Assistive Technology

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Description: The AT Network has developed a short professional learning course on Virtual Virginia that provides an overview of the new Virginia Assistive Technology, Tools, and Strategies (VATTS): Consideration Guide and Resources.  IEP team members can access this course at any time and complete the modules at their own pace.  A certificate of completion can be earned by those that finish the course requirements.
Description: The 2022 Virginia Assistive Technology, Tools, and Strategies (VATTS) Resources will guide the IEP team through the consideration and documentation process. These resources replace the previous versions of the AT Consideration and Resource Guide. VATTS: Consideration and Assessment Guidance Document (PDF) - Guidance for school divisions in the consideration and assessment of AT, including planning and implementing those services for students with disabilities. VATTS: Consideration...
Description: National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day celebrates the vital role AT plays in the lives of people with disabilities and older adults. AT is any item, device, or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the independence and function of people with disabilities and older adults. AT solutions are as diverse as the goals of the millions of people who benefit from them. A few examples of AT that capture this diversity include speech-generating devices, video magnifiers, timers,...
Description: The attached chart helps you to identify vocabulary for your student's AAC System.
Description: This document provides guidelines for linking reliable, consistent and repeatable movements to potential switch site locations and positions. It also provides some benefits and challenges for each specific movement and location. This chart is meant to be a guide. Remember, switch type selection is highly dependent on the unique profile of the person using a switch.
Description: Small Talk Speech Therapy debunks seven common myths about AAC, including why speech-language pathologists should not be the only ones providing AAC instruction.
Description: This article describes 10 tips for teachers to support and teach the use of AAC throughout the school day.
Description: This article discusses the essential components of a robust communication system.
Description: These resources help to create a plan for how AAC can be implemented throughout the day.
Description: Quality Indicators for Assessment of Assistive Technology Needs is a process conducted by a team, used to identify tools and strategies to address a student’s specific need(s). The issues that lead to an AT assessment may be very simple and quickly answered or more complex and challenging. Assessment takes place when these issues are beyond the scope of the problem solving that occurs as a part of normal service delivery.
Description: The Virginia EHDI program has the opportunity to provide FREE iPads to families who have children who are deaf or hard of hearing to support communication options, literacy and language development and a virtual connection between parents and providers. If you know a family that can benefit from an iPad to support the options below, please have them contact us at  iPad distribution will be available until March 31, 2022 or until supplies last. Who Qualifies for an...
Description: Flippity is a web-based flash card tool that can be used as a blending board. Perfect for asynchronous instruction!
Description: Pear Deck allows teachers to create interactive slide decks. Students can respond to activities directly on the slides and teachers can see responses via a dashboard. Can be used synchronously and asynchronously or “student paced.” Audio recordings can be included.
Description: This form should be completed with the assistance from the team of people working with the person using AAC. It can be used as an overview or used for a single position the person using AAC utilizes for communication (i.e.: lying in bed, sitting in wheelchair, etc.)
Description: This form can be used to collect information and describe how the AAC user will access their speech generating device using direction selection. Use this form during initial assessment to collect and document access needs. Revisit this form to document progress or a change in skills, environment, or level of independence. This form should be completed and shared with the support team and all communication partners to support appropriate set up and provide consistent access to communication in...
Description: This form is a tool to assist the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) evaluation process and to identify the potential needs of implementing eye gaze technology for communication. The form should be completed in collaboration with the entire team supporting the person using AAC.
Description: This tool will help you determine how your student will physically interact with their communication device.
Description: Assistive Technology for People with Brain Injury (BrainLine) A traumatic brain injury can bring with it all sorts of challenges. A person’s balance may be off; he may have lost part of his field of vision; or his memory might be so compromised that within moments of seeing or hearing something, it’s gone. But like a magnifying glass for someone who has trouble reading the small print, there are many assistive technologies available for people with TBI. What is Assistive Technology?...
Description: Regardless of the AAC system used (no tech, low tech, high tech) or skill level use this list with what to do and what not to do.
Description: This is a listing of multimodal activities to enhance learning for students using all forms of communication.
Description: Language is about connecting with other people. If you can focus on providing robust AAC and teaching language skills that allow AAC learners to connect with people in their lives, you will make a real difference!
Description: The 2022 VATTS: Resource Guide provides instructional strategies, AT solutions, modifications, accommodations, and examples used to address areas of need identified through the AT consideration process to support student success. There are two Resource Guide PDFs: an ADA Compliant version and a printable table version.
Description: Chalk It Up to Experience! Tips from Real Co-Teachers of Virginia was created by demonstration site teams to celebrate the first five years of the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative. Teams share practical advice for effective co-teaching and practices they consider critical to establishing a strong collaborative relationship. This document will serve as an instructional resource for co-teaching teams and administrators to inform their co-teaching practices.
Description: Check out these Professional Learning Possibilities: Webshop Title: [TechKnowledgy 2021-22] Augmentative and Alternative Communication Instruction for Highly Impacted Students with ASD: High- and Low-Tech Strategies to Increase Communication Webshop Title: [TechKnowledgy 2021-22] Adapting Books and Creating Kits for Learning Webshop Title: [TechKnowledgy 2020-21] See Me, Hear Me, Touch Me, Read Me: Adapting Books So They Can eWorkshop Title: See Me, Hear Me, Touch Me, Read Me: Building a...
Description: Easterseals UCP provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children, adults and families living with disabilities, behavioral health challenges and autism can live, learn, work and play in their communities. Easterseals UCP’s Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) services provide home and community-based supports that help children and adults be engaged and contributing members of their family and community. Our Behavioral Health programs are evidenced-based and...
Description: A prompting hierarchy should be utilized with students learning AAC. This involves providing the natural cues first and allowing sufficient wait time to respond, and if there is not a response, working through the hierarchy as needed. This Prompt Hierarchy provides a framework for this process.
Description: This form includes the task, the description and the team member responsible for the AAC trial implementation.
Description: First responders and other emergency personnel are starting to use this helpful tool to communicate with individuals who are not responding to verbal instructions or questions. These may be individuals who are non-verbal, on the autism spectrum, or simply feeling overwhelmed or confused. By pointing to pictures on the ECB, emergency personnel can focus their need for information with the individuals level of understanding, ideally securing even a yes or no response allowing them to provide...
Description: Emergency Communication Boards (Chileda Institute) Paramedic & Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Symbol Board (Widget Health) Emergency Chat Google App Developing Positive Interactions for People with Developmental Disabilities and First Responders, Police, and the Justice System: A Guide for People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Loved Ones (Updated November 2020) (The Arc of Northern Virginia)
Description: This data collection tool is a written summary of a particular lesson or activity.
Description: This data collection tool is in the form of a checklist and helps a team determine if a device is being used for a variety of communicative functions.
Description: AAC Evaluation Genie assists teams in identifying skill areas that relate specifically to the language representation methods commonly found on augmentative communication systems.  It helps to build a framework for selecting an appropriate augmentative communication device for ongoing evaluation and/or device trial.
Description: This 'wheel" of Apps provides a categorised guide to iPad Apps for individuals with complex communication support needs, who may need to use Augmentative and Alternative Communicaton (AAC). We appreciate that identifying AAC Apps from the many available can be a difficult and challenging task, so we hope that in cretig and sharing this resource, it will help you with that process.
Description: This data collection tool helps teams collect information on whether a response is independent or if the user needed a prompt or a model to elicit the response.
Description: Check with your local T/TAC to determine if these resources are available for check out.
Description: There are no prerequisites to introducing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to children and young people with disabilities. This article from Avaz Inc. shares many of the common myths and misconceptions around prerequisites for AAC and explains the facts that busts this myth. This article is a must read for all practitioners who work with children and students who use AAC! Posted December 4, 2020
Description: The following charts can be used to assist a team in gathering information, based on the SETT Framework by Joy Zabala.
