Archives: 2010 Conference

Thank you to all our participants, exhibitors, vendors, speakers, volunteers, and anyone else who had a part in making our 2010 Conference such a success!

A heartfelt congratulations to Betsy Dalton, recipient of the first ever Elizabeth M. Dalton Assistive Technology Award!

Picasa Photo Gallery

Images from the 2012 Conference



Assistive Technology Access Partnership (ATAP) and partners:
ATAP Children and Youth Resource Center at East Bay Educational Collaborative
Ocean State Center for Independent Living (OSCIL)
Adapted Telephone Equipment Program (ATEL)
PARI Independent Living Center

Additional Sponsors:

HMEA, Inc.
Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services
RI Department of Education
Office of Student, Community and Academic Support
Rhode Island Department of Health
Disability and Health Program
Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Rhodes To Independence
Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College
Nuance Communications, Inc.
Rhode Island Rehabilitation Association (RIRA)
Cambium Learning Group


AdaptiVision, Inc / Optelec
Apple, Inc.
Carroll Center for the Blind
Cambium: Kurzweil, IntelliTools
Easter Seals MA
Enhanced Vision
Rhode Island Department of Veterans Affairs
DynaVox Mayer-Johnson
Hudson Seating & Mobility
Lift & Care Systems, Inc.
Microsoft Accessibility Centers
National Federation of the Blind Rhode Island
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
New England Assistive Technology (NEAT) Resource & Education Center
Nuance Communiations
Ocean State Center for Independent Living
Office of Rehabilitation Services
Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College
PARI Independent Living Center
Perkins Products
Prentke Romich Company
Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Rhode Island Disability Law Center
Rhode Island Materials Access Center
RI Office of Library & Information Services
Talking Books Plus Program
Rhodes to Independence
Saltillo Corporation
Silver Lining Technologies, LLC
TechACCESS of RI, Inc.
Tobii ATI
Vision Dynamics LLC


Session I
8:30am – 10:00am

A. Universal Design for Learning: Introduction and Relation to National Education Policies

The framework, principles, and guidelines of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), as developed by CAST, Inc., will be introduced and explained. Connections to neuroscience and how the brain learns will be made. The role of UDL in relation to education reform, equity of access to the curriculum, and supporting academic performance for all students will be discussed. The session will conclude with information on UDL’s connection to current and forthcoming educational policies.

Richard M. Jackson, Ed.D,
Associate Professor and Project Director, UDL Postdoctoral Leadership Preparation
Boston College/The Lynch School of Education , Boston, MA
Senior Research Scientist, CAST, Inc., Boston, MA


B. Augmentative Communication and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders): What we know now, what works, and where we’re going

Communication and social interaction are among the most difficult skills for children with Autism. From simple picture based communication displays to more sophisticated speech generating technologies, finding the appropriate intervention is challenging. This presentation will review the current trends in literature; provide examples of intervention strategies; and look at some of the most promising practices emerging today.

Joanne Heffernan M.S., CCC-SLP
Augmentative Communication Specialist , TechACCESS of RI, Warwick, Rhode Island


C. Review of Kurzweil 3000 Literacy Software (Gr 3 to Adult) & Introduction to the new Version 12 with Web Licensing

Kurzweil 3000 just got even better!  This session will provide a general overview of Kurzweil 3000’s Literacy Solution as well as demonstrate the NEW features to support student learning available in Version 12 Web License.   Kurzweil 3000 still has the same wonderful tools available to read any text, build comprehension skills, provide access to independent test-taking, and support writing development.  New tools include:  language translation, hyperlinks, new writing templates, NIMAS file converter, read the web with Internet Explorer and MORE. With V12 Web License, Teachers can now: Create Kurzweil 3000 assignments and save to a central location on Cambium’s server,  assign work to students, monitor student progress on assignments, and view reports of individual and whole class performance.  Administrators can now have a birds-eye view of how Kurzweil 3000 is used in their district.  Please join us for this exciting and interactive session.

Deborah Barrows
Professional Development Consultant, Cambium Learning Technologies, Natick, MA
This session is presented by a vendor


E. Going Digital: Downloading Talking Books and Other Online Resources

Do you want to learn how to download digital books for the new digital player available, at no charge for eligible Rhode Islanders with visual and physical impairments, from RI Talking Books Plus? Learn about downloading and practice using the new digital player at this session. In addition, discover the free online resources available at www.AskRI.orgGet help with your homework or resume, learn a new language, practice for school or licensing exams and more. From encyclopedias to live online help, AskRI has resources for all Rhode Islanders.

Andrew Egan, Regional Librarian
Office of Library and Information Services, Talking Books Plus Program, Providence, RI
Karen Mellor, Library Program Manager
Office of Library and Information Services, Providence, RI


Session II
10:30am – 12:00pm

F. Implementing Universal Design for Learning in Instruction and Curriculum

Educators are increasingly responsible for providing instruction that will meet the needs of a wide range of learners. The conceptual framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has gained popularity as a pedagogical construct capable of supporting achievement of this goal. This interactive workshop will introduce participants to an observation tool to help educators apply the principles of UDL in their own classrooms and curricula. Participants will use the tool to analyze a video case-study from RI teacher-developed UDL lessons and will discuss their findings.

