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Assistive Technology Small Changes... Big Differences
This 15-year-old was provided a short-term loan of a Sensitrac Wheelchair Mount, which allowed a switch to be secured to her wheelchair. Correct positioning of the switch provided her access to a speech-generating device for communication in her classes.
Thanks to the specialists at The Children’s Center and the appropriate AT, this young lady now has more opportunities throughout the day to use her communication device to interact with others and participate in activities of daily living.
Webinar Facilitates Conversation
ABLE Tech will soon be offering expanded training opportunities for Oklahoma School District Assistive Technology (AT) Teams, through its contract with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to provide AT and Information Services. Beginning in the fall, ABLE Tech will offer two training tracks: one designed for teams that participated during the previous school years, and another tailored to the needs of new AT teams.
Workshops for new teams will be held in Ada, Seminole, and Woodward, and will deliver the same foundational training content ABLE Tech provided in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Workshops for returning AT teams will deliver new content and will be held in Lawton, Oklahoma City, and Stillwater.
National author and Special Education Consultant, Gayl Bowser, will be the Fall 2015 featured trainer. Bowser’s work as an independent consultant focuses on the integration of technology into the educational programs of students with disabilities.
Bowser is the former Coordinator of the Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) and provides AT consultation, training and technical assistance throughout the United States and internationally.
Participants will learn to apply concepts to ensure quality AT services and effective implementation for student success. Bowser will cover the important roles of AT Team members, AT feature matching with student case-studies, successful AT implementation, and the four basic aspects of AT competence. Teams will have an opportunity to learn more about AT and accommodation ideas through hands-on exploration.
In addition to AT Support Team Training, ABLE Tech also offers workshops on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) to help educators learn about the free and low-cost options for providing accessible textbooks and other reading materials to students who have difficulty gaining meaning from standard materials.
2nd Quarter: Craig County Team
This SoonerStart team will receive new assistive technology (AT) to include in their county kit. Infants and toddlers under 3 years old and their families will be able to receive demonstrations of the new AT items. These services help families determine appropriate accommodations for children and decide whether or not they need AT.
Congratulations, Craig County!
Spotlight on Success
This SoonerStart team demonstrated AT and helped this little boy receive a Kid Kart positioning chair with mobility base. The system offers support for body alignment and stability and will help him improve fine motor functioning during learning and self-feeding activities. The tray offers a surface to trial a communication system, and improved posture during outings will also improve interactions with his environment visually and socially while reducing fatigue!
In January of this year ABLE Tech invited institutions that participate in our Web Accessibility in Higher Education Project (WAHEP) to participate in a game. The goal of the game was to make their institution’s website more accessible to people with disabilities. There were some basic rules, including a fixed amount of time for institutions to work on their websites and remove barriers to access. Thanks to several longtime ABLE Tech partners, we put together a prize package that we hoped would bring teams into the Accessibility Games.
In all, seven institutions signed up to compete in the games. The competition ended on March 5th, and a winner was determined on March 27th. We are very excited to announce that Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) won the first ever WAHEP Accessibility Games!
The other six participating institutions all did exceptional jobs. We were thrilled to see that each of the teams scored closely to one another in the final judging.
Teams informed us that they learned a lot about accessibility during the games, and we’re happy that the competition gave them a fun opportunity to change their websites for the better.
Congratulations, and thank you, to everyone that participated!
Oklahoma ABLE Tech and its partners operate assistive technology device demonstration and short-term loan programs to increase access to assistive technology. Inventory is available and searchable online, and individuals may borrow devices for up to six weeks at no cost. http://oec.okstate.edu/loan
SEARCH OUR ONLINE INVENTORY!! Over 2,000 Devices Available
Understand your Income-to-Debt Ratio
An individuals’ Income-to-Debt Ratio is very important. It is especially important if you are a person with a disability, or caring for a person with a disability. You don’t want to be caught off guard if you need to make a necessary purchase related to AT such as a new hearing aid, speech communication device or a co-pay on a piece of durable medical equipment.
With limited income, and greater regular expenses, it is easy to put yourself at risk financially. Here is an easy way to look at your monthly debt percentage: divide your total monthly debt by your total monthly income. This gives you a percentage of your debt, referred to as Income-to-Debt Ratio.
What does this percentage mean?
15% or less = Great
16% - 23% = Good
24% - 38% = Fair
39% - 50% = High
51+% = Dangerous
Most financial institutions will not loan money to someone who is in the “high” or “dangerous” category. However, the ABLE Tech bank loan program has systems in place to help those individuals get the financial resources they need to make those kinds of purchases. For more information, contact Shelley Gladden at 800.257.1705, or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oklahoma Equipment Exchange is a FREE program to help Oklahomans with disabilities acquire affordable equipment. To donate, sell, or locate equipment, visit our website or call us at 888.885.5588. http://oec.okstate.edu
In Oklahoma City, you may contact the Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program at 405.523.4810 for FREE mobility equipment such as canes, scooters, and hospital beds. Donations are needed for the following bariatric equipment: wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, and rollator walkers.
Here is a quick preview of items you can find online at the exchange!
Reminder Rosie is a low-tech memory aid device. It is an easy-to-use talking alarm clock with personalized voice reminders for seniors, caregivers, older adults and the visually impaired.
It is a simple, hands-free, inexpensive solution to remember your medication, appointments, and everyday tasks while also serving as a voice-activated digital alarm clock.
To request a six-week trial, visit us online at: http://oec.okstate.edu/loan
A teacher contacted ABLE Tech for help with selecting AT to make page turning easier for a student who has limited use of his hands. We recommended the Sammons Preston Page Turner, which is a rigid device that wraps around the hand and has a rubbery tip for pushing pages. We also recommended switching to digital textbooks, novels and other reading materials from Bookshare.
For a student who cannot hold a book or turn the pages independently, digital text offers the benefit of being able to store multiple books. Depending on the device used, the student could navigate the text using finger swipes or a switch, and the text can be read aloud with synthesized speech.
Digital format offers many additional accessibility features which can improve comprehension, including synchronized highlighting as the text is read, and adjustable colors and font sizes.
ABLE Tech loans AT for accessing digital text. Call 800-257-1705 or visit http://okabletech.okstate.edu for more information.
OSU Department of Wellness
1514 W. Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078
Ph: 405.744.9748 or 888.885.5588 (V/TTY)
Kirk Wimberley, Interim Director OSU Department of Wellness
This publication is available in alternative formats; please call 800.257.1705 (V/TTY) for more information. The Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness is the lead agency for Oklahoma ABLE Tech. The program is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) of the U.S. Department of Education. Grant #H224A130036. This publication does not necessarily reflect the position of the policy of RSA/ED, and no official endorsement of the material should be inferred.