June 2017, Volume 6
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In this issue:

Under the Table - The Importance of Presuming Competence | Shelley Moore | TEDxLangleyED
Shelley Moore
Under the Table -
The Importance of Presuming Competence

Alt+Shift Update

Alt+Shift presented Foundations of Communication training with early childhood special education staff members in Marquette, including classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, and the special education coordinator. The goal of the training is to improve communication opportunities for students with complex communication needs and improve instructional methods for teachers and paraprofessionals who work with the students. We will obtain feedback from staff regularly on implementation progress and will provide additional implementation support as needed. 

Summer Institute Highlight

Alt+Shift is excited to have nationally known assistive technology (AT) consultant Mike Marotta at this year’s summer institute. Mike will be presenting on The Journey to Assistive Technology (AT) Success: From Consideration to Implementation.

In Mike’s two-day workshop, participants will explore AT from start to finish; consideration to implementation. They will evaluate their organization’s process and develop an action plan for effective consideration of assistive technology. Once technology has been identified, the process is not complete! In fact, we are only halfway to success. Successful implementation strategies will be identified to include trial periods, roles and responsibilities, and planning for follow-up. Participants will have an opportunity to bring their policies and procedures that are currently in use; there will be opportunities to share and learn from others. Whatever your role on the team— case manager, therapist, teacher, director of special services—we can all make a difference to break the cycle of mismatched technology and device abandonment. Through activities and collegial sharing, participants will leave with concrete steps to take in their organization to effectively meet the diverse needs of all students.

Register now for the Alt+Shift Summer Institute!

New Alt+Shift Website

The Alt+Shift website is now live. Check out the latest events that are happening in our state. Stay up to date with the news section, and visit the resources pages to learn more about communication, assistive technology, accessibility, and math.

Partnership Update

Alt+Shift is partnering with the Upper Peninsula Autism Network (UPAN) to provide professional development activities in the areas of communication and literacy for UPAN members. The network comprises seven intermediate school districts (ISDs) in the Upper Peninsula. UPAN representatives meet regularly and focus on local district supports, school-wide supports, a parent support group, professional development, and providing resources.

Resources is a blog created by Carole Zangari and the late Robin Parker due to a shared interest in helping children with significant communication difficulties. Their mission statement identifies a determination to help students with significant communication difficulties improve their communication and literacy. The blog includes:
  • Posts focusing on an array of different Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) topics
  • Strategy of the Month
  • Video of the Week
  • AAC Tool Box
  • Contact Information

The blog was a finalist in the “Best Educational Use of Media” category for the 2014 Edublog Awards. 

Funding Tips: What You Need to Know!

Navigating the funding process for an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device can be an overwhelming task. Let our Funding Tips: What You Need to Know! section help you along the way.

Did you know?

Representatives from the AAC manufacturer can assist you to ensure that your funding paperwork is complete. Contact the funding department of the AAC company you are seeking to purchase the device from and they can help you through the process.

Upcoming Events: Michigan

Alt+Shift Summer Institute: Rethink Possibilities
June 20–22
Hagerty Center, Traverse City

EdCon 2017 - The Secondary Education Conference
(Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals)
June 26–28
Grand Traverse Resort, Acme

2017 MCTM Conference
(Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics)
July 25–27
Traverse City West Senior High School, Traverse City

Lending Library Update

June 2017:
There are 117 items out on loan. 
First Author logo
Featured item:  Indi is the first all-in-one, consumer-focused speech tablet created specifically for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Indi is designed for symbol-based communicators and comes with all of the user’s needs fully integrated, including Tobii’s new communication software, Snap + Core First. Learn more about Indi at the Tobii Dynavox website.

Assistive Technology Tip

Are your iPads up to date?  
The easiest way to update your device is wirelessly, also called “over the air.” Here’s how:
  • Plug in your device to a power source.
  • Tap Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Tap "Download and Install" to download the update. Updates might download automatically while your device is connected to Wi-Fi and a power source.
  • Tap Install when the download completes if you want to complete it now.

Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Corner

The school year is nearly over. As you reflect on this past school year and your practice, we hope that you have grown in your PODD fluency and have provided opportunities for your students to experience autonomous communication.

What will the summer look like for your students who have been using PODD during the school year? Will they take their books home? Will their parents and other family members know what to do? You may want to consider a session or two with families prior to the end of the year, teaching and encouraging the use and continued growth of language development. Remember to emphasize S’MORRES (Partner Augmented Input with Jill Senner and Matt Baud) with families. For a refresher about S’MORRES, check out their blog entry.
Lastly, remember to take a much needed break this summer and recharge your batteries for the year to come. 

Upcoming Events: National

iPadpalooza “Learning on the Go”
June 6-8
Austin, TX

Technologies and Human Development
June 8-10
San Francisco, CA

Teaching Movements for Communication
June 10-14
Westminster, MD

Five-Day Advanced Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Course
Prerequisite two- or three-day introductory training
Baltimore, MD July 24-28

Regional Assistive Technology Meetings

Michigan is divided into five Assistive Technology regions.  Most regions meet regularly to discuss issues pertaining to their profession and to further their professional learning.  To find out what region you are in, and who your Assistive Technology (AT) Contacts are for that region, visit the AT Contact List.

Region 1
June 1, 2017

Region 1A
No meetings scheduled at this time.

Region 2
No meetings scheduled at this time.

Region 3
No meetings scheduled at this time.

Region 4
No meetings scheduled at this time.

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.

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