Providing Related Services to Enhance the Continuity of Learning

OSEP Webinar: Highlighting Strategies and Practices in Providing Related Services to Enhance the Continuity of Learning During COVID-19

June 29, 2020
2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT

student using assistive technology in a classroomThe Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is hosting the second in a series of webinars focused on ready-to-use resources, tools, and practices from OSEP partners to support the educational, developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities through remote and distance learning.

This second webinar will focus on the provision of related services. In addition to highlighting OSEP resources, we will be joined by representatives from several of our related service national organizations. Additional information will be posted on OSEP’s COVID-19 Resource Page. 

Use this link to register for this OSEP webinar…

If you have any questions about the OSEP webinar, please contact the Webinar Series planning team at osep-meeting@air.org.

2020 Guide for Maine Families on AT and AEM Published

EducationThe Maine CITE Assistive Technology Program is pleased to release the revised Guide for Maine Families on Assistive Technology and Accessible Educational Materials. The 2020 Guide provides Maine families who have children with disabilities an easy to use resource describing how to get the assistive technology (AT) devices and services they need. Information about accessible education materials (AEM) and families’ important role in the planning process are also provided.

The 2020 Guide updates general information about AT and AEM. It includes new resources about assistive technology used during “learning at home” activities, as well as AT device demonstration and loan services – AT4Maine.org.

Use this link to download the The Guide – PDF

May 2020 Webinars

Maine CITE is offering the following webinars in May:

Learn About the Talking Books Program

Headphone and book

May 5, 2020
1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

In this free webinar, learn about the Talking Book Program available through the Maine State Library. The Talking Book Program is administered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and provides free library services for eligible patrons, including download of digital books, and free matter mailings. Use this link to register and to learn more about this webinar “Learn About the Talking Books Program”…

AT to Support Successful Employment

computer keyboardMay 12, 2020
1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

This webinar focuses on the exploration of AT devices to support individuals with disabilities to return to, or maintain, successful employment. Attention will be given to AT services, devices and apps to support successful employment, as well as funding resources.

Use this link for more information and to register for this webinar: “AT to Support Successful Employment”…


The following list of May 2020 (and some in June) webinars on the topic of assistive technology and accessibility is generated by the Accessible Technology Consortia funded by the Center for Accessible Technology. Thank you.

Captioning Livestreams and Remote Learning Sessions from ATIA
May 5, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET

How to access free online learning while on furlough from AbilityNet
May 5, 2020 at 8:00 am ET

Accessible Remote Working Environments Webinar Series: Inclusive Meetings and Teams Accessibility Features from PEAT
May 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm ET

How to get the most from your smart speaker when working or studying from home from AbilityNet
May 19, 2020 at 8:00 am ET

Tech for Teens Club : Building Websites from PACER
May 2, 2020 at 11:00 am ET

OverDrive and Snap&Read—Millions of Free Digital Books Now Accessible from DJI
May 5 at 1:00 pm ET

Aided Language Input, Attributing Meaning, Core Vocabulary and Pre-symbolic Communicators from ISAAC
May 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm ET

Supporting Students and Each Other During School Closure from SETC
May 6, 1:00 pm ET

Explore, Experiment and Enrich with Inquiry-based Science Activities for Young Learners from AbleNet
May 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET

Supporting Communication in the Home Setting: Language & Literacy from ATIA
May 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET

Innovative Approaches to Providing AT Services During COVID-19 from ATIA
May 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET

Bookshare and EasyReader, The Solution That Will Keep Your Students/Children Reading During The Extended Break from ATIA
May 14 at 2:00 pm ET

Switch Access Beyond Cause and Effect: Stepping Stones for Effective Learning – Part 2 from AbleNet
June 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET

 

Survey to collect data around learning from home

The following request/announcement comes from colleague and fellow Maine educator, Jim Moulton:

COVID-19 has dramatically altered school and learning around the world. In an effort to capture, reflect, and share the unique perspectives of students and parents as they experience learning from home in Spring 2020, two brief surveys have been created. Again – our intention is to capture, reflect, and share the unique perspectives of students and parents as they experience learning from home in Spring 2020.

The stories and experiences, collected anonymously through the surveys, will help to inform and improve current and future learning-from-home strategies. Furthermore, it is our hope that students and parents may appreciate having a place and opportunity to anonymously reflect and share their experiences during this unprecedented time.

Please share broadly with learners and families involved in learning from home due to COVID-19.

Schools and districts are encouraged to use these reflective surveys system-wide, but should contact us for best options for capturing and using the data with their local community.

If you have questions about the surveys or would like to reach out to discuss, please use the following contact information:

Jim Moulton – jim@jimmoulton.org

Jim Moulton is a former elementary educator who has been working in the field of educational technology since the mid-1990s. He has worked with educators around the world, contributed to Edutopia’s Spiral Notebook blog, and spent a decade as part of Apple’s Education Team.

