Friday, February 13, 2009

What We Need to Know in Assistive Technology

Gayle Boswer Shares: What We Need to Know in Assistive Technology

Today I am in Portland, Oregon area at a state-wide inter-agency meeting. Gayle Bowser, AT pioneer opened our morning session with a presentation: "AIM-ing for the Paradigm Shift"
"The AIM initiative is involving everyone in a conversation about making accessible instructional materials available to those who need them. This is a shift as significant as when IDEA came out to say that all IEP's must consider AT." Gayle shared that we have to change in our approach to technology use and change in our teaching strategies. How do we teach differently with electronic books introduced into the classroom?
We are just now learning how to implement this and have a shared vision. Build the practical steps to implement.

IDEA Section 300.172
Defines provisions within the Individuals with Disabilities Education improvement Act for providing texts and core materials instruction in a timely manner.

Core materials published with the texts are defined as written and published primarily for use in an elementary and secondary school instruction. These materials are to be supplied in:
Digital text
Large Print
These are for use exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities
Section 121(d)(4) of title 16, United States code

Not all students with reading difficulties meet the criteria for "print disabilities" under the Chafee Amendment of Copyright Law. IDEA 2004 requires that state education agencies make provisions for providing accessible core instructional materials for students that require them in a timely manner.

As we work to implement IDEA mandates for AIM we need to ask:
Who is going to be in charge of finding the titles and acquiring them for our students?
Who is the state level designated NIMAS authorized representative where we get these titles?
How do we involve our state-level text book adoption committees in requesting NIMAS standard electronic files of all text books?
We have a lot of work to do, but we are beginning to understand what we need to do so we can move forward. Our goal needs to be to inform all the key players in education so they are able to support this initiative.

All the best to you,

Lon Thornburg is an assistive technology specialist and professional development trainer who lives in Oregon and serves 12 districts in 7 counties. He hosts the No Limits 2 Learning Blog and The No Limits 2 Learning Live Talk Show on Blog Talk Radio. He is sharing as a contributing writer on LD LIVE!


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1 comment:

Joy Zabala said...

You are a busy fellow, Lon!! :) Nice work, as usual.