Resources to Support Adaption of Assistive and Instructional Technology

The Center on Technology and Disabilities (CTD) recently published a newsletter highlighting some of their publications related to education. Among those resources:

Implement Assistive Technology and Instructional Technology

EducationFuture Ready Assistive Technology: Fostering State Supports for Students with Disabilities – This report provides insights into the current state and future of assistive technology as well as resources to support your work.

AT and IT: Where are we headed? – This new infographic outlines the technology landscape, and what it means for state and district leaders, and teachers.

Technology Implementation Strategies that Work! – Watch this video series to learn more about the critical processes necessary to effectively support technology implementation in your district or school.

Understanding Assistive Technology: Policy and Implications for State Leaders – Assistive technology (AT) is an essential part of your overall technology plan. Watch this webinar to learn more about the legal requirements for AT, different types of AT supports, and the role of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Contact the CTD Technical Assistance Lead for SEA/LEA support, Kristin Ruedel – KRuedel@air.org.

For more information, visit CTD on the web!

Engaging Adolescent Striving Readers

The following announcement and free webinar is from edWeb.net…

From Frustration to Freedom: Engaging Adolescent Striving Readers

Frustrated studentThursday, March 15, 2018 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT

Presented by Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker, Literacy and Professional Learning Lead Consultant, Mackin.

In this edWebinar, Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker, Literacy and Professional Learning Lead Consultant for Mackin, will bring educators into the shoes of an adolescent striving reader. Attendees will explore the challenges students face when struggling to comprehend and consider how students can use their strengths to grow areas of need. Through the stories of the implementation of a literacy intervention program aligned to the most recent research on adolescent literacy, attendees can see how they might (re)design their approach to engage learners, accelerate growth, and foster identity change for so many struggling learners.

This session is designed for all school librarians, literacy leaders, ELA and reading teachers, and administrators working with middle school and high school students. There will be time for questions after Dr. McCarty Plucker’s presentation. Join us to gain strategies for fostering more growth in striving readers.

About the Presenter

Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker, Literacy and Professional Learning Lead Consultant, will help you transform your teaching and learning methodology with the inclusion of her accomplished brand of professional insight and the resourcefulness, expertise, and support of Mackin. Dr. McCarty Plucker received her doctoral degree in educational leadership with research focused on adolescent engagement/motivation and accelerated literacy growth. Her research has been recognized in ASCD’s Educational Leadership, by the International Literacy Association, and the Southern Regional Education Board’s High Schools That Work.

She has over 20 years of education experience as a teaching and learning coordinator, ESL coordinator, K-12 intervention specialist, English/speech teacher, reading specialist, speech coach, past president of the Minnesota Reading Association, adjunct instructor, and literacy consultant. Dr. McCarty Plucker and the Mackin team partner with districts to provide coaching, guidance, professional learning, world class tools, and leadership customized for the students they serve.

Use this link for more information and to register for this free event…

New Choice in Braille Transcription Software

This new product was recently announced by American Printing House for the Blind…

Person reading BrailleBrailleBlaster™ is a braille transcription program developed by the American Printing House for the Blind to help transcribers provide blind students with braille textbooks on the first day of class.

BrailleBlaster takes advantage of the rich markup contained in NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files to automate basic formatting and gives you tools to make advanced tasks quicker and easier. Designed primarily for editing textbooks that meet the specifications published by the Braille Authority of North America, the purpose of BrailleBlaster is to help braille producers ensure that every student has their hard-copy braille textbooks on the first day of class.

BrailleBlaster relies on Liblouis, a well-known open-source braille translator, for translating text and mathematics to braille.

Features include:

  • Translate braille accurately in UEB or EBAE
  • Format braille
  • Automate line numbered poetry and prose
  • Split books into volumes
  • Add transcriber notes
  • Describe images
  • Automate braille table of contents, glossaries, preliminary pages and special symbols pages
  • Automate a variety of table styles
  • Translate and edit single line math

The development of BrailleBlaster and modifications to Liblouis are part of the REAL Plan (Resources with Enhanced Accessibility for Learning). The REAL Plan is an ongoing initiative of the American Printing House for the Blind to improve the conversion and delivery of braille and other accessible formats to students who are blind.

Learn more about Braille Blaster…

Revised Transition Guide published

From the U.S. Department of Education…

Seal of the US Dept of EducationThe Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), of the U.S. Department of Education (Department), is pleased to publish, A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities.

OSERS’ mission is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all individuals with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation. To assist students and youth with disabilities to achieve their post-school and career goals, Congress enacted two key statutes that address the provision of transition services: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The IDEA is administered by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and Titles I, III, and VI, section 509, and
chapter 2 of Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act are administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). OSEP and RSA, both components of OSERS, provide oversight and guidance regarding the administration and provision of transition services by State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies.

Both the IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act make clear that transition services require a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability within an outcome-oriented process. This process promotes movement from school to post-school activities, such as postsecondary education, and includes vocational training, and competitive integrated employment. Active student involvement, family engagement, and cooperative implementation of transition activities, as well as coordination and collaboration between the VR agency, the SEA, and the LEAs are essential to the creation of a process that results in no undue delay or disruption in service delivery. The student’s transition from school to postschool activities is a shared responsibility.

OSERS presents this transition guide to advance our efforts in ensuring that all students and youth with disabilities are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be engaged in the 21st Century workforce.

Download/read a copy of A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities from the OSERS’ website – PDF - requires plugin