2002 Conference Proceedings

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Assessing Children's Assistive Technology Needs Through Video Conferencing

Preston Lewis, Program Manager
Kentucky Dept. of Education, Office of Exceptional Children Services
500 Mero Street, Capital Plaza Tower, 8th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502.564.4970
Fax: 502.564.
Email: plewis@kde.state.ky.us 

Jean Isaacs, ATP, Director of Technology
Bluegrass Technology Center
(Member of Alliance for Technology Access)
961 Beasley Street, Ste 103A
Lexington, KY 40509-4120
Phone: 859.294.4343
Fax: 859.294.0704
Email: bluejean@bluegrass-tech.org 

Thomas J. Simmons, Ph. D.
University of Louisville
Address: Dept of Special Education, Rm 149
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: 502.852.0569
Fax: 502.852.1419
E-mail: tsimmons@louisville.edu 

Debra Bauder, Assistant Professor
University Of Louisville
Department of Special Education, Rm 147
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: 502.852.0564
Fax: 502.852.1419
Email: bauder@louisville.edu

Based upon current practices, state-of-the-art assistive technology delivery systems are not widely developed or implemented in rural areas. In meeting the educational needs of children with disabilities there is a major discrepancy in matching the existing technology to the students who will benefit. Related to this gap in the application of existing technology is the availability of trained professionals that can diagnose the nature of a child's assistive technology needs and identify the technology, which will best suit their situation.

Additionally, multidisciplinary personnel needed to provide service delivery are limited, therefore, children are not always afforded with the assistive technology needed to enhance, promote or provide educational progress and access to general curriculum. There continues to be extensive number of children, especially in rural areas, whose independence and productivity is left undeveloped due to the lack of access to qualified personnel in the area of assistive technology.

Project STATUS utilizes distance technology-based capabilities in assessing the assistive technology needs of students living in rural areas. This effort has capitalized on the technology system to reach students the via videoconferencing connections for a distance-based diagnosis and identification of possible technologies which fit students need.

The session will provide participants with information about how low cost distance based equipment can be used in order to conduct assistive technology assessments to meet student needs. Both the low cost video conferencing technology and the process will be demonstrated through discussion and video presentation. Information regarding considerations with local school personnel and assistive technology assessment teams will also be discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Participants will understand how to created a rural access system to multi-disciplinary assistive technology evaluations through the use of interactive technologies

2. Participants will be able to identify adapted videoconference and Internet technologies that are needed to perform distance-based assessments for educational purposes

3. Participants will be able to identify the process of how to conduct a distance-based assistive technology assessment.

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