Assistive Technology Newsletter

ESC Region 11 • September 2019

Big picture

from Katie

A favor to ask, Could you highlight the AAC Foundations Team Training similar to the Literacy Tool belt? This course would be a perfect opportunity for any AT staff.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Foundations Team Training – 014681

This workshop series is designed for professionals working with students with complex communication needs (CCN) who need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). During this two-day training, participants will feel empowered so that no matter which specific app, device, training, or technique presents itself, the team will feel they have the foundational knowledge needed to make decisions and plan interventions.

This training emphasizes a Learn, Try, Apply approach.

LEARN: Teams will develop common background knowledge about AAC and learn a 5 step process to organize and prioritize information related to Augmentative Communication decision making.

TRY: Teams will explore and practice successful intervention strategies.

APPLY: Teams will use homework, case studies, and reflection to support meaningful, multi-modal communication outcomes.

Highlighting Region 13’s AT Toolbox in a future newsletter may be a good idea. It’s full of amazing resources. Just a thought!

Mark your calendars for our next session:

Thursday, Sept. 19 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time

What Struggling Readers Wish Administrators Knew

Presented by Terrie Noland, Vice President, Educator Initiatives, Learning Ally

This program is sponsored by Learning Ally.

Farewell to TATN

With the rollout of TEA's new Special Education Statewide Leadership Networks, the Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) is expiring. Assistive Technology support and initiatives will be absorbed by several of the networks in the new structure.

Linda (McDonald) Walker will continue to serve as an ESC Region 11 contact for your assistive technology needs.

Big picture

iPad Pro & iOS 11

Our final equipment package provided through TATN includes an iPad Pro with accessories to support training and understanding of the use of facial recognition as an access method for students with disabilities.

  • In our initial research, we found some great resources shared below.
  • We would love to hear your ideas. Please share them on the Padlet below. (also linked in our ESC11 AT Canvas Community).
iPad Pro & iOS 11 for Special Needs

Click for article from

Accessibility Apps and the NEW iPad Pro and iOS 11

Click for ideas from the Department of Wellness at Oklahoma State University

Big picture

Literacy Toolbelt: The Superpowers Within!

Webinar + Canvas Series

Unlock AT supports built into the Instructional Technology tools already in your classroom! Explore software supports and features that already exist in iDevices, Google Chrome, and Windows-based machines to support literacy. Readily available tools like text-to-speech, speech-to-text, word prediction, graphic organizers, and authoring tools can enable students with disabilities to access curriculum and be successful learners. Fall Webinar + Canvas. Partial Credit may be allowed. Contact Linda Walker if you have additional questions.

Register for Webinar + Canvas Series: Literacy Toolbelt

Click to register for Session #024865

ATIA Webinars

TATN partnered with Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) to offer unlimited access to webinars for all educators in Texas. September 30, 2019, is the LAST DATE to take advantage of live or recorded webinars.


  • Sept. 17 - The Pitfalls of "Presuming Competence"


  • May 23 and June 5 - Chrome & Literacy Series with Mike Marotta & Kelly Fonner
  • See more webinars on topics such as AAC, UDL, and AT Implementation from amazing national speakers & AT Champions.

ESC Region 11 is working on purchasing a package for ATIA webinars that will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Look for additional details this fall.

ATIA Webinar Directory

Click to find a webinar that enhances your skills, expands your knowledge, or broadens your awareness—live or recorded, to suit your learning time.

Ablenet University

Upcoming Webinar Topics

  • Aug. 20 - Contemplative Discipline
  • Sept. 17 - Power Mobility
  • Sept. 23 - the Speech Dudes
  • Oct. 9 & 16 - Using Switches
Ablenet University

Click for information & registration on these free webinars.

Big picture
  • Oct. 23 - Building Emergent Literacy Skills in Speech and Language Therapy - #025439
  • Nov. 7 - iOS VoiceOver Series from TSVBI
  • Dec. 6 - All Access: Augmentative Alternative Communication and Assistive Technology -
    # 025126 (AM session - Full) or #025127 (PM session)
  • Dec. 10-11 - Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Foundations Team Training - #025433
  • Ongoing - Discovering the INDIVIDUAL in the IEP - #025448
Big picture

Linda (McDonald) Walker

Special Education Specialist