posted on: February 19th, 2013

New apps are released every day and many of them are perfect to help persons with disabilities. However, not all apps are switch accessible or we do not have the right equipment to use a switch accessible app. In this webinar you will learn about the Blue2 Bluetooth switch that works with the iPad and how to identify apps that work with this access method. This webinar archive is from Ablenet University.
Session Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Link: Click here to watch webinar

 

posted on: February 17th, 2013

The Sloan-C Accessibility Webinar Series 2013: Student & Faculty Success in Online Education has posted a series archived webinars on YouTube. The webinars focus on accessibility, including federal regulations, available resources, invisible disabilities, and effective practices for student and faculty success. Each webinar brings together a panel of administrative leaders, faculty, and students with accessibility expertise from across the United States who will provide individual and collective perspectives to working with students and faculty with disabilities in online education. They began with administrators and then covered the student perspective.

posted on: February 17th, 2013

Most assistive technology developers are posting webinars and product-specific training videos. Here are some sources:

 

AbleNet - Find a variety of free upcoming and previously recorded webinars on a variety of assistive technology topics.
 
Bookshare - Find upcoming and pre-recorded webinars, online learning guides and modules, quick guides, and professional development workshops.
 
Cambium Learning – View a calendar of upcoming webinars on Cambium products. 
 
DynaVox – Free online web classes. Taught by an Implementation Specialist, these classes are accessible through a variety of live and pre-recorded sessions.
 
Forbes Rehab Services - Step-by-step video tutorials to walk you though the different ComLink AAC devices and software. 
 
Freedom Scientific – Webinar schedule for JAWS.
 
Don Johnston – DJ has a range of products for students with learning, physical, and sensory disabilities.
 
Inspiration Software, Inc. - Download free workshop scripts, presentations and overview videos for Inspiration and Kidspiration. 
 
Livescribe - Free upcoming and previously recorded webinars on the Livescribe smartpen.
 
Mayer Johnson - Free online web classes. Taught by an Implementation Specialist, these classes are accessible through a variety of live and pre-recorded sessions.
 
PECS Webcast Series - View free 30 - 45 minute webcasts.
 
Prentke Romich Company – Links to internet-based e-training and regional trainings taught by trained speech and language pathologists and special educators. ASHA CEUs are available for e-Training and Regional Trainings.
 
Texthelp – Links to free online webinars on Read&Write GOLD and other topics
 
Tobii ATI - Live and recorded webinars for Tobii and Viking Software products.
 
posted on: February 17th, 2013

 

The ALS Association has a series of archived webinars. Other topics include Computer Access for People with ALS and Quality of Life through iPad Technology.

Low Tech and Easy Communication Tools for Use in ALS was presented in October 2012. It can be viewed online

 

posted on: February 17th, 2013

The ALS Association has a series of archived webinars. This one was presented in January 2013 by Alisa Brownlee. It can be viewed online.

posted on: February 7th, 2013

Amara has announced that you can now sync subtitles in the Universal Subtitles.org site to your personal YouTube account for free. This means Amara will:

  •  automatically add your YouTube videos to Amara (and import their subtitles).
  •  invite your viewers to subtitle by adding a link to your video descriptions.
  • send subtitles to YouTube whenever they're completed on Amara.

Credit for subtitles is given to the Amara.org community.

 

posted on: February 2nd, 2013

This panel included four accessibility specialists from the National Federation of the Blind, Pennsylvania State University, California Community Colleges, and EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information). Presenters provided a self-introduction and identified critical issues that all higher education institutions should be addressing. Panel members shared effective practices and available resources for creating accessible institutional infrastructures that support student and faculty success in online education. Presented by the Sloan Consortium in January 2013.

posted on: February 2nd, 2013

Best Buy's Insignia Narrator HD Radio recently won an accessibility award from the Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission. The mainstream radio, sold at Best Buy stores and online, has a full talking control interface. It features an ergonomical design for folks who are visually impaired, sporting audible voice prompts as well as a slew of niche programming to get one started right out of the box. It allows a visually impaired person to tune the radio, set the time, arrange pre-set favorites and even be certain that the radio is no longer turned on. It has audible voice prompts on buttons, a 20-program memory, making it easier to access your favorite stations, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening. It's $99 at Best Buy.

