2018 Winter Newsletter

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Quarterly Newsletter
2nd Qtr, 2018 | Winter 2018

State Systemic Improvement Plan: Scaling Up!

In a collaboration between SoonerStart and ABLE Tech, much preparation has taken place on the implementation of Oklahoma’s State Systemic Improvement Plan. If you are unfamiliar with this plan, it involves helping infants and toddlers with disabilities improve access and skills in the area of early literacy and language development.

The last three months have been busy with preparing and planning for trainings that will occur during January for all SoonerStart team members in Regions 2, 3, and 5. It is anticipated that these trainings will include over 85 SoonerStart team members!

For more information, please contact Sandra Wright with Oklahoma ABLE Tech at sandra.wright-hackler@okstate.edu or 405-744-2681.

Bookshare Contest Winner!

Stephanie Leslie, Special Education Teacher at Shidler Public Schools was chosen as the winner of the ABLE Tech Bookshare Success Story Contest. Leslie submitted a success story describing how her district was able to provide accessible digital text from Bookshare to a high school senior who was determined to have a print in disability. Leslie received an iPad with an accessible book reading app to use with students in her district. (See the Success Story below.)

ABLE Tech will hold another contest this spring. Educators are required to submit a photo and narrative describing how a student has benefited from Bookshare with support from ABLE Tech. To learn more, email Kimberly.Berry@okstate.edu.

Bookshare Success Story

Tammy is a high school senior who was recently identified as having a print disability due to a learning disability. She spends most of her day in the resource room having a Special Education Teacher read to her and help her complete her homework and classwork. According to her teachers, she is motivated and wants to succeed in school, but reading the textbook is difficult for her.

The Special Education Department felt if Tammy had access to technology which would read text aloud to her, she would be able to complete more work independently and with a higher level of understanding. We also believed that if she felt the material was more accessible, she would feel less frustrated and ready to give up. She would develop some perseverance for her academic tasks,” said Stephanie Leslie, Special Education Teacher at Shidler Public Schools.

Leslie set Tammy up with a Bookshare account to receive accessible digital text after learning about the service at ABLE Tech AT Support Team Trainings. Following a successful trial, the school determined that Tammy will use the iPad with the Voice Dream Reader app to read her textbooks in the classroom and in the group home where she lives.

A brief meeting will be held with her teachers so that they understand what the technology will do for her and to make sure that they give her permission to use earbuds or headphones during class to use the device, Leslie said.

The IEP team also scheduled a meeting with the staff of Tammy’s group home, in which the staff will learn about the technology and sign a contract acknowledging responsibility for the technology when Tammy takes it home from school.

Access for All Online Learning Curriculum

Oklahoma ABLE Tech and the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services have released a new, web-based curriculum designed to help Oklahoma Works Workforce System Partners to become certified under the Access for All initiative. Curriculum materials overlap with training planned for the rest of the winter and into the spring. The goal is to make sure that Workforce System Partners have as many resources available as possible. The online curriculum materials provide a great way for Workforce Partner entities to reinforce certification training.

Topics range from making more accessible social media to creating more accessible documents in Microsoft Office. There is also a section devoted to assistive technology kits provided to each Workforce Development Area in Oklahoma. You do have to create an account in order to get to the resources.

The entire curriculum is online here.

Adaptive Baby Care (ABC) Device Feature

Adapted Diapering Surface
Adaptive Baby Care Equipment can help parents with disabilities complete baby care tasks easier and safer. The Adapted Diapering Surface provides an adjustable height changing table with space underneath to allow a parent to sit while changing a diaper. This is helpful for someone using a wheelchair or someone who just has difficulty standing for the time needed to diaper a baby. This item can be borrowed from ABLE Tech by parents with disabilities or by therapists working with parents with disabilities. Its use can also be demonstrated in our Stillwater office.

Visit the Adaptive Baby Care for Parents with Disabilities website for more information!

ABLE Tech Instrumental in Bookshare Contract Renewal

Benetech recently received a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs to expand and improve access to books for students who read differently due to blindness, low vision, a physical disability, or dyslexia. ABLE Tech assisted Benetech with support letters, and by helping to arrange a meeting with Congressman Tom Cole, where our Director, Linda Jaco, explained how Oklahoma students have benefitted from the use of Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) provided by Bookshare.

Thanks to this contract renewal, Bookshare’s library of accessible digital books, along with training and support, will remain free for all U.S. school districts, schools, educators, and their qualified students. Bookshare currently has about a half million existing student members, and Benetech says it will use the award funding to reach an additional 200,000 students.

In tandem with Bookshare, Benetech’s Born Accessible and Global Certified Accessible initiatives engage publishers and the education community to prioritize the creation and procurement of accessible content. Benetech plans to work directly with publishers to ensure accessibility features are included in production and are present in over 50 percent of educational books by 2022.

Visit the Benetech community to learn more.

OkAT Foundation Awarded CDFI TA Grant

Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT), ABLE Tech’s partner for managing the Financial Loan program, has been awarded a Technical Assistance grant through the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Technical Assistance grants are offered to organizations that are already CDFIs, or working towards becoming a Certifiable CDFIs to build their organizational capacity, grow, achieve organizational sustainability, and contribute to the revitalization of the populations they serve. The funds awarded will be used to develop infrastructure to expand our direct lending portfolio, design a business development and marketing plan to establish a strong pipeline of loans, and expand development services, including a financial educational component that is accessible. OkAT has hired a Director of Lending to facilitate the grant activities, Natalie Rohwer, who comes with an extensive background in banking and lending, who will start in January.

