ATU128 – Assistive Technology and the IEP in K12 Special Education Part

first_imgShare this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU082 – Livescribe Smartpen (Brian Rodriquez), Top 10 Podcasts, Time Magazine’s Top 10 Tech, NFB’s Protest of Amazon’s Kindle, Bridging Apps reviews EvernoteDecember 21, 2012In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU058 – Free Speech (Kevin Tyler), Microsoft Surface Accessibility Windows 8 & RT too, Fishing Has No Boundaries Events, ASL in iBooks, Happy Anniversary to Teaching All Students 6, 2012In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU037 – Second Life (Daniel McNulty), App for Children with Cortical Visual Impairment, iRobot and Health Care, AT in the Mainstream, J R MartinezFebruary 10, 2012In “Assistive Technology Update” Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour weekly dose  of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Show notes: Part 2 with Daniel McNulty, PATINS Project www.PATINSProject.comWe’re Hiring an Assistive Technology Specialist! question from Chris about math – Plans & Pricing Blind, LLC Home / News Page 3 :: Never Miss A Word Ruling on Accessible TV Devices Tools – 3M VHB Heavy Duty Mounting Tape’s Kinect translates sign and spoken languages in real time BARD –——————————Listen 24/7 at www.AssistiveTechnologyRadio.comIf you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: 317-721-7124 or email [email protected] out our web site:  https://www.eastersealstech.comFollow us on Twitter: @INDATAprojectLike us on Facebook:—–transcript follows —-DANIEL MCNULTY:  Hi, this is Daniel McNulty, and I’m the state director of the PATINS Project in the Indiana Center for Accessible Materials, and this is your Assistive Technology Update.[Music]WADE WINGLER:  Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the Indata Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs. Welcome to episode number 128 of Assistive Technology Update. It’s scheduled to be released on November 8 of 2013. Today is part two of our two-part interview with Daniel McNulty of patents here in Indiana, and we talk about how assistive technology can be successfully used as part of the IEP Coronet K-12 educational environment. You got a question from one of our listeners about accessible math, a story about using CloudHQ as a more accessible cloud-based computing solution, information on the new LiveScribe 3 Pen that synchronizes with your tablet or your smart phone, new ruling from the FCC about accessible television, and an interesting story about Microsoft Kinect technology being used to change sign language and other kinds of languages. We hope you’ll check out our website at Give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124, or shoot us a note on Twitter @indataproject.Would you like to work for our team? We are hiring an assistive technology specialist to provide services throughout the entire state of Indiana, traveling around helping folks with installs, training, all kinds of other AT services. We got a link in our show notes where you can find a place to apply in learn more about position. Check our show notes. Work for us.Pretty often, and asked the question about can a computer be used to convert spoken language into American sign language or other sign language is. Generally my answer is no, because you rely on a sign language interpreter to do that, and I think my answer still is no. But there is some stuff coming out from Microsoft that’s interesting. There using the Kinect technology to watch somebody who is speaking & language, converts that to tax, and then back out to either spoken language, written language, or even other sign language is in other languages, so maybe American Sign Language to Chinese Sign Language for example. Although the prototype in the video that I let that seems pretty primitive and still isn’t very smooth, I think it’s getting there. It reminds me of the days years ago when voice activation get started to come out, and over the years and several iterations we’re saying something that’s actually useful. I don’t think we have a solution here, but I think we may have the beginning of the solution to create computerized translation between American Sign Language or other gestured languages into print kind of language is. I’m going to stick a link in the show notes, and you can check out this Microsoft Kinect sign language translator that’s promising and interesting. Check the show notes.Sometimes in the work of assistive technology, things are high-tech and clean and work really well and are highly engineered and smooth, sometimes you’ve got to tape stuff together. If you’re somebody like me was carried back tape and Boca around for years, you’re going to be glad to know that there is a more permanent solution available from 3M. I really enjoyed the Cool Tools blog, and I’m seeing an article here about a thing called 3M VHB Heavy Duty Mounting Tape. This is a roll of tape that’s going to set you back $36, but it has the ability to permanently bond fiberglass, porcelain, glass, PVC, wood, cloth, concrete, and they say just about any other material there are likely to encounter. Many times in the world of assistive technology, we are Velcroing things together for a temporary solution to mount a keyboard or a switch or something like that to the place you want it, but then we end up having the thing fall down or wish we could make a more permanent. This is on my holiday shopping list for myself, and I’m thinking that it might be useful to have