Tag Archives: tools for life

Blog Updates and Future Meetings

Hello Everyone!

Our consortium is continuing to grow and prosper this year as a result of all the hard work our members are doing across the state. I have been able to make additional contacts for us in California, through the California Association for Physical and Health Impairments (CAPHI). CAPHI is another great resource that is available to us as OI teachers. They hold a conference every two years in different locations in California and are hosting webinars for OI Teachers through the Council for Exceptional Children. I highly recommend that you look into CAPHI and what they offer as they are a very large organization for OI Teachers in California. It’s great to see what other organizations, similar to ours, are doing to promote our field and support our teachers and students. You can visit their Facebook Page at:

https://www.facebook.com/caphionline

You can also visit their website at:

http://www.caphi.org/

Also,

I have added several new links that were provided at the recent GATE conference on December 5, 2014 in the links section, under the Assistive Technology section. The link to the GATE wikispaces site provides all of the information that was given by the presenters. If you were not able to attend this conference, the link will provide you with a chance to see what was presented as well as all of the materials that were given to the participants. I also have included links to two of the presentations that I attended, Tips and Tricks for OI Teachers by Renee Dawson, Debbie Brineman, and Jim Whitley of Cherokee County, and a presentation by Lee Green of the Floyd County School System on FREE Google apps and extensions that would be of great use to us. Lee is also the co-leader of the Google + Georgia Educators Group. This is a great AT resource utilizing Google supported apps and extensions that are incredibly useful to us as OI teachers. The GEG is a great networking opportunity and hosts meetings as well for further collaboration.

Please check out these new links! I have also provided links regarding these presentations under the useful apps tab.

Additionally, don’t forget to visit the Georgia Tools for Life website, their link is provided as well. They presented on many topics including accessing funding for AT, and other resources that are useful to us such as new AT equipment and resources that are now available. Their website includes all of the presentations that they gave at the conference, as well as an archive for all of their webinars.

Lastly, I have included a link to Parent 2 Parent of Georgia in the links section. This is a great organization that provides free resources and training to parents, students, and teachers of children with disabilities, across all age ranges and disability areas.

A quick re-cap of our remaining meetings for 2015:

January 14, 2015:

A panel discussion/seminar at the Scottish Rite campus for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta regarding various disabilities and their educational implications for students within the school environment. The program information will be provided very soon!

March 19, 2015:

Susan Ruediger of the Charcot-Marie Tooth Association will be presenting information and resources regarding CMT, a peripheral nerve disorder that affects at least 2.8 million people world wide, and hundreds of thousands of people here in Georgia. We will also be given a re-delivery of the GATE presentation by Renee Dawson, Debbie Brineman, and Jim Whitley of the Cherokee County School System on useful apps and Google extensions. The location is to be determined.

Here is the link to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association for more information on CMT:

http://www.cmtausa.org/

May 14, 2014

Kyle Pease, of the Kyle Pease Foundation, will be presenting at Georgia State for our May meeting. He will cover various topics, including the mission and resources available through the foundation.

Here is the link to the Kyle Pease Foundation for more information:

http://www.kylepeasefoundation.org/

Thank you for reading this long blog post, and I hope the information provided is useful.

Meeting Minutes May 2014

Physical and Health Disabilities (OI) Consortium Meeting

Judy Bytheway, Renee Dawson and Eva Parks

May 15, 2014

Topics discussed:

The group is considering teleconferencing, skyping, satellite meetings, webinars for increased participation

Judy is exploring more advanced web page access

On site meetings can be alternating districts hosting

PLUs can be provided with descriptions and agendas given to the State Dept. 3 weeks ahead of time, etc.

The same Consortium in California does a bi-annual conference with speakers

They pay dues (around $25/annually)

Tour – Tools for Life

June 2 – 5 = IDEAS and Tools for Life Conference

Lots of Resources and PLUs

Tools for Life has Webinars the last Wednesday of every month (see website) –

Sign up to have notices sent to your email

Tools for Life has a loaning library, which gives people a chance to try out solutions for AT, seating, positioning, etc.

