The AT Mannequin Challenge at ATIA 2017

Mannequins, Fashion, Doll, Decoration

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Mannequin Challenge. The concept is simple. For no good reason, create a scene where everyone holds completely still as another person walks through the scene filming it. Then, post your video to entertain or inspire others. Here’s a link to some of the more popular ones which have already been created – http://time.com/4565174/mannequin-challenge-ranking/

How does this relate assistive technology?

Let’s gather together to participate in a Mannequin Challenge to raise awareness for the use of technology to support people with disabilities. Let’s do an Assistive Technology Mannequin Challenge.

When: Friday, January 20th at 6:30pm ET

Where: At the launch of EdcampAccess at the 2017 Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida

REGISTER for ATIA 2017

REGISTER for EdcampAccess International

Who: You and every one of your colleagues!

What to do: Creatively show off a concept, principle, practice, or piece of technology used to support a person with a disability by holding a pose for approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Someone, likely me, will slowly move through the crowd filming it.

Once recorded, I’ll edit it together with some music and post it to YouTube. Then we can all share it with everyone we know!

If you have any questions, let me know! 

Hope to see you there!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #155: ALgS or Model, Model, Model

Download the audio directly – Episode #155: ALgS or Model, Model, Model

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by the ebook version of
The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology

Cover for The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools

Episode Overview –

Episode #155 features a recording of a conversation between Chris and his wife Melissa which takes place during a baby sitting session. The episode explores early language development and describes the strategy of Aided Language Stimulation (ALgS) necessary for teaching language to a user of augmentative/alternative communication.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #488: Model on the AAC device.

Also, here’s a video that explains Aided Language Stimulation:

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #154: Planning for Motor Memory

Download the audio directly – Episode #154: Planning for Motor Memory

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #154 features a discussion on the concept of using motor plans and motor memory to become automatic at using an AAC device.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #486: Plan for motor memory right from the onset of device implementation.

A.T.TIP #487: Don’t mess with the motor plan once established.

Attribution Notification – Portions of the following musical tracks were used in this episode:

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

4 panel comic with a genie and a lamp. Panel 1 - Genie says "You rubbed the magic lamp! Make a wish!". Panel 2 - Genie says, "What? No! I won't let you waste your wish on that!" Panel 3 - Genie says, "If you wish to learn about digital tech you don't need me!" Panel 4 - Genie says, "Go to Carole's and Chris's Precon at ISAAC on August 6th instead!" In the bottom there is text that reads "sign up today! http://bit.ly/isaacprecons

Liberator AAC Summit – Melbourne, Australia – July 2016

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #153: The Corenerstone of Language

Side by side image of two diagrams featuring concentric circles. The first shows a large red circle labeled Fringe. Inside it is a small green circle that reads core. The caption below it reads Amount of Words. Beside this diagram is a large green circle matching the size of the red circle. It reads core. Inside the core circle is a smaller red circle labeled fringe. The label underneath reads Usage Frequency.Download the audio directly – Episode #153: The Corenerstone of Language 

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #153 features a discussion on which vocabulary to target when teaching language to a student who uses an augmentative/alternative communication device. This is the episode for Better Hearing and Speech Month of 2016.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #484: Use open-ended questions rather than closed questions. Try this exercise to practice!

table with three columns and six rows. The first column is red. The second is green. The third is white. The first column is labeled "Teacher Says". The second column is labeled "Teacher Could Say" The third column is labeled "Possible Accepted Student Response". The first column has the following written in each row respectively " “Who had a little lamb?” “Who was the first president?” “How do plants make food?” “Where do polar bears live?” “Which book is your favorite?”

A.T.TIP #485: Converse with device users in such a way that allows them to respond using the most frequently used vocabulary.