posted on: February 2nd, 2013

News In Levels is a new service that takes online articles in English text and renders them in 3 distinct language levels. News in Levels is aimed at people learning English, but could easily be used by native English speakers with cognitive disabilities. Sentences are shorter and definitions are provided for some words, depending on the level.

posted on: February 1st, 2013

 

iPad Scheduling Apps

Jen covers iReward Chart Lite, Choiceworks, Video Scheduler, Pocket Picture Planner, iCommunicate, Visual Planner, TalkBoard, and some Talking Photo Apps that can be used as scheduling apps. (For best viewing, detach the audio/video panel and drag from the lower right corner to make it larger.) The presentation outline is available.

posted on: February 1st, 2013

 

Unusual Apps for Communication on YouTube

Jen shows us what she likes and does not like about some of the more creative AAC apps such as EZSpeech, TalkRocket, TalkforMe, Expressionist, Locabulary, Fat Cat Pirate Chat, and Functional Communication System Lite.  Handout here.

posted on: February 1st, 2013

 

Are you confused about the regional center's role in providing assistive technology to their clients? If so, you are not alone! .

  1. What kind of assistive technology will the regional center fund and in what areas of need?
  2. What is the process for getting assistive technology through the regional center?
  3. Why are the IFSP and IPP so important in regards to assistive technology and this process?
  4. Are regional centers funding iPads?
  5. What is the latest on that?
  6. What if I disagree with the regional center's decision regarding assistive technology?

Debbie Drennan, AT Specialist - Parents Helping Parents' iTECH Center presented this AT Network webinar. See the archive here.

posted on: January 31st, 2013

 

CaptionMatch is a new matching service to help increase the amount of captioned material in the world. It’s not a captioning company.
 
It has two main aims:
  1. To increase the demand for captioning services by making it easier for anyone to ask for captioning anytime.
  2. To help captioning providers spread their services and knowledge to more people, whether they have extra time available to earn more or whether they need help on a captioning project.
Registration is free on the website (http://CaptionMatch.com). Here’s how it works:
  • Consumers fill out and submit a captioning request form. For example, they ask for CART (real time captioning, called STTR internationally), or for captioning of an online video.
  • When a registered captioning provider sees a request, they send a bid for the job, or questions, via CaptionMatch to the consumer, who remains anonymous until a “match” is made.
  • Consumers may receive proposals from more than one provider.
  • When the “match” is complete, the provider pays a small fee to the service.
  • The consumer pays nothing to use the service.
  • Consumers and providers make their own arrangements as to captioning services and pricing.
  • Providers can also use CaptionMatch to locate a subcontractor to assist them on a project.
 
With an estimated global population of six hundred million people with hearing loss or deafness, the need for captioning services is growing. CaptionMatch aims to increase accessibility to needed services while offering captioning providers an opportunity to increase their customer base and revenues. 
 
Source:
http://captionmatch.com/press-release-captionmatch-launch/
posted on: January 10th, 2013

Katie Gilmour did this webinar for the AT Network in June of 2012. She covers the common aspects and the differences of the various accessible GPS systems on the market. "The question is no longer if a blind person should have access to the surrounding location information but rather what are one's individual wayfinding and location literacy requirements, and which system best addresses those needs" Find it at Elluminate Blackboard Collaborate.

posted on: January 9th, 2013

According to Adobe, Acrobat Xl is a huge step forward in creating accessible documents. The new resources include:

PDF Accessibility Overview: Covers the accessibility features of PDF as a document format, as well as Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.

Using the Acrobat XI Pro Accessibility Checker: A complete walkthrough of Acrobat XI’s Accessibility Checker, as well as the Make Accessible action wizard.
 
Acrobat XI Pro PDF Accessibility Repair Workflow: Walk step-by-step through the PDF accessibility process in Acrobat XI.
 
Acrobat XI Pro Accessible Forms and Interactive Documents: Create interactive forms that can be used by anyone, ensuring privacy and independence for all.

