Thursday, January 28, 2010

#ATIA2010 - Orlando, Thursday

ATIA 2010 Orlando got started today for me!  I've been to CTG, several years ago, and the first ATIA in Chicago in 2009, so I had a little idea what to expect!  And other than a less than stellar lunch (bad box lunch with 3 hours between sessions), today was great!  I got to see a lot of great presenters, and learned a lot.  Again if you are interested in see my notes from each session please head here - ATIA 2010 Notes

I first saw the Equals Math program at ATIA in Chicago.  I was impressed with it then, and I had very little information about it.  Now that I've seen it in action, it's better than I thought.  The basic concept is a math curriculum that is designed for all learners, no matter their disability, pre-k to adult.  The materials are age neutral, and are included in the kit.  85% of the materials you need to teach a lesson are included - the things you need to provide are pencils, paper, etc... that you probably have in your classroom already!  The program provides 3 levels of differentiation in all areas of the NCTM standards - geometry, algebra, patterns & units, pre-math & exploring & attending (I think I missed one, but you get the idea!). The program is expensive - $1700, but comes chock full of manipulatives, posters, vocabulary cards (over 700), workmats, & a CD full of stuff too!  Check out more information here - Ablenet Equals Math.

I also had a chance to check out a great new program call MeMoves!  Developed by a mom with a daughter with Autism, it is a set of DVD's that use movement to get them ready to learn.  All the movements are done with the upper body, and are set to 40-60 beats per minute.  It was lots of fun to do, and I can see that kids would have a lot of fun working.  They are short clips of many different children & adults doing the moves - some well, and some not so well.  It's a great lesson saying that you don't have to do it perfectly, which seemed to be a theme today (but I'll get to that later).  They also have an iPhone/iPod Touch app coming out soon.  It takes the concept and lets kids use their fingers to help them concentrate and get rewards!  I'm going to checking this out much more - at $60 it's well worth the price!

In the afternoon I had the opportunity to hear more about Proloquo2go from Samuel Sennott.  The more I see of this program, the more impressed I get.  It is a full features communication device, that is appropriate for many users and has many options.  I think I'm most impressed by how easy it is to add and edit categories, icons, and such.  There are some new features coming out very soon (which we were unable to get too, but I'm sure they will be great).  You can find out much more at!

Chris Bugaj (@attipscast) of the A.T.Tipscast podcast presented a great session on Alternative Professional Development.  Really did a great job of interacting and getting everyone involved.  Some great ideas on how to change up Professional Development - PD on CD, AT tips on DVD, and Tip of the day Calendars!

My last session might have been my favorite!  I had not planned on attending it, but changed my mind after a chance encounter last night.  I got into the van from the airport, and met a "brave" woman.  Krista introduced herself as she sat down with me and I immediately knew she was different, it was kind of obvious with a Vantage Lite hanging from her neck!  She immediately struck up a conversation.  She informed me she was studying to be a speech therapist and that she was presenting.  After that encounter I decided to check out the session.  She, Caroline Musselwhite, and Deanna Wagner talked about the Out and About program developed to help AAC users get social interactions with other AAC users, their families and other peers!  It has been a great success and Krista is just one example!  I'm very interested in checking out more information and checking out the Out and About group in the Chicago area!

Well, that's it for today.  It's way past my bedtime!  Looking forward to more tomorrow!


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