Maria Lawrence, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Science Education, Affiliated Faculty, Women’s Studies Program, Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance, Coordinator, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI
Elizabeth M. Dalton, PhD.,
2010 UDL Leadership Fellow at Boston College/CAST, Boston
Assistant Professor, Special Education & Assistive Technology Coordinator, Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI


G. Top 10 Ways to Use Flip Video in Your Teaching: Easy and Engaging

Given the ease of access to video recording devices such as flip cameras, there are a number of ways to include video into teaching and learning. Many people have found creative ways to incorporate this technology with exciting results and engaging student participation. Often students are actively using this technology in their personal lives and if not, they are excited about interacting with video. This presentation will highlight 10 ways that video can be incorporated into practice as a result of interviews with a variety of teachers and specialists. Specific examples will be demonstrated to show how video is being used to document progress, teach a specific skill, support peer modeling and social skill development.

Cheryl Simmons, OTR/L , ATP, East Greenwich School Department, East Greenwich, RI
JoAnne Leach, Educator, East Greenwich School Department, East Greenwich, RI


H. Dragon ® Naturally Speaking for Education and Employment: A Revolutionary Tool

Dragon Naturally Speaking, the world’s best-selling speech recognition software, enables teachers, students, and school administrators, as well as employees on the job, to talk to their computers and watch their spoken words appear in documents, email, instant messages and more- three times faster than most people type-with up to 99% accuracy. It lets users dictate and edit in programs like Microsoft® Word, Excel®, and Outlook®, surf the web with Microsoft and control virtually any Windows application- just by speaking!

Lon Novak
New England Regional Consultant, Nuance Communications, Inc., Burlington, MA
This session is presented by a vendor.

I. Keeping An “i” On Education: Finding The Best Apps For All Your Students

The iPad is quickly becoming an exciting new tool for students with and without disabilities. Literally thousands of applications (apps) are available for supporting all areas of academics and learning differences. This presentation will explore apps in the areas of math, writing, science, reading and organization. We will discuss the best ways to identify and locate the best apps to meet your students needs.

Kelly Charlebois, ATP
Clinical Manager, Assistive Technology Specialist, TechACCESS of RI, Warwick, Rhode Island


J. Paying for Assistive Technology: Your Options and Your Rights

Obtaining funding for technology devices and services can be confusing if you don’t know what your options and rights are. Different programs and funding sources have different eligibility requirements, different application processes, and different ways to appeal if denied. This presentation will identify several funding programs that fund assistive technologies including: Early Intervention Services; Educational/IDEA funding; Office of Rehabilitation Services; Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Medicare; Medicaid; Private Insurance; and Community/Disability Charities.

Anne Mulready, Attorney at RI Disability Law Center, Inc., Providence, RI
Elizabeth Hubbard, Attorney at RI Disability Law Center, Inc., Providence, RI


Session III
1:30 – 3:00

K. Universal Design for Learning: Technology, Assistive Technology and Strategies to Support Implementation

To achieve implementation of the principles of UDL in today’s classrooms, which requires multiple means of representation, expression and engagement for students with widely varying needs, technology offers many options for diversifying materials, delivering instruction, and demonstrating learning. This presentation will provide a continuum of strategies and solutions to achieve access to the curriculum, from general tools to specific assistive technology solutions, and will provide participants with planning and organizational strategies for designing their instruction to meet UDL principles and the UDL framework.

Debbie Abruzzini, M.Ed.,
Master Teacher, Sherlock Center on Disabilities @ R.I. College, Providence, RI, National Board Certified Teacher – Exceptional Needs
Elizabeth M. Dalton, PhD.,
2010 UDL Leadership Fellow @ Boston College/CAST, Boston
Assistant Professor, Special Education & Assistive Technology Coordinator; Sherlock Center on Disabilities @ Rhode Island College, Providence, RI


L. Augmentative Communication: There’s an App for That!

This session will introduce a variety of AAC apps available for hand-held devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Nintendo DS. Apps will be demonstrated and features compared/contrasted for the Proloquo2go, Tap to Talk, iPrompts, Assistive Chat and others.

Matthew Provost, M.S., CCC-SLP
Augmentative Communication Specialist, TechACCESS of RI, Warwick, RI


M. Interactive Whiteboards: A Terrific Classroom Tool for ALL Students

Whiteboards have quickly become a recognized and interactive classroom tool for general education students and an effective accommodation for diverse learners especially those with learning disabilities and visual impairments. The presenter will demonstrate how the “mimeo”, a portable whiteboard technology, can capture handwritten notes and translate them into digital format to be used by the computer with accessible screen readers and other accommodation software. Instructional websites and other resources for will be referenced.

Stephen DelTatto,
Silver Lining Technologies, West Hartford, CT.
*This session is presented by a vendor

N. Portable Assistive Technology: What‘s on Your Flash Drive?

Portable technologies are helping redefine the mandate of least restrictive environment andboosting student independence. With portable technologies, students who had beenanchored in designated special education and resource rooms may now be mainstreamedand included in the general classroom. This session will include lecture and demonstration of free tools that attendees will be able to use immediately upon return to their workplace.

Kristi Voelkerding, BS, COTA/L, ATP, ROH
Easter Seals MA

O. Reusing AT Devices Throughout New England

This workshop will focus on the collaboration between the New England State AT Programs to create a region wide AT Device Exchange website . Presenters will explore the reasons why device exchanges and AT reuse have become so essential. Also featured will be the AT School Swap (ATSS) Device Exchange website designed to be used by public schools to track their AT device inventories and to maximize the sharing of resources between school districts. The websites will be visited in this session.

Sharon Alderman
VT Assistive Technology Reuse Project Coordinator, Waterbury, VT;
Kathy Adams OTR/L, ATP
AT Specialist, AT Training Coordinator, Maine CITE, Augusta, ME