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Oregon Technology Access Program > Professional Development

OTAP Professional Development Opportunities
Below is a list of the classes Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP) can offer in your area this year. In addition to the classes listed here, we are happy to work with you to arrange customized training opportunities on any assistive technology topic for your groupOTAP Professional Development Opportunities are provided at no cost.  Please feel free to contact Shar Powell or Nancy Jo Vogel in the OTAP office to discuss professional development options. Contact information is listed at the bottom of this page.

(All hands-on workshops may be customized to half- or full-day formats)

Hands on with iPads: Exploring Strategies and Benefits (NEW)
Many districts and educational programs are investing in this new technology, but how can it best be utilized for student learning? This workshop will begin with understanding the iPad and its diverse capabilities. Participants will learn how to set up the iPad for day-to-day management, e.g., customization to accommodate individual needs, strategies to prevent apps from being deleted, and much more. Explore educational apps and online resources which identify those most effective for specific domains of instruction. This class can be customized to address iPad utilization from Early Childhood through school-age. iPads for this hands-on learning opportunity must be supplied by the agency hosting the workshop.

Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)
Hands-On with AIM Implementation Tools: Software and Devices for Reading
Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) are text books and other core instructional materials in specialized formats such as electronic text, audio files, large print, or Braille. This hands-on class will cover how to convert digital files to student-ready formats using applications such as READ:OutLoud, Victor Reader Soft, iPad apps, or other free or readily-available software programs. Contact OTAP staff to discuss options for customizing this workshop to meet your training needs for the software or devices available in your district.

Hands-On with Bookshare, Learning Ally (RFB&D) and Other Producers of Accessible Media
How to register, download and open digital files of Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM). This workshop may be customized to include information on how to access AIM files and devices from Bookshare, Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D), TBABS (Talking Book and Braille Services) or other producers of Accessible Media, to meet the requirements of IDEA and AIM.

Strategies for Limitless Access to Instructional Materials in Specialized Formats  (NEW)
As more books and instructional materials are available in digital formats, and as hand-held devices become more affordable, many districts are moving to the use of digital, rather than traditional print instructional materials. Unlike those resources that are restricted for use only by certain eligible students, many of these resources may be utilized with any student. This workshop will explore the use of accessible reading applications such as ePub, iBookshelf, and Read2Go, for use all students. Logistics for supporting the use of digital materials will also be discussed.

Tools for Writing
Hands-on Tools for Universal Access (NEW)
This workshop will cover a combination of readily-available and adapted writing tools and how their unique features may be used together to afford accessible writing opportunities for all students. This workshop may be customized to highlight software which is already in the possession of the district.

SOLO: Hands-on Practice using this talking word processing program and its companion word prediction software. SOLO, with Write:OutLoud and Co:Writer can offer enormous benefits to students who have reading and writing difficulties. This class covers both program operation and strategies for including the software in the classroom. SOLO is the upgraded version of both programs with many new and advanced features. Experience these programs using OTAP’s mobile computer lab or your district computers.

IntelliTools Classroom Suite: Hands-on
This hands-on class can cover any or all of the IntelliTools products: IntelliKeys, IntelliTalk, Overlay Maker, Balanced Literacy, or IntelliMathics. Contact OTAP staff to develop a customized workshop using any of the IntelliTools products.

Clicker 5, PixWriter and Writing with Symbols: Hands-on
Each of these software packages allows students to use pictures with words for written composition. Talk with OTAP staff about developing a customized hands-on workshop using these graphic writing tools.

Dragon Naturally Speaking: Hands-on
Dragon Naturally Speaking is one of the most commonly used voice recognition software programs available. As the student speaks into a microphone, the computer learns to recognize and type what the student says. Learn the pros and cons of this and other voice recognition applications in this hands-on class.

Tools for Communication
Hands-on with Augmentative Communication Devices (NEW)
This workshop presents a review of AC devices, their features and capabilities. Participants will have an opportunity to explore and try out devices available through the OTAP Lending Library. Learn how some AC devices may be utilized to download books for use as electronic readers.

BoardMaker: Hands-on
Learn to use pre-made templates and create your own overlays with BoardMaker. Participants will have the opportunity to “make and take” while learning to use the newest version of BoardMaker, or make the most of whichever Boardmaker version is available in your district.

