January 2018, Volume 13
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In this issue:

Featured Video:
"The Prison of Your Mind"
Sean Stephenson

Alt+Shift Update

Alt+Shift is working with Dr. Karen Erickson and Dr. David Koppenhaver to co-construct a certification pathway for becoming a trainer of a two-day emergent literacy training. Two prospective trainers engaged in this process are now ready to pilot the training at two sites. Our trainers will co-teach with either Dr. Erickson or Dr. Koppenhaver. We anticipate that pilot sites will receive the training by the end of the 2017-2018 school year.


TobiiDynavox Support & Training is a website that includes webinars, on-location training opportunities, eye gaze videos with practice activities, and links to youtube training videos. This is a great place to familiarize yourself with TobiiDynavox products if you are in the consideration process and if your students use TobiiDynavox devices. The "on-location training opportunities" also provide an option to contact the company for additional on-location training.

Upcoming Events: Michigan

U.P. Special Education Conference
February 22-23, 2018
Marquette, Michigan

MCEC 78th Annual Conference
February 28-March 2, 2018
Grand Rapids, Michigan 

Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for Students With Significant Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs
March 6-8, 2018
Romulus, Michigan

Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference
March 7-9, 2018
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Michigan Reading Association 2018 Annual Conference
March 17-19, 2018
Detroit, Michigan

Michigan Speech Language Hearing Association Conference
March 22-24, 2018
Kalamazoo, Michigan

17th Annual START Conference
April 30, 2018
East Lansing, Michigan

11th Annual Life without Limits Through Assistive Technology Conference
May 10, 2018
Detroit, Michigan

2017 MCTM Conference (Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics)
July 25–27, 2018
Traverse City, Michigan

Michigan Reading Association 2018 Summer Literature Conference
August 1-2, 2018
Bellaire, Michigan

Upcoming Events: National

Five Day Advanced Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Training 
January 8-12, 2018
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Pre-Conference and Conference 
January 30 - February 3, 2018
Orlando, FL

CEC 2018 Special Education Convention & Expo
February 7-10, 2018
Tampa, FL

CSUN - Assistive Technology Conference
March 19-23, 2018
San Diego, California

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Conference
July 11-15, 2018
Arlington, Virginia

International Literacy Association 2018 Conference
July 20-23, 2018
Austin, Texas

Closing The Gap 2018
October 10-12, 2018
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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
January 31, 2018
March 12
April 26
June 1

Region 1A
*Contact your regional AT contacts for additional dates.

Region 2
February 22, 2018 - Remote Meeting
April 25

Region 3
No meetings scheduled at this time.

Region 4
*dates subject to change, contact your regional AT Contacts to confirm.
January 11, 2018
February 8
March 8
April 12
May 10
June 14

Lending Library Update

There are 61 items out on loan. 
Comlink ProSlate
Featured items:  We are updating our ProSlate 4, ProSlate 8s, and ProSlate 10s with new iPads and SoundPODs to give users the latest iOS software and communication apps. ProSlates are communication devices that run AAC apps using iOS software. The removable SoundPOD speaker can be attached to the device or worn around the neck, allowing the user’s voice to originate from his or her body. ProSlates support multiple access methods including touch access, up to four ability switches, and handwriting.

Lending Library: Borrower Highlight

Michelle Baumgarter is a Speech-Language Pathologist with Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District (ISD) where she has worked since 1992. When asked about the impact the Lending Library has had on her and her students she said, “As an SLP, I have borrowed mostly items related to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), but most recently, voice activation items for a high school senior with Cerebral Palsy. With the numerous challenges this student has, being able to trial things is key to his success. When the Lending Library didn't have the items I was looking for, I submitted requests and, not only did they purchase them, they had them to me in a matter of a couple weeks. I tend to be one to ask for extensions and these have typically been granted, provided others are not waiting to use the materials. The best part about my experience with the Lending Library is how pleasant and easy the staff are to work with on every occasion.” Visit the Lending Library to see how trialing items may be the key to your students’ success.

Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Corner

As the new year is fast approaching, it’s a good time to consider where our students are in their language development. We all know that assessment of language development is not a one-shot picture in time. As Gayle Porter talks about in her training using the Dynamic Observational Assessment (1997), we should be constantly “intervening and assessing.” As we intervene, or put a practice into place for a student, we should do so with baseline data on where the student is currently functioning in his or her language development; knowing what supports and hinders his or her development; and knowing what strategies we may use to enhance his or her development. Knowing where we want the student to go and how to get them there will help us to continue to assess the impact of our intervention. Is the intervention we’ve selected supporting development? How do we know? What growth do we see that supports the development of communication?

As you begin 2018, know where your students are, where they’re going, and what you’ll do to support their growth. Choose interventions that support the development of communication, and be sure to collect data along the way so you have information to make better decisions for your students.

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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