Accessible Television In The Classroom


The potential of television as an educational tool has been widely recognized in terms of early childhood education, since the launch of Sesame Street more than 40 years ago. Television offers the same potential in primary and secondary education. Teachers and families have reported using educational TV to satisfy a variety of objectives:

  • To introduce, reinforce, and expand on content being taught.
  • To respond to a variety of learning styles.
  • To increase student motivation to learn.
  • To stimulate other learning activities.

The addition of accessibility features, such as captioning and description, increases the educational value and provides equal access. All of the programs below were made accessible through grants by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services/Office of Special Education Services. Some were part of the DCMP grant, while others were a part of five Television Access grants, awarded to Bridge Multimedia, CaptionMax, Dicapta, Narrative Television Network, and National Captioning Institute. Through a special pilot project, the Television Access grantees received approval from content partners to allow for the distribution of content to DCMP members.

Source: Described and Captioned Media Program

Available at:

Pre-Institute Workshops | 2014 Inclusion Institute


Four pre-institute workshops conducted by national experts are offered on Tuesday, May 20, from 9:00 to noon. The $50.00 registration fee includes a continental breakfast, a break, lunch, and materials. Sessions are limited to 40 people. Sessions that do not draw a minimum of 10 registrants will be canceled by March 30, in which case the registration fee will be refunded. Participants may register for a pre-conference session without registering for the Institute.

The four concurrent sessions for 2014 are:

1. Demystify Assistive Technology and Inspire the Assistive Technologist in You! Promoting Participation, Development and Enjoyment Among Young Children through Assistive Technology and Related Strategies

Suzanne A. Milbourne
Sue Mistrett
Bridget Gilormini

There is evidence to suggest that young children’s participation in activities that provide a sense of accomplishment, enjoyment, and skill development might protect socially and educationally at-risk children against later mental health, academic, and social problems. Whether children are able to achieve participation successfully may be mediated by the availability of appropriate assistive technology, environmental modification or related strategies.  This session will focus on the use of assistive technology and related strategies (e.g., adaptations) and how, when needed it can serve as a bridge to achieving active participation and opportunity healthy child development. Take a journey that will demystify assistive technology, inspire the assistive technologist in you.  Discover assistive technology through real-life stories and experience hands-on-time with assistive technology and adaptations!

Register for Pre-Institute Workshop #1 (Assistive Technology).


2. Using Video to Promote High Quality Inclusion Practices

Larry Edelman

This session will illustrate many ways that digital video and video conferencing can support inclusion by enhancing a number of key practices, including assessment, documentation, individual and group planning, family support/engagement, self-reflection, coaching, reflective supervision, professional development, virtual participation, and more. The session will review equipment options and recommended practices for shooting, file management, editing, security, and sharing clips. An in-depth resource guide will accompany the session.

Register for Pre-Institute Workshop #2 (Using Video).


3.  Strategies for Effective Teaming and Collaboration

M’Lisa Shelden
Dathan Rush

This pre-institute workshop will focus on the practices and application strategies associated with teaming and collaboration in early childhood intervention (Part C) AND Exceptional Children services (Pre-K – 8 years). M’Lisa Shelden and Dathan Rush will facilitate an interactive, skill-building session.

Register for Pre-Institute Workshop #3 (Strategies for Teaming).


4. Beyond Preschool: Where Will The Inclusion Journey Take Us? New directions for adolescents and young adults with special needs/disabilities  

Nancy Thaler
Chris Egan
Kenneth Kelty
Duncan Munn

Whether navigating the early intervention transition to preschool or the transition from high school to adult, preparation is the key to success.  This pre-institute session, designed for families, advocates and practitioners, will provide practical information and strategies, from a variety of perspectives, to navigate challenges and opportunities associated with adolescent and young adult transitions.

Presenters include national experts in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities, parents and professional staff from Family Support Network and the Parent Training and Information Center, as well as a young adult with a disability.

Source: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Available at:

Math Apps, Preschoolers and Framing New Research Questions


For the past two years, I’ve been following the creation and development of Next Generation Preschool Math, a research and development project funded by the National Science Foundation. The project is designed to shed light on how — and if — 4-year-olds can learn early math skills from apps designed to be used in classroom settings with teacher input and guidance.

The results of the study won’t be available for another year or more, but I explored the work involved in developing apps and setting up such a study in a The New York Times piece yesterday, ”Field-Testing the Math Apps.” This is challenging research work, involving vast literature reviews on different stages of children’s cognitive development to the rounds of testing required to ensure the games work as expected.


