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Overview of Assistive Technology

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  1. Overview of Assistive Technology Sponsored by: Contra Costa County Office of Education, CC SELPA, SRVUSD SELPA, MDUSD SELPA, and California Children’s Services February 23, 2010

  2. Agenda Introduction Overview of AT Presentation Hands on AT Common questions about AT Questions & Answers

  3. Introduction to Assistive Technology

  4. Using Technology Why Would Anyone Use Technology? … to accomplish tasks that would be difficult or impossible to accomplish without assistance where the tasks need to be done in the available time with the available resources

  5. Possible Outcomes Using AT Make things easier to turn on (adaptive switch ) Hold things steady or in place (velcro or clamps) Help people control things at school, home or work (remotes) Help a person get dressed, eat or bathe (bath chairs or built up spoons) Help a person learn (tape recorders, computers, or “talking books”)

  6. Possible Outcomes Using AT • Help a person play or relax (electric card shufflers, switch toys or large dice) • Help a person get around more easily or quickly (wheelchairs, canes or scooter boards) • Help a person talk with other people (picture boards or electronic augmentative communication devices) • Help a person see or hear better (magnifiers or hearing aids)

  7. ABILITIES GOALS TOOLS Abilities to Goals

  8. What is Assistive Technology? A system of no tech, low tech, and high tech tools, strategies, and services that match a person's needs, abilities, and tasks

  9. What is Assistive Technology?IDEA (20 U.S.C. Section 1401) includes the following definitions: Assistive Technology Device: Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of children with disabilities. Assistive Technology Service: Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.

  10. Assistive Technology Service The evaluation of the needs of the child, including a functional evaluation in the child’s customary environment Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of A.T. devices Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing of A.T. devices

  11. Assistive Technology Service (cont.) Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with A.T. devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs Training or technical assistance for a child, or when appropriate, the family Training or technical assistance for professionals, employers, or other individuals who provide services to the child

  12. Special Factors to be Considered Behavior intervention and strategies Language needs: Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Instruction in and the use of Braille for a visually impaired/blind student Communication needs and opportunities for a hard of hearing/deaf student Assistive technology needs for a student who requires assistive devices or services to benefit from education

  13. Considerations Address each student on a case-by-case basis Obtain information regarding the student’s present levels of performance and accommodations/modifications currently being used Identify assistive technology devices and services necessary to achieve educational goals and objectives

  14. Considerations (cont.) Use a dynamic, ongoing process of information gathering and decision-making and make recommendations only after AT has been tried and is determined appropriate Conduct the assessment in natural settings (i.e., school, home, work, community) with a multidisciplinary team Take into account the required tasks within various instructional areas across all relevant environments

  15. Considerations (cont.) Match device features to student’s capabilities, interests and needs Evaluate the student’s AT needs including addressing barriers to student’s performance Team must have knowledge and experience with AT; may consult with other district personnel, use outside agencies or vendors, but the final decision rests with the IEP team

  16. Remember Consideration and training are ongoing processes Factors which may influence the process: Change in the environment Change in the student needs/skills/preferences New technology There are no guarantees: it is important to realize the solution reached at one point in time may not be appropriate later!

  17. Assistive Technology in Federal Legislation

  18. Legislation The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) The Assistive Technology Act Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 508 of the Rehab Act

  19. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) Guarantees all children with disabilities the benefit of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) Services defined in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) AT must be “considered” for every student during the development of the IEP AT that is needed must be provided at no cost to the individual or family

  20. AT Concepts • Assistive Technology is essentially a legal term related to use and need, not to specific items • Includes a broad range of possible devices and services • Not always something to be acquired

  21. AT Concepts • Categories of tools that can be AT if required by a student for FAPE • Assistive Technology • Instructional Technology • Universally Designed Technology • Universally Designed Instruction (UDL)

  22. Functional Capabilities • Reading • Written Expression • Math • Problem-solving • Communication • Recreation • Daily organization • Seating/Positioning • Hearing • Seeing • Self-Care • Mobility • Behavior • Specific task-related skills

  23. Continuum from Low to High Tech Assistive Technology Low Tech Mid Tech High Tech *Simple *Some Maintenance *Complex Electronics *Little Maintenance *Some training *More training *Limited/No Electronics *More Electronics *More Maintenance

  24. Low and High Tech LOW TECH: Equipment and other supports readily available in schools, including off-the-shelf items to accommodate the needs of the students, which can be provided by general/special education through the Student Study Team/IEP processes (e.g., calculator, tape recorder, pencil grip, large pencils) 24

  25. Low and High Tech (cont.) HIGH TECH: Supports and services beyond basic assistive technology, often for students with low incidence and/or significant/severe disabilities, which require more in-depth assessment (e.g., closed circuit television (CCTV), FM systems, sound field systems, augmentative communication devices, alternative computer access, and specialized software)

  26. Assistive Technology Team

  27. FAMILIES and PERSONAL SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL SERVICE PROVIDERS Consumers REHAB SERVICE PROVIDERS MEDICAL PERSONNEL & FUNDERS

  28. TheMOST IMPORTANT Team Membership Issue Team membership is flexible and team members are selected basedon thespecificneedsoftheindividual withdisabilities

  29. Assistive Technology Decision-making

  30. Linda Roberts “Technology is a tool that serves a set of educational goals, and if we don’t think about what we want the technology for first, we end up with technology driven solutions that have very little impact in the lives of children and in our educational system.”

  31. Gather data from a variety of sources... “That was wonderful, Leonard, but according to our earlier assessments, you are not able to do that.”

  32. The SETT Framework Student Environments Tasks Tools

  33. The Goal of SETT Framework … to help collaborative teams create Student-centered (Self), Environmentally-useful, and Tasks-focused Tool systems that foster the educational success of students with disabilities

  34. The Student/Self The person who is the central focus of the AT process. The person for whom everyone involved in any part of the AT service provision is an advocate.

  35. Environments The customary environments in which the student is (or can be) expected to learn and grow

  36. Tasks The specific things that the student needs to be able to do to reach expectations and make educational progress

  37. Tools The supports and services needed by the student and others for the student to do in tasks in order to meet expectations

  38. Critical Elements of the SETT Framework Collaboration Communication Multiple Perspectives Pertinent information Shared Knowledge Flexibility On-going Processes

  39. Feature Matching • Individual • Needs • Abilities • Expectations • Environments • Future Plans • Technology • Features • Input/User Interface • Processing • Output

  40. Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services (QIAT)

  41. Quality Indicators for Eight Areas • Administrative Support • Consideration • Assessment • IEP Development • Implementation • Evaluation of Effectiveness • Transition • Professional Development

  42. Areas of Assistive Technology Devices

  43. Major Categories of Assistive Technology Devices • Computer Access • AAC • AT for People with Learning Disabilities • AT for People with Sensory Impairments • Low Tech Solutions Creative Thinking • Seating/Positioning • Mobility Aids • ADL / EADL • Recreation

  44. For whom? Think STUDENT or SELF For where? ThinkENVIRONMENT For what? Think goals and TASKS Thinking about AT TOOLS

  45. Low Tech Solutions - Creative Thinking

  46. “Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein

  47. AT is Everywhere!! AT does not have to be expensive or complicated AT can be anything that assists a person with a disability

  48. Example of Creative Thinking Battery Operated Kerosene Pump Adapted for switch access Total device cost - under $10 Plant Watering Device

  49. Remember….. Think Outside the BOX!!! Traditional Thinking

  50. Computer Access