Demonstrations given:

Laser keyboard – is a like regular keyboard (runs a little below $200 around $179 on Brookstone)

Good to use with mobile tablets, Iphone, laptop, whatever has Bluetooth capability

Google Glass (costs $1500) – Phone compatible device

Pair of glasses with a display in front of your eyes

Built in voice recognition

With the Command “OK Glass”:

It brings up a list of commands you can scroll through by tipping your head up and down

When you wink it will take a picture

Anything you can do on your phone you can do with Google Glass – make calls, texts, etc.

It also has a swipe pad on the side you can use if voice recognition is not identifying, or can use

If you have low vision in your right eye, this would not be a useful tool

 AMAC is a membership program

For 8-12 individuals no fee, but if you need services there is a fee for services

Tools for Life does the AT evals for AMAC

You get a written comprehensive report (eval is $450 plus travel)

No fee for demonstration or loan for equipment, or calls to brainstorm (can also answer through Skype)

AMAC – has school memberships

Online systems, Apps for accessible textbooks (free 4 students)

And Wiki automated emails and can do support calls

Captioning Dept. – provides remote captioning mostly for college classrooms

Books over internet wherever the lecture is (have done in Guam!)

Students can use laptop, IPAD, phones and provide notes to the student

This dept. has captioned some videos and movies

Audio Descriptions  – which describes actions in a movie for the Blind, and can read subtitles as well.

AMAC = postsecondary primarily – corporate and nonprofit

Serves colleges all over the US

Contacts disability services and the colleges as needed – paid and unpaid memberships, which include lots of access to technology

Individual services are available through Tools for Life

AMAC website= menu at right – frequently asked questions – WIKI – teachers can go through with students

All colleges in Georgia and many around the country are members (see list on website)

Paul – Access Text which is under the AMAC umbrella

Electronic access portals for most textbook publishers

Telepresence Robotics:   Students can come to the site to try

–       VGO $5,000 uses Cloud technology and can move around a room like a person, has a camera

–       KUBI  $499 – which is a tabletop robotic (can be used with Skype)

–       Nano Robot – new and coming to TFL

Electronic Accessibility – uses optimal characteristic software – makes electronic files that are accessible

–       Similar to what Bookshare and GIMC offer

Follow Up from May 2014 Meeting

Hello Everyone!

Firstly, I just wanted to give a big THANK YOU to everyone for attending and hosting the meetings. I felt that we had a great year, and next year will be even better. I am hoping that our consortium grows immensely over the next year so that we can support more teachers around the State.

I also wanted to pass this information along…The Kyle Pease Foundation is hosting a camp for children and adults (ages 3-30) who have cerebral palsy. Please forward this information to your students’ parents. I have attached the event flyer.

Camp Wheel Away Flyer
Kyle Pease will be presenting at our May 14th, 2015 consortium meeting which will be held at Georgia State. He will share information about his foundation whose primary goal is to provide adaptive sports equipment to persons with disabilities. You don’t want to miss meeting Kyle, he is an amazing person! Dr. Paul Alberto, who is now the Dean of the College of Education, helped reserve a room for us at Georgia State. We are lucky to have his support in this way. I will give more information in the fall about all of the meetings and locations.

Here is the link to his foundation website:

http://www.kylepeasefoundation.org/

***I have also attached the meeting minutes from our last meeting at Tools for Life. The tour was incredibly interesting and beneficial. Thank you to the staff of Tools for Life for opening your doors to us! We are looking forward to working with you in the future. The meeting minutes are posted in the blog post above. Thanks to Mary Wright for taking such thorough notes!

I will be updating the blog next week, so don’t forget to follow it…There is a tab that says “Follow” at the very bottom of the page, you just need to scroll all the way down to find it. If you are following the blog, then you will be able to receive e-mail updates regarding new information, events, etc. You may want to receive updates to your personal e-mail address so that you can stay up to date over the summer.

The link to our blog is:

https://georgiaoiteachers.wordpress.com/

Lastly, I am working on planning our meetings in advance over the summer, in hopes that I can submit our plans to the State Department of Education for approval to receive PLU credits for our meetings. If you are able to attend all of the meetings, then you will be able to gain 12 contact hours which would hopefully provide one PLU for the year plus 2 additional contact hours. It is my understanding that we will need to begin accumulating PLU’s again in 2015. This is still in the works, so I will keep everyone updated. If you have any recommendations for meeting topics please let me know. Next year is going to be a great year!

