Thursday, January 19, 2017

ATIA 2017 - AT Bootcamp Highlights (Day 2)

The second day of the AT Bootcamp, facilitated by Mike Cole and Kelly Fonner, was filled with a tremendous amount of information regarding accessibility, AT tools to support devices and tools to support language, writing and mathematics. Today was jam packed with resources and information to support the successful selection and implementation of AT and AAC. The information below only touches the surface of some of the highlights from today's session. Again, my hope is you find this as helpful as I did...

1.  Accessibility: A large portion of the morning was spent discussing the built accessibility features found within most devices today. I joined the group to review the iOS accessibility features. Having recently participated in Apple's Accessibility workshop, many of these I'd been acquainted with, but today was an excellent opportunity to review and play with the tools. Some of my personal built in iOS accessibility tools are Guided Access, Voice Over, Zoom, Speech-To-Text/Dictation and Sticky Keys. See my previous post that delves deeper into the various Apple accessibility features.

2. Switch Access: For those individuals with limited or no usage of their hands switch access can can provide opportunities for independence and communication which normally would not be possible. Additionally, switch access is often utilized by people with limited mobility, motor impairments or degenerative diseases where dexterity is impacted to allow interaction with the touch screen. During AT Bootcamp, we were presented with both proximity and mechanical switches and discussions focused on the selection process when switch access is being considered.
A checklist was shared to determine ideal control sites and placement for switches as well as  some helpful tips for the implementation of switches.

With so much to consider for switch access, the greatest take away I had was to always "assume competence". By doing so, the process for determining the right tools to provide access.  For more information about switch access visit the Better Living Through Technology website.

3. AAC: Mike and Kelly provided an in-depth look at the expansive topic of AAC with the session  covering areas from AAC models & assessment, low to high tech tools, a comparison of dedicated devices compared to applications, AAC considerations, examples of symbols sets and implementation strategies. Some of the information discussed can be found in the slide images below:

The information shared helped to simplify a normally overwhelming area and even delved into debunking many myths revolving around AAC. To read about AAC myths visit Carole Zangari'sAAC Myth Buster Wrap Up or Tobii Dynavox's AAC Myths Revealed

For those looking for an excellent resource to determine goals for initial and re-assessments regarding AAC, definitely take a peek at TobiiDynavox's DAGG-2 (Dynamic AAC Goals Guide 2)

4. Academics: Other conversations focused on literacy, writing and mathematics. With so many resources to share I am listing a few standout key applications and software covered during the bootcamp: 

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