Transition: Creating Great Job Candidates workshop

From Employment for ME – Workforce Development System

Transition: Creating Great Job Candidates

with Marsha Threlkeld

January 23, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (registration 8:30 a.m.) 
Le Club Calumet, 334 West River Road, Augusta, ME

Vision: Every student can work and is ready before they exit school.  School-to-Work that really works to launch all students into the Workforce. Focus on adopting individualized employment goals leading to IEP content, creating individualized community based work experiences, Discovery and Job Development while still in school, informing and working with families, training special education aides and others to support students in work experience, and all members of the student’s team involved in employment pursuits, landing jobs before exiting school.

Presenter: Marsha Threlkeld is a consultant and trainer from Washington State working in School-to-Work, Employment First, Person Centered Career Planning, and Assistive Technology to include handheld devices and Smart Environments.  Marsha has worked on behalf of School-to-Work for the last 25 years and designed and implemented School-to-Work Projects in several states.

Registration Fees: Cost is $100 per person which includes materials, morning coffee & lunch. If you are registering as part of a group of 3 or more contact noelle@syntiro.org for a discount.

Use this link for more information and to register…

 

Aphasia Caregiver Support Group Research Project

The University of Maine Communication Sciences and Disorders Program is seeking participants in an online aphasia caregiver support group as part of a research project. The purpose of the research project is to determine if caregivers of people with aphasia can benefit from participation in a telepractice aphasia caregiver support group.

People will meet with the group facilitator, guest speakers and other caregivers of people with aphasia from their home computers once a week for 12 weeks. Each meeting will last approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Participants will also be asked to complete online questionnaires before the meetings begin, after the meetings have been completed and 3 months later.

For inclusion in this study, participants must:

  • be (at least) 21 years of age
  • be the primary caregiver and communication partner of person with aphasia
    for at least 1 year
  • have normal or corrected hearing and vision
  • have computer, laptop and/or tablet
  • have high-speed Internet access

For more information, please call Dr. Judy Walker at 581-2003 or email: judy.p.walker@maine.edu

 

UMF unveils special ed master’s program with workforce needs in mind

Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center on the UMF campus.FARMINGTON, ME  (October 31, 2019)—The University of Maine at Farmington, a leader in teacher education, is proud to announce that it is offering a Master of Science in Special Education beginning spring 2020. This program offers pathways for undergraduate students, graduate students and adults working in the field to become certified special education teachers and help alleviate the serious workforce need in schools throughout Maine.

“Farmington has long been a leader in preparing well-qualified teachers for the classroom,” said Edward Serna, UMF president. “Deep-rooted in that leadership is UMF’s ongoing pursuit of how to best serve our students, local schools and the State of Maine, now and in the future. This new special education master’s program is a valuable next step in being responsive to the higher education needs of Maine citizens while helping meet the state’s significant workforce needs.”

The UMF program offers undergraduate students an accelerated 4+1 program, in which they can obtain a bachelor’s and master’s degree in special education in five years instead of six. The program is open to undergraduate students enrolled in UMF’s bachelors in special education program or pursuing a 20-credit minor in special education at UMF. This gives students with a wide array of majors a pathway to certification as special education teachers.

For graduate students, many of whom are in the workforce already, the new UMF master’s degree program features a blended delivery model, offering course work that is 70 percent online and 30 percent face-to-face with in-the-classroom work on the UMF campus three Saturdays per semester. Unique in Maine, this flexible model provides working adults with the benefits of both online and in-classroom learning.

“While students acquire knowledge and skills through online learning, it is still important for them to have the interpersonal learning experience that a classroom offers in order to discuss, evaluate and synthesize what they’ve learned,” said Brian Cavanaugh, UMF assistant professor of special education. “This widely accepted best-practice model has students in the program interacting with faculty and course participants to personalize and enrich their learning.”

For adult learners who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, are working in schools, and are seeking Special Education 282 Certification in Maine, UMF offers access to the new M.S.Ed. in Special Education through its longstanding Special Education Alternate Route to Certification (SPARC) program.

Especially popular among people who hold a bachelor’s degree and are working in special education settings as Educational Technicians, SPARC offers a set of online courses taught by experienced Special Education faculty and professionals that leads to state certification.

