Thursday, October 20, 2016

AT in the Classroom: Low Incidence Accommodations

October 21, 2016  Presentation, AT in the Classroom: 

Oregon Regional Programs for Low Incidence Disabilities 2nd Annual Conference

AT in the Classroom Presentation

Here is the link to all the handouts and shared folder for resources on AT and Transition Service work samples to open and use for practice.

Free Apps Update:

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Will not stop reading if no period - add punctuation to sound more defined with pauses.

iseenotes Music note reading: FREE

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AT in the Classroom: Low Incidence Accommodations

October 21, 2016  Presentation, AT in the Classroom: 

Oregon Regional Programs for Low Incidence Disabilities 2nd Annual Conference

AT in the Classroom Presentation

Here is the link to all the handouts and shared folder for resources on AT and Transition Service work samples to open and use for practice.

Monday, February 15, 2016

AT Assessment to Support Transition

What process do you use to assess accommodations for your students/clients?

Tools/Scaffolds/models help us communicate more effectively, whether it is:
1. Client to Provider/Counselor
2. Team member to team member/ agency to agency - Collaboration is what it's about!

Purpose today:
1. Share the SETT model as one tool to use for assessing accommodations and supports, using the decision making guide and AT checklist - adapted for use with butcher paper on wall to record ideas/data and translate to Excel Spreadsheets (Samples and templates included in presentation)
2. Share resource materials online for further exploration
3. Tools for YOUR toolbox (linked below)

Video: Understanding AT - Simply Said Series - from Minnesota - we will look at Oregon resource OTAP


Joy Zabala developed the SETT Framework  (LINK)
Her "Straight From the Horses Mouth" PowerPoint link
SETT Scaffold for Consideration of AT needs LINK
Her work was developed into the WATI Assessment Package
Items from this we are using:
AT Decision Making Guide
AT Checklist
Functional Limitations (list and descriptions)
Student Sample: Environment & Regulation
Student Sample:Functional/Academic & Vocational Skills
Sample implementation plan

Some Online Resources/Videos:
JAN - Job Accommodation Network SOAR - Searchable Online Accommodation Resource
JAN Job Accommodation Network You Tube Video ( time 5:21)

Easter Seals YouTube video - Assistive Technology
Easter Seals Connections YouTube video Transition from High School with AT (time 5:30)

Oregon Resources for Equipment Loans and Funding:
OTAP Oregon Technology Access Program - loan library open for trial use to schools, families
ATI Oregon 
UCP Oregon Washington - Employment Solutions
UCP Educational Grants - Family Support through Zetosch Children's Fund
TDAP: Telecommunication Device Access Program: iPad/AAC devices for telecommunication

Tool Resources:
 iPad iOS Accessibility Features

Chromebook Accessibility Features YouTube

Livebinder Resources from DCDT Portland 2015 - Akron, Ohio Alfred Davis PH.D University of Akron:
Live binder Apps for Special Ed Word Docs
Livebinder Apps: Using Apps to Assist in Community and Career Preparation - Powerpoint with descriptions and live links

Show Me QR Gus Communications
iTunes Scanner/reader $2.99
iTunes manager $9.99

Links on one Word Document HERE

Monday, September 28, 2015

 Chrome Book Apps & Accessibility: Transition Supports

Chrome books can be a great portable way to access shared documents, folders and share authors for interactive applications. A chrome book can read text, use voice typing and assist visually impaired to access documents and the web. There are even custom apps to download free from Google Play or Chrome Store.
Some applications that might be helpful:
  • sharing a folder and a teacher/job coach/developer can place directions, tutorials and current information in the folder for daily updated access.
  • Using a Google hangout to communicate during the day
  • Using text to speech to hear text read back
  • Using Voice typing to write/send questions or work summaries
  • Use Google Docs templates to work on a resume, do a job exploration topic, build a journal
  • Use search/reference tools in Google Docs to spell, find related words, quotes, look up & insert pictures, maps, etc.
  • Access online curriculum and have it read using speak text.
  • Open templates created by a teacher to fill in a worksheet, time sheet or skill set checklist.
Getting Started:
1. You need a Google account. Go here if you don't have one. 
2. Log in with your information (Gmail address and password) on a Chromebook

Beginnings: (Here is a link to this as a Google Doc if you want to type notes- download and use as template)
1. Know what tool is needed using SETT- Student, Environment, Task, Tools.
2. What makes Chrome different?
4. Apps and Extensions - Google Play Store - What is the difference between an app and an extension?
5. What is a Chrome App Launcher?
6. Where do you find apps and extensions? How do you download and add?
7. Where do I go to manage Extensions?
8. What are the native accessibility apps/tools/settings? Chrome Speak, Voice Typing, Screen magnifier, On-screen Keyboard, High Contrast, ChromeVox - Screen reader for visually impaired.
9. Favorite apps - listed below

Here is a tutorial to help you learn about basics of using a Chrome book.

