Track: Assistive Technology

The Hidden Barriers of Proprietary Software (ERP) and the Employment of the Visually Impaired

Many companies and universities have moved to ERP or Proprietary software. Almost all of these have varying barriers when it comes to Assistive Technology such as screen readers. Many are completely inaccessible. In this presentation we will discuss the different barriers those with visual impairments face and why. We will also discuss possible solutions to these barriers.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. What is ERP/Proprietary software and how is it used in companies and universities?
2. Why are there barriers with ERP/Proprietary software when it comes to assistive technology such as screen readers?
3. What can be done to overcome these barriers for the visually impaired?

Presentation Materials

Eliminating Barriers: A Voice for All

To bridge the divide that exists between communication partners, we must educate and spread awareness in the area of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The use of AAC systems is an alternative communication method which requires our community to become more knowledgeable and aware of effective communication strategies. This change begins with awareness in our K-12 schools by using research based restorative practices to educate young children about communication differences to access effective inclusion practices while expanding communication partners for all. In this session, a review of research based practices will be conducted while sharing experiences in how to educate our youth to be inclusive using hands-on experiences with assistive technology and following restorative practices.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Gain a deeper understanding of AAC systems and how they are used to communicate.
2. Working to bridge the communication gap between children with complex communication needs and their peers.
3. Destigmatizing the use of AAC systems through research based practices and the exploration of diversity.

With a Hammer, Every Problem Looks Like a Nail:  Improving Effective Problem-Solving Practices

The capacity to collaborate to solve problems is a key component of a successful assistive technology team.  Whether it’s for AT Consideration, Implementation, Professional Development or any relevant topic, it starts with effective problem solving.  In this session, participants will be guided through examples of the team problem solving process.  Then, the tables will turn!  In small groups, participants will apply proven problem solving frameworks and processes on participant identified AT topics.  To conclude, we will reconvene and reflect on the problem solving process as a tool to improve student outcomes.

Key Learning Outcomes

1.  Describe at least two strategies to identify, brainstorm and collaboratively approach AT problems of practice. 

2.  Practice at least two strategies to identify, brainstorm and collaboratively approach AT problems of practice.

3.  Reflect and identify at least two problem solving strategies to implement when providing AT supports and services.

Communication…. Low Tech, High Tech, and In-between!

Communication needs vary for all students. There are so many different options out there. Where do we even start? We will explore many options and what some of the benefits are from low-tech to high-tech systems. No matter which system you use, always aim high! Presume competence! The process of total communication and aided language stimulation are important components to successfully increase any child’s communication. Let’s take a look at practical implementation strategies.

Key Learning Outcomes

1) The participants will be able to describe how to support the use of aided language stimulation.
2) The participants will be able to describe how to support Total Communication.
3) The participants will be able to describe multiple examples of both low-tech and high tec communication systems, why someone might choose one over the other, and some benefits of each.

Presentation Materials

AT Assessments: Providing the Best Technology Solutions to Elementary and Secondary Students

The best assistive technology decisions for elementary- and secondary-age students with visual impairments are made when students, parents, teachers, and administrators are empowered by 1) knowing what resources are available, 2) what technology devices are most appropriate for each student’s classroom and recreational use, and 3) how to individualize the student’s technology instruction program for optimal success and independence. This discussion will provide an overview of the technology assessment process, how to select the right technology tools, the roles of assessment and instructional team members in providing effective educational services, and how to promote student independence through competent and confident application of technology devices, solutions, and strategies.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will learn about three resources that can help them to locate information about what technology solutions and devices are available, and how to use the information these resources provide.

2. Participants will identify three major components of a technology assessment and why each is vital to a student’s technology program development.

3. Participants will discuss five ways to effectively individualize a student’s technology program by applying the use of resources and competent technology assessment.

AAC Implementation Playground

Given the advancements in and increased access to technology, a wide variety of AAC solutions are available. Although hardware and software are ever changing, the need for quality therapeutic support remains constant. Speaking is the major mode of expression in a typical classroom. Students use speech to answer questions, to ask questions, to share information, to socially interact with peers. Many literacy skills are learned and evaluated through verbal modalities. The language learning activities within a classroom, as well as the routine opportunities to interact, are the most natural conditions for a student who uses an AAC system/device to learn. The challenge for the educational team is how to integrate classroom activities so that the student is able to learn academic skills, participate in conversational

Key Learning Outcomes

1) Learn to use Chat Editor to create a variety of visual supports for Word Power
2) Use PASS software to create manual communication boards
3) Will modify three games from the new AAC Language Lab to use with students on different language levels and language systems
4) Learn to use new AI technologies ChatGPT and DALL-E to enhance your therapy sessions

Potential second session with Access Playground
1) Learn to use and adjust eye tracking settings to participate in a therapy activity
2) Learn to use and adjust head tracking settings to
3) Learn to use assistive touch is iOS to adjust alternative access settings for a user

Job Accommodation Bootcamp

What is an accommodation? Where do I start? Will it make a difference? Who can help? In many situations, accommodations can be simple and straightforward, but at times, depending on the nature of a disability; the situation being accommodated; the tool or solution being implemented; or other factors, it can become more complex and difficult to accomplish. In this session, you will showcase your creative, out-of-the-box thinking and learn important ingredients and concepts for implementing successful solutions in your workplace and others.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Define accommodation and identify 5 important aspects of the accommodation process.
2. Discuss 5 common hiccups and glitches that may arise during job accommodations
3. Identify 3 resources to assist in finding appropriate accommodations for a variety of needs.

Assistive Technology to Support Executive Function

We are using more technology than ever. But for individuals struggling with executive functioning skills, more technology does not automatically lead to greater productivity. Let’s explore an array of mobile device apps and Chrome based apps and extensions focused on providing support for organization and executive function. Areas of focus include: organization, scheduling, task completion, time management and more.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Explore a range of technology tools to provide support in the area of executive function.
2. Apply at least 3 solutions to meet the unique needs of consumers with disabilities.
3. Integrate the feature match process into the selection, acquisition and implementation of AT tools to meet the needs of each individual.

Presentation Materials

Adaptive Gaming Clinic: LET’S GAME!

AzTAP launched the Adaptive Gaming Clinic in Summer of 2022 to provide hands-on opportunity to trial different accessible controllers to achieve their gaming goals! We are now seeing clients in person, providing in-services, and education to create more gaming opportunity for individuals with disabilities and enable different accessible environments throughout Arizona. Come learn more about different Adaptive Gaming set-ups and controllers, client success stories, and how you can get yourself, client, or child gaming!

Key Learning Outcomes

1.Presentation attendees will learn about the types of adaptive controllers we have and different physical access options for the controllers.
2. Presentation attendees will learn about the process for referral to the Adaptive Gaming Clinic and how to get yourself, client, or child involved.
3. Presentation attendees will learn about other resources that are available to the public through the Adaptive Gaming Clinic as well as our partners.

Presentation Materials

Bulldozing Barriers to AAC Implementation

This presentation discusses school wide implementation of the LAMP approach and explores data on language outcomes from K-8 functional skills classrooms for children with complex communication needs. The team will address the rationale for beginning a LAMP approach initiative including the consideration of Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) and inclusion practices, the consensus building process, the use of data collection tools to monitor language outcomes and the development of communication partner training based on the LAMP Approach and the LAMP Approach to support para-educators, educators, and parents with implementation in the home and school environments.

Key Learning Outcomes

Identify three action steps used to overcoming barriers to school-wide AAC implementation and increase social inclusion.
Describe three ways to partner with staff to increase AAC use
Describe three research based models/tools/strategies used to support staff development of AAC communication partners

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