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Make your plans now to attend ABLE Tech AT Support Team Training in the 2016-17 School year. We have an exciting lineup of workshops and training resources for returning and new teams. New this year, ABLE Tech will soon unveil a newly designed “AT Discovery” website section that will make it easier for individuals to learn about assistive technology devices and services and match technology with the specific needs of the individual. This will benefit not only those in the public schools, but individuals of all ages, their families, and the professionals that serve them. Watch your inbox and the ABLE Tech webpage for announcements!
Teams will attend one workshop (dates and topics below). Teams will also have access to AT demonstration webinars once-a-month that will focus on various categories of AT. The webinars will be recorded.
“AT Consideration and Assessment Workshop” (Level: Beginner) 8:30 - 12:30 p.m. | 4 CEUs
This half-day workshop is designed for teams who have never attended an ABLE Tech AT Support Team workshop as well as for educators who want to learn the basics of quality assistive technology (AT) provision. The workshop explains how to consider and assess the AT needs for students on IEPs and will include exploration of AT in a variety of categories including communication, vision, hearing, daily living, seating, positioning, environmental controls, and learning, cognition, development.
“AT Feature-Matching Workshop” (Level: Advanced) 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 5 CEUs
This advanced full-day workshop is designed for teams that have attended ABLE Tech’s AT Support Team workshops at the beginner and intermediate levels and would like additional hands-on experience with AT devices. Pre-requisite: Attendance at ABLE Tech beginner and intermediate AT Workshops in 2012-2015. Space is limited for this workshop.
“AT Implementation and Operational Procedures Workshop” (Level: Intermediate) 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. |5 CEUs
This full-day, intermediate level, workshop is designed for teams who have attended our beginner workshop, “AT Consideration and Assessment”. This intermediate workshop teaches how to effectively and consistently implement AT with students, which is often the most overlooked step in successful AT integration. Additionally, ABLE Tech trainers will review student case studies to demonstrate AT feature matching. Teams will participate in “round robin” AT tables that provide an opportunity to learn more about the assistive technology available for loan from ABLE Tech. Pre-requisite: Beginner AT Consideration and Assessment Workshop.
Students with print disabilities such as visual impairment, physical disabilities, or learning disabilities have access to specialized formats through Bookshare and other sources… but how can schools serve students who need accessible materials yet don’t qualify as print disabled? This group includes non-English speakers, students with intellectual, emotional, or attentional disabilities, autism, and other impairments who don’t otherwise qualify as print disabled.
Open eBooks is a new resource funded by the federal government that will help to bridge the gap by offering thousands of popular and award-winning books to Title I and military base schools as well as special education programs. Open eBooks are formatted to EPUB3 specifications and can be read in an app which is available for iOS and Android.
Educators can sign up for the Open eBooks service at http://openebooks.net/faq.html and then request codes for each student who needs accessible digital books. Read the EdSurge article with information about the program, including a video announcement from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Another resource for accessible books is Epic! Unlimited Books for Kids. The Epic! eBook library is designed for kids 12 and under, and offers unlimited access to over 10,000 titles, including picture books, chapter books, early readers, comic books, graphic novels, non-fiction titles, educational books, and junior novels.
The service is free to elementary school teachers and librarians. Epic! encourages young readers with badges and rewards, while letting teachers assign books and track individual reading progress. Families can get home service for $4.99 per month for up to four child profiles. Each child receives personalized recommendations based on their reading level and interests.
Learn more about Epic! Unlimited Books for Kids.
Does your school purchase educational materials that are not on the State Textbook Adoption List? If so, the school must take steps to ensure that the materials are accessible to individuals with print disability.
The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a file format designed to be easily converted into specialized formats including braille, large print, audio, and digital text. Upon request of the purchaser, publishers are required to submit NIMAS-conformant files to the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC.)
Purchase orders for instructional materials made by state and local education agencies must include language requiring publishers to submit NIMAS-conformant files to the NIMAC for each specific title purchased, or provide assurances that they have already done so. Contract language should ask publishers to use the MathML3 Structure Guidelines recommended by the NIMAC. MathML3 structure increases the accessibility of math and science textbooks.