UMF’s SPARC program includes 13 online graduate courses offered on a rotating schedule. Participants in SPARC must have access to students with disabilities in order to complete online course assignments and can elect to take only the number of courses they need to meet the 24-credit requirement for Special Education 282 Certification in Maine. Students who have successfully completed nine credits through UMF’s SPARC program are eligible for admission to the M.S.Ed. in Special Education program.

“Students in the SPARC courses have asked persistently for a master’s degree in special education,” says Erin Connor, associate dean for Graduate and Continuing Education at UMF. “When your students push you to develop their next educational experience, you know you are on the right track. SPARC has taught us about the strong need for continuing education at Farmington. I hope the community will continue to inform our thinking about what programming we can offer that will help them achieve their professional goals.”

The new Master of Science in Special Education program is also designed to provide students with the opportunity to specialize in areas of need within special education, such as assistive technology, inclusive education and leadership, low incidence disabilities or special education administration. This additional course work will be available through UMF or through collaborative options at other UMaine System campuses.

For more information on the new Master of Science in Special Education degree program, For more information on the new Master of Science in Special Education degree program, please contact the UMF Office of Graduate Studies 207-778-7502.

Service Animal Resource Hub

Man in wheelchair with dogThe ADA National Network has created a Service Animal Resource Hub that many of you may find helpful. All of the information provided is specific to either the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other federal laws.  Some states may have laws the expand the definition of a service animal and the rights of individuals with disabilities.

Multiple related resources can be found at Service Animal Resource Hub website…

 

Educate-2-Cultivate Veteran Farmers

Maine ArgAbility has made the following announcement:

Educate-2-Cultivate (E2C): Business Development and Assistive Technology Symposium for Military Veterans in Agriculture

Saturday, October 26, 2019
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Augusta Armory
179 Western Ave.
Augusta, ME 

Maine farmWe’ve updated the registration page for the upcoming Educate-2-Cultivate Veteran Farmers symposium on Saturday, 26 October at the Augusta Armory! Please pass the word to veterans interested in farming/gardening.

Every veteran will have a dedicated one-on-one session with a business mentor in the morning, plus a financial management workshop, a locally sourced lunch, an afternoon filled with assistive technology and mind/body workshops, and throughout the day there will be a veteran-specific source fair. Lots of great opportunity to network with other veteran farmers and learn about how  to make your farming efforts more successful.

Please use this link for more information and to register…

ICT Accessibility Webinars

The AT3 Center has posted the following information about these free webinars…

Accessible Information and Communication Technology 101: An Introduction to Accessibility in the Web and Digital Documents

Information TechnologyJuly 18, 2019 at 3:00 PM ET

Presenter: Rob Carr of Oklahoma ABLE Tech

There are a lot of layers to making sure that websites and digital documents from the likes of Adobe PDF or Microsoft Office are accessible to people with disabilities. In this session, you will build a foundation that will help you to better understand what information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility is, how it’s governed and how to start to make your own digital content more accessible.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe at least 4 different interactions that people may have with their devices that websites, software and digital documents should be ready for
  • Understand how civil rights and other laws and policies shape accessibility in technology
  • Specify at least 5 techniques that make websites and digital documents more accessible

Use this link to Join the Zoom Meeting on July 18

Basic Accessibility Testing on the Cheap

August 1, 2019 at 3:00 PM ET

Presenter: Rob Carr of Oklahoma ABLE Tech

You can get started in identifying some common barriers to accessibility on the web pretty quickly. This beginner-level class will introduce you to some tools and techniques that you can use to get high level insight into how accessible or inaccessible a web page is. This class won’t make you an expert, though it will get you started.  All of the tools and resources used in the class are free to use.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand at least 7 elements or attributes that make the web more accessible
  • Use 3 tools and techniques to use to test web pages for accessibility
  • Identify and use 2 web pages that show the same content and interactions in accessible and inaccessible forms

Use this link to  Join the Zoom Meeting on August 1

 

 

AT Beta Testers Wanted – CaptionMate

Person holding smartphoneCaptionMate is a free app for your iOS or android device that allows individuals with hearing loss to read both sides of the conversation in real time. CaptionMate is the next generation IPCTS (Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service). It uses ASR (Automated Speech Recognition) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) providing unmatched speed and accuracy. CaptionMate also provides the first truly private IPCTS experience by removing the need for CAs (Captioning Assistant) & Transcriptionists allowing you to speak freely and openly without any awkward third-party operator on the call.  CaptionMate technology also stands out by providing captioning in 25 languages and a multi-platform system allowing you to view captions on several devices (smart TVs, mobile phones, computers, tablets) simultaneously.

