Let’s get cooking!

Looking for some great recipes that are written with visual instructions? Check out this website: “Your Special Chef” http://www.yourspecialchef.com/ysc_production/_design/app/_show/static/Home
The chili cheese dip sounds yummy. What makes this website even more special is reading about the person who created it: “Your Special Chef is my Girl Scout Gold Award project and my Senior project. I am passionate about helping those with special needs after helping my brother Sam, who has Down Syndrome, and volunteering in a life skills room. This project is especially dear to me as it combines my love for design, cooking, and helping those with special needs.’ What a fantastic project!!

You need a portable talking photo frame

I love this article http://affnet.ucp.org/ucp_channeldoc.cfm/1/11/10427/10427-10427/1055 because Penny Reed writes, “A mother discovered the talking picture frames available in department and specialty stores and decided to place them on the walls throughout the house for her severely communicatively impaired son with autism. They were attached to walls, closets, sinks and the refrigerator throughout her home with appropriate messages for that area of the house. Her son with autism could ask for items that had meaning to him, and this strategy was working extremely well. So well, in fact, he was able to use them without a prompt.”
I can think of a million uses for them in the classroom, especially when I don’t want to repeat the directions over and over for a group…and written directions are unclear to the students.

TechKnowledgy 2011: AT Solutions to Bridge the Gap

November 10-11, 2011, Roanoke Hotel and Convention Center, Roanoke, VA
This annual assistive technology conference will feature national speakers, practitioner workshops, vendor workshops, interactive sessions, software exploration, and many opportunities to discover innovative applications of assistive and instructional technologies!
This conference is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education’s Assistive Technology State Directed Project and the Hospital Education Program at Children’s Hospital in Richmond. It is designed for general and special educators, related services personnel, assistive technology teams, instructional technology specialists, administrators, family members and others interested in helping students with
disabilities achieve success using technology.
For additional information, visit www.ttaconline.org/atsdp. Early bird registration with a discounted rate will open in June, 2011.
Bring your teams. Bring your friends. Bring everyone!

Students with complex communication needs

I have been doing some reading on helping students with complex communication needs. I recently re-discovered the website: Augmentative Communication Inc. This website has wonderful resources and information on agumentative and alternative communication. From the website you can download past issues of “Augmentative Communication News and Alternatively Speaking.” Links to resources and presentations by staff are also highlighted. Check it out if you are looking for information to help students with complex communication needs.

Another tool I can’t live without: The visual timer

Dettmer, Simpson, Myles, & Ganz (2000) found that using a visual timer helped students with autism to transition better…and I find that I am frustrated to be without a visual timer close at hand. I’m often saying, “Let’s spend 10 minutes on this…” and then looking around for my visual timer-so it needs to be kept close at hand!
Reference: Dettmer, S., Simpson, R., Myles, B., & Ganz, J. (2000). The use of visual supports to facilitate transitions of students with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 15(3), 163-169. doi: 10.1177/108835760001500307