Monday, September 28, 2009

Become an AT Leader!

Class is filling up - sign up today!

Are you looking to increase your knowledge of Assistive Technology? Do you want more training than a full day workshop can provide? If so, join us for an in-depth training institute and discover the range of assistive technology solutions possible in the education field.

This four-day institute, one day a month for four months, will provide a deeper understanding of the assistive technology process -- from the initial assessment to the implementation phase.

Participants will learn about the areas of technology used most in the education setting. In addition, there will be opportunities for participants to select half-day, hands-on sessions focused on specific areas (such as AT for reading and writing, computer access, etc.)

For more information, click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On Demand Books!

With all the continued talk about e-books replacing hard copy books (see "Schools Dump Textbooks for iPODs and Laptops") - here is an instance of the reverse happening!

Google Book Search, in cooperation with On Demand Books, is now offering the ability to custom print over 2 million out of print public domain books.

Google spent the last 7 years scanning all these old books into electronic documents. Now for the price of around $8 per book, you can have your own hard copy edition of one of these books.

I know there are some readers out there like me who still like to read from the paper and not the computer screen!

Check out the article from (Google Lets You Custom Print Millions of Public Domain Books)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Did you Know?

For a great video about convergence and technology, check out "Shift Happens". This new version of the video includes a variety of facts and statistics about media and technology use today.

There is also a companion WIKI with additional information.

Friday, September 11, 2009

FREE Webinars!

There is still time to participate in our FREE webinar series.

From Low Tech to High Tech: Computer Access
Date/Time: September 14, 2009; 3PM-4PM
Click HERE for additional details.

From Low Tech to High Tech: Communication Aids
Date/Time: September 21, 2009; 3PM - 4PM
Click HERE for additional details.

From Low Tech to High Tech: Environmental Accessibiblity
Date/Time: September 28, 2009; 3PM - 4PM
Click HERE for additional details.

Sign up today!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Four Things to Double Check on Written IEPs

Check out this article from, written by L. Mae Wilkenson.

Four Things to Double Check on Written IEPs

The four areas she discusses are:

1. Check to make sure all services agreed upon are listed.

2. Check the minutes for each service.

3. Check for facts on the present level of performance.

4. Check for discussion outcomes.

Good reminders now that school has started.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Improving Parent Teacher Communication - Part 2

In this post, we will build on the ideas presented in Part 1 and discuss the idea of active listening.

by Tazee Mahjied, Advancing Opportunities Director of Consumer Advocacy.

The words that are spoken often don't address the root of the problem. A parent telling someone from the district, "I don't like my daughter's teacher," isn't really the issue. It's a byproduct. Don't get stuck on the byproduct. Taking an active listening course is something that can greatly benefit educators and social workers.

There are three points of active listening. They are clarifying, restating and summarizing.

Clarify to get as much information as you can.
Parent: "My son did not eat lunch for an entire week!"
Teacher: "That's not good. Was lunch not offered to him? Did he refuse lunch? What happened?"

Restate by repeating key points in the discussion. It shows you are listening. It gives the parent a chance to hear what he or she has said and the opportunity to correct the listener or possibly change what he or she said. It allows you to both continue in the same direction.
Parent: "He is refusing to eat because of the noise he makes when he eats. He is extremely self-conscious. He was okay with the group he ate with last year."
Teacher: "The sounds he makes when he is eating keeps him from wanting to eat with his peers."

Summarize by pulling all the facts together. Hopefully, this will lead to a game plan you can both agree upon. Teacher: "So, what I'm hearing is that your son hasn't been eating because of his self-consciousness about the sounds he makes. Perhaps if we allowed him to have lunch with his friends from last year he would start eating again."

Sometimes there's no easy way to resolve a difficult situation. However, you can avoid the trap of reacting to emotions and harboring ill feelings by maintaining professionalism and demonstrating your commitment to providing the student with appropriate services.