Deena Kimmel, Marketing Specialist

Texthelp’s List of Recommended #ATIA17 Sessions


This week, several Texthelpers are heading to Orlando, FL for the ATIA 2017 Conference, “the world’s most extensive assistive technology conference”. If you are interested in the latest assistive technology, as well as best practices and trends for educators, teachers, and districts, this is the conference for you.


To help you navigate the incredible list of sessions, we’ve highlighted a handful that we’re most excited about. Below please find the list of Texthelp-recommended sessions.
 

Thursday, January 19:

8:00am EST: What Big Data Can Tell Us About Assistive Technology Effectiveness
Primary Speaker : Dave Edyburn, University of Central Florida
Co-Speaker : Martin McKay, CTO, Texthelp


This session will look at what analytics can tell us now, the future of what analytics can offer, and how this information can help inform Assistive Technology purchases and implementation. Cloud based software tools with the ability to collect these analytics will be demonstrated. The presenters will also discuss privacy and security issues and share the top things every educator should look for when choosing a cloud based learning solution.


8:00am EST: Accessible Education Materials: Town Hall Discussion
Co-Speaker : Joy Zabala, Co-Director of the National AEM Center at CAST, CAST
Co-Speaker : Rachel Herron, PATINS Specialist, PATINS Project
Co-Speaker : Marsye Kaplan
Co-Speaker : Christine Fox


Join this learning community in a highly interactive discussion between panelists and participants. Various state and group representatives will open a discussion about innovations, current trends and issues of importance regarding Accessible Educational Materials.


8:00am EST: Rock Teaching with 5 Free/Low-Cost Tools for Student Expression
Primary Speaker : Kelli Suding, PATINS Specialist, PATINS Project
Co-Speaker : Daniel McNulty, State Director, PATINS Project


In this session, participants will have the opportunity to observe and participate in at least 5 ways that students who might struggle with various aspects of reading and writing can show what they know through the creation of accessible digital products utilizing free/low-cost apps, software, and websites. 


8:00am EST: IoT and AT: Internet of Things & AT
Primary Speaker : Mike Marotta, AT Specialist, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC
Co-Speaker : Luis Perez, Inclusive Learning Evangelist, Independent Consultant


The latest trend in technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). This area of technology includes wearable technology and other internet connected devices. With these devices comes new opportunity to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. Learn how these devices can assist with organization, independence via smarthome technology for home automation (like smart light bulbs, switches, door locks, etc.), communication and so much more.


9:20am EST: It’s Easy As 1, 2, 3: Accessible Math Instruction for Early Learners
Primary Speaker : Beth Poss, Administrator, MCPS

How do you create accessible mathematics instruction for early learners, including young children with disabilities and students with significant cognitive disabilities? This session will help educators understand the development of conceptual mathematical skills, how to build a foundation for mathematical thinking and how to adapt mathematics instruction to make it accessible and meaningful to early math learners.


9:20am EST: District System Supporting Struggling Students with Digital Reading and Writing
Primary Speaker : Michelle Nielsen, AT Specialist, Alief ISD
Co-Speaker : Stephanie Veal, Special Education Technology Integrator, Alief ISD


Alief ISD is successfully implementing a district-wide accessible digital reading and writing initiative targeting low performing, ELL, 504, and special education students. Come learn how we got started, gained momentum, and now are making a lasting difference in the lives of students.


11:45am EST: Ignite Research

Sponsored by the ATIA Research Committee. This fast-paced session will feature 8 speakers invited to raise awareness about innovative research projects. Presenters will each have 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about their topic. Live polling will encourage friendly competition among presenters and invite the audience to vote on a research project to be featured (i.e., bragging rights) on the ATIA website.


12:00pm EST: Support Struggling Learners with Read&Write for Google Chrome
Primary Speaker : Kathleen Colburn, Texthelp

Texthelp’s Read&Write for Google Chrome™ is an easy to use, literacy support Chrome extension that provides a robust suite of tools to benefit students who need some additional support with reading, writing, research or productivity. It’s great for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, English Language Learners, or those who have just fallen behind in the classroom. This quick product overview will demonstrate its core features, as well as highlight many new and exciting improvements introduced over the last year - all from one of Google’s 2016 Technology Partners of the Year.


2:20pm EST: Assistive Technology: Town Hall Discussion
Primary Speaker : Kirk Behnke, Senior Director Professional Learning, CAST
Co-Speaker : David Banes, Director, David Banes Access and Inclusion Services
Co-Speaker : Brian Wojcik, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Co-Speaker : Michelle Nielsen, AT Specialist, Alief ISD


Join this learning community in a highly interactive discussion between panelists and participants. Various state and group representatives will open a discussion about innovations, current trends and issues of importance regarding Assistive Technology.


2:20pm EST: UDL As a Framework for Collaboration Between AT and IT
Primary Speaker : Rhianon Gutierrez, Digital Learning Specialist, Boston Public Schools
Co-Speaker : Mary Marcella, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Boston Public Schools


As a large urban school district with many diverse learners, Boston Public Schools (BPS) has begun to embrace a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach district-wide. This implementation has meant several changes for a district built on traditional teaching methods. These changes have prompted the clear need not only for more technology but also the awareness of and training on inclusive uses of technology. As demand has risen for both functional and strategic digital literacy skills, two teams within the district - the Digital Learning Team in the Technology Department and the Assistive Technology Team in the Special Education Department - have joined together on several projects to better support students, teachers, and school and district leaders as BPS moves towards a more inclusive approach in incorporating and teaching 21st century digital literacies.


4:30pm EST: 3 Can’t-Miss Reading and Writing Supports for Google Apps Users
Primary Speaker : Martin McKay, CTO, Texthelp
Co-Speaker : Jason Carroll, Global Products Manager, Texthelp


While it’s clear that Google is an attractive cloud-based platform for countless reasons, it’s often up to third party apps and extensions to provide the additional reading and writing supports that so many students need to be successful in the classroom. This engaging session will give participants a look at three Google apps and extensions that provide reading and writing supports for students and their teachers - all from one of Google’s top educational partners. Emerging tools for Office 365 and Microsoft Edge users will also be discussed in this fast-paced hour of cloud-based supports.
 

Friday, January 20:

9:20am EST: Assessments, Accessibility Standards, and AT: Making it All Work Together
Primary Speaker : Mark Hakkinen, Managing Senior Research Developer, Educational Testing Service
Co-Speaker : Rob Abel, Chief Executive Officer, IMS Global Learning Consortium
Co-Speaker : Martin McKay, CTO, Texthelp
Co-Speaker : Thomas Hoffmann, ETS
Co-Speaker : Chelsea Seeley, Director of Shared Accessibility Services, Pearson School Assessments


To develop accessible educational technology standards, the process must include representation from all members of the ecosystem, from content authoring to delivery platforms to assistive technologies. This is particularly important in a context where authored content, in our case, educational assessments, needs to interoperate across different vendors, delivery platforms, and end user assistive technology. IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global) is a non-profit member collaborative inventing the future of educational and learning technology and has the mission to foster collaboration between educators, learners, and education technology providers by removing barriers to learning and promoting common, interoperable architectures. This moderated panel will explore the challenges and opportunities for standards-based accessibility work of IMS from the perspective of IMS leadership, and from assessment and AT vendors currently engaged in the standards development process.


11:45am EST: App Smackdown - 2017 Edition!
Primary Speaker : Mike Marotta, AT Specialist, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC
Co-Speaker : Karen Janowski, Assistive technology Consultant, EdTech Solutions
Co-Speaker : Brian Wojcik, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Co-Speaker : Kirk Behnke, Senior Director Professional Learning, CAST


In this session, participants will share with each other different apps that can be used with and/or by individuals with disabilities. Come join us for a fast-paced and exciting experience for sharing your knowledge and learning with others. Bring your devices with you to share because this session is all about YOU!! The hour flies by so come ready to learn. The facilitators will compile list of shared tools for future reference.


2:20pm EST: Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Town Hall Discussion
Primary Speaker : James Basham, University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning
Co-Speaker : Joy Zabala, Co-Director of the National AEM Center at CAST, CAST
Co-Speaker : Brian Wojcik, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Co-Speaker : Denise DeCoste, Assistive Technology Specialist/Consultant, Accessible Technology Consulting


Join this learning community in a highly interactive discussion between panelists and participants. Various state and group representatives will open a discussion about innovations, current trends and issues of importance regarding UDL.


2:20pm EST: Special Education Technology Research: What Have We Learned Lately
Primary Speaker : Dave Edyburn, University of Central Florida

The purpose of this session is to introduce participants to relevant works that have been published in the special education technology research literature in the past three years in order to understand new advances in research-based evidence. This component of the presentation will answer the question, What have we learned lately? Participants will receive a resource guide that will facilitate the work of their team to access, read, and use research in support of the interventions.


3:00pm EST: Note-Taking Independence with Technology
Primary Speaker : Brad Held, Accessible Technology Coord., University of Central Florida

Disability Services providers in higher education have long struggled with the note-taking accommodation. Finding note-takers, keeping the students anonymous, and ensuring the notes are delivered in an easy and timely manner are just some of the challenges faced. The biggest concern is if the quality of the notes will even benefit the student. The University of Central Florida decided to make changes in the Spring semester of 2015 when they began offering more options to students. In this session, UCF will describe how they have transformed their note-taking system by switching from paid note-takers to volunteers and using the savings to purchase note-taking technology.


4:30pm EST: Universal Design for 21st Century Learning
Primary Speaker : Christopher Bugaj, Loudoun County Public Schools / Assistive Technology
Co-Speaker : Beth Poss, Administrator, MCPS


In this hands on, BYOD workshop, we will immerse ourselves in tools that are free or low cost that can be used to support the 3 basic constructs of Universal Design for Learning--multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation and multiple means of action and expression. A variety of flexible, interactive apps and web-based tools that can be used across content areas will be explored. Strategies for increasing access to curriculum by providing options for all learners will be highlighted throughout the session. Participants will learn how to use these tools in today’s Universally Designed for Learning classroom to support a wide range of student needs or as professional development tools to engage the adult learner.


4:30pm EST: Running a Lean Assistive Technology Team
Primary Speaker : Michelle Nielsen, AT Specialist, Alief ISD
Co-Speaker : Allison Adams, M.S., CCC-SLP, Alief ISD


Alief ISD has approximately 47,000 students and 3,500 students with special education services. Come find out how we run an assistive technology team with one professional staff member and one technician dedicated full time to assistive technology. We will discuss the systems that make us successful. Participants will leave with a 'Can Do' attitude and the ideas to make their lean team work efficiently to meet student needs.
 

Saturday, January 21:

8:00am EST: Dirt Road to Super Highway - Our Journey to UDL
Primary Speaker : Peter Bertram, Assistive Technology Specialist & Special Ed Teacher, Webster Central School District

The road to implementing Universal Design for Learning is made up of bumps, hills, and detours. In this session we will share our travel guide on what helped our District to get off the dirt road and onto a level super highway. 


So as you can see, there are lots of great sessions for you to attend with lots of great learnings for you to takeaway. If you are at the conference, don’t forget to pop by our booth (#401) and say hi to our Texthelpers. We look forward to seeing you there!

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