Utah Assistive Technology Teams
April Newsletter 2016
Who Are We?
Utah Assistive Technology Teams support school LEAs and IEP teams to evaluate, acquire and manage assistive technology for students with disabilities.
The State of Utah is divided into 28 regional areas with one UATT team serving each region. In some cases the team will serve multiple school districts, and in other cases the school district may be large enough to have more then one team. Teams consist of, but are not limited to, speech pathologists, teachers, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, administrators, computer specialists, audiologists, and vision specialists.
Currently Charter Schools are supported by UATT Central. If you would like an evaluation for a student, please contact Kent Remund (801-887-9533) or Julia Pearce (801-887-9534)
April Tech Tip
Visual Schedules for Students
I don’t know about you, but I need a tool to organize what I need to do every day. The reality is everyone benefits from a format to schedule their life, particularly students experiencing executive functioning issues.
Susan K. Lewis Stokes, Educational Autism Consultant, presented a breakout session at Closing the Gap titled, iTechnology as Evidence-based Practice! Visual Schedules for Students with ASD. She explained that visual schedules can do the following:
- Helps increase focused attention to a task and shift attention to what’s coming next
- Motivates child to complete less desirable tasks by seeing an upcoming desired one
- Appropriately manages sensory processing needs
- Provide opportunities for breaks for self-regulation
For visual schedules to be successful, it is important that the child understand the visual information being presented, be taught how to use the schedule, and let the student be responsible for carrying their schedule and moving icons to “all done.”
A “First-Then” visual schedule can be used to initially teach the concept of a schedule. It can help to focus the student’s attention on the expectations for a scheduled activity. Mini/activity schedules also provide visual information for expectations of a scheduled activity and how long it will last.
If visual schedules are something you want to check out for your students, Stokes suggested the following apps:
- ChoiceWorks and ChoiceWorks Calendar by Bee Visual, LLC
- First-Then Visual Schedule HD by Good Karma Applications
- Visual Schedule Planner by Good Karma Applications
- Functional Planning System by the Conover Company
- This for That: Visual Schedules by Center for Autism & Relate Disorders
- Pocket Schedule by Appxy
- Schedule Planner HD by DIGI117 LTD
- Complete Class Organizer by AnimalBrainz
Submitted by Julie Brown - Leadership Council Member - Kane District
Student Success Story
Voice Amplification for Student
The Cache Valley District Assistive Technology team worked with an 8th grade student with significant physical disabilities. She has no cognitive disabilities and participates in regular school classes with accommodations for her motor and health concerns. She has a medical diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy that severely limits several of her major life activities, including her ability to use her legs, hands, arms, and to breathe and swallow. She currently uses a power wheelchair and relies on medical equipment to help her clear her lungs several times a day so she can breathe normally. Her Muscular Dystrophy also affects her speech. She has been working for several years with occupational and physical therapists as well as speech-language pathologists to improve her oral motor skills and her speech intelligibility has increased dramatically. However, she still struggles to speak loud enough to be heard over short distances, including classrooms, and in noisy environments such as the hallways and cafeteria at school.
For several months, the student has been using a Chattervox 6 Personal Voice Amplification system on a trial basis at school and in the community. This device trial was obtained through the Utah Assistive Technology Team central library. The Chattervox 6 consists of a portable, wearable speaker connected to a headset microphone. She has been able to wear the microphone and have her voice amplified through the small but powerful speaker. The student, her family, and her educational aides report that she is able to use the Chattervox to amplify her voice in the classroom, hallways, and cafeteria to be better heard by her teachers and friends. She especially likes that her friends can hear her better in the hallways and at lunch. She is a very social girl and the Chattervox has enabled her to build and maintain those close friendships that are so important at her age.
----- Statement from Student
The Chattervox is an important device for me to have. People have the roughest time hearing me. I only have the strength to raise my voice to a certain level. In situations such as classrooms, group discussions, or when the person that I am speaking to is more than a few yards away it’s nearly impossible for anyone to hear and understand what I am saying. I would consider the Chattervox as a very important tool that enables me to be a part of everyday life.
As a side note, MY FRIENDS LOVE BEING ABLE TO HEAR ME IN THE LUNCH ROOM!!!
Gayl Bowser Training
Tuesday, April 12th, 9am
See Locations below
Training for Northern Utah will be held on April 12, 2016
7905 South Redwood Rd
ASB Auditorium room A109 Enter from 7800 South. Parking will be available at the north side of the building, West Jordan, UT 84088
Training for Southern Utah will be held on April 14, 2016
Sevier School District
180 East 600 North, Richfield, UT
The Changing Role of AT Teams:
Are you concerned about the viability of your school district’s AT Team? Are you looking for new ways to improve AT services in the coming years? If you are part of a team that provides AT services in public school settings, then this intensive one-day training is right for you. Working with your team or in small groups of similar teams, you will have the chance to envision AT services in the context of a Universal Design for Learning model for professionals and to modify your service model to meet the changing role of AT teams. Interactive activities will give you an opportunity to analyze your current service model, focus on improving service delivery, building agency-wide capacity, and planning effective outreach. You will identify areas of need, rethink the vision for your AT services, and begin work on a multi-faceted 3-year plan.
AT specialists are encouraged to attend in teams, develop team objectives, and discover practical ways to ensure the viability of your team. Whether you are an individual AT practitioner or part of a local or regional school-based AT team, you will leave with a clear, detailed plan to move into the next decade of AT services.