a few rolls around the office for other kinds of things. If you need a piece of tape that’s going to stick something to something else forever, it warns that if you try to remove it, you’re probably going to remove the finish on both of the bonded surfaces so if you really need something that really sticks things together like this forever, check out our link to the show notes for this 3M VHB Heavy Duty Mounting Tape.If you’re somebody who likes to watch television on a set top box or a TV or even a smart phone or a tablet but you have a hard time with the controls because are blind or have low vision or rely on screen reader output, we have some good news for you. Recently the FCC have announced that they’re going to be publishing final regulations requiring that all TV and TV like devices must be accessible through audible controls Emma guides, and menus. This is something that been percolating around the blind community for a while, and the importance of having fully accessible access to your TV programming is really important. Three a lot of advocacy and a lot of groups speaking up and letting their needs be known, it’s finally happened. Go to stick a link into the show notes to an ACB article. Do not the only organization reporting on this, but it’s the one I have handy that kind of highlights the stuff related to this new announcement from the FCC. Congratulations to the folks who have advocated and made this happen, and congratulations to everyone who relies on accessible menus for television, because it’s coming.A lot of our techie folks around here have been interested in using the Livescribe smart pen for a long time now. It’s a pen that will allow you to take note and also have the audio and the room recorded while you’re taking those notes. Just recently the folks at Livescribe have announced a Smart Pen 3, and it does a couple of interesting things. Not only does allow you to record the audio you have your handwritten notes synchronized that leaders can go back and put your pen down and have the audio playback, but it real-time connects to your tablet or your smart phone so that you have a digital copy of those notes happening kind of simultaneously. I have watched the promotional videos on flashcards website, and it seems pretty cool. I know that some of our techie guys have been messing around with it. They’re having some mixed result in terms of how the tablet interface works in the audio quality, so I hope to have an update little bit later. But in the meantime, I want to include a link in our show notes over to Livescribe so that you can check out some pretty cool stuff related to the smart pen. It really is some interesting technology, and this third version seems like it’s doing some cool and new stuff. Check out our show notes for the link.From the tech tidbits newsletter from our friends over at Flying Blind, to have an interesting suggestion: If you’re somebody who relies on Google Drive and Google Docs, but you use a screen reader, you may have some trouble with the accessibility of Google Drive and Google Docs. They’re suggesting a pretty interesting service called CloudHQ, or Cloud Headquarters, that allows your Google Drive to sync with Dropbox. When you do that, Google Docs that are moved over to Dropbox get converted to work documents which are a lot more accessible. There’s a free trial of the CloudHQ service, so you can check that out, and then if you decide to go ahead and use that for an extended period of time, they’ve got the fees that range from about $10 until about $30 per month depending on the number of users and how much stuff you got to move around. I’ll stick a link in the show notes over to CloudHQ, you can check out their service and that may be a solution to an accessibility problem for Google Drive and Google Docs. Thanks to the guys over at Flying Blind for pointing that out.This week we’ve got a question from our listener line. We got one from Chris here in New York. He says, “I’m an occupational therapist, and I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while now. I love it. Many of the ideas have come in handy in my day to day routines at work. Here’s a specific situation. I’m currently trying to find a program to allow a child to show work for math problems on the computer. I found MathPad from IntelliTools, but it seems to only work for up to eighth grade math and has some compatibility issues. Do you know of a method or a similar program that has a grid type format? I’m looking for something like an app I found called Math Paper,” and there’s a link that I’ll stick into the show notes, “however, the axis needs to be with a mouse or similar device. Most of the kids at school dictate to a scribe to show work, but I believe that when working out math speculations, there should be a hands-on approach. Can’t wait to hear your feedback.” So I’m filling up with math, I know that it’s very useful, and I do know that there are some limitations with the content and the kind of meta-you’re talking about. I don’t have an excellent solution to your problem here, I’m a little bit stuck. I’m going to do is I’m going to shoot a note over to the folks at BridgingApps and see if they have any solutions, and then I’m going to also ask if there are some folks who are listening to the show today to call or send us an email and let us know if you have suggestions on a little bit of a higher and math program that works well, something like Intellitools, but for higher math. If folks have ideas or suggestions for