Newsletter: AT News You Can Use

Newsletter: AT News You Can Use

January 2020

Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is known as a sight-stealing disease since it gradually causes vision loss without warning. Although the most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly; glaucoma can also affect infants and children.

According to the National Eye Institute, more than 3 million people in the United States currently have glaucoma and the number is expected to reach 4.2 million by 2030. This month, the Glaucoma Research Foundation is seeking to raise awareness and increase early detection which is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.

Individuals with glaucoma may have tunnel vision or loss of peripheral (side) vision, and they may have difficulty adjusting to changing light conditions. The ABLE Tech device loan inventory includes a variety of tools such as magnifiers, light-filtering eyeglasses, and adapted games designed to help individuals who have low vision maintain independence.

These devices and many more are available to borrow!

Solar Shield ClipFlip Absorptive Filters

Makrolux 2.2X LED Magnifier

Bingo Card - Large - Black Numbers

ABLE Tech Device Demonstration and Loan Program  

Visit AT Discovery Vision page for more ideas.

AT Support Team Workshops: Tips for Teams

Dozens of Oklahoma school districts are expected to participate in the ABLE Tech AT Support Team Training series which kicks off later this month in Shawnee. This 3-part series consists of one full day of training each month over three consecutive months. While the January 17 workshop is a beginner-level training, teams can do several things to prepare:

  • Think about the individual students you serve and the unique challenges they face. Come prepared to discuss a few specific tasks these students will be able to accomplish with AT.
  • Ask district administrator to submit a request for reimbursement of allowable travel and substitute expenses from Project 613 funds through the State Department of Education Single Sign-On Reporting Site.
  • Be sure each participant registers individually for each session they wish to attend. Find workshop details and registration links on the ABLE Tech Training page.
  • Finally, watch your email inbox for workshop reminders from Eventbrite, and remember to dress in layers for your comfort.

AT training is provided at no cost to Oklahoma educators and related service providers. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered for OTs, PTs, and SLPs. See workshop descriptions and registration links. 

Special Education Law

Did you know that in certain situations, school districts may be required to purchase eyeglasses and hearing aids for students?  Legal experts recommend that educators consider each request for AT on an individual basis. When a device is deemed necessary to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), a school would be required to provide it at no cost to the family. As this topic indicates, understanding special education law can be tricky. LRP Publications offers a helpful resource, the Special Ed e-News with concise summaries of significant case decisions, evolving policy guidance and regulatory changes.

To sign up, email: with the following information:

  • Add me to Special Ed e-News
  • First and Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Organization Name
  • Street Address
  • City, State, Zip
  • Business Phone Number
  • Business Email Address

Each Special Ed e-News provides an "Unsubscribe" link, should you determine that you no longer wish to receive the emails.


Y-TAC Virtual Conference

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Youth Technical Assistance Center (Y-TAC) invites you to attend a free Virtual Convening on Engaging Out-of-School and Other Opportunity Youth* in VR Services which will be held via Adobe Connect January 14 & January 16. The purpose is to build capacity to find and engage youth with disabilities who are no longer in school and not employed or who face barriers to employment such as involvement with justice systems, connection to the child welfare system, and experiences with homelessness.

Attendees will learn from and engage in discussions with youth and professional experts to better understand the experiences of these youth and what works to engage and support them in achieving competitive integrated employment outcomes.

Attendees will increase their knowledge of:

  • The experiences of Opportunity Youth* with disabilities and common challenges they face in accessing services needed to achieve employment outcomes
  • Successful strategies for identifying, engaging, and retaining Opportunity Youth with disabilities in services
  • Strategies for developing collaborative relationships with other agencies and service providers to connect to and effectively serve Opportunity Youth with disabilities

*Opportunity youth are young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market – or about one in nine members of this age group in the United States. For more information, see the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.

More information on the registration process and agenda will soon be available here. If you have questions, please contact Y-TAC at:

Braille Challenge

The Braille Challenge logoStudents who are learning and using braille are encouraged to enter the Oklahoma Regional Braille Challenge, scheduled for March 4th in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma School for the Blind and NewView Oklahoma are co-presenting this year’s event, and winners will advance to the finals to be held in June at the Braille Institute of America in Los Angeles.

Applications must be signed by parental/legal guardian and returned by February 3, 2020.
Download the permission form for additional details.

Linda Jaco, Oklahoma ABLE Tech Director

Kimberly Berry, Assistive Technology Teacher

Oklahoma ABLE Tech logo

  Oklahoma State Unoversity logo

Oklahoma State University
1514 W. Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 800.257.1705