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Assistive Tech Apps, Tools, and Resources

The way that K-12 learners are taught is in rapid flux, particularly when it comes to students in special education programs. According to a report by the Fordham Insititute, special education participation by K-12 students represented 13.1 percent of the nation’s student population in 2010. From 2000 to 2010, students in special education categories like learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and emotional disturbances dropped in numbers. Cases of autism spiked dramatically, though, quadrupling over the 10-year span.

Combine these statistics with the way classroom technology has changed since the year 2000 and it makes sense that special education is in an adjustment period. Because of this, special educators need to need abreast of what’s new in their field, especially when it comes to assistive technology for the classroom. But how do you do this while trying to juggle so many duties?  To help you out, we decided to compile a list of 13 of the best assistive technology apps, tools, and resources.

  1. Montessori Numbers –...
Training First Responders to Recognize Autism may avert tragedies

In 2016 in North Miami, Florida, a police officer’s lack of knowledge about autism led to a shooting. Arnaldo Rios, a 26-year-old man with autism, had strayed from his group home and was sitting in the middle of the street. One of his therapists had followed and was trying to coax him to return home. A passerby alerted the police, and, mistaking the toy truck in Rios’ hands for a gun, an officer fired.

The bullet hit the therapist in the leg, and the incident so upset Rios that he began having trouble eating and sleeping, which led to him being moved from his group home to a psychiatric institution.

Last July, a 14-year-old Arizona boy with autism named Connor Leibel was standing in a park awaiting his caregiver. Connor was playing with a piece of string, which he kept raising to his nose and sniffing. A police officer trained to recognize drug use noticed Connor from his patrol car. He pulled over and approached the boy. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m stimming,” Connor replied, using the familiar slang for the repetitive movements that people with autism often make to calm themselves.

The officer had no idea what Connor was talking about. “What?” he responded, and then, in a threatening...

MobiMat Comes to Treasure Island, FL

Treasure Island, FL, May 2, 2018– The City of Treasure Island is pleased to announce that it has recently installed an ADA beach access mat called a MobiMat. The mat was installed on Friday, April 27th at Gulf Front Park, which is located at 10400 Gulf Blvd. Gulf Front Park is the busiest beach access location in the City, providing access to the City’s main beach area.

 

The MobiMat RecPath is a removable access pathway made out of recycled materials. It is approximately 400 ft. extending towards the Gulf and 6.5 ft. wide. The mat provides improved accessibility for residents and visitors with mobility impairments. It also provides improved access for pedestrians and users of strollers and beach carts.

Image of Beach Mat leading up to the water on the beach

Gators Café & Saloon, a subsidiary of HCI Group, Inc., donated $21,175 to the City of Treasure Island for the purchase of the mat, which is the first of its kind in Pinellas County. The City Commission accepted the donation on October 17, 2017.

The City’s Recreation Department is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 17th. The...

4 Key Points to Consider Designing your Website.

Web Accessibility is important for many people living with some form of disability. And the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses facilitate and offer the same services to all clients, whether or not they may have a disability. This includes the business’s website or electronic media. Whether someone has a cognitive disability that requires simple content and navigation, or a blind user utilizes a screen reader to read a web page, there are many reasons to make your website ADA compliant. The bottom line is that ADA compliance means a better user experience for everyone.

Here are 4 Key points to consider when designing and maintaining your website.

For a more in depth guide, Check out https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

  • Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people...
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Discrimination Complaint Form

Under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, an individual who believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability by a public entity may, by himself or herself or by an authorized representative, file a complaint. The Department of Justice must address the complaint or refer the complaint to the appropriate Federal agency. Any Federal agency that receives a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability by a public entity must review the complaint to determine whether it has jurisdiction under Section 504. If the agency does not have jurisdiction under Section 504, it must determine whether it is the designated agency responsible for complaints filed against that public entity under title II of the ADA. If the agency does not have jurisdiction under section 504 and is not the designated agency under title II of the ADA, it must refer the complaint to the Department of Justice.

 

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