They state they have created a Acrobat XI accessibility best practices document which contains all four of the above guides in a single file. Documentation for Acrobat versions 8 and up can be found on the training resources page as well.

posted on: January 5th, 2013

Assistive technology (AT) can do much to support diverse learners in the areas of communication, behavior, play and learning. This training is focused on giving participants an opportunity to learn about AT tools and learn strategies to create a preschool classroom or home environment designed to engage all learners, ages 0-5 years. We will discuss low-tech tools in the areas of communication, behavior and play, then present a sampling of iPAD/iPOD apps for early learning. You will leave with a basic understanding of AT, possible funding sources, and the benefits of and need to consider appropriate modifications and adaptations through AT to support all young children. Find it on YouTube or Blackboard. It was presented in 2012 in cooperation with Parents Helping Parents and the AT Network of California.

posted on: January 5th, 2013

 

This webinar was presented on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Hillary Sklar, Disability Rights California and covers obtaining customized wheelchairs for nursing facility residents typically requires advocacy by consumers and advocates.  This webinar will present effective advocacy strategies.   Topics to be discussed include:  1) the rights of nursing facility residents to customized wheelchair under thef federal Nursing Home Reform Act and Medi-Cal regulations, 2) the obligations of nursing facilities and Medi-Cal to provide medically needed wheelchairs, 3)common barriers to obtaining equipment and how to overcome them, 4) the elements of effective wheelchair evaluations, and 5) appeal rights. It can be found on Blackboard or YouTube.

posted on: January 5th, 2013

This YouTube video is from a webinar held on Thursday, November 29, 2012 and presented by Lisa Kodmur and Eddie Calles, Los Angeles Care Health Plan for the AT Network of California. "Learn more about how the move of people with disabilities and seniors from fee-for-service Medi-Cal to Medi-Cal managed care will affect their assistive technology coverage." It is captioned.

posted on: January 5th, 2013

Presented by the AT Network of California on Thursday, May 3, 2012 by Debby McBride, AAC TechConnect, Inc.

The introduction of the iPad has revolutionized options for AAC, or iPads with AAC  Apps to help people who need a communication device.   Learn about options provided by both traditional AAC devices and the new i-Devices and ways to pursue evaluation and funding to provide the best solution for communication. The archive is on Blackboard.

posted on: January 1st, 2013

The Belkin WeMo Home Automation Switch for Apple iPad, iPhone, iTouch is a switch that you plug into an outlet that allows you to turn it off and on, using a free app from your iDevice (Apple iPod touch, iPhone, iPad with iOS v5 or higher.) With a single switch (about $60) you could turn off your bedside light on command, or on a pre-set schedule. With multiple switches, you could automate the coffee maker, the radio, or other appliances. 

posted on: November 27th, 2012

An innovative new study exploring the potential of the iPad and other back-lighted digital tablet devices to increase the reading ability and reading speed of persons with low vision  was presented at the 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting.  

From the 2012 Annual Meeting archives: "Researchers found that all of the 100 participants gained at least 42 words-per-minute (WPM) when using the iPad™ tablet on the 18-point font setting, compared with reading a print book or newspaper. A more modest gain of 12 WPM, on average, was achieved by all subjects when using the Kindle™ tablet set to 18-point font."

posted on: November 27th, 2012

High profile companies in the UK, Australia, and the Unites States have been sued for inaccessible content on their websites, and yet web accessibility is still seldom mentioned in the media.  This author for the Huffington Post takes note.

posted on: November 27th, 2012

An 88 page Windows 8 Accessibility Tutorial guide provides feature informaiton and keyboard shortcuts for individuals who want to make their computer easier to see, hear and use. It provides rich accessiblity information on the tools in Windows 8.

posted on: November 2nd, 2012

Qualcomm and its partner Project RAY have announced a new smartphone for people with vision loss. It will use standard hardware and a modified Android operating system to deliver a user interface that includes "touch screen, haptics, sensors, text-to-speech and audio feedback" for all the usual smartphone functions such as browsing, social networks, and online reading. Its current trial in Israel includes integration with a library service for access to books and periodicals. It will be available after November 22, 2012; price and carrier coverage will be announced.

posted on: November 1st, 2012

Access improvements to Windows 8 include:

  • Redesigned Narrator to improve its performance so that it quickly reads out what you have selected.

  • Added more languages and voices to Narrator to support additional countries and preferences.

  • Updated components and features within Windows to leverage UI Automation that allows them to be read by Narrator.

  • Updated UI Automation (UIA) with more text patterns and document content so that Narrator can use it to read the outputs from applications.

