2001 Conference Proceedings

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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION CERTIFICATE - A HANDS-ON MODEL OF THE ALLIANCE FOR TECHNOLOGY ACCESS

Mary Ann Glicksman
Computer Access Center
Los Angeles, CA
(310)338-1597

Maggie Morales
Center for Technology Access
Berkeley, CA
(510) 841-3224

Assistive technology provides the tools that are changing how children with disabilities learn. It opens doors for participation in standard and adapted curriculum for students with a wide range of disabilities. With the new IDEA 97 amendments Congress has articulated for school districts and for parents the role of assistive technology. As early as 1990 Congress noted that advances in AT have provided new opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in educational programs. For many, the provision of AT "will redefine an appropriate placement in the least restrictive environment and allow greater independence and productivity." House Report No. 101-544, 1990.

With new focus on the power of these tools, more and more parents are requesting services, devices and training from school districts. Many districts are not prepared to respond because of the shortage of staff who are qualified and experienced in the assessment process and in the implementation of assistive technology in the classroom and in the social lives of children.

Teaching programs and certification courses are emerging throughout the country. Assistive technology is beginning to appear in the course work in degrees for teaching and other disciplines. However the process is long, and each program has a differing amount of practical experience and level of information. Some are aimed at an awareness level, others at an overview knowledge level, others at a more academic, intellectual level.

This certificate program will be competency-based. It is designed to meet the criteria developed by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education by providing knowledge and practical experience in a problem-solving environment.

Outcome

The Certificate Program is composed of a series of five hands-on coursed which convey theory and practice:

Section I: LEGAL, SOCIAL AND FAMILY ASPECTS OF THE AT PROCESS 10 hours

Historical perspective in the context of the family and society

Section II: OVERVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY 20 Hour

Section III: COMPUTER BASED EDUCATIONAL STRATEGIES 20 Hours

Section IV: PARTICIPATION IN THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS 20 Hours

Section V: PRACTICUM 20 Hours

Both Centers have completed one complete course training. We are proud to announce that we graduated our first 30 certificate recipients in May 2000.

As we begin our second year we are:


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