Don Johnston’s video about why we need AT

If you have not seen “The case against AT” then you should!
As Ben Johnston writes: “It’s hard to imagine not using technology every day in the real world. I can’t think of many jobs that don’t require it. In the real world, using technology is seen as being “tech-savvy.” And yet in our schools, technology is often seen as giving an unfair advantage. Only a few percent of students with disabilities ever use technology beyond word processors, web browsers, and SMART boards. It’s disheartening to see non-verbal students struggling to communicate despite the advances in augmentative communication devices. Likewise, it’s difficult to see students with dysgraphia struggling to write simple sentences with pencil and paper despite the advances in word prediction software. I hope this video plays at least a minor role in helping people think differently about assistive technology.”

Georgia Assistive Technology Project

It’s always nice seeing what our AT colleagues are doing in other states. Georgia Assistive Technology Project or “gpat” as we call them has been a leader in assistive technology for years. I recently re-visited their website and found great video presentations that would be useful for any assistive technology team. Of particular interest to me was the four part workshop on “10 things every district should know about Assistive Technology”. No matter what state you live in, this presentation is worth watching. It includes handouts and discussion questions that can be used as part of a district-wide training.
Georgia Assistive Technology Project

Many of us have followed Caroline Musselwhite’s creative creations and evidence-based practices for literacy and AAC for years. Visit her remodeled website at
Follow her blog, AAC Girls at to find quick posts, minitips and think outlouds! Her most recent post features The Bridge, an early literacy and language assessment framework developed by The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies. It’s a valuable assessment instrument!

Great product videos

Sometimes when we look through a cataloge to purchase a piece of technology we’re never really sure if it is what we are looking for or how it will work. There are even times when I would like to explain a piece of technology to a parent or teacher either over the phone or in a meeting. I don’t always feel effective when I can only use words to describe the way something works. Enter in the power of videos!!
I was recently looking on the Enabling Devices website and discovered they have short (30 seconds or less) videos of all of their products that they sell. How fantastic!! Pull up the website, watch before you buy or show to a parent or teacher. Great idea.
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Create & Convert: a cheap and easy way to make accessible text

So what does Create & Convert do? Well, it brings together in one neat package a range of open source programs that can quickly and capably translate electronic documents into an accessible alternative format, such as audio or a talking book. All of the tools are the outputs of the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium, and are therefore completely free to use and distribute. Create & Convert works with any document that is editable form such as Microsoft word. It is a free download and works from both a portable usb key or can be downloaded to a desktop.
Check it out: