April 2022 Newsletter: AT News You Can Use

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Autism Awareness Month

world autism awareness day _ April 2April is Autism Awareness month, with its kickoff on World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) on April 2, 2022.

Autism Awareness Month spotlights autism awareness, challenges, and supports around the globe. The goal is increasing awareness of autism, autism’s challenges and strengths, as well as promoting, fully accepting and embracing individuals with autism. Autism, like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia and others are collectively referred to as neurodevelopmental differences or differences in brain development. We now understand that this neurodiversity in brain functioning within the human population is normal. Individuals with this type of brain functioning should not be stigmatized or excluded but may benefit from additional support.  ABLE Tech provides assistive technology devices and services to support the inclusion of all individuals with varied abilities, including those with neurodiversity.

April's Featured Assistive Technology 

Check out the Assistive Technology on ABLE Tech's inventory links.

b calm gp system
floor rocker
schedule with easel
weighted vest

Learn more about Assistive Technology (AT) for people of all ages on the ABLE Tech AT Discovery webpages.

orange disability icons

Occupational Therapy Month  

It’s also time to celebrate Occupational Therapy Month, which is April in the U.S. Occupational Therapy Month is all about celebrating the holistic approach that OT has brought to healthcare and educational settings. The vital importance of the profession aside, it is also about celebrating the miraculous achievements of their students, the small steps they take to achieve the things they want and need to do. ABLE Tech celebrates our own Occupational Therapy Assistant, Amy Woods, and all OTs and OTAs to promote the importance of occupational therapy and pay a tribute to these superheroes!

SERC Wisdom Wednesdays Webinars  

Parent School Engagement - Carlos Rossi - April 20, 2022

This webinar will explore the importance and benefits of parental engagement in the special education process. Creating a model that intentionally includes parents as “partners” is one of the most effective ways to facilitate collaborative and cooperative working relationships and to create a positive learning environment for all students. When we engage parents in the learning process, our schools and communities are more enriched.

National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day

AT Awareness day april 2022Mark your calendars to join Oklahoma ABLE Tech and the Association of Assistive Technology (AT) Act Programs (ATAP) as we celebrate National AT Awareness Day on April 6, 2022. Oklahoma ABLE Tech is a member of ATAP, a member-based, non-profit organization comprised of AT Act programs funded under the AT Act of 1998 as amended in 2004. ABLE Tech requested videos from individuals who use AT in their daily lives to submit to ATAP for the celebration. We received a video from Julio, a student at the Oklahoma School for the Blind. Check out Julio's video posted on YouTube.  

ABLE Tech contributed AT devices to the Oklahoma History Center’s History of disABILITIES exhibit as part of People with Disabilities Awareness Day. Please make time to visit the exhibit, on display now through August 31, 2022.

NEW!! Oklahoma's Secondary Transition Handbook

The OSDE-SES is pleased to release the final version of Oklahoma's Secondary Transition Handbook. It replaces the 2014 version. This Handbook will serve as a valuable resource to special education directors, teachers, students, families, and professionals as they facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from school to further education, employment, independent living, and community participation.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech assisted in the revision and updating of the Secondary Transition Handbook along with Erin Parks, Heather Eisel, Kathleen Wehmeyer, Megan Curry, and Renee Sansom-Broscoe. Shawna Nord and Julie Childers with OK Career Tech, and Beth Scrutchins and Chris Hobbs with Developmental Disabilities Services also provided valuable assistance in the revision of the handbook.

Please email Lori Chesnut if you have any comments or questions.

Funding Assistive Technology (AT) for Students with Disabilities

Funding workshopFree Online Workshop is April 14, 2022
@ 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Email Gretchen Cole-Lade with questions- Gretchen.cole_lade@okstate.edu

This two-hour workshop is designed for Oklahoma public school administrators, special educators, and related service providers who help students with disabilities. Participants will learn about resources and grant-writing tips for securing funding for needed assistive technology (AT) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) for students. Participants will practice matching students to funding options as well as practice grant writing in the workshop. Guidance for planning and budgeting for AT/AEM will be shared as well as sample AT plans so that schools can plan to support the provision of needed AT to students with disabilities.

BEST STEP Summer Program

Building Employment Skills for Today (BEST) and the Summer Transition Employment Program (STEP) are combining this summer for a five-week program!

BEST provides opportunities to prepare students with disabilities, both Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) clients and potentially eligible students, ages 16-21, for real-life jobs, careers, and situations. For 1-week students will engage in activities to enhance their job search and career interest, workplace readiness to develop social and independent living skills, exploration of education and training programs for after high school, self-advocacy skills, peer mentorship, teamwork, and a whole lot of fun!

STEP follows BEST with a 4-week summer work training and experience program for students with disabilities, ages 16-21, who have completed BEST camp. Students have the opportunity to experience a part-time, paid internship in their communities. Students will receive job coaching to learn the job and daily support by the onsite employer mentor. One day each week students will come back together to obtain transition instruction, volunteer, or access resources in their community.

ABLE Tech is in the process of collaborating with BEST STEP to provide Make ‘n Take Low Tech AT kits to all attendees of the BEST STEP program. ABLE Tech staff will also present at a few of the five-week programs to support the development of self-advocacy skills through identifying needed assistive technology (AT) and accommodations. The attendees will become more aware of different AT and accessibility options!

For more information, please contact: Renee Sansom Briscoe 405-951-3488, rsansom@okdrs.gov  or Judi Goldston 405-325-0448, jgoldston@ou.edu

Learn More About Web and Technology Accessibility at TechAccess Oklahoma 2022

Oklahoma’s Premier Web & Technology Accessibility Conference

The TechAccess Oklahoma 2022 conference will once again be held virtually via Zoom from 9 am to noon on April 19, 20, and 21, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Central each day. We will also have breakout rooms for Roundtable Discussions on Wednesday, April 20, from 12:00 to 12:30 PM Central. Roundtable Discussions will be voted on by participants.

We are, once again, able to bring TechAccess Oklahoma to you FREE of charge! Thank you to our sponsors, the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Oklahoma AT Center Locations and Partners

ABLE Tech and partners operate device demonstration & loan programs to increase access to AT.

  • Alzheimer’s Association, Oklahoma Chapter
    Tulsa, 918-392-5009
  • The Bethany Children's Health Center
    Bethany, 405.789.6711
  • Developmental Disabilities Council of Oklahoma
    Oklahoma City, 405-212-7558
  • Handicapped Vehicle Services Unlimited Mobility
    Tulsa, 918.622.8400
  • Indian Nations Council of Governments,
    Area Agency on Aging
    Tulsa, 918.579.9477
  • Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma
    Wilburton, 918.465.2367
  • Moore Autism Center
    Moore, 405.735.8478
  • Newby-Vance Mobility
    Guthrie, 405.518.0167
  • NewView Oklahoma
    Oklahoma City, 405.521.4880
    Tulsa, 855.811.9699
  • OSU – Dept of Communication
    Sciences & Disorders
    Stillwater, 405.744.6021
  • SoonerStart
    Oklahoma City, 405.271.8333 
  • United Access Mobility
    Oklahoma City, 888.939.1010

Oklahoma ABLE Tech

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University
1514 W. Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 800.257.1705
Email: abletech@okstate.edu