March 2022 Newsletter: AT News You Can Use


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Purchasing Accessible Materials

AT samples for educationSpring is the perfect time to look ahead to determine which textbooks and other curricular materials your students with print disabilities will need in the next school year. It’s a good idea to check Bookshare to see if the needed titles are available, and if not, fill out a book request on the Bookshare website. ABLE Tech can also assist with searching the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) and other repositories and requesting accessible files from publishers when necessary. Email gretchen.cole_lade@okstate.edu for assistance.

Some individuals have difficulty comprehending written material due to visual, perceptual, or even physical differences. Yet if they can highlight the text, change fonts, have text read aloud, or translated into braille for tactile reading, these individuals may be able to read and comprehend better. They can do this with Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and related technologies. Any materials the district purchases that are on the state-approved textbook adoption list must be available in an accessible digital format for students. This is because the Oklahoma State Department of Education requires publishers to submit the book files to the NIMAC, making them available to Accessible Media Producers (AMPs) such as Bookshare. However, you should be aware that if your school purchases textbooks that are not on the state-approved list, then it is the district’s responsibility to include the NIMAC requirement in purchase contracts.

All curricular materials must be created, or adapted, so that they are accessible to students with disabilities, whether the materials are purchased from publishers, created by teachers, or acquired online, such as in the case of Open Educational Resources (OER). By selecting accessible curricular materials, schools will not have to invest time and money to adapt the materials for use by students with disabilities. For more recommendations regarding Accessible Educational Materials, see ABLE Tech Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) webpage or download the Accessible Educational Materials Technical Assistance document.

Featured Assistive Technology 

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

BJOY Stick Microswitch
Hitch 2 switch
AMAneo USB Assistive Anti Tremor Mouse Adapter 
Big track WIRELESS device

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

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Orange Scholars Program at OSU Applications Due March 1st - Opportunity Orange Scholars 

Opportunity Orange Scholars, a new postsecondary education program at Oklahoma State University, is accepting applications for its first cohort of students to begin August 2022. Opportunity Orange Scholars is a two-year, residential, non-degree certificate for young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who have intellectual disabilities.

Learn more about the program and how to apply!

Follow OkState Opportunity Orange Scholars' Facebook page.

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 (OKDRS) 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 determine how we can support the students attending the five-week program.

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

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain Injury AssociationFor more than three decades, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has proudly led the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month by conducting an engaging public awareness campaign in March of each year.  The public awareness campaign provides a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. Individuals join together to help raise awareness and:

  • De-stigmatize brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community
  • Empower those who have survived brain injury and their caregivers
  • Promote the many types of support that are available to people living with brain injury

ABLE Tech programs and services are one of the many types of support available to people living with brain injury.  Go to the following ABLE Tech website to learn about our four core programs, Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan, Financial Loans, and Device Reutilization: https://www.okabletech.org/guide-to-all-services/.

For more information about Brain Injury Awareness Month, visit the Brain Injury Association of America website.

Ask ABLE Tech

Q and A for ABLE Tech

Question:

"I can’t attend the ABLE Tech Assistive Technology Workshop series this spring; will there be a recording of it so I can watch it afterward?"

Answer:

Unfortunately, due to copyright concerns, we cannot record the live AT Workshop Series for viewing after the workshop.  But great news!  You can catch up with the material and forms covered in the live webinars by enrolling in ABLE Tech’s Online Assistive Technology Curriculum.  Go to: https://okabletech-atcurriculum.org/ to register. You can catch up on the workshops by attending the following course(s):

  • Workshop 1- Courses 1-5
  • Workshop 2- Course 6
  • Workshop 3- Courses 7-9

You, of course, are welcome to complete the remaining courses (10-12) to learn more about AT in Transition, Administrative Support for AT, and AT Professional Development.

We are currently in the process of scheduling another three-part Assistive Technology Workshop series for Fall 2022. If you prefer to wait and attend the live virtual workshops, please keep checking our AT Support Team Workshop page for future training dates. 

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 9am to noon on April 19, 20, and 21.

We'll have an exciting keynote on Inclusive Design from Nicolas Steenhout: speaker, trainer, consultant, and host of the fantastic A11y Rules podcast. We’ll also have sessions on accessible PowerPoint presentations and social media, a look at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities, and more! Full program details will be released soon. Register now!

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 Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital
    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 
  • 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

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