1998 Conference Proceedings

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Reports from the Field: Special Education and Technology

Mary Cortina, Ph.D.
Project Director
National Center for Disability Services
201 I.U. Willets Road
Albertson, New York 11507-1599
Voice: 516-465-1609
Fax: 516-747-5378

Suzanne Krempa
Assistive Technology Coordinator
TRE Center
1979 Central Avenue
Albany, New York 12205
Voice: 518-456-9294
Fax: 518-456-7669
email: skrempa@aol.com

Carol Fuhrer OT, ATP
Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Practitioner
National Center for Disability Services
201 I.U. Willets Road
Albertson, New York
11507-1599
Voice: 516-465-1627
Fax: 516-747-5378

Sample formats of Project FITT participating districts' policy and procedures, in-house, level one assessments, and newsletter are available from the website http://members.aol.com/Skrempa/FITT.html

The Research and Training Institute (RTI) of the National Center for Disability Services, and the Technology Resources for Education Center (TRE) collaborated on a three year research and demonstration project designed to support school districts in New York State as they develop and implement assistive technology plans for students with disabilities. Project FITT - Full Integration Through Technology, is a federally funded ( U.S. Development of Education, Office of Special Education Programs), in its third and final year of working with 50 school districts throughout New York State. This presentation reports interim findings in the areas of policy and procedure, staff development and AT district team establishment.

Project FITT is a response to school district need for information, training, demonstration and related supports to proactively respond to student needs for assistive technologies. It was designed to help school districts identify their objectives, set short-and-long term goals, work collaboratively within and across districts, and improve their AT delivery system. School districts established individual agendas and project staff worked with district staff to attain their goals. Project services included: strategic planning, technical assistance, staff development, and information and referral.

Presentation discussion will focus upon ways project staff have provided information, training, and consultation; school district responses; school district initiatives and accomplishments; barriers to effective AT training; barriers to effective AT delivery; effects of project upon district, teachers, students; promising opportunities for the continuation of project efforts.


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