Well welcome Kate to our Toolkit Tuesday. This week's, or this Toolkit Tuesday topic is the AT or the assistive technology consideration process.
So just a bit about our organization, Knowbility, before we move forward with our Toolkit Tuesday. What you are attending today is part of our Community Programs. We are a nonprofit, so we do put on educational and training programs for different sectors of the community.
We have the Accessibility Internet Rally, which is a design competition for aspiring web accessibility professionals or professionals who want to gain accessibility skills. And we pair them with nonprofits to help them achieve their digital accessibility goals. We have our AccessU conference which is coming up in May. That's more for industry professionals who want advanced training in accessibility.
And then, of course, our K 12 Digital Accessibility, which is why we're here. And we have our Toolkit Tuesday's, which is this event free for parents, educators, anyone who wants to learn more about digital accessibility K-12. And then we also have our K-12 Access Summit, which is our conference for people in K-12 parents and educators. And that will be in the summer.
And because we are a nonprofit, you know, we, we want to bring as many things as we can to the public for free but of course that costs money so we do take donations gladly. If you feel so moved to donate, you can visit us at Knowbility that's knowbility.org slash donate to support us and help us bring you more to Toolkit Tuesdays.
Right. And our presenter. So, I am a guest presenter because our speaker today, usually introduces people and you know that just wouldn't be fair to have her do everything. So, I get to introduce Jessica McKay, which I'm very excited to do so. You know I get to see her all the time but not everyone else gets to hang out with her so you guys are going to have a great time today, listening to her talk about assistive technology considerations.
Jessica before she came to us to Knowbility, she spent Specialist for Ysleta ISD in El Paso, Texas. She's also served and as a as an advisory board member for the National Accessible Educational Material Center. The Center for Inclusive Technology and Education Systems and State Leaders of Assistive Technology in Education. And she's recently received her Master's of Science in Assistive Technology and Human Services from CSU Northridge. Cal State University Northridge.
Right, thank you, Erica and thank you everyone for joining us. I think I put in the chat after everyone joined us. We do have a Bitly. And that is bi t.ly slash, the number three. That'll be a capital G than a lowercase g c o n, and then a capital D, and that'll just take you to a text based handout of the slides that we have for today and then I might edit it a little bit and then we'll make sure we have anything updated on to our website with the recording as well.
So welcome, I'm very excited. I love to geek out talking about assistive technology, especially assistive technology in schools because that is kind of where I started my accessibility journey so we are going to talk specifically to the AT consideration process. We're going to start by talking about what AT looks like in schools, and really looking at it from the perspective of what IDEA says what the law says, and then we're going to talk about the struggles that schools might be facing with that. And then, of course, talk about some best practices what research tells us to do. And then lastly, of course we want to make sure we have some time for anybody if they have questions so let's go ahead and dive right in.
So we're going to talk about AT schools, again, looking at the definitions the laws and the purpose. Now this sounds really boring, I know, but one of the things I find when I'm working with campuses in their AT consideration process is a lot of times they want to jump ahead to like: what's the tech? what's the tools? what do I need to do? And it really does help if you step back and think about the purpose of what assistive technology is and even to go back and think about what the purpose of an IEP is right that Individualized Education Program. So that's what we want to do because once you have good foundation and understanding of those. It really does help guide you in that process forward.
So, we're going to talk about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. It did start in '94 excuse me 1975, excuse me, as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, and really before this law, very, very few students with disabilities were given access to education in any kind of formalized way to ensure that they were getting any kind of education. So that's where it started in '75. Then in 1990, during its reauthorization it was changed to the Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. In '97, IDEA had a big change were added five special factors that must be considered when developing that student's program. Okay so, and what's, what we're going to talk about is how assistive technology is one of those five special factors so the idea is, there are five things we need to talk about when we're developing this IEP in this meeting. In 2004, IDEA became aligned with the No Child Left Behind Act. And for a lot of us in education we really did see a big shift and how needs and things were getting addressed especially in our more self contained units or students with more significant needs. Because, with no child left behind there was really you know this raising of standards for teachers but also instruction they really started to look a little bit. So as much as we all hate standardized testing, you know, for a brief shiny moment it looked like, "oh look something useful is coming out of it," that it's, it's actually making sure that we're instructing our children. In 2017, there's Endrew F versus the Douglas County School District, and this case, the Supreme Court emphasize the requirement that every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives. So it wasn't just enough to say, Oh look, They're, they're doing fine they're doing well, right where they're at, educationally, you know, via this plan. This was really an opportunity for for the courts to, you know, really make sure everybody was giving those students that opportunity to rise above what they were currently at. Okay.
OK, So now we've got to talk about the IEP. So that is Individualized Education Program. Some people say plan. So you'll, you may hear it interchange. So idea requires that an IEP for students receiving special education services. Every student has to have an IEP. So once your student has been determined eligible to receive special education services, they will now be having an IEP as part of those services. So every year they need to be having a meeting. And that meeting is individualized to meet their specific needs and make progress towards their specific goals. So it's not, you know, Susie has a learning disability so these are the things that we do for our students with a learning disability. It's really looking at specifically what Susie strengths are what her needs are, where she needs to go next.
Throughout I've listed the statutes where you can pull this up. And I'll make sure I don't think I've linked them in the handout yet so I will make sure that those get linked as well if those aren't in there, but I think they should all be linked properly in there.
So now we want to talk about assistive technology services. So we know IDEA says, every child needs to receive an IEP. And part of that IEP is going to include Assistive Technology Services. So when we talk about assistive technology services, as defined by IDEA. It means that any service that directly assist a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use an assistive technology device. Now this can include determination of needs or an evaluation, providing the assistive technology device, maintaining the assistive technology device, working with the campus teams to determine the student needs or to determine the AT needs of the student, as well as training the students, staff and parents. So these all fall under Assistive Technology Services.
So we mentioned assistive technology device. So what is that and that's always kind of a big one to that we run into when we're talking with our teams, you know what constitutes an AT device when does it magically turn into a AT. So assistive technology device means any item piece of equipment or product system whether acquired commercially or off the shelf modified or customized that is used to increase maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. And of course the term does not include a medical device that has been surgically implanted or the replacement of such device.
So really with with this definition is we're saying, you know, this can range from anything low tech to a pencil grip to a raised surface to lined paper to anything that's high tech. And specifically, you know, created a modified right so we're looking at wheelchairs that have modified joysticks or mounting systems for their devices. You know, eyegaze on a laptop, you know the range is far and wide. And really the idea is if the student doesn't have that assistive technology device, would they be successful in completing their task. And that's kind of really where that line helps to get drawn.
So now that we know IEP happens every year. You know what assistive technology is. I'd like to talk about this one as well because again it's just to help remind people of the role of assistive technology and the role of staff in ensuring that.
So one of the reasons why AT was added as a special factor is because they realize, you know, IDEA recognizes that AT is going to help students be successful. Right. And we want to help bring up there, or to help them achieve their goals and to help you know meet those challenges. So if it's needed to be successful. And we want to ensure that students have access to a free and appropriate public education. Right, that's one of the big things that you may hear people say the word FAPE, which is Free and Appropriate Public Education. So AT services are provided if needed to ensure that that student has a free and appropriate public education, regardless of their placement or the equipment needed.
Okay, so what we're saying here is, it doesn't matter what, you know, eligibility coding your student has it doesn't matter if they are in a general ed setting or in a more self contained unit, or even the type of equipment, if that's what they need to be successful in their academic goals and to receive that free and appropriate public education. We need to make sure it's provided. And at no extra cost to the parents right like that's the whole point of the free and appropriate public education. And then second to that is, if it's determined by the IEP team school and district purchased equipment can be used at home or other settings, if deemed necessary for that free and appropriate public education. And I bring that up because a lot of times I'll talk with other AT specialist or other teams, and they get confused on. "Well, it's our device but it's going home" and then I have to ask them well why why would it need to go home and you know if it's for communication. You know well are they going to use it to communicate to finish their homework? Well yeah, they're going to need to finish their homework to complete their projects to be successful in class so therefore they're going to need it to have FAPE. So it's always again, going back to the purpose of things, and and helping to support those decisions so we want to make sure people have that.
Right. So, to the big part why we're all here AT consideration. So I have quoted verbatim where you see the AT consideration listed in IDEA. So it. The line above it says you know all IEP meetings must. And then it says consideration of special factors, the IEP team must consider whether the child needs assistive technology devices or services. That's what it says, says you must consider those needs. So every single time you were having an IEP meeting. You need to be talking about the assistive technology needs and services. So, and it doesn't say that they need to have them, it means that you need to consider whether that you need to have them.
So that leads us to our struggle, why it's important. So first let's talk about why is it important for us to talk about assistive technology in the IEP. So remember, the purpose of an IEP is to help a student with disabilities make annual gains and their educational journey. Right? Gains. We want to see them increase skills we want to see them be successful in their academic journey.
So to do that IEP teams need to ask. Will the use of assistive technology, increase maintain or improve a student's functional capability and help them make progress in those gains? Okay, so that's really the big thing here is, if we're trying to help them make gains are we providing all the tools and supports that they might need to make those gains. And then the other reason why it's really important to make sure that you're having these conversations, is to really document the process. I'll touch a little bit on this here and then we can talk about it later as we go on but especially as more and more of our students are in inclusive settings, and as more and more schools are doing things like one to one devices like Chromebooks and iPads.
For a lot of campus teams, the lines are getting blurry on what is assistive technology versus instructional technology, and they're not properly documenting the actual needs of the student because they're saying, oh well everybody has a Chromebook now so we don't need to write it in their paperwork, forgetting that if that student leaves, what documentation is there to say, "hey, the student needed that that Chromebook." And that they go to a school that that's not provided, there's nothing to make sure that that's going to be provided for them when they go to the next campus. And again it just helps remind people. Why are they actually using it. What is the purpose of it, is it doing its job? So that's the other important reason for having this process.
So why is AT consideration so difficult we know it's important we know it's useful. Why can't we seem to do it very effectively, or where are we getting struggles from. Well, I showed you the line from IDEA. That's all the guidance they give us. They just say you have to consider it. They don't tell us who needs to be involved in that beyond, you know what you previously read in terms of who's president an IEP meeting, they don't tell you what you should say they don't tell you how you should consider it they just say, you need to consider assistive technology.
So for a lot of teams, they're going to get stuck because they don't know the questions to ask and they don't know if they've covered all their bases. And then the second point is for those teams that maybe want to have those conversations, a lot of times, there is a perceived lack of knowledge or ability. You know, you may have heard teachers say well I don't know anything about technology I don't feel comfortable talking about it because that's not my wheelhouse. So I don't know how to make those recommendations. And that's not really what we're talking about with AT consideration. I think that's part of the problem when we look at AT consideration process is again people are trying to jump to the final decision, which sometimes you can get there very quickly. But really, that AT consideration process just needs to ask, have we thought about it and what do we think the student might need you don't need to come up with the answer right then and there. You just need to start having that conversation and taking those steps forward.
And then the third point I put here is that assumption of financial burden. I've been at some campuses and talk with some other state. Excuse me. Some other teachers or AT specialist from different states where when they're having these IEP meetings and they're talking about assistive technology, you can you can kind of feel in the room right that administrator that gets really nervous when you talk about assistive technology, because in their brains they're automatically jumping to the most expensive piece of equipment that's out on the market. Regardless of who the student is so they just want to quickly brush over that part of the IEP as fast as possible because they just hope nobody notices it, and they don't want anybody to ask for anything. And a lot of times, especially like I said you know more and more of our classrooms have more equipment already provided to our students. That might already be sufficient to meet our students needs. Again, we just need to document it so that that way. It's part of that students journey.
A lot of times too and I know we have a. I'm going to call you out Kate you know we have state agencies that, you know, you're not having to make the commitment to buy the super piece of expensive equipment right then and there. You might make the decision let's try something. And there are places where you can get that equipment to try it out, and through different loan programs. So, you know, that's another thing that we need to make sure that people are aware of, you're not having to make these financial decisions right then and there. It's having the conversation and starting the process.
Alright so now we know the struggles, let's talk about some best practices. So, recommended best practices and this is just, you know, across different literature and things like that that we've read IEP team or IEP development is a team process, right, and and any good lawyer will tell you that IEP is not done until you all sign, and even then it's probably not done, but you know you've never completed an IEP document until everybody has agreed to it so even if you draft everything, it's not done yet until everybody's had their say. So IEPs are a team process, so should the entire team be involved when considering assistive technology. Now, with that we're not just talking about, you know, Sped teachers and Gen Ed teachers and service providers, you know, making sure the parents have input as well. making sure the students have input when considering assistive technology. And, again, you know your student may not be sitting in the IEP meeting, but are you having that conversation, are you getting some kind of input from your students in terms of what's the effect of what they prefer using things like that.
The next point is everybody needs to recognize their role and their contributions. So again, without whole team process, making sure that people don't feel like they're getting overburdened with something they don't feel comfortable doing, but a lot of times people don't recognize the valuable information that they can bring to the table to help make those decisions so that's really where that second bullet point is coming in is because, you know, we know what it looks like in the classroom when the students using something or struggling with a particular task.
But, you know, the parent might be some seeing something completely different. Or they may see a strategy that's more beneficial. Or we may have a strategy that we think is going to work amazing in the classroom and then the parent says, Yeah, if we try to do that at the house, x y z is not going to have, you know, worked out because of whatever because, Again, they're going to have information we don't about the students, and even for our student. Even for our students that are you may be non verbal or have alternative methods of communication. They have information to share with us, the questions might be a little different than we would normally ask, you know, our, our staff and our parents, but those students really need to make sure that their input is included as well.
And then lastly, and this is really the kind of the crux of the matter is there needs to be some kind of process, and staff need to understand how to complete that process. So typically most of us when we're looking at our IP documentation, and it varies from state to state, even amongst different districts and states. When you're looking at that documentation. There just may be a little section that says special factors, and they say, "assistive technology has been considered for the student," and then maybe there's a couple checkboxes where it says "yes the student will need assistive technology to make progress towards IEP goals" or "no student does not need assistive technology to be successful in completing their IEP goals," and then sometimes they'll be a third check mark that says, "More information is needed."
Maybe they'll give you a little spot to add what specific information you need. Some times other districts have something that's more specific and drilled down so maybe if you're checking "yes," then they want you to be very specific about what that is. I think most when they have like those yeses and noes, they'll just give you like a little box to just type in some additional information.
But that's all that's there. There's no instructions. And so what tends to happen is they just see those little checkboxes, and they'll just quickly say yes, or they'll just say no, based off of what was previously there, or whatever their assumptions are without actually having the conversation. So we just want to make sure that there is some kind of process happening.
So I have several different tools and resources here that I'm going to kind of quickly walk through. So the first one is the Georgia Department of Education created this amazing document and if you went to ATIA I know they were kind of rolling it out and showing everybody. This great project that they started called "Take a Minute" and I'm just going to click on it and just briefly describe what's on the screen here and then if you look at the handout, there is a visual description as well where I give you more in depth, all the text that's on this on this document.
So "Take a Minute" was created to really help teams, stop when they're going through their documentation to literally stop and take a minute and talk about it. It's really just to have that brief conversation. So on the first side of course that's just explaining what that purpose is. And then on the second column of this first page is the three questions that they asked teams to have a conversation about. So the first one is asking where their issues and the present levels that address how your student's disability effects his or her ability to be involved in progress in general education right curriculum related to reading writing communication or other areas. So, you know, it's just a very nice, what are their present levels, what, what are we seeing that's impacting that.
Once that's discussed then you can say, "will AT support in those deficit areas addressed in the present levels," right so if we have a conversation and we say Susie's struggling with reading. We think it might be decoding. But she seems to be a comprehending very well but we think she's just struggling with the decoding. Do we think AT could support that, you know, do we need to look at text to speech. And then the last one because they they made this as a part of their AEM initiative, or accessible educational materials to bring awareness to make sure that people are providing the access their students need to those alternative forms of text and media.
Their third question is, can AEM (Braille, larger print audio or digital text) provide access that the student can better comprehend the print or digital text. So with our example of Susie, we said yes Susie looks like she needs text to speech. So what, so now we're talking about AEM too. Okay so we need to make sure that we have digital text available for her.
What I really really really like about this document is down at the bottom it says it's okay not to know all the answers right you may get to one. And you have to stop because you're not sure about what kind of AT is out there, that's fine. You started the discussion you started the process, and it tells you if you don't all know all the answers, that's fine. just document that discussion. Select who's going to get those answers and schedule your follow up meeting. So again, it's just making sure that there's a process going on in this ongoing.
On the backside of this document so they made it as a two page document that they could just hand out to different campuses. On the backside What I really like about this, it goes back to that conversation about, you know, financial burden and not recognizing what you already have. What they've done is created some a couple of tables to again kind of help generate some ideas and thoughts for teams.
So on the left side it says "AT for Students." And here it's just reminding them that, you know, assistive technology can exist in everyday classrooms and be used by all. But it's going to be essential for something right so that's where it turns in from instructional to assistive. And so these are just some examples of that, Instructional Technology or, you know, UDL technology that's really going to be essential and necessary for specific students based on their needs. So here under reading, you know they listed it students are using any kind of text to speech extensions through Google or maybe the Immersive Reader and Microsoft, Right?
If that student needs it it's turned into assistive technology we need to make sure that's getting documented. For writing, if students are using dictation. Right, or speech to text or voice typing through Google. If that's how they're doing their work. We need to make sure that's getting documented Spelling right? Spellcheck, word prediction.
On the left side or on excuse me on the right side, it's talking about "AEM for Students." And this was kind of nice because a lot of times they were saying, yes they need the formats, but they weren't realizing, and again just to make sure that their documentation was complete, and making sure that if I have a student that's using refresh double Braille, which is, you know, a digital way that you're going to get Braille onto something like a Braille note. You know, that's, that's requiring an extra piece of technology right so that assistive technology, versus a hard copy of notes right if it's just a paper based that's large print. That's the accessible format, do I need additional technology. Probably not because it's just going to be a paper based copy. So it's just, again to help facilitate that documentation.
And then at the very, very bottom here I really like again that they're reminding them to think about the built in accessibility features and hardware and software, more and more of our systems have those built and accessibility features right we have voiceover. You know we have access. Oh, I just blanked on the name from Microsoft. You know the different accessibility tools that are available through those different OS systems. So just reminding people that are already built in the system and just making sure it's getting documented in the IEP.
So this next one comes from Ysleta and that's where I used to work so I'm really proud of this one so I'm just going to sing its praises all day long. We created a placemat, and our conversation really came from. We know that teams were talking about assistive technology but sometimes they weren't talking about all of the potential areas where assistive technology could be benefiting the student, or they were just writing down what was written before and not actually looking at if it was really still being effective for that student.
So I'm just going to quickly read through these so we have different tasks and areas. Over on the left side of the column so we're looking at you know reading, math, composing written material writing aspects, you know, and I'm going to jump around a little bit. Communication position and seating. So all the different areas that we can typically consider for assistive technology.
Then the next column says "successful without AT." So the idea is you could quickly talk about each of these areas and almost just mentally or if you wanted to print this out, check yes or no. Right. Are they successful with reading without AT? yes! Right? and just yes yes yes, no, no, no, whatever it is. So down at the bottom, again we did this to assist their documentation process. So for our documentation, if you say they don't need AT, and they're successful without AT, then you're going to select "No students does need AT."
Then the next list is any current at they are using. Okay so, so let's talk about Susie maybe Susie's already using some kind of speech to text, maybe that's something built in from whatever operating system maybe they're using something like Read & Write or Snap & Read. And we would list that. And we would go down the list anything they're currently using. So then when we get to there, we say yes, they are using it and we would indicate what they're using it for.
Then the last one goes through anything that they're not successful. And maybe we need to add AT, or maybe we have AT but it's not working out the way we want to right? So maybe Susie has that text to speech, but we're not really seeing the progress we would like to or it seems like there's some kind of difficulty. It could be that she just needs more training, maybe it's not the right program for her maybe she needs something with some additional support in there. But, you know, once you go through that list, then this is where you would check that "yes, and more info is needed." And then we provide additional steps for them on what to do in terms of what they want a consultation or evaluation.
And then down at the bottom I can't click on it because I don't have access, we made it for district only. We had a little bit link at the bottom of the document that would take them to different types of examples, under those different areas. So, under reading we would have, you know, from low tech high tech, different types of supports for reading or assistive technology, you know when you're looking at the positioning and seating and again from low to high tech, you know things from foot boxes to armrests to, you know, power wheelchair. So all of those things would be listed, to get help to generate some ideas and some thoughts for people.
The next three that I have here are. They're a little more in depth and, you know, kind of make you walk through some extra steps but that's okay too. That's why I wanted to give everybody a little bit of everything to kind of play around with.
So of course we have the SETT framework created by Joy Zabala, which is Student Environment Task and Tools. Now I've seen some districts use this as their consideration tool, and I've seen some districts use this as their evaluation tool. So I did want to provide that resource and this is coming from the Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center. I mean really, you can just google SETT Framework and, you know, half the states have their own SETT Framework pages and things like that. So I just like this one because it did give them a nice description of what each of those areas are, and then they also had some of those resource links, either specific trainings, or some of the documentation, so that's why I put that one there.
The next one is the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative. So if you go to that main page, they have a lot of resources that cover from consideration to evaluation, supports for transition, just a lot a lot of great procedures and worksheets, to help teams progress through. I did include their tech space consideration procedure. You know, it gets really meaty in some of those questions and things to ask. And they talk about their consideration guide and I did include that link as well so if you know, if you're looking for something more text based and meaty that might be a good one to go to.
And then the last one that I put in here is a link to the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology. And this is a great resource. You know, over the years, it's just kind of this amazing organization and the resources that they've produced really does help make sure you know, tools and strategies but but really good check-in for your teams, for your districts for your schools to make sure that you're really providing quality services. And of course they're very very first indicator is the consideration of assistive technology needs. So when you go to the website that I've linked here, you can either download it as a separate document or you can go to their website. And they're very very first indicators is; "Are you considering it for all students regardless of severity or type of disability?" So again, reminding us that this is for This is for every single student with an IEP, this isn't just for our kids who are blind or visually impaired, this isn't just for our kids with more significant physical needs, right? this is for every single student. If they have an IEP, we need to be considering. So these are just good questions to ask for your team to make sure you know, it's a good way to check in and make sure that you're providing those quality services for your students.
Okay, so I gave you a lot of information, and a lot of things for you to explore. But I just really want to review, quickly some of the takeaways that I really hope that you, you get out of today. Just remember, you know, IDEA recognizes the important role that assistive technology can play, in the student's ability to make progress and to achieve academic success. You know that's kind of the big thing. They believe in it. That's why they made it a special factor. That's why they want to make sure that you're looking at it for every single kid because for a lot of our students, they're going to need assistive technology to make gains, because remember it's about making gains not just, you know, staying static. For every other student when we look at free and appropriate public education, it is to help them you know, gain knowledge and skills. Same thing for our students receiving IEP services.
So the next thing to remember is, every IEP is going to be individualized, and needs to include the consideration for assistive technology, right. So, again, making sure you're having that conversation, for every single student, and not just going, "Oh well they already have these things so that's what we're giving them." Again, stop for a second, talk about what are they using, is it working. Do we think there could be something else, it doesn't have to be a long conversation but you really do need to make sure that you're looking at all the areas, all the factors.
And then lastly, is it that AT consideration needs to be a process that teams understand, and that they expect. And again, it doesn't have to be long. But there really needs to be within that culture of your IEP teams. We're going to have conversations about assistive technology for every single student. This is kind of how to expect how those conversations are going to happen.
And that's why I gave you a chunk of resources to look at, you know, I know for our district we looked at WATI, and we adjusted it for our specific needs. You know that was something that we said, "well, we really liked how they did this part, but we really want to tweak it to address our very very specific documentation procedures." So that's why we, you know, took that and adjusted a little bit. You know there might be another state or district that you run into and their processes, and you say, this looks good, we just need to tweak a little bit to work for us. It's just making sure that you have a process, and that teams know that that process is coming.
Okay, So I'm going to do just a tiny plug. So this is the time while I make my plug to feel free to start jotting your questions in chat. So with Knowbility, in addition to having our wonderful Toolkit Tuesdays and you know these started because of COVID and we wanted to make sure that parents and students had the access that they needed to, you know, really still be able to participate regardless of where they were. But we we've seen this as an opportunity to expand upon that and not just be about COVID solutions and learning at home solutions, we wanted to make sure that parents really did have, you know, tools and access and understanding as well as teachers and administrators to really make sure are we looking at accessibility, are we looking at assistive technology from all the angles.
So, in addition to that, we have a couple of things that might interest you. One is our ATSTAR. And that stands for Assistive Technology Strategies Accommodations and Resources. So some of you may be familiar with this, we've had it for years. It was designed as an eight module course for all stakeholders in an IEP to have a better understanding of assistive technology, and really how to gather that information needed to make effective recommendations. What are the questions.
A lot of times people want to jump to what is the tech. And this really hones in on what are the questions you need to ask, because once you know the questions to ask, finding the tech is a lot less daunting. Because you need to have the right questions to know where you need to go next. We do have a current version available, but we are working to update those materials soon. I still think it's useful information but I will warn you some of the videos are a little older. We have some references to some throwback tech, you know, alpha smarts and things like that. But we are updating those materials soon. So just to let you know.
And what we're going to do with that updated ATSTAR is kind of from there build our Access Toolkit. So, you know, we started with ATSTAR and then what we want to do is start adding some additional training modules and really look at role based learning paths. So instead of just having this eight course module. Like, maybe you just need some a quick hit on some information about, you know, different types of text to speech readers. Maybe you need a quick resource on questions to ask when buying accessible materials, right? So that's where the Access Toolkit going to come into play is, you know, from the ATSTAR and then also building additional resources and supports. And that's coming soon as well.
And the reason why I mentioned those is because we are looking for schools or people that might be interested in helping to review that content. We want to make sure that this is useful for the audience that we're preparing it for. So we do have an interest form. If you'd like to fill out a quick Google Form. Just to let us know if you want to just, you know, help us review the content. If you are a school or district that would be interested in completing the training modules, and then helping us with some data collection. It won't be anything super stringent, I promise that we just, again, we want to make sure that we're, we're providing product that's useful and beneficial to people. So that bitly link is going to be b i t dot l y slash capital K. The number one, two or 12. And then we have interest form with a capital I, capital F. And then I'm going to see if Molly can put that in the chat for me as well. So it's bit.ly, slash, k 12 interest form, and the K and the F will be capitalized.
Alright, so we have come up to our question time. Oh, we've got plenty of time for questions. Great. And if you don't have any that's fine too. I did want to just quickly mention while somebody I'm imagining somebody furiously typing a question in chat so I'll just talk while they form their question there, and I did want to mention that I did include the AT3 website, and I know we have Kate here I'm sorry Kate I just called you out again. [laughing] she didn't know I was going to do that.
But I did want to mention that because I think a lot of times, especially in school systems, I know I just moved recently so I'm still kind of learning how my state and my schools provide different services. A place to start can always be your state tech act center to get more information. But your state agencies can provide you with more info maybe who to contact but also they may be a place where you can get those loaner devices. And it really kind of depends on the agency. So I can't speak to every single state on what they have or what their procedures are. But that is always a good place to start if you're feeling a little lost and you're not sure where to go next so.
All right, well I don't think we have any more questions, so I will go ahead and go to our next slide and advertise for our next Toolkit Tuesday, and I'm really excited about this one, it will be on March 1. So if you haven't caught on, we're keeping our Toolkit Tuesday's the first Tuesday of every month we'll keep them to this time at 1pm Central, and in March, we are going to talk about the parent perspective. And what we're really hoping to do with this one is not just talk about parents role and assistive technology, but again, looking at, you know, making learning accessible and inclusive. So one of the key stakeholders in that is our parents. So how are we helping to create inclusive and accessible spaces for our parents, so that they can you know really engage and interact and contribute in that environment? So we'll be talking with some parents on that. So for that its bit.ly slash Knowbility Toolkit Tuesday.
Thank you, Molly right on time perfect so thank you everyone. I think that is it. If we don't have any questions and if you missed if you had to jump in a little late. Don't worry, we'll have this recorded, and then we'll pop it up onto the website and any updates, we need to make to the handout will happen as well. So, thank you everyone.