CaptionMate is currently looking to recruit Beta Testers to use the app. Having individuals with hearing loss in real life situations allows us to gain feedback and make any needed improvements before the official public launch. If you are interested in becoming a Beta tester, please contact support@captionmate.com and mention the referral code (AT3Tester).

One last item, to ensure the accuracy & security of the beta trails we need to request that any testers do not work for, have not worked for, nor have any relations with people who work for the following companies:

  • CapTel
  • ClearCaptions
  • Innocaptions
  • CaptionCall
  • Sorenson
  • Sprint

For information about the product, please visit CaptionMate at:  captionmate.com

Webinar on Best Practices for Accessible Social Media

From the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials – NC-AEM

Best Practices for Accessible Social Media

Date/Time
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 @ 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Presenter

Mindy Johnson, AEM Center

Program Description

Social media iconsEducators are integrating social media into their professional learning routines, their daily communications, and their instructional practices. But how do we plan for variability in our social media followers? Join Mindy Johnson, Director of Digital Communications and Outreach for CAST, to learn easy tips for making your social media posts more accessible and more usable by everyone.

Unable to attend the webinar?  No worries!  The link to the recording becomes available on this same page approximately one week after the webinar.

Please use this link for more information and to register for this webinar…

 


Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Wikipedia 

JAN Spring Newsletter published

Job Accommodations Network - JAN - logoThe Job Accommodations Network (JAN) has published their latest JAN ENews to their website.

Topics include:

  • The Path to Reassignment as an Accommodation
  • Giving Hiring Preference to People with Disabilities
  • Cognitive Impairment and the Interactive Process
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Not So Forgettable to Some
  • Can’t Ban Fragrances? Consider a Fragrance Free Zone

Other articles include events “E-Vents” and information from the JAN Blog and the Consultants’ Corner

Use this link to access the latest JAN ENews...

Partnership helps students with access

From the Franklin County, Daily Bulldog...Posted by Ben Hanstein

Robots connect UMF interns with K-12 students

Kevin Good and Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles with robotFARMINGTON – Interns at the University of Maine at Farmington have been working with students in Regional School Unit 21 this year, utilizing robots equipped with two-way communication devices in order to interact with their younger counterparts in Kennebunk.

Project Circuit is a new program supported by the Department of Education’s Maine CITE, an initiative aimed at improving access to assistive technologies for Maine students, residents and the elderly. Assistive technology is anything designed to remove barriers for a person with a disability – for students, this means improving their accessibility to programming. The UMF program is working with RSU 21 as that district is the first in the state to employ a certified assistive technology specialist, Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles. UMF interns are in instructor Kevin Good’s Assistive and Instructional Technology course, offered through the college’s Special Education program.

Good said that his course was designed to get future educators comfortable with technology like the telepresence robots. He tells his students that they are designers and makers, not just users of the technology.

“I’m pushing students to think through the process,” Good said. “I watch my students grow and change how they approach [new technology].”

The obvious use of the robot, which includes a two-way communication screen mounted on top of a wheel assembly, is to accommodate students that are unable to physically attend a class or event, Goldthwait-Fowles said. Students that are hospitalized or home-bound by an illness can continue to participate in their classes. However, there are potential uses for other disabilities as well. Students on the autism spectrum, for example, may not be able to attend a crowded event due to sensory overload. Educators may start by showing the student a copy of a class’ whiteboard, then move on to using the robot to allow the student to attend a class.

Beyond student-to-class usage, Good and Goldthwait-Fowles said, the robots also can allow others, such as the UMF interns, to work with K-12 students across the state. The system is on a secured network, Good said, but one that is globally accessible. This allows the UMF interns an earlier opportunity to work directly with K-12 students. At this point, Good likes to say, UMF can be anyplace it can send a robot.

“Anyone can access this and use this,” Goldthwait-Fowles said. While only RSU 21 has a full-time, on-site robot, others can be made available on a temporary basis for specific students.

Read the entire article at the Daily Bulldog…

UMF AT Program on Facebook…