Friday, April 13, 2012

Assistive Technology Update

It has been a while since we wrote about our colleagues at CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology, and other groups working in the area of assistive technology. We were prompted to think again about this important subject when we received a notice of a teleconference for attorneys and advocates scheduled for Thursday, April 19th on how children with learning and other disabilities can obtain assistive technology under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

This program, jointly sponsored by The National Assistive Technology Advocacy Project (a project of Neighborhood Legal Services, in Buffalo, NY) and The Advocacy Center in New Orleans, LA features a presentation by Ronald M. Hager, Esq. Senior Staff Attorney for the National Disability Rights Network in Washington, D.C. The teleconference will deal with some of the most common questions that arise in connection with assistive technology -- things like whether a student can take home a device such as a laptop computer and who is responsible when the device requires repairs. There will also be time for questions. More information and a registration form are available online.

If you haven't checked out the resources provided by CAST for teachers, students, and parents, you may be surprised at their scope. In keeping with its mission to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning, CAST offers a number of learning tools, most of them at no charge. These include UDL Editions, classic texts made accessible to readers of all levels, and UDL Book Builder, which lets students, parents, and teachers create their own books. We are big fans of CAST (Dr. Yellin is a member of their Board of Directors) and of their work, which also includes professional development and research initiatives.

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