Dr. Damian Bebell – bebell@bc.edu

Dr. Bebell is an educational researcher at Boston Colleges’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. An example of his research can be seen at Drawing On Math and a current article Beyond Academics: Success and the Purpose of School.

Maine AgrAbility video highlights students’ learning on the farm

Buxton, Maine — Over the past year, Maine AgrAbility and partner Alpha One integrated agriculture into the curriculum of a peer mentoring program at Massabesic High School in York county. The program, funded by the Maine Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and supplemented with hands-on opportunities, culminated with summer work experiences on a local farm.

Sally Farrell, owner of Rummler Run farm in Buxton and former University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H professional in York County, agreed to introduce three of the students to daily life on her farm in summer 2019. The stories and experiences of those three students — practicing problem-solving, handling small livestock, helping ensure biosecurity practices — are told in the video “On the Farm.”

Maine AgrAbility, a collaborative project of UMaine Extension and Alpha One, is dedicated to helping farmers, fishermen and forest workers work safely and more productively. For more information, contact Leilani Carlson at 207.944.1533; leilani.carlson@maine.edu.

More information also is available on the UMaine Extension AgrAbility website.

About University of Maine Cooperative Extension:

As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.

Google Teach From Home

Google logoIn response to the rapidly changing educational landscape, Google has created a new resource for teachers Teach from Home. The new web resource is available in eleven languages and provides teachers with answers to many questions and links to make additional resources found on their Google in Education service. There is a complete section on accessibility that describes how to turn on and use access features in Chrome and on Chromebooks.

The Teach From Home resource is also available to download (in PDF) for teachers who have limited access to the internet.

Google has also created a complementary resources, Learn @ Home a guide for parents and guardians.  Google partnered with learning creators to bring parents and families meaningful resources and activities. These resources are not meant to replace homework assigned by teachers, but meant to complement that work.

Use this link to visit Teach From Home

 

Supporting Students with IEPs During eLearning Days

With schools across the country forced into the situation of closing and providing services to students via distance education, this webinar focused on the specific educational and technical needs of students with IEPs. Particular emphasis was paid to supporting students who use Assistive Technologies (AT) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and the importance of ensuring distance learning systems work effectively with these. Resources and offers for technical assistance were described.

Due to high demand and a tremendous turn out, the live session on March 23rd was not available to most who registered for the event.

The recording from edWeb is now available to view at this link

Supporting Students with IEPs During eLearning Days was presented by Christine Fox, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA; Cynthia Curry, Director, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials and the Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES) at CAST; and Luis Perez, Technical Assistance Specialist, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST –

Online teaching resources for Maine educators

Providing Equal Access to Distance Curriculum

As schools in Maine close in response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and begin to educate their students “from a distance,” we offer some resources to assist in the process.

This resource includes links to articles, videos and services which will assist Maine educators to ensure access to all of their students as they move to teaching online. There are also some references for therapists.

Use this link to go to Resources for Maine Educators Teaching Online

Thanks to our colleagues for sharing their resources. We acknowledge the work of Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles, PhD, ATP of RSU 21, Kennebunk, ME and Mike Marotta, Director, The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center, NJ, and Luis Perez, Ed.D. of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials.

Camp Communicate – 2020 Season

Camp Communicate – August 24, 2020 – August 28, 2020

Pine Tree Society - discovering abilities together - logoCamp Communicate at Pine Tree Camp is an innovative retreat designed specifically for non-verbal children who use computerized devices, known as augmentative communication, to communicate. Camp Communicate offers kids a unique opportunity to spend time with other augmentative communicators in an accessible summer camp environment. During their stay they will learn new skills, meet friends and become more comfortable and confident in their communication abilities.

Each camper attends Camp Communicate along with a parent or caregiver. Parents will have the opportunity to attend workshops and share information and strategies in a supportive environment. Learning opportunities for parents will support more effective augmentative communication device use at home and will foster more proficient use in school.
Campers participate in:

  • Small and large group activities led by communication experts and trained volunteers
  • Active outdoor games
  • Swimming and boating
  • Nature walks
  • Team-building exercises
  • Festive social gatherings including a dance
  • Music and art therapy

Program curriculum and activities are developed and led by Communication Pathways staff, all highly qualified Speech Language Pathologists with an expertise in augmentative communication and assistive technology.

For more information visit the Pine Tree Camp website or call Pine Tree Camp at 207-
386-5993.

US Department of Education – Guidance on COVID-19

In an article published by Disability Scoop, the US Department of Education has offered guidance to educators across the nation on how to handle the needs of students with disabilities.

The article notes:

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a webinar and fact sheet this week for education leaders aimed at ensuring that students’ civil rights are upheld while schools are closed due to COVID-19.

The webinar reminds school officials that distance learning must be accessible unless “equally effective alternate access is provided.”

Online learning tools should be compatible with any assistive technology that students use and schools must regularly test their online offerings for accessibility, the Education Department said.