Have a great summer.

Judy

Meeting Minutes: March 20, 2014

Highlights from the meeting:

Our meeting today included a presentation by Dr. Heller regarding her recent research on how teachers can more effectively manage situations where a student has a terminal illness and/or when a student death occurs. Her presentation highlighted information about the grieving process, and how many people grieve differently, as well as the stages of grief that many experience.

She also discussed how teachers can manage communication with their terminally ill students, and their peers within the school setting. We learned that there are various ways of going about this while maintaining a positive and encouraging environment for the student while they are school. We also discussed how other family members, especially siblings may need support if their sibling is experiencing a terminal illness. These siblings will need a support system as well in the school setting.

Dr. Heller’s research determined that while teachers are feeling much more supported regarding students’ terminal illnesses and death than they were more than twenty years ago, there is room to grow. It is Dr. Heller’s wish that teachers, students, and school staff are well supported in order to deal with these sensitive topics in the school setting, well before and after a student has died from a terminal illness. The presentation was very informative and prompted an engaging conversation among the group.

Announcements:

We are pleased to announce that Renee Dawson, itinerant OI teacher in Cherokee County, is going to join the consortium leadership team. She brings a great deal of knowledge to the table as well as a great deal of experience in professional development.

Here is a link to access the Medicaid Fair flyer that is being held on April 2nd in Fulton County, please share this information with your students and their parents.

Resource Fair 2014 P2P flyer

The consortium also discussed the possibility of hosting an OI symposium next year. This would allow OI teachers and other related professionals the opportunity to meet other OI teachers, and to share information and resources related to out field. If you are interested in assisting with the planning of this event, please contact Judy Bytheway at: bytheway@fultonschools.org.

Other announcements included the possibility that we are going to gain permission to receive Professional Learning Units for our meetings, as well as any other activities that we organize, such as a symposium. I will keep you posted on any developments regarding our PLU status.

Available OI Positions:

There are currently 1-2 OI positions available in the Gwinnett County School System. Please contact Eva Parks at: eva_parks@gwinnett.k12.ga.us if you are interested if you are seeking an OI position. There are also 1-2 OI positions open in the Columbia County School System in Evans, Georgia, located near Augusta. Please contact go to this web address to view and apply for the positions:

http://www.ccboe.net/pages/Columbia_County/Departments/Human_Resources

Lastly, the blog has been recently updated to include a list of helpful apps for our students and teachers. Please take a look at these apps under the “Useful Apps” tab at the top of the blog. Please feel free to share the blog with other teachers so that they can access this resource. Also, please share additional apps that you find helpful.

We are so appreciative that so many people were able to attend the meeting yesterday. We had 19 members attend from several counties in the metro area. Thank you!

The next meeting on May 15th, 2014 will be held at the Tools for Life Facility at Georgia Tech University. I will provide more information regarding directions and parking in the next few days.

If you have any questions, please contact me at bytheway@fultonschools.org, or use the “Contact Us” tab at the top of the blog.

Thank you,

Judy Bytheway

March 20th Meeting in Cherokee County

About the meeting:

Dr. Kathryn Heller will be presenting her findings from her recent research regarding issues surrounding students with terminal illnesses. We were able to complete surveys for her for the purpose of her research, as well as many other OI teachers and related service providers around the country. The article has valuable information regarding issues related to students with terminal illnesses and how we can effectively handle these situations. This is such a huge part of our roles as OI teachers, so the information will be really helpful. If you have a chance to read the article before the meeting, that would be great!

Here is the link to the article:

http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/pders/article/view/4248

You can download the article if you scroll to the bottom of the screen.

A couple of notes:

If you would like for me to add an OI teacher to this e-mail list that may benefit from our meetings, please send me their e-mail address. I am trying to keep the e-mail list as updated as possible.

The meeting will be held from 1:00-3:45 p.m.

There is another meeting that is going to be held in that room at 4:00, so we just need to make sure we exit the room by 3:45.

I hope that as many as people as possible can make the meeting!

I am working on finding a more central location for everyone for next year’s meetings. Our next meeting is at the Tools for Life Facility at Georgia Tech. We will be touring the facility so that we can become more familiar with the services that are offered there.

Thanks!