12 February 2016
Jason Carroll, Global Products Manager
ATIA 2016 Recap
Do you like staying up to date with the latest and greatest Assistive Technology tools and resources? If so, last week’s annual Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference was the place to be. With over 350 educational sessions, hundreds of excited participants and an exhibit hall full of great Assistive Technology products and services, this year’s conference was one of the best yet.
Not able to make it in person or follow along socially? I’ve included some of the top resources from the show below to help you stay in the know.
As mentioned, there were over 350 educational sessions that took place at this year’s conference. This included a number of pre-conference sessions, followed by general sessions ranging from topics on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to wearable technology.
Also continuing to grow in popularity were sessions involving supports for districts who have adopted Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Due to cost savings, collaborative features and more, school districts across North America have been migrating over to Google Apps for Education in droves. This has left many folks struggling to find the right supports for students with disabilities who are working in this new Google Apps environment.
I had the opportunity to shed some light on this topic by presenting a product demonstration of Read&Write for Google Chrome™ in the exhibit hall as well as an educational session titled Up, Up, and Away… Assistive Technology Supports in the Cloud.
Here I discussed the transition districts are going through when migrating to cloud-based software, and how to find supports like Read&Write for Google Chrome that will work regardless of the platform being used.
It was also great fun co-presenting with Jason Gibson
, Learning and Behavior Consultant out of Nashville, TN on Google Apps for the Inclusive Classroom - An Evidence Based Approach. In this session, Jason and I went beyond demonstrating how Google Apps work and focused on evidence-based strategies that can be implemented in the GAFE environment. Examples of the strategies shown in action included Response Cards, Reciprocal Peer Tutoring and Guided Notes.
These, of course, are just a small sampling of the content being shared at this year’s conference. You can view the entire list of sessions on ATIA’s website
, or search only the sessions that have available handouts
While the educational sessions at ATIA are always top notch, the exhibit hall offers attendees the ability to learn more about new products and resources straight from the source!
At the Texthelp booth, for example, we spent much of the time talking to current customers, meeting new customers, and demonstrating our suite of literacy products including Read&Write for Google Chrome™
, Fluency Tutor® for Google™
For a complete listing (and contact information) of all Exhibitors present, be sure to check out ATIA’s Exhibitor page
Celebrating 20 Years
Last, but certainly not least, was the fact that Texthelp was celebrating its 20th birthday at ATIA. This culminated at an evening reception where over 100 of our closest friends joined us. Because Texthelp was founded in 1996, everyone was encouraged to dress in 90s t-shirts. Prizes were awarded to those with the best or most creative 90s attire.
Paul Brown, Vice President of Sales for Western US and Canada and I took things a step further and dressed the part of one of our favorite 90s movies (which some people thought was very fitting). If you can guess the movie be sure to include it in the comments section below!
Once again, ATIA did not disappoint. Everyone in attendance from Texthelp was delighted to connect with our many customers, long time friends and colleagues. If you were in attendance and have any additional resources to share, please do so in the comments section below.