Contracts for purchase of digital instructional materials should also include the requirement that the materials be accessible to individuals with print disability. Visit the ABLE Tech AEM Web page for more information and to view sample contract language.
ABLE Tech provides technical assistance and training to help schools acquire Accessible Education Materials. Learn more about Accessible Educational Materials! Contact Kimberly Berry to schedule professional development in your area.
Call 1-800-257-1704 or email email@example.com.
Teachers of the Visually Impaired and braille transcribers are expected to complete training on how to transition to Unified English Braille (UEB) before the 2016-17 school year begins, according to the Oklahoma UEB Transition Plan approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Information about online UEB transition courses is available at http://brailleauthority.org/ueb.html#learn.
UEB is a revision and extension of English Braille American Edition (EBAE) which is currently used. UEB includes new symbols, eliminates some current contractions, and is designed to better incorporate future changes.
Students who use braille can expect to begin completing state assessments in UEB beginning in the 2019-20 school year. The Oklahoma UEB Transition Plan includes a timeline for schools to acquire materials in UEB, for educators to learn the differences between UEB and EBAE, and to provide student instruction in the new code for two years before being tested using the new code.
*Based on state legislation in effect as of January 2016.
The Oklahoma UEB Transition Plan (PDF or Word versions) was developed by the Oklahoma UEB Committee, which includes representatives of the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the AIM Center at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Liberty Braille, Oklahoma School for the Blind, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, ABLE Tech, and select Teachers of the Visually Impaired.
The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) officially adopted UEB code in 2012, with an implementation goal of 2016. The mission of BANA is to assure literacy for tactile readers through the standardization of braille and/or tactile graphics, and promote and facilitate the uses, teaching, and production of braille. BANA makes interpretations and renders opinions pertaining to braille codes and guidelines in North America. BANA and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) provided guidance to states in determining an implementation schedule.
ABLE Tech inventory now includes the iPad Pro, which features a 12.9-inch Retina display, along with powerful new multitasking features of iOS 9. The iPad Pro is the largest and most powerful iPad ever designed, yet it is thinner and lighter than previous models. As with other iPad models, this device is available for loan for use by or with individuals with disabilities. Please specify app(s) needed when filling out ABLE Tech Device Loan Request. For assistance in selecting apps or other assistive technology solutions, please request an AT Consultation.
Each week ABLE Tech features one of the many assistive technology devices available for trial through our short-term loan program. Individuals have the ability to see, touch, and try AT to help them in the decision-making process by providing:
Our inventory offers a wide range of AT for communication, computer access, hearing, vision, daily living, environmental adaptations, learning/development, health, safety, and recreation. Search our inventory!
A school speech therapist recently contacted ABLE Tech for suggestions of mid-tech and high-tech devices to try with several students with communication needs. She was familiar with the procedures for conducting AT assessments, but was new to the area and needed to know what items might be available for loan.
We pointed out several Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices and explained that you can search the Device Loan Inventory by type of AT or by keyword. Below are some items we suggested. (Click on the item to see the inventory page which includes description and vendor information.)
Lamp Words for Life App (Must be borrowed with an iPad)
To help narrow the search for specific students, we suggested she request an AT Consultation for each student. An ABLE Tech staff member will then contact her with recommendations of potential items to borrow for a short term trial loan.
Once the IEP team determines that AT is needed for a student, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that it is the responsibility of the LEA to provide that AT. ABLE Tech has produced an online resource to assist schools in finding alternative funding sources. OK Funding for AT: A Guide to Solving the Funding Puzzle and Receiving Assistive Technology in Oklahoma
More than 750 people have registered to attend the 2016 People with Disabilities Awareness Day 2016 at the Oklahoma State Capitol. ABLE Tech and the Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse program are among the dozens of exhibitors scheduled to participate. Others include:
Registration begins at noon and participants will have the opportunity to visit with their legislators before the Awareness Day awards presentation begins at 3 p.m.
