Thursday, October 31, 2013


CASE #2 - Johnny
Present Level of Educational Performance (PLEP): 
Johnny uses his right hand to write and to physically position his left arm and hand. He has difficulty managing papers as he writes.

Annual Goal:

Johnny will complete all written work independently.
Assistive Technology Recommendation:


CASE #1 - Mary
Present Level of Educational Performance (PLEP):
Mary currently communicates with sounds that are not always understood by those around her. She often becomes upset when she is not understood. She likes people and likes to be around both adults and children. She is beginning to play simple games.
Annual Goal:
Mary will communication her interests and needs in three or more environments/situations using a single message voice output device.
Assistive Technology Recommendation:
Single Message Voice Output Device

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I DO, We DO, You DO!

A Blogger's Insight:

Model Session

Throughout the next several blog posts, we will be looking at present levels and the annual goals of five different students.  After reviewing the information, I will then identify an appropriate assistive technology tool to be used with each of the specific cases.  Within some of the annual goals an AT device/tool may already be identified.  If the tool is already defined, I will provide a sample of each tool.   Please comment below if you have a different tool in mind. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Appropriate Use of AT

A Blogger's Insight:

AT within an IEP

My last blog addressed the process of AT consideration within a student's individualized education plan (IEP).  The last step of the consideration process and responsibility of the IEP team is to respond to the question of whether or not the student's needs require the use of assistive technology.
If the IEP team decides that AT is appropriate in this student's case file, what happens next?

If you said that they start to investigate AT and explore which might be the most suitable for this particular student, you must have been paying attention!!  You're correct! How does the team know which device or tool would be the best fit for the student and successfully impact the student's abilities and needs the best?  The answer is easy... RESEARCH!
 Once the student's goals and objectives are developed, the team needs to sit down and explore each type of AT tool.  How it works?  How it can be integrated?  Which aspects fit the student's needs the best? Which AT strategy/tool would effectively accomplish each goal?  

In simpler terms, what is the goal and how can I meet it using AT? 

Monday, October 28, 2013

AT Consideration Process

A Blogger's Insight 

AT Consideration Process 

As a student is first diagnosed with a disability, the main job of the special education teacher is to formulate and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the student.  However before the school can do this, there is a procedure they must follow.  In order to successfully design a student's IEP, there are seven steps which need to be met: 
1. Prereferral
2. Referral
3. Identification
4. Eligibility
5. Development of IEP
6. Implementation of IEP
7. Evaluations and Reviews
For more information on each of the seven steps of formulating an IEP,  CLICK HERE

At this point, you may be wondering why we are discussing an IEP when this blog is based around assistive technology.  I promise it will all make sense! As a student's individual plan is being discussed and created, members of the IEP team are REQUIRED to consider assistive technologies that my benefit the students plan in any way. This is known as the AT consideration process, which is divided into five steps.
STEP 1:  
The team reviews student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance.  During this time, the team must also investigate the role AT may have in helping the student performance during instruction and assessment.  Furthermore, the team must identify the following:
-  The student's functional area of concern
 -  Which barriers the student may be facing
 -  The strengths of the student that the team can apply and build upon
-  Has the student used assistive technology before? 
The team is required to review the goals and objectives stated in the child's IEP, in which the student is able to achieve in a time frame of one year.  The goals of the student are based off of their abilities and strengths.  Curriculum, state standards, and skills should be taken into consideration.  A goal does not have to be designed to address the use of AT. 
Step 3 is designed to help consider the academic, as well as, non-academic tasks/activities the student will need to completing to achieve the goals and objectives developed in stage two. 
Non-academic tasks = behavior, daily living,
 communication, interaction, positioning, etc.  
Also during this period, the IEP team will explore any environmental challenges or academic barriers the student may face while attempting to accomplish the designated goals.  
The responsibility for the team in step four is to consider, any and all, forms of effective supports and materials that may aid in the success of the student and increase the likelihood of accomplishing their goals and/or objectives. 
Rate the current independence level of the student. 
                               Discuss the desired independence level of student.
Based on the information received from steps 1 - 5, does the student require AT support? To address this question, the team should ask the following questions: 
-  Are there AT devices and/or services that could help the student participate and progress in the general education curriculum and meet his or her goals?
-  Does the student need an AT device and/or service to participate in nonacademic activities?  
-  Can the student participate successfully without AT? 
Finally, once the following questions are addressed, the IEP needs to brainstorm No/Low- to High-Tech TOOLS and STRATEGIES to complete tasks across environments.

Throughout the whole consideration process, the family is able to put in their valuable insight on the child's strengths, needs, abilities, and desires relating to AT devices - and much more. 
Once the AT consideration process is complete and the IEP team chooses an appropriate device, the next job of the team is to trial the AT and gather data and monitoring process.  This is not just completed for the student's IEP, but may also be for the manufacturing company of the AT device, parents and administration.  The progress monitoring data should be collected and compiled over a period of time and within different environments.  The results should address how the assistive technology is implemented and whether or not it successfully impacts the student's goals and objectives. 

I know this was a lot of information, however, I hope the breakdown of information has been informative, useful, and understandable.  Stay tuned for more on the AT and Writing Process!


