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Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative

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AT Messenger Logo - Bringing Technology to You

Volume 14, No. 4, Fall 2006

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What's Inside . . . Volume 14, No. 4, Fall 2006

Access to Learning Through Technology
Many students with disabilities and their families are frustrated because the students' disabilities interfere with their ability to access the curriculum, participate in learning activities, and demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Assistive technology can play a key role in helping students to participate and achieve in the educational environment, but there are still many barriers to be overcome.

Photo of the One Touch can openerThe AT Bargain Basement
Hello there true believers, and welcome to another exciting edition of the AT Bargain Basement. I am Marvin, your guide through The Basement, and I can't wait to get to the bargains we have in this installment. However, before we begin our journey, I should explain, for all of you new readers, the ground rules. First, I try to bring you all of the AT bargains I and your fellow readers have found with a price tag of $100 or less.

IDEA 2004’s Impact on AT Applications in Schools
In 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was re-authorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004). The re-authorization included some changes from the prior law. There are two main impacts of IDEA 2004 regarding assistive technology: one of concern, and one which deserves some applause. The first impact was the exclusion from the definition of assistive technology of medical devices that are surgically implanted, and a correlative exclusion from related services of optimizing such devices. The concern focused largely on devices assisting individuals to hear. The second impact is the inclusion of NIMAS, or the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard, which will facilitate the provision of accessible instructional materials for blind, visually impaired, and print disabled students.

The Holy Grail in Leveling the Educational Playing Field
Much of the education-related work we do at DATI revolves around tools and techniques that have the potential to level the educational playing field for all sorts of learners. We are often asked to train educators on the application and use of a number of available technologies. What I have come to appreciate while conducting many of these trainings is the importance of having educational material available in digital format.

Photo of FL4SH by AbleNet, Inc.Just Arrived at an ATRC Near You!
tango! is a new communication device by Blink Twice, a sister company of AbleNet, Inc. It comes with a built-in camera, voice-morphing technology, and is ergonomically designed with a combination of hard and soft buttons. Other features include scanning, and an SD card slot plus expansion slots for future use with features such as WiFi, Bluetooth, and cell phone. tango! incorporates state-of-the-art sound design that allows voices to be heard even in noisy environments.

RFB&D: Providing Audio-based Print Alternatives
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), a nonprofit organization, is the nation's leading educational library serving people who cannot effectively read standard print because of a visual impairment, learning disability, or other physical disability. The organization provides audio textbooks read by trained volunteers familiar with the subject areas of the texts. It serves all educational levels, from kindergarten to post-graduate and beyond, in a broad range of subjects. With over 29,000 titles available in its AudioCD format, RFB&D works as a lending library, distributing books to eligible members.

Vision Technology Inc. Introduces The VIEW
The new VIEW CCTV, weighing just 15 lbs, brings portability and capability together in this user-friendly, flat panel CCTV with distance, intermediate and desktop magnification.