To stand united, participants are encouraged to wear green. Organizers say when those who work at the capitol see a lot of people in the halls or rotunda all wearing disability-awareness green, our efforts have an even greater impact.
The Oklahoma Parents Center is taking registrations for the 10th Annual Statewide Conference “Building Relationships…Creating Successful Change” which will be held May 20th at the Sheraton Hotel at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City.
This conference is designed to educate parents, families and professionals in building partnerships that meet the needs of children and youth with the full range of disabilities ages birth to 26.
Attendance is limited to the first 300 people who register; all others will be placed on a waiting list. There is no fee to attend, but registration is required. Sign up at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OPC-Statewide
The OPC is also presenting a two-day behavior conference in June. “Appropriately Addressing Challenging Behavior” will be held June 16 and 17 at the Tulsa Technology Center Owasso Campus Conference Center.
Diana Browning Wright, M.S., is the featured presenter. Wright is a Licensed Educational Psychologist as well as a behavior analyst and teacher. She is the Education Consultant for LRP Legal Publications and Program Advisor for LRP’s National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities. She received the Meritorious Work in Special Education Award from the California Association of School Administrators and has extensive experience in classroom teaching, assessment and consultation services for a wide range of students, with and without disabilities, at all grade levels.
This training is a repeat of the popular presentation at the recent ODSS Winter Conference. It focuses on problem behavior in students with and without disabilities and examines the role of all stakeholders (parents, administrators, teachers, special staff) in achieving rule following behavior in a school setting.
Attendance for the behavior conference is limited to the first 600 registrants. All others will be placed on a waiting list. Participants can attend one or both days. Register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OPC-June2016
Are you a family member or professional who wants to learn more about partnerships and assure that all Oklahomans, including those with disabilities and special health care needs have a good life in inclusive communities and opportunities for meaningful employment? Then the Oklahoma Family Network Joining Forces Conference is for you!
This conference will provide learning opportunities for supporting individual and family partnerships with community members and agencies throughout Oklahoma. The event will be held at the Moore-Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus on April 15. The Keynote Speaker is Randy Lewis, former Senior Vice-President of Walgreens and author of No Greatness without Goodness.
Register Online at: https://2016joiningforcesconference.eventbrite.com or for more information, visit OklahomaFamilyNetwork.org.
Joining Forces provides learning opportunities for supporting individuals and families through partnerships of community members, agencies, and organizations throughout Oklahoma. Learn more at www.oklahomafamilynetwork.org or by calling 877-871-5072.
The Department of Rehabilitation, in partnership with the Oklahoma Deaf and Hard of Hearing Transition Coalition and Tulsa Community College, is offering a free week-long ACT prep/employability skills workshop for Oklahoma students who will be juniors or seniors next school year who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
The A3 (ACT, Awareness, Advocacy) Workshop will be held July 25-29 at the Tulsa Community College, NE Campus. Participants are expected to attend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day of the workshop. The morning sessions will focus on ACT prep, while afternoon sessions will cover employability skills including budgeting, resume development, requesting accommodations, and mock interviews. Students will also participate in a company tour and program celebration.
Participants can register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DRS_A3_Summer2016
Please share this information with students who may be eligible to attend. Contact Kimberly Osmani, Transition Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Hurry! Space is limited and registration closes May 31.
The Oklahoma Transition Council will hold the 11th Annual Oklahoma Transition Institute (OTI) Oct. 3-5 at the NCED Conference Center and Hotel in Norman.
The conference theme is “Expanding the Possibilities” and sessions will emphasize the Employment First Philosophy. Optional half-day pre-conference sessions on Oct. 3 will provide information to first time attendees, those who are new to transition, and those in need of a refresher. Oct. 4th - 5th will feature keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and team meetings.
ABLE Tech will share additional information about the conference as it becomes available. Those interested in providing a workshop, please see the OTI Call for Proposals.