AT Referral Process
National Instructional Materials Accessiblity Standard (NIMAS)
Low Technology vs. High Technology
- Simple inventions that are inexpensive, easy to build and easy to use.
- Usually have few moving parts and are not powered electrically or by chips of digital memory.
- Complex electrical or mechanical devices.
Frequently Used Assistive Technology
- Big Keys – A keyboard that has large keys and high contrast lettering to make the keys easy to see and press.
- BIGmack – A single message voice output device. A voice is recorded into the device and the student pushes the button to relay a message.
- Cheap Talk – A communication device that has a number of buttons (4 - 8) that the student can select to make choices or to indicate a want or need. Voices are programmed into the device to correspond to pictures.
- PowerLink 3 – Allows students with physical disabilities to operate electrical appliances with a switch.
- Step-By-Step – A series of messages are recorded into this communication device and the student pushes the button to relay messages in a sequential order. Good for reading a story or telling jokes.
- Switch – Gives students with physical disabilities an alternate way to access toys and computers. Switches come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be large, small, textured, or squishy and can be activated with the push of a button, an eye blink, or with a puff of air.
- Switch Interface – Connects switch or switches to the computer.
- Switch Software – Helps students learn beginning cognitive skills such as attending to tasks, cause and effect, and making choices. Used with a single switch and switch interface connected to a computer.
- The Writer and Fusion – Portable keyboard that has on-board writing prompts, spell check, and word prediction.
- Touch Screen – Allows students with developmental and physical disabilities to access the computer by touching the special screen on the computer to make selections instead of using a mouse.
- Twin Talker – Two button communication device. Allows the student to push a button to make a choice or indicate “yes” or “no”.
Assistive Technology Software
- Boardmaker – A communication and learning tool containing over 3000 Picture Communication Symbols (PCS). It is designed to enhance the language and learning process for students of all levels. Adults can use this program to create communication books, communication boards, worksheets, instructions, and visual schedules for students of all ages. Make single pictures, use pre-made grids, or fill in templates.
- Inspiration – Using the power of visual learning, this program helps students strengthen critical thinking, comprehension, and writing skills across the curriculum. Students build graphic organizers to represent concepts and relationships to organize their ideas for reports. This computer program is networked onto all district computers for student and teacher use.
- Kidspiration – Designed for students grades K-5 to support emerging writers. Helps young students connect visual thought to expression. An “easier” version of Inspiration. This program is also networked onto district computers.
- Premier Technology – The district has networked this technology bundle to all computers for teacher and student use. It includes a talking word processor, talking calculator, talking dictionary, word prediction, universal reader, word prediction and more. For tech support and tutorials, go to website- http://www.readingmadeeasy.com/
- Writing with Symbols – Adults can create picture social stories and strips, directions, recipes, and visual schedules with this software program. Has over 3000 picture symbols available in black and white and in color. Different than Boardmaker in that it adds pictures to your word processing document as you type.