AT and College-bound Students

As students move from high school to college, it’s important to remember and remind them that they need to step up and take control. Many students go off to college, believing it’s a continuation of high school, while in many ways it is, but in many ways it’s not. For students with disabilities who require accommodations, it’s important that they prepare themselves and schedule appointments now with the Disability Support Services Departments at the college. Here is a nice article about what needs to happen for a successful transition.
http://www.education.com/reference/article/get-assistive-technology-college-ld/

Friday Research Spotlight: Consumers as partners in inclusive assistive technology research

At this year’s RESNA conference in Atlanta, two well-regarded researchers presented on inclusive AT research. In their words, their presentation addressed how “While there is a general favorable predisposition to the involvement of consumers in rehabilitation and assistive technology research, it remains the case that few research studies are conducted using a participatory approach (participatory action research, inclusive research, emancipatory research). Advantages as well as barriers to the conduct of participatory research are discussed with an emphasis on two research frameworks that have particular relevance to assistive technology and have the potential to make participatory research more viable.”
Learn more about the presenters: http://bbi.syr.edu/staff/mjschere/ and http://www.deakin.edu.au/health/hsd/staff/index.php?username=jowens. If you are brave, you can contact them and ask for the presentation paper!
Owens, Janet and Scherer, Marcia J. 2003, Consumers as partners in inclusive assistive technology research, in Technology & disability: research, design, practice & policy: RESNA 26th International Annual Conference, RESNA, Atlanta, Ga.

App listing for apple mobile devices

I just finished a handout for a workshop for the Virginia Council for Administrators in Special Education (VCASE) Spring Conference. I will be presenting a fast-paced early riser session on Thursday morning, “Full speed ahead: 60 in 60″. I really believe that fast-paced and early riser don’t belong in the same sentence! Hope you can find some new ideas here. Enjoy.
App Listing for Apple Mobile Devices

Protect your electronics this summer

I found a great product to protect your camera and electronic devices from water, sand and other summer environments. The Loksak comes in various sizes and allows you to still access the touchscreen on you iDevices and E-readers. The bags come in various sizes and are at the right price too. I am definitely going to have to purchase some of these.
http://www.loksak.com/

Friday Research Spotlight: The role of assistive technology in self-perceived participation

An occupational therapist and a nurse joined forces to “develop an understanding of how assistive technology (AT) contributes to self-perceived participation for individuals with spinal cord injuries and to propose a revised definition of AT in light of the findings.” They worked with 19 adults with spinal cord injuries, interviewing them both individually and in a focus group and asking for photographs of the role of AT in their environments.
Their results? “The primary theme identified was AT as a means to participation. Three categories served to identify the decision-making processes that individuals underwent to select AT that would promote positive participation experiences: inclusion versus autonomy and accomplishment, availability and cost and contexts of use. A new definition of AT was proposed; this definition identifies AT as a means to enable occupation, emphasizes the relevance of the environment and highlights the importance placed on self-perceived participation. AT recommendations must be based on a thorough understanding of the role that AT plays in the lives of clients. Future research will further develop and validate the definition proposed in this study.”
Ripat, J.D., & Woodgate, R.L. (In press) The role of assistive technology in self-perceived participation. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research.
Wait until it is released, or read more at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22453627

How will a student get assistive technology after they graduate or when they change schools?

Virginia House Bill 382 was passed during the 2012 session and is described as: Transfer of assistive technology devices by a school division. Provides that a school division may transfer assistive technology devices purchased by the division for a child with a disability to (i) a different school division to which the child transfers; (ii) a state agency that provides services to a child with a disability upon the child’s graduation or when a school division ceases to provide special education services for the student; or (iii) the parents of a child with a disability, or the child with a disability if the child is age 18 or older and has capacity to enter into a contract.
Watch for more guidance to come…..

How to get stuff from conferences you didn’t attend

Most of the world did not attend CSUN 2012-but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the folks in the accessibility world.
Click on http://www.csun.edu/cod/conference/sessions/index.php/public/conf_sessions/, find a topic you wish you knew more about, and contact the presenter. We work in a world where almost everyone is only a few clicks away-take advantage of it. People love to be contacted about things they have worked so hard on…