2006 Conference General Sessions




Lori Dahlquist
Adaptivation, Inc.
2225 W. 50th Street
Sioux Falls SD 57105

Day Phone: 605—335—4445
Fax: 605—335—4446
Email: lori@adaptivation.com

Attend this session and receive many functional ideas for increasing the availability of accessible literacy activities for inclusion of older students. In order for literacy instruction to be successful, we must use user—friendly technology, and address the unique issues of this age group, such as finding and adapting appropriate reading materials. This presentation will draw on a pool of over 50 technology based classroom applications which focus on the use of technology for literacy instruction for older students with severe disabilities. Participants will leave with ideas they will be able to use in their own classrooms.

The inclusion of children with disabilities into literacy instruction ‘requires that the classroom curriculum be applicable and accessible, in order for instruction to be successful, teachers and other classroom personnel must be given tools which meet their needs as well as the needs of the students they are serving. Often the technology available to a teacher is limited to what is personally owned by their students. This poses many obstacles such as, little hands-on teacher training with the device, unavailability to the teacher during planning periods, and inability to utilize the same technology with a variety of students. These obstacles greatly reduce the success of incorporating technology into daily literacy activities.

Using technology that meets the following criteria can facilitate inclusionary activities that truly promote literacy instruction.

Ease of Programming
Ease of Implementation—Important for the teacher as well as the peers, using the technology.

Ability to adjust programming to meet a variety of needs throughout the day.

Variety of features such as varying input modes (object—based, picture—based, etc.), timing options, and relay options.

Device versatility (scanning, direct selection, switch input, number of messages) •that can accommodate the changing needs of its user or users within the same device.

Cost effectiveness
The presentation will incorporate functional literacy application ideas demonstrated with technology that meet the above criteria. Several technology based applications, gathered from experienced professionals throughout the country, will highlight the joint use of technology between disabled and non-disabled peers.

Application ideas will incorporate the use of communication aids, switches, computer adaptations, and other assistive devices. Although the presentation will focus on the use of products developed by Adaptivation, the ideas presented can easily be implemented with other commercially available products. The format of the presentation ‘will allow participants to share their own ideas and experiences regarding technology and literacy instruction.

Go to previous article
Go to next article
Return to 2006 Table of Contents

Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright