Six great special-education resources for parents and teachers

This list of six resources aims to help special-education stakeholders.

According to some education stakeholders, it’s not always easy finding information on special education, especially when it comes to technology tools. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of six special-education resources that provide vetted tools and technology that can help in many aspects of a child’s learning.

From video reviews of the best special-education apps to advice on professional development in a special-ed classroom, and from Universal Design for Learning (UDL) tools to an index of instructional technology for varying special needs, we hope these resources (listed in alphabetical order) give you a good starting point for your questions and interest.

1. AbilityHub Assistive Technology Solutions…Read More

Grad students to develop GPS project for visually impaired

A GPS-based project would help blind students travel easily around college campuses.

At 356 acres, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) can seem like a mini city where one can easily get lost without a map. If you are blind or visually impaired, finding your way about the campus and its more than 100 buildings can be daunting without a guide.

Graduate students Robert Sweetman and Trudy Bowden-Callahan, both earning master’s degrees in assistive technology, are hoping to change that. The pair received a $20,000 grant from the Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation to develop a global positioning program that would not only help blind and visually impaired students navigate the CSUN campus, but provide them with information about what’s inside the buildings they are passing, as well as what lies ahead.

Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz, a senior director in CSUN’s Tseng College and a faculty member in the assistive technology program, calls Sweetman and Bowden-Callahan’s project “awesome.”…Read More

Key assistive technology group closes its doors

NCTI helped researchers and educators develop assistive technology solutions for students.

After 10 years in the assistive technology and educational technology fields, the National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) closed operations with the end of its federal funding on Sept. 30.

NCTI served as a resource for special-education advocates, researchers, and ed-tech stakeholders. The organization helped bring together those different groups to create innovative assistive technologies and learning resources for students, especially those with special needs.

NCTI has received a no-cost extension through Dec. 31, after which time the grant that funds the center will expire. Officially, the center’s grant from the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) expired Sept. 30, but the no-cost extension lets NCTI staff make upgrades to the organization’s Tech Matrix and close out any current work.…Read More

Breaking Through Barriers to Learning

Technology has expanded the learning opportunities for students across the nation—and particularly for those with special needs. Although school budgets are limited, investing in assistive technology can help special-needs students learn … while helping schools meet AYP for this challenging subgroup.

With the generous support of Care Innovations— a combination of GE Healthcare’s Home Health Division and Intel Corp.’s Digital Health Group—we’ve assembled this collection of eSchool News stories, along with other relevant content, to help you choose wisely when investing in assistive technology.

—The Editors…Read More

Conference: Technology is helping to ‘redefine … disability’

Assistive technology can expand opportunities for students with disabilities.

Assistive technology devices enable students with disabilities to express what they know, and rapid advancements in technology are helping to “redefine ability and disability,” says Milton Chen, senior fellow and director emeritus at the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Chen was an opening keynote speaker at the National Center for Technology Innovation’s 2010 Technology Innovators Conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15-16. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and housed at the American Institutes for Research, NCTI advances learning opportunities for students with disabilities by fostering assistive technology innovation.

Chen said he hopes that in the near future, observers will be able to peer into a classroom of students and will not be able to identify students with disabilities.…Read More

New assistive technology research focuses on iPad, communication skills


Most of the projects for 2010 dealt with communication skills.
Most of the grant-winning projects for 2010 deal with improving students' communication skills.


In what might result in great new strides for assistive technology, the National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) has announced the winners of its “Tech in the Works 2010” competition, which funds innovative projects that pair researchers with industry vendors to improve educational outcomes for all students—and especially those with special needs.…Read More