Read more on the Building Windows 8 Blog.

posted on: October 30th, 2012

The ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) SETSIG (Special Education Technology Special Interest Group) hosted a webinar in October of 2012, allowing participants to explore how to support all students using interactive whiteboards to build lessons that address the three principles of UDL. Using videos and SMART Notebook and Promethean Flipchart templates, Johnny Hamilton and Kendra Grant explored curriculum examples that build multiple means of recognition, action and expression and engagement into every lesson. Archive available.

posted on: October 27th, 2012

 

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Landmark Court Ruling

Decision Will Revolutionize Blind People’s Access to Books

The National Federation of the Blind today applauded a decision issued on October 10, 2012, by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which permits the distribution of millions of books to blind and print-disabled people.  The ruling in Authors Guild, Inc., et al., v. HathiTrust, et al.  held that providing access for students with print disabilities constitutes a “transformative use” under the fair use provision of the Copyright Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and that Section 121 of the Copyright Act (the “Chafee Amendment”) permits university libraries to digitize their collections for distribution and use by the blind.  As a result, the University of Michigan will now be permitted to make its entire 10 million volume digital collection available to all blind Americans, revolutionizing access to digital books by the blind and print disabled.
 
The ruling is part of the court’s decision to grant the NFB’s and HathiTrust’s motions for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild against the HathiTrust, a repository of several university library collections scanned by Google, and participating universities.  The Authors Guild alleged the HathiTrust and universities violated the Copyright Act by engaging in mass digitization of their collections.  Because these works represent the largest collection of works accessible to the blind and print disabled, the NFB intervened in the lawsuit.  
 
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Access to the printed word has historically been one of the greatest challenges faced by the blind.  The landmark decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York will revolutionize access to books for the blind.  For the first time ever, blind students and scholars will have the opportunity to participate equally in library research.  The blind, just like the sighted, will have a world of education and information at their fingertips.  The National Federation of the Blind commends the court’s decision, which constitutes a significant step toward full and equal access to information by the blind.”
posted on: October 25th, 2012

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network, MATN Online, presented a webinar  in early 2011 on Web 2.0 Tools that support Universal Design for Learning principles. Web applications that do text-to-movie, offer online corkboards, support work processing, and make books accessible are discussed. There is a recording and handout available.

posted on: October 25th, 2012

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network, MATN Online, presented a webinar on Transition and AT:  Ensuring Continuity in March 2010. The presenter was Gayle Bowser. A recording, Student Guide for Assistive Technology Transition Planning, and a Quality Indicators for Assisitive Technology - Post Secondary - (QIAT-PS) handout is available.

posted on: October 25th, 2012

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network, MATN Online, presented a webinar in early 2011 on Helping your Administrators Understand the Important Role they Play in AT. The administrator may be the Special Education manager or the school principal. Research shows they have a role to play in teacher's use of technology and the use of technology for inclusion. A recording, Powerpoint, and handout are available. The presenter is Penny Reed.

posted on: October 25th, 2012

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network, MATN Online, presented a webinar in March 2011 on Implementing Assistive Technology; integrating technology into the classroom and how to manage the classroom. A recording and two handouts are available. Gayl Bowser is the presenter.

posted on: October 25th, 2012

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network, MATN Online, presented a webinar in April 2011 on Universal Design for Learning: Focus on Instruction. The recording and Powerpoint is available. Universal Design for Learning is a concept developed at CAST and they call it a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. It's based on the concept that we all have different skills, needs, and interests. Instruction using UDL includes a diversity of ways to present infromation, engage students, and measure learning.

posted on: October 25th, 2012

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network, MATN Online, presented three webinars  in Fall 2011 on selecting the SETT Framework, a methodology for collaborative decision making in selecting the most appropriate assistive technology for students with disabilities. Three recordings and Powerpoints are available. SETT stands for the Student, the Environment(s), the Tasks required for active participation, and the system of Tools that will meet the student's needs. The National Center to Improve Practice in Special Education has a good article on the SETT Framework.

posted on: October 25th, 2012

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network, MATN Online, presented three webinars  in Spring 2012 on selecting iDevices, apps, and peripherals for students with disabilities. Three recordings, Powerpoints, and an app evaluation rubric are all available.

posted on: October 24th, 2012

Making Curriculum Accessible: The Common Core State Standards, Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning is from the Maryland Assitive Technology Network. This 3 part webinar series will focus on strategies for making curriculum accessible in light of the changes in K-12 education with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by Maryland and more than 45 other states. Throughout the series we will investigate how the Common Core Standards target the needs of students, including those with disabilities and how assistive and instructional technology is incorporated into the CCSS, as well as tools and resources that will support access to curriculum aligned with the standards. This will be an opportunity to increase your understanding of the how English/Language Arts and Mathematics instruction is changing and how students with disabilities and technology needs can be supported in achieving proficiency. Session One of the series will introduce the standards and the language related to Special Education, Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning, as well as highlighting the language of the indicators that support the use of flexible resources and multiple modalities, including technology in instruction. A recording and Powerpoint from the 10/12 session on is available