Description: Tools that help people communicate are called Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and can range from simply utilizing pictures to a high-tech device such as a tablet, iPad, or computer. Here are some guidelines that can help parents recognize when to consider AAC: Child isn’t talking at all Children start saying words by the time they are between 12 to 18 months old, and begin combining 3 to 5 words together into sentences by the time they reach preschool. If a child is over...
Description: Read more about Low-Tech & High-Tech AAC - AAC can be described in different ways. Understanding these different descriptions will help you know about the types of systems available, as well as help guide your decision-making as to which AAC system might be the best fit. Types of AAC Aided systems: Use external products and materials to help a user get across a message. These may include AAC systems such as core word boards, communication books or speech generating devices. Unaided systems:...
Description: The AAC Assessment Compass can be used to guide your AAC assessment framework.
Description: This booklet defines Special Education Terms (Birth to 22) as well as General Disabilty Terms.
Description: View OCR Video Series on Accessibility The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announces a video series covering a variety of topics on digital access in education, including how people with disabilities use technology, applicable Federal regulations, and identifying and remediating barriers to access.  Whether you are in the educational field or not, these videos have wide ranging coverage for those who want to know: What makes technology...
Title: PhraseReader
Description: Make text easier to read on small screens. Make reading as effortless as watching a video. Read faster, by reading whole phrases at a time. Speed through any text, with better comprehension. Zoom your screen in or out to adjust the font size. Use the auto-speed or click the next phrase button.
Title: Readsy
Description: Readsy is a tool to help you skim large amounts of text by focusing your eyes on one word at a time without having to move them. It is powered by Spritz, a speed reading app. To register for higher speeds, click "Login" on the top right of the Spritz box, and create an account with Spritz.
Description: Make Stuff and Love People has over 1,500 images and 500 QR codes to "how-to" videos and resources for immediate access using any smartphone camera. The book is packed with devices that can be made in minutes for physical, visual, hearing, communication, or other challenges. "How-to" instructions for devices include those for reading and writing; life skills; employment; alternative communication; mounting devices to mobility aids; tablet and phone holders; self-care, eating, drinking, art, and...
Description: The Virginia Higher Education Accessibility Partners group (VHEAP) is comprised of professionals within the disability and accessibility fields. While focusing primarily on higher education, the organization is looking to expand membership and participation opportunities to include K12 and any other participants within the Commonwealth working to advance accessibility at all levels of education. Its mission is to promote, advocate for, and advance greater inclusion and participation of...
Description: The Color Coded Eye Gaze frame (adapted by Erickson, 2000) is intended for students with multiple significant physical and hearing impairments, including those with unknown cognitive skills. The eye gaze frame is often used by students that are unable to hold a pencil or unable to physically manipulate a standard or an enlarged keyboard. For students who have such challenges, using their eyes can be the easiest. Students need to have some degree of vision, but it does not need to be completely...
Description: The Center for Literacy & Disability Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill has developed a variety of “alternative pencils” for students with the most significant disabilities, including deaf-blindness. All the alternative “pencils” have been designed for students who are unable to hold a traditional pencil or physically manipulate a keyboard. Instead, the alternative pencils tap into students’ other developing abilities. For example, the alphabet eye gaze frame may be...
Description: Students with ASD often have a very uneven learning profile. For example, they may have excellent long-term and rote memory abilities but have executive function deficits. Executive function challenges can include difficulties with general organization and planning skills, problems with impulsivity and problem-solving, and challenges with goal completion. Common learning challenges and possible accommodations and supports include: Providing notes or review sheets Using work checklists to...
Description: In this video, Arlington Public Schools AAC Implementation Coaches Brittany Thomas and Erin Tokajer, and Arlington parents Janna Dressel, Brandi Horton and Cecilia Kline, share strategies on supporting AAC use in the home setting.