Smith, D. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


A Blogger's Insight: 


I first want to take a minute and thank all of the people who have visited my blogs and those who have  provided feedback.  I have not only learned so much through my research on assisted technology and how it can be successfully integrated within an educational setting, but also, have extremely enjoyed hearing the thoughtful feedback that you provide, as well.  YOUR NUMBER ONE!!!


We are now going shift gears a bit again and research the impact assistive technology has on the writing process.  Keep checking back as I continue to explore the use of AT in the classroom. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Parental Perspective on iPad Usage

A Blogger's Insight:

iPads vs. iParents

  Like mentioned in the previous blog, I wanted to provide a parents perspective on the iPad use for children.  In this short video, a mother expressed her pros and cons for using an iPad with early childhood children.  View the video and provide your feedback? 
What points did she make they you agree with? What points did you disagree with? Why?
Here is a two-year-old child using an iPad.  This goes to show you that any student could use this technology and be successful!!

WOW! You Go Bridger!

Monday, October 21, 2013

iPad Usage

A Blogger's Insight:

iPad Usage

What are your impressions on ipad usage in the classroom?

In the video below, they discuss the usage of iPad apps as communication and learning tools for autistic and nonverbal children in the classroom. Mobile platform games, education applications, and accessories are also highlighted in this video and explored. Please view some of the video below (it is an hour long so just take some time to view bits and pieces if at all possible) and discuss your feedback.  To access a list of the apps explored throughout this video:
 Email the clinic ( and they can get you a list

Now I want your feedback on the following areas of interest:






Personally, I feel that this type of technology should most definitely be included into the curriculum.  Too many teachers and administration feel that the classroom is just a place to listen attentively and participate actively.  I believe the classroom is a lab to experiment, manipulate and discover new and interesting ways of learning the curriculum through hand-on inquiry-based instruction.  Students need to become part of the learning process by manipulating different modes of technology, materials and resources to benefit to the maximum extent possible.  This is easily accomplished with the integration of any and all types of AT devices in the classroom, iPads being the latest evolution of technology.  Furthermore, I also believe that all students could benefit from the use of iPads into the curriculum whether it is manipulating worksheets, games or just for researching and answering.  Demonstrated in this video there are so many methods of apps and resources provided on the iPad that can and should be integrated into each individual classroom.  Such a great tutorial with concrete information and ways to include this types of technology! 

Later in this module, you will examine the different perspectives of families, parents, children and/or teachers on the use of iPads in diverse situations and scenarios.   Well look at the differences between others and preferences.  Stay tuned for more!! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

AT Devices

A Blogger's Insight: 

AT Devices  

We have been discussing assistive technologies for the past three weeks but really have not explored all of the AT devices out there and what they are for.  Throughout the next several blogs, I am going to be dedicating my time to locate about ten different types of AT devices, what they are and how they are used! 

I GOAL is that you are then able to process and ponder the following questions or thoughts..  Another objective of this series of blogs, is that you learn some kind of new device that you may have been unaware of before and which type of learner they would benefit the most. 

What are your feelings/thoughts about each of the AT devices?  How would you implement them into your curriculum to help struggling learners or students with disabilities?  What, if anything, would you change about the technology device(s) and how would this positively impact the usage of this software/hardware? 

Let's begin with two...

Word prediction software can help a user during word processing by "predicting" a word the user intends to type. Predictions are based on spelling, syntax, and frequent/recent use. This prompts kids who struggle with writing to use proper spelling, grammar, and word choices, with fewer keystrokes.

Talking word processors (TWP) are writing software programs that provide speech feedback as the student writes, echoing each letter as it is typed and each word as the spacebar is pressed. Many of these inexpensive programs, typically used to assist with writing, also incorporate powerful tools for reading.

Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition Software is a program that converts what you say into text on the computer.  Students can use this who may experience trouble writing or limited motor abilities.  Students are able to increase motivation, independence and academic opportunities when using this software to navigate through the computer with your voice, to writing an e-mail.  Watch the video for an interesting perspective and tutorial on this type of AT device.  

Scan and read software includes optical character recognition (OCR), the ability to scan printed pages and convert them into electronic text. Speech synthesis enables this scanned text to be read aloud.  It can also
can read word processing documents, Adobe Acrobat PDF files, text files, and the Internet.

Books on CD are books that have been converted
to CDs for the entertainment of children, teens and adults.  Books on CD allow provide students to more opportunities of independent work, as well as, a time to relax and just listen to a story.  Books on tape are great for students with language, visual, motor, learning, and cognitive disabilities.  

Assisted Literacy Software is a software designed to aid students in developing their literacy skills.  It is great for students with cognitive, learning, and reading disabilities.  Students using this type of software focus on developing more specifically their phonemic awareness, decoding and comprehension skills.  

Voice output devices have been used to help individuals with developmental and acquired disabilities to communicate successfully. Voice output devices offer tremendous promise in helping nonverbal individuals with autism overcome their unique communication barriers. The auditory output provides one more sensory feedback to help the child develop his receptive and expressive language skills.

See a blog designed by a mom discussing the iPad..


 TTO: Assistive Technology Training Online. (n.d.). ATTO: Assistive Technology Training 
           Online. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from

Join GreatSchools. (n.d.). GreatSchools. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from 

WYNN™ Literacy Software for Reading and Writing - Learning Systems Group. (n.d.).  
          WYNN™ Literacy Software for Reading and Writing - Learning Systems Group
          Retrieved October 20, 2013, from