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

4 panel comic with a genie and a lamp. Panel 1 - Genie says "You rubbed the magic lamp! Make a wish!". Panel 2 - Genie says, "What? No! I won't let you waste your wish on that!" Panel 3 - Genie says, "If you wish to learn about digital tech you don't need me!" Panel 4 - Genie says, "Go to Carole's and Chris's Precon at ISAAC on August 6th instead!" In the bottom there is text that reads "sign up today! http://bit.ly/isaacprecons

Liberator AAC Summit – Melbourne, Australia – July 2016

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #152: Breaking Down and Building Up Language

Download the audio directly – Episode #152: Breaking Down and Building Up Language

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #152 is a discussion on how to teach language by breaking it down into component parts and structuring lessons around language concepts.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #481: Developing a plan to target one or two words per week (or so) building up to more complex/grouped language concepts.

Sample Planning Sheet

Targetted Word – Put

Numbers in Language Opportunities column are minimum opportunities

to use the targetted word

TIME ACTIVITY

LANGUAGE OPPORTUNITIES

8:00 – 8:30

Morning Circle

Attendance – Where to put others (5)

Calendar – Where to put # day (5)

Weather – Where to put clothes on character (5)

8:30 – 9:00

Science

Plants – Soil in cup (3), seeds in soil (5), water in soil (2), plant near window (1)

9:00 – 9:30

Storytime

Story w/ “put” – Grocery shopping. Put in basket (3), put on belt (3), put in bag (1) put in car (1), put in house (1), put away (3)

9:30 – 10:00

Snack

Plate on table (1), cup on table (1), Put on plate (5), put in cup (5), put in hand (5), put top on (1), put in mouth (5), put away (1)

10:00 – 10:30

Art

Paper on table (1), paint on table (3), brush on table (1), water in cup (1), water on table (1), smock on (1), paint on brush (5), brush on paper (5), brush in water (5), paper away (1), paint away (3), brush away (1), water away (1), smock off (1)

10:30 – 11:00

Maths

Addition – Squares on board (10), Group squares (10), Numbers to match squares (10)

A.T.TIP #482: Plan for at least 100 structured experiences to expose and use the targeted word or language concept.

A.T.TIP #483: Teaching language is more like building a house than unlocking a door.

Picture of a lock with a red arrow that reads not this and a picture of a house under construction with a green arrow that reads this

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

4 panel comic with a genie and a lamp. Panel 1 - Genie says "You rubbed the magic lamp! Make a wish!". Panel 2 - Genie says, "What? No! I won't let you waste your wish on that!" Panel 3 - Genie says, "If you wish to learn about digital tech you don't need me!" Panel 4 - Genie says, "Go to Carole's and Chris's Precon at ISAAC on August 6th instead!" In the bottom there is text that reads "sign up today! http://bit.ly/isaacprecons

Liberator AAC Summit – Melbourne, Australia – July 2016

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The Origin of a NERD – National (Open) Educational Resource Database

This is a blog only post.

There is not an A.T.TIPSCAST Episode associated with this post.

 

BACKGROUND INFO

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that what you are about to read is not meant to be a criticism but rather a call to help me, and likely others, understand more about what is apparently a confusing topic.

Recently, the Open Educational Resources movement has picked up a head of steam with the announcement of the Open eBooks initiative championed by Michelle Obama and The White House. At the forefront of this initiative was the launch of a new Open eBooks app. Like so many, I was initially excited. Open sourced materials have the potential for providing greater and more varied learning opportunities to everyone including people with disabilities, so what was not to be excited about?

Many of the people in my extended network of educators (Marvin Williams, Mike Marotta, Jamie Martin, etc.) working for and with people with disabilities began exploring the app for its accessibility features, including myself. The results were concerning as many discovered that the registration process to utilize the app was cumbersome and a barrier in itself, requiring educators to input demographic data that isn’t necessarily readily accessible to them. Once past the registration process, some necessary features were not universally available on every book within the app. Features such as text to speech, text to speech with dual highlighting, and image descriptions were simply not present ubiquitously.

These findings spurred an outcry (encapsulated in this blog post by June Behrmann), which, I think, led to the accessibility features of the Open eBooks app to be a topic of #ATchat on March 2nd. Andrew Marcinek, the Open Education Advisor to the Office of Educational Technology was an active participant in the chat and addressed the concerns.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

But, here are the questions that have been plaguing me. Why does another app need to exist in the first place? Could open educational resources be created, organized, and shared in such a way that are device agnostic? Or, to put it simply, could open educational resources be made available in such a way that the user chooses which application he or she wants to use to experience the content? Could the government, rather than backing an additional app with a limited library of materials, support a structure where a user could search the entirety of open educational resources and then, select and open a file using whatever tool they want?

Currently, a person might need to maintain multiple apps to get to a specific piece of content. Each app has its own UI experience and accessibility features. Users need to maintain all of these apps, navigate the differing UI experiences, and mitigate varied features of the different apps, which makes for a giant ball of confusion.

A typical user experience might be as follows:

“Hmmm…where can I find this title? Let me check this app. Nope, that title is not there. Now let me check this other app. Nope, that title is not here either. Now, let me check yet another app! Huzzah, the title is here but this app isn’t an app that has the accessibility feature I need (or even prefer).”

If I’m a user who already has trouble reading and possibly has executive functioning difficulties, adding yet another library for me to check likely adds a barrier rather than knocks one down.

Instead of asking users to search multiple libraries individually could the government help provide one central place where all users go to get the content in the format they choose? Instead of backing yet another new app, could the money be spent building a tool which ties all the existing open educational resources together to make them searchable?

TRANSPORTATION AS A MODEL

Consider how the government works to facilitate transportation in the US. As part of the nation’s infrastructure, the government contracts out the companies to build roads. The government doesn’t contract out to companies to build cars that go on these roads. The government provides regulations for the construction of the cars but doesn’t manufacture them.

Could the same model be applied to open educational resources? Like the building of roads, the government could contract out to a company to build a searchable structure tying all open education resources together. When a user is looking for a resource, they could just go to this one place. The user could search the database and results could come back with all the file formats available. The user could then select the file format to open in the app of her or his choice (Open in…). To ensure accessibility and compatibility, the government could provide regulations about the criteria necessary for that file to be found in the search, just like what currently exists for the creation of automobiles regarding safety and environmental regulations. “If you’re going to sell a car in the US, it needs to meet these safety and environmental parameters. If you’re going to share a resource in the National (Open) Educational Resource Database (NERD, for short! Yes! How great is that?!?!) it needs to meet these accessibility standards.”

I fear the time, effort, and money spent creating the Open eBooks app was like building a car when what was really needed was a road. As a driver, I want to be able to choose my car knowing no matter which I choose, I’m ensured some base level of safety. As a reader, I want to be able to choose my reading application, knowing no matter which I choose, I’m ensured some base level of accessibility. I shouldn’t need to have multiple cars in order to get to where I want to go just like I shouldn’t need to have multiple eBook applications in order to read the materials from which I want to learn.  

All that written, I could be completely backward on this. I’m open to the idea that I’m completely and utterly wrong, which is why I started this post asking for a call to further my understanding. Please comment below to further the conversation!

 

UPDATE 5/12/16 – This might be just the NERD we’re looking for- http://learningregistry.org

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #151: SNUG & Presuming Competence with AAC

Download the audio directly – Episode #151: SNUG & Presuming Competence with AAC

Chris standing in front of a whiteboard with the words Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation written on it.

 

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #151 is a discussion of the philosophy of Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation (SNUG) and what the term “Presuming Competence” means in relation to teaching language to users of augmentative/alternative communication.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #478: Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation (SNUG) – http://bit.ly/ashasnug

A.T.TIP #479: The Least Dangerous Assumption – http://bit.ly/leastdangerousassumptionpdf 

A.T.TIP #480: http://bit.ly/aacagreements – A list generated at Edcamp at ATIA 2016 by professionals working in the field of AAC outlining 12 agreed upon principles.

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

Contact Information

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