July 2022 Newsletter: AT News You Can Use


AT News You Can Use Banner

Annual Release of Technical Assistance Documents

ABLE Tech is excited to announce the annual release of two updated guidance documents:

The AEM Technical Assistance document developed by Oklahoma ABLE Tech, in collaboration with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the National AEM Center, provides best practices on the delivery and utilization of high-quality accessible educational materials and technologies and corresponding services. The latest edition of the document includes exemplar cases demonstrating how Oklahoma and other states effectively meet the AEM Quality Indicators (i.e. a coordinated system, provision in a timely manner, written guidelines, comprehensive learning opportunities and technical assistance, a systematic data collection process, use of data to guide changes, and allocation of resources). Additionally, the new document includes a useful glossary of terms that will better equip you and your staff to navigate the world of AEM.

If you have questions about the information presented in the document or are interested in learning more, please contact Dr. Josh Hawkins at joshua.hawkins@okstate.edu. We look forward to working with you as we increase our AEM capacity together.

Sign up for Free AT-Related Events!

ABLE Tech is proud to offer the FREE Fall 2022 Assistive Technology (AT) Workshop Series starting September 15, where you’ll learn the steps for providing AT to students in schools. This workshop is designed for educators, related service providers, and administrators needing a wide range of AT knowledge, providing standards-based training, hands-on practice, and dynamic coaching for the novice up to the expert.

On July 26-28, join Knowbility and its partners for a FREE 3-day virtual conference on inclusive learning environments, assistive technology considerations, and ways to support children with disabilities in the classroom. The K12 Access Summit is designed to help your school and district teams develop the systems and networks needed to ensure inclusive and accessible learning opportunities for students.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech is a proud sponsor for this event.

Special Education Resolution Center Tip of the Month

SERC logo

When having a crucial conversation where there are opposing viewpoints, high stakes, and strong feelings, it’s important to monitor how safe the people in the conversation feel. When we feel unsafe, we usually go to silence (where we withhold our information that needs to be heard by others), or we go to verbal violence (where we try to push our meaning on others). Neither of those strategies helps us get to dialogue which is needed to collaborate. Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue training will help you learn to monitor safety along with providing many other helpful concepts and skills that will help you manage difficult and sensitive conversations. This training is not just about communication but also about helping you get the results you want and need in your interactions with others. SERC provides this training at no cost to school districts and parents through our partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The course can be taught virtually or in-person. For more information about scheduling a course, please contact SERC by reaching out to rob.keiter@okstate.edu.

ORC - Oklahoma Rehabilitation CouncilTransition services are activities that prepare students with disabilities to move from school to post-school life. The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council (ORC) Transition Committee partners with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), and other agencies to provide helpful transition resources to students, families, and professionals. It is a great resource for reviewing all things Transition and the agency list that provides the services. Check it out here on the ORC Resources Page!

July AT Features: Recreation and Leisure AT

We Rise Up for Parks and Recreations, NRPA's Park and Recreation MonthJuly celebrates National Park and Recreation Month! ABLE Tech recognizes, and would like to highlight, the importance and value of parks and recreation and their service to communities with a focus on equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. The theme celebrated in 2022 is to rise up for:

  • Inclusion
  • Resilience
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Well-Being
  • Access to Play
  • Our Community

What better way to celebrate our national parks and recreation than to play!

What is Recreation Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology (AT) for recreation and leisure provides a way for people with disabilities to participate in preferred activities they might not otherwise be able to do. AT for this category includes items for billiards, bowling, crafts, cycling, fishing, card games, board games, gardening, sports, and passive activities such as reading, listening to music, and watching television.

There is an AT solution for everyone – check out July’s Recreation AT Features! All items are available to borrow from ABLE Tech’s Short-Term Loan Program.

  1. XBOX Adaptive Controller
  2. Color by Texture Marking Mats
  3. Jumbo Braille Dominoes
  4. Safe Catch Glove

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

Time to Level Up Your Game with Accessible E-gaming

Gaming can be a lot of fun, but like many other fields, accessibility is still an issue and not always at the forefront of design. However, some companies and groups have stepped up to the plate to try and tackle modern gaming issues. It’s good for business, but it’s also good for fun!

One gamer, Ben Bayliss, has created a website called “Can I Play That?” (CIPT) that dives into video game and video game technology accessibility. In addition to a number of reviews, CIPT has a “Games Codex” that houses accessibility reviews and other useful information on over 200 video games. The website itself is also a great example of accessible website design.

On the retailer side of things, Microsoft is one of the most prominent participants in the video game accessibility world and has been for many years. They released the Xbox Adaptive Controller in 2018, which acts as a hub for a variety of assistive technologies useful in gaming and other applications. They also produced high-quality tips for developing accessible games and they created a Game Accessibility Fundamentals course through Microsoft Learn.

Interested in learning more? Check out AbleGamers; a charity for inclusivity and improving the quality of life for people through the power of video games, which created the APX, or Accessible Player Experience. The APX is a set of accessibility standards for video game design and AbleGamers offers certification known as Certified APX Practitioner (CAPXP) to game developers and others. They also offer developers access to Player Panels made up of gamers with disabilities to test their game accessibility!

Oklahoma ABLE Tech now partners with AbleGamers to offer increased access to gaming AT through device demonstrations/consultations and short-term loans/trials.

ABLE Tech Acquisition Activities Updates: Did you know?

ABLE Tech has two core program activities that focus on the acquisition of assistive technology (AT) and medical equipment. While it is not permitted in the AT Act for ABLE Tech to purchase AT for individuals, these two programs - the Financial Loan and Reutilization Program – assist individuals with disabilities with acquiring needed AT by other means.

Financial Loans

The financial loan programs allow for individuals to purchase needed AT by financing it through a traditional bank or lending institution. The difference is – the ABLE Tech Financial Loan Program provides more flexible terms for individuals with disabilities to qualify for services. The financial loan program has special funds set aside to assist Oklahomans in purchasing items that might not be thought of as AT, like Smart Home Technologies, Wearable Technology, home modifications, as well as traditional AT, such as hearing aids and modified vehicles. Be sure and check out the ABLE Tech Financial Loan Program details!

Reutilization

Reutilization Warehouse showing various equipment, such as wheelchairs

Have you checked the ABLE Tech Reutilization Program’s inventory lately? Not only does the program offer gently-used durable medical equipment (DME), it’s also where ABLE Tech lists useful aged-out AT and other devices. Check out the inventory for you, your client’s, or family member's needs. A new lot of donated pediatric DME and other great surprises can often be found in the ABLE Tech Reutilization Inventory.

Oklahoma AT Center Locations and Partners

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

  • AbleGamers
    Kearneysville, WV

  • 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
  • Pathways Therapy Center
    Tulsa, 918.712.7868
  • SoonerStart
    Oklahoma City, 405.271.8333 
  • Speech Pathway, LLC
    Oklahoma City, 405.652.9683
  • 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