So, this week I went to CUE in Palm Springs, California. For those of you unaware, CUE stands for Computer Using Educators. It is a conference held once a year where educators from all over the globe congregate to find the latest in tech trends, applied educational practices with technology and meet with peers to discuss plans and options for technology at their sites. I’ve been wanting to go for the past eight years, but this year was the perfect “first year” for me to go. Prior to this year, I may have been bored with all of the student / classroom talk and would have been only interested in the technology. But this year, I went as an Educator! And it was amazing. Why is this relevant to this blog (and this course)? Well, the last session that I attended was titled “Enhance Your AT Toolkit for Students with Disabilities,” and it was amazing.
The presenter was able to share from personal experience the joys and trials of being a Special Education Teacher. Her insight with AT Tools was thorough from the simplicity of a pencil stabbed through a ping pong ball to assist students lacking fine motor skills, to adaptive chairs for those that have trouble sitting or positioning themselves for proper instruction. She showed lots of examples of “official AT Tools” as well as substitutes when your school district can’t (or won’t) fund certain items. This was the most fascinating part of the presentation because in many cases, a step stool made in wood shop can accomplish the same goal as an expensive special chair with a built in footrest designed to keep your knees at a 90 degree angle. Educators need to be aware of such options.
The link to her presentation as well as a few other links that you may find useful are attached below. Please feel free to post your thoughts on any of the links.
Presentation – http://tinyurl.com/catphi17
ASNET (Assisting Students Needs for Assistive Technology) Manual Fifth Edition – https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/educators/consultation/assistive-technology/wisconsin-assistive-technology-initiative/asnat-manual
Wisconsin Assistive Tools and Initiatives AT Tools and Forms (Lots of AT information) – https://dpi.wi.gov/sped/educators/consultation/assistive-technology/wisconsin-assistive-technology-initiative