2004 Conference Proceedings

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Laura Casson
M.S. Sp. Ed., Training Director
Assistive Technology, Inc.
7 Wells Avenue
Newton, MA 02459
Phone: 617-641-9000
Fax: 617-641-9191
Email: Lcasson@assistivetech.com

How do you assess students who cannot take standardized tests? What alternate assessment programs are available for students who cannot speak or hold a pencil? Once you know a student's performance level, where do you go from there? Stages can provide the answers…

Stages is a framework for assessing and teaching learners with cognitive and language disabilities. The program consists of seven different learning levels, or stages. Stages One through Three fall under the category of Language Foundation. These Stages are sequential in nature and should be approached this way. Stages Four through Seven fall under a second category, Academic Discovery. These Stages are not strictly sequential in nature. For example, a student may be working simultaneously on reading in Stage Five and writing in Stage Seven. The Stages are not age- or grade-specific.

Stage One: Cause and Effect
Stage Two: Language Readiness
Stage Three: Emerging Language
Stage Four: Early Concepts
Stage Five: Advanced Concepts and Communication
Stage Six: Functional Learning
Stage Seven: Written Expression

The Stages program can help professionals and parents identify learning needs, assess skills, and select appropriate software. Stages includes a book, assessment software, curriculum software, Stages Report Wizard, and training.


The Stages book, Stages: Software Solutions for Special Needs:

Assessment Software

Assessment Kits help identify and assess a learner's skills at each stage. Each kit includes a software CD, observation forms, software comparison charts and user's guide. Stages assessment software:

Curriculum Software Bundles

The Stages curriculum software bundles are collections of computer programs that are appropriate for building skills at each stage. The recommended curriculum software:

Stages Report Wizard (released September, 2003)

Stages Report Wizard is an ideal tool to maintain accountability for learner achievement in a timely and cost effective way. It works with saved Stages reports to show many aspects of a learner's achievement toward curriculum standards and IEP goals. Stages Report Wizard enables users to:


Workshops are designed for special education school-based team members serving students with developmental delays. A workshop should be selected based on the goals of the school district. Workshops can focus on:

During this session, participants will learn about assessment activities from each of the seven stages, including automatic record keeping, sample IEP objectives, and observation forms. They will also review curriculum or practice software from a variety of manufacturers that can help learner performance at each stage, and also hear about Stages Report Wizard. Finally, we will discuss the importance of training to use the Stages assessment process effectively.

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