Spring 2008 Report on Assistive Technology Lab at Pace University—NYC

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Report update on the creation of an Assistive Technology laboratory in New York City campus of Pace University Full report is provided in the Abstract section.


Spring 2008 Report on Assistive Technology Lab at Pace University—NYC

By Beth Rosenberg

Grad Assistant to Prof. Sandra Flank

January/February 2008:

*a Thinkfinity training half-day Session on the Thinkfinity.org portal was conducted on January 17.

*the AT Committee is established with members from departments including: psychology, nursing, computer science, English, communications and education/special education.

*a survey is created, developed and distributed to get a sense of what the committee members wanted to see in a new lab

*Matt Bonilla, Director of User Services, Division of Information Technology begins to look for an ideal space to house the lab in NYC

March 2008

*videoconference between NYC and Pleasantville with AT Lab Committee to discuss-- creation of lab; finding of a space for the facility; staffing of lab; equipment (hardware and software) needed for lab; and opportunities for use of the lab by faculty, students and other professionals.

*AT Lab Committee is asked to:

Go back to your department and discuss the establishment of an assistive tech lab.

a. How could such a lab assist your department?

b. What are your ideas for courses your department may want to teach or have your students take?

c. How might such a lab be used for research?

*Beth Rosenberg attends an online session via WebEx with the Iowa Text Reader committee to discuss the 3-year text reader study of Cambian Learning Technologies….specifically the Kurzweil 3000.

*Prof Flank and Beth Rosenberg attend the Teaching and Learning Conference in NYC (on separate days). The Reading Pen made by WizTech will make a great addition to the AT Lab. Prof. Flank also makes contact with Kate Gorman from Dist 75 at NYC DOE who does professional development training.

April 2008

*Beth Rosenberg organizes an Autism Literary Night as a consultant for special needs at the JCC Manhattan. A speaker on the panel uses a plastic board that has the QWERTY keyboard imprinted on it. It’s called a Buddy Board and is available at www.buddyspeake.com

*Dr. Flank forwards--The Text Help Times: Technology Tips and Tools for Improving Literacy.

May 2008

*a list of AT Devices to be considered for the lab include (but not limited to):

Dynavox, Dynawrite, Tango, Cheaptalk, Alphasmart, X-O.

*Prof Flank attends the NYSCATE conference in Rye, NY and makes contact with Read, Write, Gold who want to be involved with AT Lab.

*Beth Rosenberg attends annual YAI Disabilities conference and spends two days in educational technology sessions.

*Prof Flank recommends http://www.cec.sped.org for the book Technology Integrations: Improving Access to the curriculum for students with disabilities that we can lend to faculty who ask what assistive tech is.

June 2008

*AT Lab Committee to visit with Dr. Kate Franklin to tour the AT Lab at the Westchester Institute for Human Development at New York Medical College on Friday, June 13.

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