RESNA Announces Online & In-Person ATP Fundamentals Course

Posted December 16, 2017 By Lee Learson

The RESNA ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analysing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumers’ needs, and providing training in the use of the selected devices.

The ATP Fundamentals Course helps candidates review and refresh their assistive technology knowledge and help identify areas they need to study for the ATP exam. This course will be an online instructor-led course designed as a convenient, cost-efficient and effective way for busy AT professionals to participate.

Course features: Read the remainder of this entry »

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Searching Apps Made Fast and Easy

Posted December 7, 2017 By Lee Learson

Knicket is a filter and tag based app search engine that enables the user to find the best apps and games in the app jungle. It works with an asynchronous database to provide a near real-time search experience. Knicket allows you to search the app world in depth, before downloading or purchasing an app.

This search engine allows you to choose iPhone, Android or iPad and then you select your search term such as “word prediction” or “AAC”. It can further refine the results by cost or specific tags such as “education” or “learning tool”. Knicket also allows you to search in different languages!

Looking for autism apps? try https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/autism-apps/id441600681?mt=8 . This is an app that lets you search for other apps. It offers  specific categories such as “AAC” or “cause and effect” but it also lets you type your own search terms.

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Looking for last minute gift ideas? Cooking is a fun and practical activity for everyone and an opportunity to not only increase independence, but also to put basic academic skills to use in a functional way. Determining what is needed, obtaining the ingredients and following directions to put it together are all important steps.

It not only allows individuals to be more independent, it also gives them an opportunity to put other skills like shopping and basic math to practical use. Using these skills in a real life situation, like cooking, can build self-confidence and self-reliance. And it’s fun! There will be spills and general messiness but the end result is worth it (and tasty too!).  

The following are some wonderful visual and audio cookbooks and links to on-line recipes to help you get you started. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Home Mods! Ideas, Resources & Funding

Posted November 21, 2017 By Lee Learson

Reprint From Home Advisor

Every year, more Americans living with disabilities are able to call themselves homeowners. Thanks to support and legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), having a home to call one’s own is now an achievable dream for more people than ever before. For many individuals, purchasing a home is only half the battle, since the nature of someone’s disability can impact many areas of life – including the way he or she accesses, maneuvers through, and enjoys activities at home.

That’s where the option of home modification comes into play. Whether you love the house you’re currently in or have plans to build a home that’s more accommodating to your disability, there are many different home modifications you can choose to implement. If you have stairs in your household but depend on the use of a wheelchair, a beneficial modification might be a chairlift. If a family member is blind, it might be useful to install grab bars in the shower. Or if you have a child with a mental disability, you may be able to better protect him or her from illness or injury by installing locks on cabinet doors that hold harmful chemical cleaners.

While renters have the responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to tenants with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act, many homeowners with disabilities can’t afford these expenses out-of-pocket. But did you know that there are many different national programs whose mission it is to provide you with a safe, comfortable home by donating grants to those in need? Furthermore, most states also have local programs for easing the financial burden of installing home modifications, or even building a new home that meets the needs of all of its occupants.

This guide is designed to provide information on many of the available grants to improve your quality of life at home. You will find grants that are intended for all kinds of recipients, whether your disability is one you were born with or the result of a previous medical condition. You will find information on nationwide and state specific programs, as well as suggestions on what modifications may be the most rewarding for you. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Disabilities

Posted November 15, 2017 By Lee Learson

Reprint from ” Champion Traveler

About 56.7 million United States citizens are living with a disability, according to the most recent national census. While traveling can be a lot of fun with new memories made, it is important to make sure wherever you travel to can accommodate if you have a disability. Luckily, there are several options available so that those who do have a disability are able to travel comfortably and safely. 

General Travel Tips for Individuals with Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities are those that limit one’s ability to move, making travel more challenging. Physical limitations don’t have to keep you from traveling altogether. These tips and resources will help you plan for your travel and overcome challenges that may arise. 

  • Make sure before your trip, you choose a resort, hotel or cruise that provides accessibility. If you are able to choose your own destination, select a location that provides accessibility for physical disabilities. If you aren’t able to choose your own destination, find out if there will be accessibility accommodations at the location. Flying Wheels Travel lists several destinations and cruise options that offer accessibility for individuals with physical disabilities.
  • Working with a travel agent who is experienced with disabilities can take a lot of pressure off of you and make traveling much easier and smoother. This website, DisabledTravelers.com provides a list of travel agents who offer specialized services for those with disabilities.
  • Research your destination and hotel. Whether you picked it out yourself or a family member or friend chose the location, do your research on the destination and hotel to find out what services and accommodations are available. Different regulations may apply regarding accessibility in public locations when traveling outside of the United States. This article provides tips and information from 23 major airlines on what to do for travelers who need extra support.
  • Find the proper luggage that will be easy for you to handle. Finding luggage that also protects your equipment when handled by airplane personnel is important too. This article from MIUSA.org offers tips for choosing the right type of luggage.
  • Always make sure you pack your medical cards, Medicare card if you have one, discount cards, passport, debit and credit cards, and Traveler’s Checks.
  • You can make arrangements with the airline prior to the day of travel. Certain accommodations, such as bringing wheelchairs or other equipment onto the plane, require to be planned in advance.
  • Make sure to keep TSA’s helpline number on hand. Their helpline can be reached at 1-855-787-2227 in order to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