Self study modules from Google are designed for teachers. Here is list of the topics in the beginning training/study.
Here is the first unit tutorial  with self-directed modules on the Apps for learning: Docs, Forms, Slides, Search; Digital Citizenship; Beyond textbooks; Unit 2 explores Google Plus,  Groups, and Search to learn in a network.

 Apps List:
Timer (set browsing time)
Announcify (read text on any webpage)
Read & Write for Google Chrome (Limited access after 30 day free trial. Teachers get full version free)
Skim it (summarizes web site text/articles)
Spreed (breaks up web text into smaller sets of words - can use to speed read or break it down)

Here is a link to a shared transition template folder.
It has a Docs template and a Sheets template for a job topic research project. Use these to practice using a Chromebook and learn the features in Docs and Sheets. The beginning overview outline is also in this folder)

Ablenet University Recorded Webinars has a 60 minute webinar on Chrome as AT by Mike Marotta- excellent-highly recommended (scroll to bottom - you have to set up a free account to view)
Mike Morotta has a web page of Chromebook resources.

Open Project Access Curriculum: You can highlight text in a worksheet and hear it read back to you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Apps for Senory Processing Disorder, Autism and Regulation; Video Task Cueing with QR Codes and iBeacons

I have been sharing some AT apps and ideas I picked up lately and have had some DD and VR folks with DHS contact me in our region about these tools and there is quite the interest. I thought it might be good to go ahead and share them with everyone.

Sensory Processing and Regulation
I attended a workshop at Multnomah ESD on AT and Behavior Supports earlier this month. The speakers were from Seattle area and are using AT in transition plans for work with individuals that have severe behavior issues. I was introduced to a set of apps by Brian Eno a musician who has merged art and music together in an interactive ambient setting. The apps Bloom $3.99, Air $1.99 and Trope $3.99 work for iPhone and iPad and the Scapes app $11.99 is for iPad only. Scapes looks more like a construction and creative workstation with more working parts. They are being used for self-regulation and calming. Here is the link to the site, Generative Music, that explains the apps:


Video Task Cueing and QR code readers:
The workshop I attended also described the use of Task Cueing using handheld devices. Marsha Threlkeld was one of the presenters and is working with our Oregon Seamless Transition Teams as a subject expert from Washington State. She has expressed interest in coming down to Pendleton area (she has a home in Yakima) and doing some transition/AT related support if we are interested. Here is a link to one of her Power Points on implementing handheld devices and list of recommended apps.

Some task cueing for individuals that cannot initiate the scanning of QR codes or engaging a device were using Showme QR and the use of iBeacons. If anyone is more interested in learning about these tools let me know. iBeacons trigger the device automatically when in close proximity to play a video, open an app, etc. Workstations can be set up or reminders to the client/student and can be changed remotely when needed.

QR codes can be created to open content when scanned by a iPad, iPhone or handeheld device. Showmeqr interfaces to work with iBeacons and update content that is sent from the proximity beacon.

Showmeqr app $2.99 
Here is a tutorial on iBeacons and how they work and are used.
Purchasing iBeacons: Gimbal Proximity beacons - $5 each
Also see listings for beacons below:

Monday, November 10, 2014

OAKS Practice Test: Get to Know the Accessibilty Features

OAKS Assessment features fall under three categories: Universal Tools, Designated Supports and Accommodations. Some are embedded within the online tesing software and others are non-embedded external supports. Here are the differences:
Universal Tools are accessible to everyone. Designated Supports are accessible to all students, but only by agreement of a team of educators working with the parent/guardian. Accommodations are only available to students when they are listed on the student's 504 or IEP. 
Embedded Designated Supports and Accommodations must be set in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) prior to starting a test session.

OAKS Resources:

You can take a practice test  and try the accessibility features.
1.) Use a secure browser download from the Oaks Portal download button or the resources area/secure browsers tab in either the student or test administrator areas.  
2.) Select the practice test from the OAKS portal as a guest user in a guest session. Next, select the grade level and the test (CA=Computer Adaptive; PT=Performance Task). Finally, choose the tools/supports and accommodations a student might need. This will help to familiarize yourself with how they work. (If you don't open a practice test within a pre-downloaded secure browser you will not have access to all the embedded tools). 

Daily Application to Academics
It is important that the student uses tools that are already integrated for daily academic accommodations. Make sure they have plenty of chances to practice using the tools so they are comfortable with them before taking an actual test. If possible, utilize apps or software that closely miror what is used in the online tests so they can make an easy jump to using the tools for testiing.

Speech to Text
Educators asks about speech to text tools in the OAKS/Smarter Balanced online test environment. At this point there is no embedded speech to text tool within the testing software. The manual states that students are allowed speech to text assistive technology software as a non-embedded accommodation. You can read guidelines for Speech to Text in the Oregon Accessibility Manual pdf (November 2014 link) on pages 24 and 130. A scribe is listed as well for speech to text in that it is a human rather than software doing the writing. The Scribing Protocol for Smarter Balanced Assessments should be followed for "speech to text" with a human scribe as defined on page 130 in the Oregon Accessibility Manual.

