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ED Releases Final Regulations Under Part B of IDEA

On December 12, the Department of Education released the final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These regulations are aimed at promoting equity by targeting widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities.  The regulations will address a number of issues related to significant disproportionality in the identification, placement and discipline of students with disabilities based on race ethnicity.  The Department is also releasing a new Dear Colleague Letter addressing racial discrimination.  IDEA requires states to identify districts with “significant disproportionality” in special education – when districts identify, place in more restrictive settings, or discipline children from any racial or ethnic group at markedly higher rates than their peers.  This rule sets a common standard for identifying significant disproportionality in representation of students within special education, segregated school settings, and in receipt of disciplinary actions and ensures that school districts where disproportionality is found carefully review their policies and practices to determine root causes and whether changes are needed.  Also, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a new policy document to support educators and administrators as they work to identify students’ need for special education.  The new policy document was created to remind states, school districts and public schools of their legal obligation to prevent discrimination on the basis of race in special education.  OCR’s enforcement experience suggest both over-identification and under-identification based on race are occurring in schools.  For more information: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-equity-idea and http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201612-racedisc-special-education.pdf.

Twas’ a tough choice to narrow down this week’s most thrilling AT news, but I think this is a pretty good representation of the best. Which story do you like best?

The Hawkeye Is The Adhesive, Eye-Tracking Phone The Internet Asked For

Aira uses smart glasses to help blind people navigate the world

First real-life study to provide data on the potential of powering medical implants with solar cells

Gallaudet helps develop ‘real-time text’ technology

Personal Assistant Mobile App to Assist with Identifying Objects

All the best of MDTAP 2016, wrapped up right here in stories, images, and data in the 2016 Annual Report.
Snapshot of Annual Report cover

Funding AT for K-12

Chris Gibbons, Smartbox Inc, Vice President of Education and Assessment

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017  –  4:00pm to 5:00pm EST

Assistive technology (AT) can change the lives of students with disabilities, helping them reach their full potential. Yet the rubber meets the road when it is time to pay for AT devices and services, and information about AT funding is often hard to find. In this important webinar, Chris Gibbons will discuss AT funding sources for children with and without IEPs. He’ll provide information on 3rd party funding, offering specific examples and providing participants with useful resources.

Guest post contributed by Erin Swann, MSE, ATP, MDTAP

The i.d. mate Galaxy is a talking barcode scanner with several features designed to help people with low vision. Using the i.d. mate Galaxy is a great way to identify objects with barcodes at home or in the community.  When a barcode is scanned, the name and description of the item will be played for items contained in a pre-loaded database.  For items not contained in the pre-loaded database, the user can create his or her own descriptive recordings of items.  Additionally, the i.d. mate Galaxy comes with barcode tags that can be attached to items without barcodes such as clothing, pictures, or documents.  Barcode tags are available in three formats including stickers, tags that attach via a rubber band, and iron-on tags for clothing.

A new feature of the i.d. mate Galaxy from previous versions is the capability of wi-fi connectivity. This allows the device to connect to an online database, which increases the number of scanned items that can be found.  It also allows the user to easily update the database and the device software when updates are available.  Other features found on the i.d. mate Galaxy include a memo mode and an mp3 player mode.  The memo mode can be used to create recordings for tasks such as creating a to-do list, creating a shopping list, or taking notes.  The mp3 player mode allows music or other mp3 files that have been transferred to the device to be played.
If you think this device would be useful to you or someone you know, you can schedule a visit to our assistive technology loan library to see a demonstration of the most recent i.d. mate, the i.d. mate Galaxy. We are able to demonstrate the i.d. mate Galaxy, but we are not able to loan it to others since we are borrowing it from En-Vision America.  However, we do have an older version, the i.d. mate Omni, with similar features that can be loaned when available.  To schedule a demo of the i.d. mate Galaxy, contact the Maryland Technology Assistance Program by calling 1-800-832-4827 or emailing mdtap@mdtap.org.

Recently archived Facebook Chat: ADHD and Behavior, with Analisa L. Smith

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