1999 Conference Proceedings

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Verjene Kalashian, MA, CCC
ACRE Center

Peggy Barker, MS, ATP
Applied Assistive Technology

Supporting students who use assistive technology (AT) in educational settings require that educational staff are knowledgeable and comfortable with the implementation of technology. This presentation will address staff development strategies which include training curriculum for AT, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and computer-based educational curriculum adaptations.

All Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) students have disabilities that adversely affect their educational performances and present a challenge to curriculum accessibility. Many of these students rely on portable communication devices, computers, mobility devices and other assistive technologies to participate in their educational programs. These students require extensive collaboration between regular education teachers and special education service providers to support the use of these technologies in the regular education classrooms.

The Augmentative Communication Resource and Evaluation (ACRE) Center of MCOE was established to provide all students with disabilities the assistive strategies, materials, technologies and training necessary to support their social, physical and academic participation at home, school, work and play. To do this, the ACRE Center provides:

Staff training is provided in lectures, in working group sessions, in a hands-on lab and in open labs. Staff training topics include:

Monthly hands-on training in the computer lab includes:

Lab equipment includes computers with Macintosh and Windows operating systems, color printers, Scanners, Digital Cameras, writable CD-ROM drives, a wide variety of adaptive hardware and software including several site licenses.

Students are provided, as needed, with computers, printers, computer tables (height adjustable if needed), Intellikeys, Intellitools software, Boardmaker, other software and AAC devices.

Regular educators, special educators, instructional assistants, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and parents are able to take advantage of the all day trainings. School staff are provided with substitute staff so that they may participate on a regular basis.

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