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Assistive Technology Small Changes... Big Differences
Winter 2016, Issue 1, Volume 16
Community partners, including ABLE Tech staff, have been meeting in Tulsa during Phase 2 in the development of Oklahoma’s SSIP. With the plan focusing on improving early literacy outcomes, there are 7 areas wherein stakeholders will prioritize themes and choose goals to submit as Oklahoma’s SSIP to the federal government in April of 2016:
The data system is currently undergoing improvements. SoonerStart is an integral part in leading this initiative, and ABLE Tech is excited to participate!
ABLE Tech is poised to help schools overcome the challenges set out in the 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP).The NETP was developed by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology. “Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education” provides goals to ensure accessibility in technology-based learning.The goals and recommendations are divided into five categories: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity.The NETP also says schools should use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices to ensure greatest accessibility and increased learning opportunities.In his introduction to the plan, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that bridging the digital divide will be a priority. “If the technology revolution only happens for families that already have money and education, then it’s not really a revolution,” Duncan said.Funding to improve internet connectivity is available through the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Program, commonly known as the E-rate Program. This program provides options for schools and libraries to purchase high-speed broadband.Expanding access to underserved populations is the heart of ABLE Tech’s new project.
ABLE Tech is hoping to expand its efforts to increase literacy of students with physical disabilities with a grant from the Christopher Reeve foundation. If awarded, the High Impact Innovative Technology Assistance Grant will allow ABLE Tech to work with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to help special education students with paralysis and/or are economic disadvantages. Often, these students have not had access to educational tools due to lack of outreach and training.The grant project, titled: “Assistive Technology Accommodations: Paving the Way to Literacy Success in Oklahoma,” would allow ABLE Tech to establish procedures for assessing student needs for reading tools. Training and support would be provided to educators, and schools would gain access to digital text through Bookshare
.Planning is also underway for ABLE Tech’s 2016-17 AT Support Team Training for Oklahoma public schools. Fall sessions will be for schools that have not previously attended the team workshops and will focus on AT consideration and assessment. Advanced workshops for district AT Teams that have participated before will offer more in-depth student case studies and hands-on AT activities.Spring sessions will be open to all teams and will provide training on AT implementation and procedural guidelines. The program is designed to culminate in the spring with all participating teams adopting district guidelines for providing AT to students on IEPs.
The Eye-Pal Ace is a portable and easy-to-use reader for individuals who have difficulty reading printed text. Read your books, letters, food packages and prescriptions with the press of a button. Use our exclusive AudioMinder features to display a large clock, set an alarm and get appointment reminders. The Eye-Pal Ace has a built-in screen to display photos, magnify small objects and enlarge text. This battery-powered product weighs only 3.5 pounds and is Braille-display compatible. For a six-week trial, visit: http://oec.okstate.edu/loan/detail.php?item_id=3062
The Assistive Technology Act received an additional $1 Million in the FFY 16 omnibus appropriations bill! ABLE Tech’s Funding for AT Guide has been recently updated and will be available online and as a PDF later this spring. The guide describes possible public and private sources of funding and strategies for obtaining AT.
Dina Anderson is the Occupational Therapist Specialist for Oklahoma ABLE Tech. She specializes in assistive technology for daily living needs and learning/cognition. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University in 1999 with a Master of Occupational Therapy degree. Her Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration and Management comes from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining Oklahoma ABLE Tech Dina worked as an Occupational Therapist in the public schools for 16 years and was an assistant professor in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Tulsa Community College for two years. Dina obtained her Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification in July 2015. Dina and her husband, Scott, have two daughters.
There is no question about it: living with a disability is expensive. Federal and state budget cuts, changes in insurance coverage, continued difficulties in finding quality jobs, and rising costs of living have contributed to making people with disabilities some of the poorest in the United States. That is why learning financial skills that influence smart money decisions is one of the best investments a person can make for themselves. Learning how to manage money, rather than letting money manage you, will help now and for the rest of your life. You’ll be able to access the assistive technologies and services needed to live independently, as well as help ensure a financially secure future. Oklahoma ABLE Tech is continuously assisting individuals applying for low-interest financial loans for assistive technology. One of the most common challenges seen with applicants is not being aware of what is on their credit report. Many times, agencies will send an unpaid balance to collections without someone knowing it. Or, there may be incorrect items on the credit report all together. There are three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax, and it is recommended to check all three credit reports annually. Check all three by going to www.freecreditreport.com, or call 877-322-8228.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech is the statewide Assistive Technology Act Program proudly located at Oklahoma State University in the Department of Wellness. ABLE Tech’s mission is to improve access to, and acquisition of, assistive technology (AT) for individuals with disabilities of all ages. A tremendous variety of AT and resources are available today. ABLE Tech offers AT demonstrations, short term loans of AT, financial loans to purchase AT, and reuse AT programs. For more information, you can contact Shelley Gladden at 800-257-1705, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oklahoma Equipment Exchange (OEE) 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 (v/tty).
To the right is a quick preview of items you can find online at the exchange!
Disposable diapers & underpads, several types and sizes (FREE)
Lap tray for wheelchair user (FREE)
Sitz Bath (FREE)
Toilet seats and risers (FREE)
VPAPs with H5i humidifier (FREE)
Several wheelchair cushions (FREE)
Several manual electric wheelchairs (Various prices)
Hospital beds (Various prices)
In Oklahoma City, you may call the Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program (OKDMERP) at 405.523.4810 for FREE durable medical equipment such as canes, scooters, and hospital beds. Donations are always needed for items such as: wheelchairs, commodes, and walkers.
The Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) works collaboratively with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to help parents and school districts resolve disputes regarding the special education of students. SERC provides stakeholder training in effective communication skills at the Prevention stage of Conflict. Once conflict has reached Disagreement, SERC provides innovative programs to assist parties in resolving their differences at the earliest stage possible.
SERC provides highly trained mediators to assist the parties in coming to agreement. In those instances where the parties are unable to resolve their dispute, SERC provides a hearing system. Fair, impartial and knowledgeable officers conduct administrative hearings to settle the differences of the parties in a timely manner. These processes are in place so that Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment will be available to Oklahoma children. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Consortium of Appropriate Dispute Resolution (CADRE) have identified Oklahoma as one of four exemplar alternative dispute resolution programs in the United States. Visit http://serc.okstate.edu for more information on services available to families and school districts.
OSU Department of Wellness
1514 W. Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078
Ph: 405.744.9748 or 888.885.5588 (V/TTY)
February 2 Developing the Physician AT Simulation; OSU-CHS
February 15 ECHO Alternate Access to Computers
March 15 OSDE AT/AEM Meeting
April 7 & 8 OK AHEAD Conference; Southern Nazarene University
April 19-21 Workforce Conference; OKC
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. ABLE Tech is funded through the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and maintains coordination and collaboration efforts with partners throughout the state of Oklahoma.