Chris, give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124 or shoot us an email. You can send that to [email protected] If we can rally around Chris’s needs here, hopefully we can give him an answer. Thanks Chris for your feedback.Now here’s an app worth mentioning.SCOTT DAVERT:  From, I’m Scott Davert, with this week’s app worth mentioning. Today I’m talking about Bard Mobile. Bard Mobile is an app that has been produced by the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped which allows qualifying patrons to access all of their materials on iDevices. The National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, also known as NLS, provides lot of reading material for those with some physical disabilities as well as blindness and low vision. Some of the content they offer includes thousands of audiobooks read by narrators. They also have a lot of real content as well as audio magazines. To find out more information about this app, which by the way is free as is the service if you qualify, you can check out their website at If you’d like a walk-through demonstration of the app from a voice over users perspective, you can head on over to You’ll also find an interview regarding this app that we did with Judy Dixon, the Consumer Relations Officer from NLS. For this week’s app with mentioning, I’m Scott Davert.WADE WINGLER:  This is part two of a two-part episode on assistive technology and the IEP process. I again have Daniel McNulty, who’s the State Director for the patents project here in Indiana, and we’re going to pick up our conversation talking about how assistive technology works in the K-12 world would come to the individualized educational plan. Daniel, are you there?DANIEL MCNULTY:  Yes, I’m here.WADE WINGLER:  Good, hey, thanks for coming back and talking with us a little bit. We got through part of our conversation last week, and I want to continue at this week with some – I want to ask you for some advice. You’re somebody who’s got a lot of experience and some years of service in this area, but I’m going to ask you a three-part question. Would be your advice for schools when considering AT, would be your advice for parents, and what might be your advice for students who are going to be receiving AT support? Let’s start with schools. If you’re talking to the director of Special Ed or an educator or a therapist or even an IT person at the school, what kind of advice do you give them when they are considering providing assistive technology for a when a student needs it?DANIEL MCNULTY:  Those are three really great questions. It would be my pleasure to try to address was for you. When you’re talking to schools in particular, some of the advice would be – well I’ll give you two important points. One is to use what is referred to as the SETT framework. That’s another acronym, Self Environment Task Tools. So we move from left to right. The SETT framework has been around for a long time. It was developed by Joy Zabala, and if you go to, you can learn more about that.The basics of it are that we move from left to right. So we start with the students, or the self, the abilities of that individual, then we moved to the environment or responsible environments. So for example if it’s a middle school students, that soon may have nine or 10 different environments and their day. They are quite different from different instructional classrooms to the cafeteria, the gym, the hallways come. And then we get to the tasks, what specific tasks are we focusing on here.Then the last thing we consider is the tools. This is especially important when you’re talking about all of the hype around apps lately. Because there are so many apps, and they grow exponentially almost daily. A lot of them are free, a lot of them are really low cost with how we’ve come to think about software. They’re really cheap. We get the question all of the time, tell me your five favorite pre-apps; tell me your 10 favorite free apps; it’s a really hard question to answer. It’s like going up on someone on the sidewalk and saying, what’s your favorite software for my computer? Well, tell me a little bit more about your life. Then I can tell you maybe some software that might help. We have to resist the urge and education to not jump right to the tools. Let’s not jump right to the apps we’ve got to remember that we have to talk about this in first, the environment, the tasks and then the tools. Don’t be my first main point of advice for schools.The second point would be to use patents, because there can be a significant cost was assistive technology for use patents, one, for consultation. So just call us up, email us, whatever else, stop in our offices is, make an appointment and say, I got this didn’t work at a classroom of students and we’ve run into these five barriers. I don’t know where to begin. That consultation is free. Then use us for device trials. A lot of these devices now are, even though cost has come down over the years, they are still really offensive. It doesn’t make any sense for a school to say, yeah this might work, or going to drop some cash on it and hope that it fixes the problem. Instead, you can borrow it from us, take some data on it, trial it for six weeks at no cost to you, and then decide whether or not it’s worth purchasing. As a follow-up to do that, you can also request training from us on a particular device, and then follow-up technical assistance which is also free.WADE WINGLER:  I was just going to interrupt for our listeners who are outside Indiana, they have to