Soon to be added: Session Two will focus on tools and resources to support implementation of the English/Language Arts Standards, including notetaking and research tools, as well as resources to support the emphasis on complex fiction and nonfiction texts. Session Three will focus on strategies and tools to support implementation of the Mathematics standards, with an emphasis on the use of both hands on and digital manipulatives to increase access to mathematics instruction for students.

 

 

 

posted on: October 24th, 2012

The ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) SETSIG (Special Education Technology Special Interest Group) webinar from 10/12 focused on the many universal design technologies built-in to the iOS. They also looked at alternative access options to the iPad – from styluses, to keyguards, to switches. Access options built into the iOS and into specific apps were discussed, including the range of switch interfaces that offer compatibility to switch accessible apps – and participants were be given links to resources for finding switch accessible apps. This year has also seen the release of a few more comprehensive alternative access options – offering switch access between apps as well as within many apps. Some of these also offer control of your iPad via wheelchair joysticks. These more comprehensive hardware and software alternative access options were covered – as well as a discussion of the role that the iOS accessibility features of VoiceOver and AssistiveTouch play in alternative access. The recording and materials are listed under Fall Webinar 2012 #3.

posted on: October 23rd, 2012

 

Peggy Greenwell, Accessibility Specialist , U.S. Access Board and Robin A. Jones, Director , DBTAC - Great Lakes ADA Center presented on 9/6/2012. The  pdf, text, and webinar recording is available at Accessibility Online.

posted on: October 3rd, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an award of a $950,000 grant to RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America, to establish the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Accessible Technology Center. This center will be a national resource that will facilitate and promote the use of accessible technology in the hiring, employment, retention and career advancement of individuals with disabilities.

The Accessible Technology Action Center will expand access to information and communication technologies in the workplace for people with disabilities. It will promote the knowledge, technical skills, tools and leadership strategies needed to address accessibility issues and seek to raise awareness of the impact critical accessible workplace technologies have on competitive employment opportunities.

To assist in carrying out the ambitious scope of work under this initiative, RESNA is partnering with nationally and internationally renowned entities and experts in the field of accessibility and disability: Raising the Floor (RtF), the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (BBI), Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA), American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), and additional diverse and well-recognized subject matter consultants to carry out the project’s goals and objectives. The center will adopt an “Employment Life Cycle” approach for the introduction and effective use of accessible technology to ensure a level playing field for full contribution of the talents of individuals with disabilities irrespective of where they work, company size, nature of work, and stage of employment.

“The development and adoption of accessible, universally designed technology is vital to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are hired and successful at work,” said Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. “We are extremely excited about the creativity and expertise RESNA will bring to our newest effort to promote accessible technology in the workplace.”

“This is an ambitious and exciting nationwide effort that will help employers, regardless of size, not only recruit and retain a diverse, stable and more inclusive workforce but also access technology that will  improve productivity for  workers, especially as the workforce ages," said Nell Bailey, Executive Director of RESNA. “RESNA and our partners look forward to working closely with the Office of Disability Employment Policy to establish this new center.”

The grant announcement coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness month, which is every October. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, people with disabilities currently comprise over 20% of the labor force.  For more statistics and information about the employment of people with disabilities, visit www.dol.gov/odep/.

posted on: September 19th, 2012

 

Making Tactile Graphics was presented on 2/14/12 by Clara Van Gerven of the National Federation for the Blind. Tactile graphics is one area where, in spite of all the changes and advances in the technology used to produce them, very little has been automated or even greatly simplified; yet they offer unique advantages. Get insight into the creation of tactile graphics, which graphics are most suitable for conversion into a tactile format and also give us a sneak peek at the state of 3-D printers. Materials are archived by ADA Online Learning,

posted on: September 19th, 2012

 

In this webinar from 4/10/12, on Improving the Accessibility Game Plan, Karl Groves provided an overview of the challenges the accessibility community faces when trying to advance the cause of accessibility outside our own friendly circle. Additionally, he discussed potential solutions to those challenges and ways to get buy-in from others. ADA Online Learning archived materials and audio.