Oklahoma Equipment Exchange

The Oklahoma Equipment Exchange (OEE) is a FREE program to help Oklahomans with disabilities acquire affordable equipment. To donate, sell, or locate equipment, visit our website or call us at 800.257.1705 (v/tty).

Available Items at Oklahoma Equipment Exchange

Wheelchair Lift; Reduced Price: $600

Wheelchair Carrier; Reduced Price: $1,750

Children’s Mobility Equipment (Gait Trainers, Tomato Care Seat, Stroller, Shower Chair): All Reduced Prices

Accent 1000 Speech Device (GREAT BARGAIN PRICE): $400

Vantage Lite Speech Device: $3,000

Many other miscellaneous medical equipment: FREE

In Oklahoma City, you may call the Oklahoma Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program (OKDMERP) at 405.523.4810 for FREE durable medical equipment such as canes, scooters, and hospital beds. Donations are always welcome!

Partners Success Story

Tomorrow is 16-years-old and has Rett Syndrome. The family came to Pathways Therapy Center looking for help with communication. The family wanted to focus on a topic and help get Tomorrow to communicate more effectively. They used the Tobii I-15 with eyegaze interaction. This communication device helped both Tomorrow and the family. She has been given a voice with this device and is now able to communicate her needs better.

Alzheimer's Association of OKC Joins ABLE Tech as a Partner

The Alzheimer’s Association of Oklahoma City is a new MOA device demonstration partner. They specialize in providing Aids for Daily Living, technology that assist with reminders, memory tasks, and organizing information for their clientele and family caregivers.

In fact, many of the devices they will be demonstrating are intended to assist the family member as they care for their loved ones with Alzheimer. The Oklahoma City Chapter provides education to individuals and family members through support groups. In addition, they provide physician outreach, professional training and advocacy on behalf of individuals with Alzheimers or dementia. Welcome!

Oklahoma AT Center Locations

Oklahoma ABLE Tech and its partners operate device demonstration and device loan programs to increase access to AT. Inventory is available and searchable online, and individuals may borrow devices for up to six weeks at no cost.  Please go to: at.okstate.edu

Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Hearing Loss Association
NewView Oklahoma
Department  of Communication Sciences and Disorders
The Children’s Center
Pathways Therapy Center
Moore Autism Center

Assistive Technology Device Feature

Tobii Dyanvox I-110

The Tobii Dynavox I-110 is the ultimate touch-based speech generating device for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Packed with a full range of communication software solutions pre-installed, including Snap and Core First, Communicator 5, and the Boardmaker Student Center. Whether you’re a symbol-based communicator just starting out or fully literate, with the I-110 you will always be able to choose which solution works best for you.

The I-110 has an ultra-rugged design featuring Gorilla Glass, integrated speakers, covered ports, and an integrated kick stand.

iDevice App Feature

Be My Eyes

Blind users can request help from a sighted person. A live audio-video connection will be set up between the two and the sighted user can tell the blind person what they see when the blind user points their phone at something using the rear-facing camera.

Oklahoma AT Center Locations

Oklahoma State University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Hearing Loss Assocation of Oklahoma City
NewView Oklahoma
Moore Autism Center
The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital
Pathways Therapy Center
Alzheimer’s Association of OKC

Oklahoma ABLE Tech
OSU Department of Wellness

Todd Misener, Chief Wellness Officer OSU Department of Wellness

1514 W. Hall of Fame | Stillwater, OK 74078
Ph: 405.744.9748 or 800.257.1705 (V/TTY)
Fax: 405.744.2487 | abletech@okstate.edu

Website: www.okabletech.org

Oklahoma ABLE Tech Staff
Linda Jaco, Associate Director for Sponsored Programs
Dina Anderson, Occupational Therapist Specialist Kimberly Berry, AT Teacher
Kimberly Berry, AT Teacher
Rob Carr, Accessibility Coordinator
Carolina Colclasure OKDMERP/ORC Grant Coordinator
Lisa Croston, Sponsored Programs Coordinator
Shannon Esmeyer, SERC Administrative Assistant
Shelley Gladden, Loan Coordinator
Milissa Gofourth, Program Manager
Lynda Halley, Marketing Coordinator
Tammie Honeyman, Sponsored Programs
Maegan Mobus, Marketing Assistant
Jo Anne Pool Blades, SERC Program Manager
Allyson Robinson, SLP, AT Specialist
Shelby Sanders, AT Specialist
Brian Sargent, OKDMERP Site Coordinator
Diana Sargent, Senior Administration Support Specialist
Katie Woodward, OKDMERP Program Manager
Sandra Wright, CCC/SLP

Oklahoma ABLE Tech Calendar Events and Training

Feb 1 | ATIA Transitioning to Direct Lending Presentation

Feb 3 | ATIA Partners Instead of Contractors Presentation

Feb 9 | OSU Hearing Screenings - OSU

Feb 10 | Partners in Policy Making - OKC

Feb 15 | AT Support Team Workshop - OKC

Feb 22 | OkAT Strategic Plan Meeting - OKC

Feb 26 | DRS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Division - Stillwater

Mar 3 | SPED Boot Camp - OKC

Mar 3 | Super Saturday Event - Tulsa

Mar 29 | AT Support Team Workshop - OKC

Connect with us

Connect with us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/okabletech
Connect with us on YouTube at at www.youtube.com/OklahomaABLETech
Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/okabletech
Connect with us on Pinterest at at www.pinterest.com/okabletech

This publication is available in alternative formats; please call 800.257.1705 (V/TTY) for more information. The Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness is the lead agency for Oklahoma ABLE Tech. ABLE Tech is funded through the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and maintains coordination and collaboration efforts with partners throughout the state of Oklahoma.