understand that there may be an equivalent organization. Patents work directly with the school as opposed to an individual student, right?DANIEL MCNULTY:  Well, yes and no. We don’t provide necessarily direct services to a student, so for example were not going to go in and teach math to that student. But we are moving – and this is a huge push of mine. I’d like for our staff to be not be doing some work presented to a room for teachers, not that there is anything from that, but I want to move more towards having my staff in classrooms with kids and teachers at the same time. Kind of coaching rather than a lecture. We don’t provide direct instruction to students, we can certainly do some things also like video consultation. So a teacher can, with the correct permissions of course, show us a video right from his or her classroom of the student and the particular struggle they are having, and we can kind of watch it and make some suggestions. So yes and no, but you are right about folks who are not in Indiana. There certainly might be an organization in their state that would provide a similar service. We’d be happy to point them in the right direction if they want to contact us.WADE WINGLER:  Excellent. So what about advice for parents especially if you’re talking about parents of a student who might be newly diagnosed with a particular disability or might be a younger student where the whole situation is new. What advice you get to parents?DANIEL MCNULTY:  I think you mentioned last week when we talked that’s with all of these acronyms and terminology and things around the Case Conference Committee and Free and Appropriate Public Education, all these things can become quickly overwhelming for a parents, especially like you said a parent who’s got a child who may be newly diagnosed and is just walking into this. It’s hugely overwhelming. It’s easy in my experience for the parents to become kind of locked in to one thing that they’ve seen, and maybe that did work for somebody else, and so they think that’s it, that’s the answer, I’ve got to have it. And so my first piece of advice for parents or families, I would recommend that parents try hard to keep an open mind and not get too focused on one particular piece of assistive technology. Also, as a parent myself, I know that is really difficult sometimes to remain objective about your own child. So I encourage parents to really try to utilize the expertise that exist with the teachers and the therapist and the folks like yourself and folks at patents. Take advantage of that expertise. Because really, accurately determining the best course of action regarding Assistive Technology or AIM has to be a team effort that includes the intimate knowledge that the parent has of their own child, but also the expertise of all of the other two numbers that might be a little more objective.So it also make a point of encouraging families to connect with In Source, which is Indiana’s parent support resource in the state of Indiana. For anybody who’s outside of the state of Indiana, there’s likely also something in your state.WADE WINGLER:  Excellent. As we’re having this conversation, I tend to want to envision young kids with congenital disabilities or special needs who are starting to use assistive technology as technology kind of becomes part of their regular curriculum. As indicated earlier and earlier these days it seems. There are situations where disability comes later in the K-12 career of a kid, injury or disease that causes blindness or those sort of things. What advice would you have for students who all of a sudden went from not needing assistive technology to needing assistive technology? What advice would you have for the kids?DANIEL MCNULTY:  This is such a great question, and it’s one that often gets left out entirely and I’m really glad that you ask it. There is research supporting very strongly that students with disabilities often know exactly what they’ll learn best with, which further implies that they should always be asked.A particular study that I have in my mind is one that came from Purdue. If listeners want to contact me for that, I can point them to that. It specifically looked at how students wanted to be prompted for a particular task using various pieces of assistive technology and prompting ethics process from being told a particular method. In every single case, the student did best with the one that they chose. Some of the ones that really blew people’s minds were some of the students with autism for example chose to be prompted with audio only rather than video or pictures. It kind of flies in the face of what we think we know about kids with autism. It kind of drives home that point that it’s so important to involve the students in that process.Talking directly with students, I would say, I know this, this is important, I really encourage you if you’re considering using AT or using AT already to be very vocal about your opinions and whatever way you can, to write things, to say things, to do what you can to advocate for yourself. You have to ask a lot of questions, so somebody put a device and for the few, don’t just kind of sit there and try to use it, asking a lot of questions, ask for training on your own device, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistive technology whenever you feel you need it. Rather than a teacher coming in saying, now I want you to use your assistive technology, I’m going to get it out and give it to you. We have to kind of turn that around and puts the