Accessing Complex Text for Students with Disabilities: Technology Purchasing Checklist
As state education agencies (SEAs) implement more rigorous college and career readiness standards, school leaders must consider how students with disabilities will meet these standards. This checklist, designed to meet the needs of educators at all levels, provides an easy-to-use guide for making purchasing decisions. It identifies key considerations when deciding how to align curriculum goals that foster student access to text through sensory, physical, visual, cognitive, and developmental supports.
Source: Center on Technology and Disability, 2015
Assistive Technology 101
Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as talking with friends, going to school and work, or participating in recreational activities is a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help to overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance their quality of life and lead more independent lives.
Source: Center on Technology and Disability
Assistive Technology for Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children with Disabilities
This action sheet answers the basic who, what, where, and why questions and more. These are important, as research shows that assistive technology can help young children with disabilities learn developmental skills.
Association of Blind Citizens
The Association of Blind Citizens operates the Assistive Technology Fund. The Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) will provide funds to cover 50% of the retail price of adaptive devices or software. The ABC board of directors believes that this program will allow blind and visually impaired individual’s access to technology products that will have a significant impact on improving employment opportunities, increase the level of independence and enhance their overall quality of life.
The products covered by this program must retail for a minimum of $200 with a maximum retail price of $6,000. Persons eligible to apply for assistance must have a family income of less than $50,000 and cash assets of less than $20,000. Applications will be reviewed by the Assistive Technology Committee (ATC) and recommendations will be submitted for board approval. If applicants are selected to receive a technology grant, applicants will be asked to provide documents such as tax returns, bank statements and any other documents that the ABC board or its designee would deem necessary to assess financial need for the grant.
Applicants must be legally blind and a resident of the United States to qualify for this program. Applications must be submitted by June 30th and December 31st for each grant period (two per year). Applicants will be notified if their request for a grant is approved. Applicants may submit one request per calendar year. All applications must be submitted via e-mail. You will be notified by ABC within 45 days after the application deadline. The grantee will have 30 days after notification to purchase the product. If the purchase cannot be made within 30 days ABC reserves the right to withdraw the award and assign it to another applicant. All decisions are final.
Bookshare – An Accessible Online Library
Bookshare opens up the world of reading for people with print disabilities. If you cannot read traditional print books because of visual impairment, physical disability, or severe learning disability, Bookshare can help.
Involving Teens and Young Adults in Selecting Assistive Technology
This resource helps families to get teens and young adults involved in learning about and selecting assistive technology. An important goal for older students is to understand the areas in which technology can support them in their educational and employment goals. This enables students to advocate for themselves, and to take an active role in selecting assistive technology to address their needs.
Source: Center on Technology and Disability, 2016
Louisiana Assistive Technology Centers – LATI Regional Center Contact Sheet
The Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiative (LATI) is a project to promote information, resources and professional development about assistive technology for educators and families. LATI provides funding for regional assistive technology centers across the state. The purpose of the centers is to provide local training and hands-on support to build district capacity for the implementation of assistive technology in schools. In addition to the regional centers, LATI provides state-wide leadership, guidance and resources for district policies and procedures, assistive technology funding and training.
Source: Louisiana Assistive Technology Centers, February 2017
Louisiana Assistive Technology Network
LATAN is a 501(c) (3) statewide nonprofit organization that connects individuals with disabilities and older persons to the Assistive Technology (AT) that enables independence in employment, school, and community living. LATAN offers AT Device Demonstrations, AT Device Loans, Training Opportunities, AT Financial Loans and The AT Marketplace, a listing of previously owned devices for sale or donation.
Source: Louisiana Assistive Technology Network, February 2017
Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities – Regional Centers
Louisiana’s developmental disability services are provided through regional human services districts and authorities. These centers have flexible funding streams to assist in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential while living in their own home, family home or community home. Individuals can request funding from these centers to help offset the cost of Assistive Technology needed to make them as independent as possible.
Source: Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, February 2017
Below is a list of all Regional Centers:
- Acadiana Area Human Services District – Serving the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, & Vermillion
- Capital Area Human Services District – Serving the parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, & West Feliciana
- Central Louisiana Human Services District – Serving the parishes of Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, La Salle, Rapides & Winn
- Florida Parishes Human Services Authority – Serving the Parishes of Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, & Washington
- Imperial Calcasieu Human Services District – Serving the parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, & Jefferson Davis
- Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority – Serving the parish of Jefferson
- Metropolitan Human Services District – Serving the parishes of Orleans, Plaquemines & St. Bernard
- Northeast Delta Human Services Authority – Serving the parishes of Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, & West Carroll
- Northwest Louisiana Human Services District – Serving the parishes of Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, & Webster
- South Central Human Services Authority – Serving the parishes of Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, & Terrebonne
Technology in Education: An Overview
This article from Education Week is a goldmine of information about the current status of technology use in education. Public schools in the United States now provide at least one computer for every five students. And in 2015-16, for the first time, more state standardized tests for the elementary and middle grades will be administered via technology than by paper and pencil.
Source: Education Week, 2015