Setting up a Practice Test as a Test Administrator (TA)
To be able to use Dragon Naturally Speaking as a software component in the OAKS Smarter Balanced testing, the test must be set up in permissive mode (which allows outside software to "talk" to and enter data within the test.). To practice setting up and using this feature, you must download the secure browser and do a practice test. Rather than signing in as a guest, you need to log in a "fake student" that the TIDE vendor (American Institutes  of Research) (AIR) has set up for the purpose of practice. There is one set up for each grade level so that you can select access in permissive mode and try speech to text. These students will work with the practice tests that are currently deployed on the OAKS portal. With permissive mode turned on, AIR does not block any assistive technology that the student is using. Contact your district test coordinator for further information on accessing these student ID's, and setting up practice tests.

Realistic Simulation
In order to make the practice testing as realistic as possible, you should set up a proctored test session with the TA (Test Administrator) on one computer and the "fake student practice test" on another. You will need to be authorized in the system as a TA to do this. If you have a TA log in, click on "Test Administrator" and then "Training Site" on the OAKS Portal to get to the TA training site to log in and set up the TA session.
Note: Permissive mode only works on the Smarter Balance tests, so make sure you are practicing this with a Smarter Balanced Math or ELA test. It won't work on the Oregon tests (science, social sciences or ELPA.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trick or Treat: Finding AT that Accommodates the Workplace

Assistive Technology for Accommodation and Vocational Success

Transition Network Facilitator Meeting, October 28, 2014

Assistive Technology can be any tool, item or device, low, mid or high in technology or price that accommodates a disability and brings the individual up to a level playing field with others to achieve success.

AT can be as simple as a pencil grip and as complicated as a programmable eye-gaze augmentative speech/computer access device. Each have their purpose and if matched accurately with the needs of the user, AT can accommodate and support the successful completion of tasks.

The Important Acronym: SETT  (more here)

If you identify these 4 elements in assessing AT, you will be much more effective and successful in matching up tools with the individual.
Here are free materials and tools from WATI (Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative) that will help you organize your assessments and trials for determining AT.
AT can accomodate physical limitations through environmental and ergonomic supports such as adaptive chairs, seats, rails, ramps, special desks, etc. AT can accommodate orthopedic/fine/gross motor limitations that prevent gripping pencils, pens or typing. There are augmentative speech devices, laptops and tablets, hand-helds and computers that have software/apps to support the user in the work environment. Spell-checkers, special dyslexic word processors and speech to text software can be a real game-changer for folks working in an office job. As oone professional using these supports told me, "I was expected to do my work just as timely and accurately as anyone else. I just had to find the tools to help me do it."

Universal Design:
Universal Design is a way of attaching "handles" to electronic media, vehicles, machinary, websites, buildingd/architecture, etc. so that all users can evenly access no matter what the disability.

Work on solving an "AT puzzle " by looking at the tools needed for all to accomplish the same task.Ask yourself: "Is the the solution an element of universal design that is already present n the workplace,on the computer or built in to the system?"
If not, what are some possible tools/solutions for individual access and successful accomlishment of the task?
Below are some tools/apps that will support many tasks in various environments that budding successful employees with special needs may find helpful.
Just remember to enjoy the journey!

iPads and iOS Accessibility 
The iPad Operating System (iOS) is a great jumping off place to explore universal design elements and what supports are possible.

iOS Tools on iPad that Accommodate Students (Based on New iOS8) Link to Manual from Apple on iOS8 for Tech geeks 
Explore Settings - quick overview
 Keyboard - add new keyboard (languages), Keyboard Shortcuts; Auto -Caps, Auto-Correct, Check Spelling, Caps Lock, Predictive, Split Keyboard, Space bar shortcut.
Multi-Tasking Gestures on/off
Reading and Vision - Zoom -Double tap 3 fingers; Drag 3 fingers; Dounble tap3 & drag to change
Invert Colors
Speak Selection - Turn on in Accessibility settings then highlight text and choose "Speak text"
Speak Screen
Larger Text
Bold Text
Guided Access* - Slide button to green in settings. Time limits in settings with alarm and countdown, Triple click home button to turn on, Enable Passcode - I set as 0000 so I always remember.Triple click Home button in App and set areas/turn on timer, etc. Start. Triple Click while in app to get out and end.
*Note: there are some issues with app not working properly in new iOS8 if updated on older iPads.

Fun Tricks and Accommodations in Research and Note-taking
Using Siri to find research items for notes: 
1. Use Siri to find topics on Internet, Say "Find images of Pumpkins on the web".
2. Use Siri to find "Jack O'Lantern on Wikipedia. Say: "Find Jack O'lantern on Wickipedia."

Text to Speech: Highlight text and choose "Speak Text" (make sure Speak Selection is on in settings) Search for a website on your theme and highlight text, choose speak.
Speech to Text: Use Microphone button on keyboard and speak what you want to write. Pretty accurate but some editing may be required. Can use Notepad and use Keyboard. Try saying: "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood." Say it soft and relaxed and a normal distance away from the iPad.

Notability 4.99