Tips & Resources for Individuals Traveling with Cognitive Disabilities Read the remainder of this entry »

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Written by: Jen Crozier

When it comes to education, data shows that deep knowledge and practical skills in science and math levels the playing field of opportunity for a diverse population of young people, regardless of zip code. Despite the fact that success in math in the elementary grades connects directly to achievement across all subjects, elementary school teachers – who teach all subjects – often do not get either the preparation or support they need to improve their ability to teach math effectively.

All researchers agree on one data point: nothing produces high levels of student achievement more than quality teaching. We have seen how rigorous STEM education in IBM P-TECH 9-14 schools is already propelling successful graduates into college and new-collar careers. And we’ve learned that by forging deep partnerships among the public and private sectors, we can prepare young people to compete in the global economy while meeting the growing needs of industry. And yet, despite their best efforts, many teachers lack the resources to help them deliver higher quality instruction.

And so today, the IBM International Foundation is announcing an exciting development in our ongoing drive to strengthen education at all levels and help prepare the next generation of STEM leaders. Teacher Advisor With Watson focuses the innovative power of IBM cognitive computing on perhaps the most critical – yet all-too-overlooked – aspect of education: helping teachers improve their skills and educate our children more effectively. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Holiday Gift Guides!

Posted November 5, 2017 By Lee Learson

It’s that time of year again. Looking for creative, engaging, educational and fun gifts ideas?                                            Check out these resources!

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New App Wheels From CALL Scotland

Posted October 31, 2017 By Lee Learson

CALL Scotland has just released new and updated App Wheels. Separate app wheels for iPad and Android users are available on their website and they’re free!

The ‘Wheel of Apps’ are not comprehensive, but attempt to identify relevant, useful apps and to categorize them according to difficulties faced by people with learning and communication disabilities. Note that some apps address a range of difficulties. To save space, they have not placed individual apps into multiple categories, but have listed them under a single category that is particularly relevant to the app. Links on the electronic version are ‘clickable’ and will take you to iTunes, where you can find out more about the individual apps.

Their newest additions for iPad users are: Read the remainder of this entry »

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The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) released four resources for special education teachers, administrators and advocates.

Educators Experiences With and Attitudes Towards Accessibility Features and Accommodations explores results of a survey about educators’ familiarity with and attitudes toward accessibility features and accommodations. Most respondents reported that they work with students who use accessibility accommodations, which they believe to have a positive impact on educational outcomes.

NCEO State Surveys: 2016 Survey of States: State Activities Amid Evolving Educational Policies provides a snapshot of the new initiatives, trends, accomplishments, and emerging issues during a period of new education laws and initiatives. States addressed the need for inclusive assessments while facing requirements for assessments and accountability.

Forum on Text Readers for Everyone on All Tests: Getting a Handle on What This Means reports on a forum that brought together state departments of education, school districts, testing and testing-related companies, and other educational organizations to discuss the availability of text readers for everyone on tests, the differences in terminology for text readers, ways to develop common language around text readers, and the challenges associated.

NCEO Brief: Meeting the Needs of ELs with Disabilities in Your State: Making EL Exit Decisions (#13) highlights the numbers and characteristics of English learners (EL) with disabilities and current decision-making processes for exiting these students from EL services. It provides recommendations for states as they support districts and schools in making appropriate exit decisions for ELs with disabilities.

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NASA is recruiting! Students with disabilities wanted!

Posted October 27, 2017 By Lee Learson

By Kenneth A. Silberman, Esq.

NASA is looking to increase the number of students with disabilities pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through our regular internship programs. This is not a program for students with disabilities.  We are trying to recruit more students with disabilities into our regular internship programs. Disability means both physical and mental disabilities. Internships are a good way to get real-world experience. However, this is not an employment program. NASA jobs can be found at <http://www.usajobs.gov>. Students can apply for Summer 2018 now! The deadline for submitting applications will be Thursday, March 1, 2018. We will begin extending offers to students in mid-to-late January and will continue until all positions are filled. If you would like to subscribe to an announcement-only list about NASA internships for persons with disabilities, please send an E-mail to nasainterns-request@freelists.org with ‘subscribe’ in the Subject field, OR by visiting the list page at http://www.freelists.org/list/nasainterns

Internships run for ten weeks for undergraduate and graduate students. Internships run for six weeks for high school students. Read the remainder of this entry »

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