Available at:

Social Robots for Promoting Joint Attention


The project involved a series of studies using socially interactive robots for promoting children with disabilities social-emotional, joint attention, vocalization production, conversational turns, and language development. Socially interactive robots include either autonomous or remotely controlled machines or devices that are used to engage young children in child-robot interactions. The studies conducted as part of the socially interactive robots project involved children with autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome and other chromosomal conditions, and attention deficit and sensory processing disorders.

Source: Orlena Hawks Puckett Institute

Available at:

Technology in Early Education: Building Platforms for Connections and Content that Strengthen Families and Promote Success in School


Touch-screen technologies, on-demand multimedia, and mobile devices are prompting a rethinking of education. In a world of increasing fiscal constraints, state leaders are under pressure to capitalize on these new technologies to improve productivity and help students excel. The task is daunting across the education spectrum, but for those in early education (birth through 3rd grade), it is harder still. Until recently, most educators envisioned early learning as story time and hands-on activities with no technology in sight. Yet electronic media use among young children is growing, as are new digital divides between rich and poor, rural, and urban. Tech-savvy educators are incorporating technology in early learning lessons and experimenting with new channels of communication between parents and colleagues.

A red-hot ed-tech marketplace is also creating a feeling of urgency among decisionmakers in state agencies and local school districts who are at risk of spending public dollars on products that sit unused, lock districts into specific brands or platforms, or get in the way of promoting the positive, face-to-face interactions with adults that young children need.

Source: Education Commission of the States

Available at:

AUCD – EIEC Webinar: The Use of Assistive Technology in Early Intervention

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
4:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: webinar

About the Webinar

This webinar provided information about how Assistive Technology is used with infants and toddlers in early intervention based on research studies done under the auspices of Tots-N-Tech.  This webinar also included information on resources available to help providers or caregivers increase children’s learning and participation.  There were demonstrations of the Tots-N-Tech web-based Help Desk, the EZ-AT booklet for families, and other related resources.


Philippa H. Campbell, Ph.D.: Professor, Director, Child & Family Studies Research Programs, Thomas Jefferson University and Project Co-Director of Tots-n-Tech, a federally funded Institute about AT use with infants and toddlers.

Source: Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Available at:

Evidence-Based Strategies for Training Adults to Use Assistive Technology and Adaptations

This research brief summarizes findings from a research synthesis of the effectiveness of different types of practices for promoting practitioner and parent adoption of different kinds of assistive technology and adaptations for young children with disabilities. The research synthesis included 35 studies of 839 adult participants and 1100 child participants. The assistive technology that were the focus of training included speech generative devices (e.g., CheapTalk), computers (e.g., adapted keyboards), and switch activated devices and toys. Six operationally defined adult learning method characteristics and between 2 and 5 practices for each characteristic were used to code and analyze the studies in terms of both adult (practitioner and parent) and child outcomes. Results showed that particular practices for each adult learning method characteristic proved most effect in terms of changes and improvements in both the adult and child outcomes. A key characteristic of the most effective training practices was active learner participation in all aspects of the training. Results also showed that when combinations of the most effective practices were used as part of the training, the more positive were the adult and child outcomes. A checklist based on the research synthesis results is included for developing and evidence-based training implementing methods and procedures.

Source: Tot’s -n- Tech

Available at:

SMART Technology: The Sequel


In August, you were introduced to the SMART Board which may be used with children of all ages, especially in the classroom. Even preschool children may be successful when using the with the SMART Board.

The SMART Table is a variation of the SMART Board and allows children to work together on one surface. This table was designed specifically for use by preschool to sixth grade students to promote collaboration, discussion, and social relationships. The primary difference between the SMART Board and the SMART Table is that the SMART Table is portable. Like the SMART Board, teachers engage their students in learning by the touch of their little fingers. The SMART Table comes with a toolkit that allows teachers to create endless numbers of activities. Teachers are able to customize ready-made activities as well as create new ones. And as students progress, activities may be redesigned as more challenging and engaging activities.

Source: Tot’s -n- Tech

Available at:

iPads, Androids help elderly and students


Dozens of children with autism will begin receiving iPads this month as part of a novel study at Nova Southeastern University’s Baudhuin Preschool to determine if the Apple devices can help them learn basic life skills.

Nursing home residents in Orange County are using iPads to help improve their memory and cognitive abilities. And a Miami father has developed an Android-based flash card app to help children like his second-grade daughter learn vocabulary and spelling lessons.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel

Available at:,0,2945745.column

Results Matter Video Series on Early Childhood Assessment

These videos have been produced to help providers better understand ways to use observation, documentation, and assessment to inform practice. You can watch the clips online or download QuickTime versions of the videos for use in educational and professional development activities.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

Available at: