The term “assistive technology” (AT) refers to an array of devices and services used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a student with a disability. Assistive technology may include equipment or strategies needed to assist academics, communication, mobility, and other needs. Assistive technology devices may range from simple modifications to sophisticated technical equipment.
What do AT services look like?
We provide support materials, workshops and training, consultation to local district teams, direct training and support to students with AT needs, and access to a lending library in order to increase student's access to the classroom and curriculum.
How do I get AT services for my student?
Getting Started: Email a short description of the difficulty the student is having and what you have tried that hasn't worked. Sara will reply with a tool or two for you to try. Training on AT tools you would like to use is also available for teachers and students.
Finding the best AT tools(s) for a student: If you would like to have a "Consultation Meeting" (aka brainstorming session), fill out the AT Consideration Form and email or mail to Sara Smith.
Formal Evaluation: Completing a REED can be a nessisary and helpful step in some cases. If so, please contact Sara before you start a REED document to make sure that at least three tools have been tried (fill out the AT Consideration Form
Click here to go to the AT Lending Library
Click here to see more AT Resources
Check It Out! (things you can borrowing from the AT Lending Library)
If you've been wanting to try Speech-to-Text, the ipad app "Dragon Dictate" or Google Chrome Extensions like "Read&Write for google" or "VoiceNoteII" are great free options to try. To use many of these you need headphones with a microphone, but if you don't have one, no worries! Contact me and borrow one from the AT Lending Library for up to 6 weeks!
AT Tips and Tricks (easy things to try in your classroom)
Writing can be hard for students for lots of reason: the fine motor or movements required for writing causing difficulty with speed, legibility, or ability to grasp or access a pencil or keyboard, difficulty spelling, processing and getting their ideas organize, and many other reasons. There are a variety of AT tools that can help depending on the difficulty. Contact me if you have questions about where to start or what to try! Speech to Text can be a great way to illeminate many of the difficulty areas, but isn't ALWAYS the best tool because it does illeminate so many skill areas, so if you are unsure please contact me. However, if you think it might be a good fit, try out the tool below!
Read & Write for Google is a Chrome extension that provides comprehensive reading and writing supports for Google Docs and the Web (as well as PDFs, ePubs, and KES files stored in Google Drive). Teachers can now receive continued access to ALL premium features at no charge! Teachers just need to click on the link to sign up with their gmail/google account information. They then can download the free google chrome extension for use with students any time they open “google docs.”
These supports include:
- Read Aloud with dual-color highlighting
- Word Prediction
- Talking and Picture Dictionaries
- Fact Finder
- Highlighters and ability to collect highlights
- Vocabulary Builder to easily create a list of words with text definitions and images
- Annotations (PDF and ePub)
- Navigational tools (PDF and ePub)
- Read and write for google screenshot
Sara Smith, M.S. CCC-SLP
Assistive Technology Consultant
Mecosta Osceola ISD
interoffice mail: MOISD/MORC AT Lab
(231) 796-3543, ext. 412