emphasis on the students, for them to say I want it now, I need it now. I can do better with it right now.Here’s the other thing that kind of those for maybe a fourth party or question, directly for the teachers or the therapist to our working with that student. Especially with regard to something like a voice output device, we have to look at that as that student’s voice which means we can’t ever take it away, unless somebody’s in danger of being hurt or something like that, that’s the student’s voice, and we can’t ever take it away. If they’re using it inappropriately, we might apply this in consequences that we would apply to other students who use their voice and improperly, but we can’t take it away.So I would really just encourage students to advocate for themselves as strongly and as often as possible.WADE WINGLER:  I think that is a lesson in self advocacy that extends beyond assistive technology. It’s a good life lesson as well. We’ve only got a couple of minutes left here, so I’m going to pile a couple of questions together. Tell me what you’re seeing these days in terms of commonly used are particularly effective assistive technology. I know that’s kind of an open question. And then tell me what you see coming down the pike, what’s in your crystal ball as it relates to assistive technology and K-12 education?DANIEL MCNULTY:  Well, I’d first like to make the point that assistive technology can really range widely and potentially include all people, whether they have a diagnosed disability or not. One thing that is available to everyone in Indiana is read out loud, which is text to speech software and also an e-book converter, which will take word document and converts them into e-books which are books that will go on iPads and other devices, pretty much any device except a Kindle. That’s available free of charge for every computer in every school district in the state of Indiana. That’s kind of a wide thing that is worth mentioning.As far as what’s coming, I see a huge – I just be honest, I see lawsuits coming because NIMAS, which is the National Instructional Material Accessibility Standard, only applies to printed K-12 materials. With the way a lot of districts are moving as digital materials, and I really haven’t seen a lot of districts that are purchasing accessible digital materials. Because NIMAS doesn’t apply to digital materials, and because digital materials are often so locked down that we can’t do much with them to make them accessible, that’s a huge problem. What you’ve purchased is an inaccessible curriculum which just simply put is not okay. This is the direction I see things going. They’re going to really have to push awareness on what is accessible digital curriculum, and then how do we implement. It’s not okay for something to be digital and then also assume that because it’s digital it’s accessible. Digital does not equal accessible. That’s kind of what I see coming, and I also want to encourage folks to not get into the frame of mind that once we move truly digital that there’s no more need for assistive technology. Assistive technology is a very individualized type of thing. It applies to one student at a time, whereas a digital curriculum or universally designed learning environment can apply to all kids at the same time. There will always be, I feel, for assistive tech, individualized solutions was of those universally designed environment.WADE WINGLER:  I think those are really good points. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I didn’t realize until this very moment that NIMAS only applied to printed materials. I’m an altruistic, openhearted kind of guy. I thought that it applied to digital stuff too. I learned something today that really surprised me a little bit.Daniel, you’ve got lots of good stuff going on over there at patents, and we’re glad to partner with you on a number of things. Tell folks how they can stay in touch with you, reach out to, learn more about the things that you’re offering here in Indiana. With the contact information?DANIEL MCNULTY:  Our website is My email address is there, it’s also [email protected] Those are probably the easiest ways, and I can point you from that direction if you want to contact me. We also have two blocks. We’ve got our patents blog, and we got out Indiana Center for Accessible Materials blog. Those are updated about once a week, sometimes more. We have an iTunes University course in iTunes, and we’ve got lots of technical training videos and tutorials and recorded patents TV episodes on our website. There’s lots way folks can keep in touch with us. You can follow us on Facebook. Just look for patents project on Facebook. That’s a quick and easy way to keep in touch with us. Also twitter.WADE WINGLER:  I’ll pop some banks in the show notes over to those websites and email addresses so folks can find those a little more easily. Daniel McNulty is the state director of the patents project. Daniel, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule 2 weeks in a row to talk with us about assistive technology in the IEP.DANIEL MCNULTY:  My pleasure, Wade. They for having me on and for having such great questions for me.WADE WINGLER:  Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124. Looking for show notes from today’s show? Head on over to Shoot us a note on Twitter @indataproject, or check us out on Facebook. That was your Assistive Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the Indata Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.last_img read more