Date: To: From: Re: May 3, 2013 John Smith, Director of Special Education Alisha Cornick, Director of Technology Assistive Technology The Central Consolidated School District is satisfied with the role that technology implementation has played in our ability to effectively deliver quality education to the diverse and high-needs students within the district. Our objective is for all students to have proper access to educational technology, including assistive technology, to support learning. State and federal laws prohibit school districts from discriminating against any person based on his or her race, sex, age, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, socioeconomic status, or any other basis protected by the law. It is stated within our Technology Plan that the district will obtain necessary hardware equipment and software programs to include all of our students in technology-rich learning experiences. I would like to review with you how assistive technology is currently being used in the district. Our district utilizes the Assistive Technology Implementation Plan. This plan is attached to the student’s IEP and outlines any technology needed to support the student in the classroom. Within the plan, it identifies the assistive technology being used, its tasks, the frequency/location of its use, student’s perception of the technology, training/support that is needed, and staff responsibility. After the formulated document is drafted, implementation of the appropriate tools will be executed. Individuals who struggle to communicate verbally are provided with augmentative communication devices that afford learners the opportunity to interact with their teacher and peers. Optimist-MMX2 with Windbag is a handheld tool that gives students a “voice.” Students with limited speech and/or who are incapable of speech can now communicate by using artificial speech produced by an electronic synthesizer that is activated through a keyboard. Computer-assistive technology provides modifications for special needs students to using computers and computer software in the classroom. For example, our district utilizes Apple products for teaching and learning. The iPad and iPod touch include screen magnification and VoiceOver, a screen-access technology, for the blind and visually impaired. This may be beneficial to students when accessing information on the internet or using applications on the devices. The Mac computers offer assistance to individuals with cognitive and learning disabilities. The user interface may be altered and simplified for these individuals. Apple also has built-in features such as Text-to-Speech (technology that reads selections of text aloud) and Word Completion (aids learners in spelling and word usage). The aforementioned tools will offer students support in literacy. For scholars with physical and motor-skill challenges, Mac computers have functions like Mouse Keys, Slow Keys, and Sticky Keys. These functions familiarize the computer to the user’s needs and capabilities. All in all, these are some examples of how the district implements assistive technology. Our district believes in providing all students with access to engaging and effective learning experiences that can be modified to their needs and abilities and our Technology Plan reflects this principle. If you should have anymore questions, please feel free to contact me. Bibliography Dove, M.K. (2012). Advancements in assistive technology and at laws for the disabled. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 78(4), 23-29. Technology Facilitator Standards TF-I.A. Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and understanding of concepts related to technology. TF-I.B. Demonstrate continual growth in technology knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies. TF-IV.B. Use technology resources to collect and analyze data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning. TF-VI.B. Apply technology resources to enable and empower learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities. TF-VI.E. Facilitate equitable access to technology resources for all students. TF-VIII.B. Apply strategies for and knowledge of issues related to managing the change process in schools. TF-VIII.D. Lead in the development and evaluation of district technology planning and implementation.