October 2018, Volume 22
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In this issue:

Featured Video:
This Blind Man Can Ride a Bike

Alt+Shift Update: Welcome Bri!

Briana Bancroft, or Bri, comes to us from a 15-year career in elementary education in Ishpeming, MI, and 3 years of engagement with Michigan’s Integrated Mathematics Initiative, most recently as a Foundations of Math instructor and a summer contractor for (Mi)2 in general. Her elementary school began using Delta Math as part of a math intervention effort last year. She will be our new Math Accessibility Specialist.
Bri’s background and geographical location expands the knowledge base of our staff, as she has experience teaching at the elementary level, teaching students with disabilities in inclusive settings, and teaching in a rural district. Her location in the Upper Peninsula will increase our capacity to work with schools and intermediate school districts in that area. Her background in math, including a college minor and being the math teacher for her departmentalized grade level, will inform her work as she supports sites in implementing approaches that improve math outcomes for every student.
For the first three years I was with (Mi)2, I wrote retrospectives in a fall newsletter. In those newsletters I reflected on the importance of patience, collaboration, and impact.  In this, my fifth year, I am thinking about moving fully into my role as Alt+Shift Coordinator, and supporting Bri as she takes (Mi)2 into the future. I look forward to working with her and continuing to support high quality math instruction across Michigan for all students.

- Kate Fanelli, Alt+Shift Coordinator

(Mi)2 Update

Enhancing Mathematics Instruction for Students with Disabilities registration is now open.
This course is designed for teams of teachers, particularly middle school math and special education teachers as well as upper elementary and Algebra 1 teachers.
The 3-day training will be offered January 29-30 and March 5, 2019. The training will be conducted at Clinton County Regional Educational Service Agency in St. Johns from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day (lunch will be provided). The registration fee is $75.
A fourth day of training will be offered on March 6, 2019 for teams that want to be certified (or recertified) as facilitators to do trainings within their intermediate school districts.
For more information, see the Enhancing Math course flyer.  To register, visit the Enhancing Math course registration page.

Borrower Highlight

Nikki Stempien
Speech Language Pathologist
Hillsdale County Intermediate School District

Alt+Shift: How long have you used the Lending Library?
Nikki Stempien: I started using the lending library this school year, so for about 9 months now.
AS: What items have you borrowed through the library?
NS: I have borrowed quite a few items, including a laser pointer with glasses mount, bluetooth super switches, iPads with LAMP and durable cases, and a big red switch.
AS: What has resulted from borrowing items from the library?
NS: I've had a variety of results come out of borrowing devices. I have multiple students who are becoming very independent communicators by using the iPad with LAMP. These students have used LAMP before and during therapy sessions with me. However, now that they have access to it all day, they've been able to more effectively communicate their wants and needs. I also had a student that I borrowed the laser pointer for and it didn't work out for him. However, it's great that we were able to borrow it to determine that it was not the best access to communication for him instead of spending the money on something that didn’t work. We also have a student who has a lot of receptive language, but isn't able to communicate verbally. She has many physical limitations that have made it difficult to determine the best method for her to access communication. We are currently trying a bluetooth super switch with her. It's been a lot of trial and error playing with different scanning settings, but we are getting there and excited to see what she is going to be able to start telling us!
AS: Would you recommend the lending library to others?
NS: Absolutely! It's a great way to trial devices with individuals to determine if they will be successful with them, before putting the money into it and just "hoping" it works. I think taking a lot of data during the individual’s time with the borrowed item(s) is also important. This way, if the device was successful with the student, you have data to back it up and could use that data to apply for the individuals insurance to pay for one for them to keep.

Upcoming Events: Alt+Shift

Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together (MRALT)
1-day conference
October 22, 2018
Lansing, MI

Conventional Literacy Instructions for Students With Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs
February 25-27, 2019
Detroit Metro Airport Mariott
Romulus, MI

Upcoming Events: Michigan


6th Annual Michigan Autism Conference
October 11-12, 2018
Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites
Kalamazoo, MI

AssisTechKnow 2018
October 18-19, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI

36th Annual Van Riper Lecture Series
October 25-26, 2018
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI

Michigan POHI/SXI Conference
November 8-9, 2018
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI

2nd Annual UDL-IRN Great Lakes UDL Experience
(Universal Design for Learning - Implementation and Research Network)
November 12-13, 2018
Macomb Intermediate School District
Clinton Township, MI

#TalkingAAC 2018 Conference
November 28-30, 2018
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
East Lansing, MI

2018 MiAEYC Annual Early Childhood Conference
(Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children)
April 11-13, 2019
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place
Grand Rapids, MI

Upcoming Events: National

2018 NAEYC
(National Association for the Education of Young Children)
November 14-17, 2018
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

American Speech-Language Hearing Association - National Convention
November 15-17, 2018
Boston, MA
ATIA Conference 2019
(Assistive Technology Industry Association)
Pre-Conference Workshops - January 29-30, 2019
Conference - January 30 - February 2, 2019
Orlando, FL

Lending Library Update

There are 30 items out on loan. 

New item:

Inclusive Children's Books:

We have added several books to the library from the Emergent Literacy Training recommended list of inclusive classroom books.


Tar Heel Reader is a collection of free web-based books. The books are easy to read and can be speech enabled. Users can access them through several means including switches and touch-screen. The books cover a wide variety of topics. Create your own books using the pictures provided or upload your own pictures. Books can be saved as drafts, edited, revised, and then published upon completion.

Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Corner

Fluency: The ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately.
PODD is like a foreign language. Learning to speak PODD takes time and practice in natural situations. Just as we don’t learn to speak German or Spanish overnight, we will not learn to speak PODD fluently unless we invest our time and efforts into those natural situations that happen daily in our classrooms. If you’re wearing your book every day, you’ve started on the right path. Having your voice with you will allow you to be able to practice words and phrases throughout the day.
Even that may not be enough to develop your fluency. One way to do so is to set aside a regular time to chat with the other adults in your classroom or building. Your staff could set aside 20-30 minutes before or after school to “have a chat” with each other using only their AAC systems: no voices allowed. In the process of chatting you may realize that you might all benefit from more practice.
The only way for us all to become more fluent in the language of AAC is to immerse ourselves in the language. Keep in mind that this is the language of your students. In order for your students to become fluent speakers, we need to be fluent modelers of the language we wish for them to speak.

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Alt+Shift, encompassing Michigan's Integrated Mathematics Initiative, is an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grant Funded Initiative out of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education.