaborative conversations
Day 2 will be focus on expanding the use of the SETT Framework to other initiative and populations, such as:
- Professional development and training
- Ensuring safe, engaging environments for senior citizens
- Creating inclusive learning environments with UDL
- Procuring and creating accessible educational materials
- Selecting accessible technologies
Mainstream & Web Accessible Technologies
PRE-7TW: Google Bootcamp: Two Days of Googley Goodness!
More and more schools are moving to the Google Chrome cloud based learning experience. With this paradigm shift, more classroom activities are being completed using technology. What does this shift mean for struggling students and Assistive Technology? How do educators ensure they are maximizing the use of this technology to support the instruction, not drive the instruction.
This two day hands on learning experience will explore the array of Google supports that are available to meet the needs of ALL learners. the Chrome Operating System and the Chromebook platform. Participants will dive deep into the Google Apps for Education suite of tools as well as the built in accessibility features of Chromebooks.
Participants will experience an array of Google Chrome apps and extensions that could be used as Assistive Technology supports to benefit ALL learners. By leveraging the power of this common browser, we can make significant customization to meet the needs of struggling students. Through hands on learning experiences, participants will develop strategies to integrate these powerful tools into the curriculum to promote a Universal Design for Learning classroom by engaging various learning styles.
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Attendees shouldbring a Chrome equipped computer to the training and have a Google Account (and know their password!)
Inclusive Technology Solutions LLC
Vision & Hearing Technologies
PRE-8TW: Practitioner’s Handbook on Technology Implementation for People with Visual Impairments
This is a 2-day pre-conference training for experienced AT specialists and others who provide training and support to people who are blind or visually impaired. We will explore the continuum of AT services, including the four core domain areas for CATIS certification through ACVREP: assessment, configuration, instruction, and exploration. This training is designed at the intermediate and advanced level for professionals working in the VI technology arena, such as Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs), Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRTs), Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS), and Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVTs).
This training will include collaborative learning opportunities and hands on experiences with a variety of AT solutions. Topics will include: Assessing the need for various AT solutions, configuration and setup for Windows computers for use with screen reading and screen magnification software, teaching skills for navigating the Web using screen reading software, troubleshooting resources and tips for teaching troubleshooting strategies, teaching computer maintenance tasks for people with visual impairments, accessible anti-virus and anti-malware options, Chrome OS and G Suite accessibility, voice activated personal assistants, voice recognition options and bridge software for use with screen reading technologies, remote training and support options, accessible apps, built-in screen magnification on smart devices, built-in screen readers on smart devices, refreshable braille solutions for smart devices, Android vs. iOS face-off, braille translation options, tactile solutions, and emerging technologies for people with visual impairments.
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Please bring a Windows laptop computer with NVDA and/or JAWS installed. Additionally, please bring an Android device and/or an iOS device. Other optional devices recommended include a Mac computer and a Chrome OS computer. Demo download links and instructions will be provided.
|Rachael Sessler Trinkowsky
Technology Training & Vocational Coordinator
Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches
Northern Illinois University
North Carolina Central University
The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP) is pleased to co-sponsor this pre-conference seminar.
One-Day Pre-Conference Seminars
Wednesday, January 30, 2018, 8 AM – 4 PM
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
PRE-9W: AAC: Interprofessional Practice, Clinical Innovations and Evidence Based Practice
Effective assessment and implementation of augmentative communication tools and assistive technology requires expertise in multiple domains with speech-language pathology and Occupational Therapy being core domains to the initial assessment. Functional communication is achieved when a candidate for AAC and his or her support team are skilled in the four tenants of the Communication Competence Framework: linguistic, strategic, social, and operational competency (Light, 1989). These competencies refer to the knowledge necessary to select correct vocabulary, respond appropriately in the context of an interaction, and demonstrate the technical and physical skills required to operate a device. These four competencies are interrelated, and difficulty within one domain will affect the overall ability to successfully communicate. Interdisciplinary practice between speech-language pathology and occupational therapy can provide solutions to the barriers that affect communication competence.
Case studies focused on preschool, school age and post graduate age children and young adults with multiple disabilities as well as a focus on adults with ALS, will be used throughout the day to illustrate the impact of successful feature matching and training to foster effective access to AAC and AT technologies. Furthermore, the critical feature of evidence-based practice as determined through functional clinical trials will be infused throughout the course as a non-negotiable component of determining best communication options, access methods, and mounting solutions.
Because thoughtful clinical assessment and intervention can lead to clinical innovations, parts of this course will focus on clinical innovations including the areas of voice preservation, video modeling, use of readily available technologies such as the apple watch and augmented reality.
USSAAC, the US Society for AAC, is pleased to co-sponsor this pre-conference seminar. USSAAC members receive 5% off registration for this seminar.
PRE-10W: Starting an AAC Journey: Effective Classroom Supports for Preschool Teams
Despite our best efforts, too many children with little or no functional speech enter kindergarten without an effective communication system to support their language and literacy development. In this preconference workshop, we will provide participants with a framework for developing an initial AAC system and implementing effective communication supports in the classroom.
Starting the AAC Journey: In this segment, we explore some of the main issues involved is providing classroom-based AAC supports for young children. How can we start AAC when they don’t have an AAC system in place and our resources for creating this are limited? How can we support children who have difficulty attending, engaging, and participating in classroom activities?
Creating the Initial AAC System: In this section, we help participants understand the processes and procedures for making decisions that lead to a ‘starter’ AAC system. Resources for creating classroom-friendly AAC materials will also be shared.
Building an AAC-rich Learning Environment: Do you need a vision for what an AAC-supportive classroom looks, sounds, and feels like? Here, we describe characteristics of high-quality AAC learning environments and share examples from a variety of classrooms.
Developing Effective Instructional Routines: Even the best communication tools are not likely to generate positive outcomes without the consistent use of key intervention strategies. This segment helps participants gain the knowledge and skills to begin teaching AAC throughout the day using strategies that can be implemented by teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals.
Assessing the Preschool Child for AAC Technology: Once teams consistently implement the intervention strategies we describe, they often realize that their young students need a more customized and long-lasting set of AAC solutions. In this segment, participants will gain insight into how they can assess their students for a personal speech-generating device (SGD).
Education & Learning: Early Intervention – 12
PRE-12W: Dynamic Dyslexia: Educating for Life!
This lively session will cover a wide range of issues, ideas and resources which will offer you renewed energy and intent to offer the very best to your students. From an initial canter through creative communication and how this can be used to best effect; we will consider a range of low and high tech resources including speech to text; specialist software; text to speech (in particular using scanning pens); useful websites and effective apps. Recognizing that Dyslexia has a huge impact on student well-being we will also cover student voice and how this can support both our understanding of the issues faced by students and direct and refine our own responses in order to increase self-esteem; promote independence and support social and emotional health.
Designed to be lively and collaborative, there will be activities to try yourself and we will enjoy a Teachmeet style idea-sharing session so that the strength of the group is fully exploited. A Social Media space will be created specifically for this group and will not only provide links to everything covered but will be accessible after ATIA with new ideas and resources being added.
In our busy working lives time is always a scarce resource. No matter how much we want to learn more, innovate and create we are caught in the fierce dynamic of the school day/week. This seminar will offer you this precious commodity. With a clear focus on the needs of the Dyslexic learner, we will discuss, try out and evaluate so that application, adaptation and extension of all the day’s curated activities ensure you leave with ready to use ideas.
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Attendees should bring laptops with access to the internet.
Senior Educational Consultant
Hartlepool School Improvement Service
PRE-13W: The Write Assistive Technology for Notetaking
Looking for ways to end students’ dependence on human scribes and note-takers? Are you or your clients frustrated by organizational and note-taking challenges? Today’s technology, including everyday tools designed for the mainstream market and specially designed assistive technology tools can support individuals who struggle with note-taking and organization of resources or text based information. This full-day session will examine a variety of note-taking and organizational tools accessible on a range of platforms, including Chrome, iOS, and Android, as well as tools that help students move back and forth between paper and digital notes. Learn about tools that provide support for annotating texts, noting evidence in video, and supporting students who are challenged with listening and writing simultaneously. We will also look at tools and strategies for organizing and making sense of notes. Both free and for-fee resources will be modeled with multiple opportunities for hands-on exploration
The topic is relevant to K-12 educators, and those in higher education and the workplace. We will approach the issue of note-taking from multiple perspectives and offer solutions to meet the diverse needs of all learners. Explore a range of AT tools designed for notetaking along with everyday technology tools to support all learners, including apps, websites, specialized notebooks, and audio recording pens.
Presenters and participants will share case studies and engage in brainstorming focused on how to provide opportunities for students or adults to develop critical note-taking skills. Participants will collaborate to develop an action plan to integrate note-taking tools into work or learning environments. You will be engaged in hands on opportunities to test drive tools throughout the pre-conference so we encourage you to bring your own devices. Participants will be provided with access to apps, downloads and extensions prior to arriving to be used during the pre-conference and beyond.
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Attendees should bring the devices they use most often, including iPads or other tablets, Chromebooks and/or laptops. Most tools shared will be cross platform.
Montgomery County Public Schools
Assistive Technology Trainer
Loudoun County Public Schools
Assistive Technology of Alaska
PRE-14W: Breaking Out the Toolkit: Solutions in a New York Minute
What does it take to support the most diverse public-school district in the country? Come to our pre-conference and we will share with you our cross-platform solutions, that are practical and achievable for students, and the staff supporting them.
Technology is the gateway to leveling the playing field for students with disabilities. With the use of Assistive Technology (AT), we can showcase how our students participate in their classrooms. New York City Department of Education is the largest school district in the country. We serve 1.1 million students and 1,800 schools. New York City schools have the autonomy to select their platforms for instruction (laptops, tablets, web applications) based on their preferred curriculum. The NYC Department of Education Center for Assistive Technology (CAT) has streamlined a toolkit that works with all students, regardless of which school they go to.
The NYC DOE Center for Assistive Technology provides AT evaluations, professional development, trainings and implementation support to NYC students from age 3-21 in preschool, public, charter, and private schools who have IEP’s or 504’s. Our teachers don’t have enough time – they have to deal with test scores, lesson plans, and endless rubrics on top of educating our students. The Center for Assistive Technology prides ourselves on feature-matching our students and their schools with platforms that are aligned with their school’s environment. These supports improve the efficiency of teachers’ work and the students as well.
We work with various platforms, Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, iPads. No internet? No problem! We work with offline and stand-alone solutions too! We were able to find access for students from very minimal muscle strength to those with gross choreic movement patterns. Our resource library will be featured, which will offer you tips on training and implementation support to teachers. We have taken the guesswork out and will provide you with strategies to make AT work in your district.
Assistive technology is not a magic pill. Providing a student technology without support is not enough. Students with special needs require staff intervention that integrate AT tools in the classroom. This session will examine ways the NYCDOE CAT have been successful with providing students access to their curriculum using assistive technologies within their environment.
We will explore all new case studies in the form of videos and samples of curriculum tasks. Students in preschool, elementary, middle, and high school, will be showcased, using various AT such as eyegaze device, iPad with Neuronode(R) EMG switch, laptop without internet access and Mac OS and iOS with Apple Pencil. You will be able to see these students using their AT meaningfully and successfully. In addition, attendees will learn implementation strategies for the classroom. Presenters will discuss case studies of students evaluated by the NYCDOE CAT. Based on collaborative efforts between the CAT team and the school IEP team, these students acquired the ability to access their curriculum alongside their peers and became active participants in their classrooms. There will be a demonstration of the AT and attendees will be given an opportunity to explore the AT on a specific academic area (e.g., reading, writing, math, executive functioning skills, and communication). This will be a hands-on session with technology made available to the participants.
So what can we do in “A New York minute”? Tons! Come to our session and find out!
The NYC DOE Center for Assistive Technology provides assistive technology AT evaluations, professional development, trainings and implementation support to NYC students from age 3-21 in preschool, public, charter, and private schools.
*This is a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) session. Please bring an iPad, Chrome Book, or Laptop.