1999 Conference Proceedings

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T-Teams: Training Teams of Educators in Assistive Technology Methodologies and Strategies(C)

Ann Caragher
221 McDonald Way
Bakersfield, CA 93309
Phone (805)636-4795
email: ancaragher@kern.org 

Deborah Grant
827 Kolding Ave.
Solvang, CA 93463
Phone (805)688-1849
email:debgrant@sbceo.k12.ca.us 

Sherry Purcell, Ph.D.
40 Park Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Phone (213)732-1976
email: spurcell@lausd.k12.ca.us

Assistive technology (AT) in the schools presents a unique area of need and specialization. AT provides students with unique opportunities for academic growth and learning. Educators are presented with unique challenges to assist students with limited resources. The new federal regulations for IDEA will have more explicit requirements regarding AT, including mandates for IEP consideration.

T-TEAMS(C) is a two-day course designed to provide a practical school-based approach for IEP team members. The needs of students with disabilities who may require assistive technology to meet educational goals and objectives are addressed through this dynamic and hands-on training. Participants will learn to apply strategies and techniques to case studies and explore low cost ways to maximize resources already available at the school site. The course focus is at the low end of the hierarchy of AT, prior to referral for a specialized assessment and sophisticated electronic equipment.

Functional Skills Approach

The selection of appropriate technology is based on the principle of providing the least restrictive environment for the student (i.e., one which is the closest to the norm for his/her peers). Technology choices should involve consideration of a range of technology (from a low to high).

T-TEAMS(C) emphasizes a functional skills approach at the lower end of the technology range. Participants will learn a systematic approach to decision making regarding assistive technology in one or more of the following skill areas:

Multi-disciplinary IEP Team Model

Best practices for AT services requires that assessment and intervention are conducted within a multi-disciplinary framework. T-TEAMS (C) focuses on training school site teams to understand methodologies and strategies across disciplines in an effort to improve decisions regarding the need for assistive technology for educational achievement.

Expected Outcomes

Each T-TEAMS (C) participant will:

  1. develop an understanding of the hierarchy of assistive technology and strategies for curricular modifications and integration within seven major areas of educational functioning;
  2. utilize a systematic framework for assessing technology needs prior to referral for a specialized assessment and sophisticated electronic equipment;
  3. learn to develop IEP goals and objectives relative to assistive technology equipment and statements;
  4. learn to participate as a member of a multi-disciplinary team;
  5. develop a strategy for identifying and utilizing existing resources within and outside the SELPA, including a kit of fundamental tools;
  6. review the fundamentals of legislation related to AT in schools (IDEA; ADA; section 504; CA Ed, Code).

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