Tools for Electronic Studying
Kurzweil 3000: Hands-on
Kurzweil 3000 is a comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for struggling readers, including individuals with learning disabilities, or for English Language Learners. Kurzweil 3000 allows students to type answers directly into a scanned text image, offering more independence for both student and teacher. Participants will explore reading, writing, study skills and scanning features and learn how to apply them in the classroom to effectively support struggling students.

WYNN: Hands-on
WYNN Wizard is a software-based reading and study aid. It uses Optical Character Recognition to scan printed materials and read text aloud. Speech output is very clear and can be customized to match the listening/reading needs of the user. Other features include a talking dictionary and thesaurus, bookmarking and highlighting, word prediction, text or voice annotation, and access to the internet with reading and study tools. This hands-on workshop will introduce the participant to all of the above features and offer guided practice in the development of custom setups and reading/writing activities. 

Tools for Access
Switch Workshop: Hands-on
What’s a Switch? A “switch” is something that can be used to activate a toy or any device that can be turned on or off by opening or closing a circuit. What’s an adapted toy? A switch-adapted, battery-operated toy is one that has been modified so that a child with a disability can use a switch to activate the toy, as an alternative to a standard on/off button. In this hands-on class, participants will learn the skills needed to make a toy switch-accessible, as well as strategies for instruction of switch skills.

Assistive Technology Assessment  (day-long workshop) Quality Assistive technology services include assessment of  students in their  customary environments. Effective AT assessment is a collaborative process that begins with the student’s educational goals, asking what tasks the team would like the student to be able to do better, faster or more independently using assistive technology. From there, a plan is developed for assessment that yields data to determine which technology, if any, could help the student to meet their goals. This workshop presents a structured approach to AT assessment based upon evidence-based decision-making, resulting in appropriate outcomes to support student success. This workshop can be customized to meet the needs of a particular group or discipline.

Accessible Instructional Materials: AIM-ing for Access, What do Districts Need to Know? (5-hour workshop) This workshop introduces the legal provisions of IDEA and eligibility, giving an overview of AIM formats and resources, along with considerations for district processes and procedures for implementation of AIM with eligible students. 

Developing a District Process for Implementation of AIM  (half day to full day, depending on need)
Information and facilitated discussion for district or building level teams on processes and procedures for considering AIM for students, establishing eligibility, determining student need, selection and acquisition of AIM and implementation and evaluation of AIM with students.

Assistive Technology Pointers for Parents
(time flexible)
Parents are an integral part of any child’s AT team. This workshop offers information on the essential roles that parents can play in considering a child’s need for assistive technology. Parents receive opportunities to have hands-on experiences with the technologies that their children might use in school programs.

How Do You Know It? How Can You Show It? Using Data to Make AT Decisions (time flexible)
Strategies to guide the assistive technology decision-making process have become increasingly important as more and more technology alternatives become available. Today’s service providers must be able to objectively document the impact of assistive technology on an individual’s performance before recommending long term use. This session guides teams in developing strategies, techniques and specific steps to evaluate the effectiveness of assistive technology.

AT Policy and Procedure online classes through Portland State University

Collaborative Assistive Technology Assessment • On the Web, Winter 2012 •
This class offers information about the essential components of an assistive technology assessment. The focus is on the role of the child’s IEP/IFSP team in identifying the tasks which are difficult for the child, and AT tools that might help with those tasks. Participants will have many opportunities to practice using the concepts presented using real-life examples.

Assistive Technology Implementation Strategies: After the Assessment • On the Web, Spring 2012 • Participants will learn a variety of concepts that can be applied to any child’s assistive technology program to ensure quality AT services and effective implementation. Among the topics covered are the four aspects of assistive technology competence, strategies for planning implementation, data collection and the use of Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services (QIAT) to facilitate AT implementation. Participants will have numerous opportunities to practice using real-life examples. 

Assistive Technology and Accessible Instructional Materials: Strategies for Administrators • On the Web, Summer 2012 •  
IDEA and Section 504 require the provision of Assistive Technology (AT) and Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) for students who need them. School administrators have many special skills that can support the successful provision of AIM and AT devices and their support services. School administrators supervise staff, they manage program resources and processes, and lead program improvement efforts. In this class, we will explore ways that school administrators and AT leaders can help to develop and improve AIM and AT service.

Shar Powell, Technology Training, Technical Assistance & Loan Library [email protected]

Nancy Jo Vogel, Coordination, Training & Requests for Service 
[email protected]

Terry Christenson, Events Management, Materials & Registrations [email protected]

 Click here to download a PDF of the above workshop offerings