Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Assistive Technology Conference- ATIA Orlando 2012

Each year for the past 4 years, I have attended the ATIA conference in Orlando, FL. ATIA stands for Assistive Technology Industry Association. I think one of the best ways to get to a conference, is to present at a conference. Share your knowledge, share with others, learn with others and once you leave the conference, share again. Here is my bit of sharing from the great speakers I had the opportunity to listen to, some great apps, and the encouragement I gained from being with others in this field of special education.
I was fortunate to hear several speakers who spoke about the necessity of various organizations to work together and collaborate on transition plans that all our special education students must have by age 14. Transition plans are designed to take the student from the supportive environment of the K-12 school systems to the post-secondary life of a young adult. One take away from those speakers, teach our students well, and teach them how to use their assistive technology while in school, because once they leave they will probably not have as much support to program, care for, find batteries for, or add to the customized contact list and customized learning that will enhance their future!
 One of the most exciting sessions I attended was call the App Smackdown, apps for the ipad/ipod/iphone. How exciting to be in a room of 300 assistive technology users to hear their stories about various apps and share the best of the best, or at least the best of January 2012! You can check out the apps which were promoted by various assistive technology users by checking out this page and the various links.
I would be remiss if I did not have a little selfless promotion and mention the whole reason I attended the ATIA Orlando 2012 conference, which was to present again with my colleague, Beth Goodwin, about how and why to create a digital toolkit,titled Empowering Students with a Customized Digital Toolkit for Writing. Check out our agenda and links! If you are looking to attend one of the best technology conferences check out ATIA Chicago or ATIA Orlando. Even better, submit a proposal and begin your journey of sharing, collaborating and learning with some of the best technology users around.