CSUN 2013 & We Have a Winner!

August 29

Well team Mozzaz was at it again with another first time conference –CSUN’s 28th Annual Center on

Disabilities conference in San Diego.

This event was extra special for us as we announced TalkingTiles for Windows 8 devices and computers. The flexibility and power of the assistive technology features in Windows 8 coupled with the touch-friendly tablet devices make these machines very compelling for professionals and their clients for therapy and learning.

As part of our Windows 8 announcement, we were excited to give away a Windows Surface RT tablet to a lucky winner along with Microsoft’s Dan Hubbell, Manager of Assistive Technology for Microsoft.

Linda and Microsoft’s Dan Hubbell proudly displaying the Windows Surface RT tablet we were giving way. Loved seeing TalkingTiles running on the big screen in Microsoft’s Windows 8 display in the background
And the moment we’ve been all waiting for… the draw!

And our happy winner! Melissa Hughes from the San Diego Unified School District.

Congratulations from the entire Mozzaz team!

Thanks to all the great people we met! We look forward to working with you and seeing you again soon!

Team Mozzaz

Related items

  • Effective Implementation of Assistive Technology

    Successful implementation of using assistive technology with students requires more than just handing over the device. It can be a complex process that takes several years before it is fully adopted. The process is not dependent on the tool alone, but on the process and people who are involved. Successful implementation is collaborative, systematic, recursive, flexible, and based on the student’s learning goals and needs. It is a team effort from the educator, therapist, parent, caregiver, and student. All of those involved must understand the tool and the needs of the student.

    In order to be effective, the care team must spend time evaluating and training with the selected tool. Following this, planning how the tool will be used in regards to the students learning and therapy plan prior to having the student use the tool will help the student more readily adopt it. Support from other teachers, educators, school administration and staff, therapists, family members and caregivers is vital – each individual or group is vital in the process. School administration and staff approve the use and training of the tool, educators and therapists must all freely exchange information and provide updates, and the families and caregivers must understand how to use the tool to continue its use at home and outside of the school setting.

    The student’s individual preferences and learning needs contribute to the success of the assistive technology intervention. Students should be given the opportunity to evaluate AT tools to determine which is the best fit for them – studies show that students who have not participated in an evaluation process are more likely to abandon technology that does not meet their requirements. Once students begin using their selected tool, it is important to monitor their development and learning environment. Doing so will help their care team make any needed adjustments to the learning and therapy plan that is associated with the tool being used.

    What exactly is involved in an effective assistive technology implantation plan?

      • Gathering information: collect and gather relevant information that will be used to identify specific IEP goals that will be supported by technology

    • Establish IEP goals: look at the IEP goals and the strategies for outcome evaluation
    • Conduct AT trial: explore different options to determine the correct tool
    • Identify AT solution: based on the information gathered through assessments and trials, establish IEP goals, select the most appropriate tool
    • Develop the implementation plan: work collaboratively with the team to create a plan that includes set up and configuration, team and student training, integration of the technology into the student’s daily program, and assessment tools that will be used to determine effectiveness
    • Adapt lessons for AT integration: daily lesson plans are to be adapted to work with the tool to meet learning goals
    • Follow up and plan transition: conduct frequent reviews to ensure effectiveness, make plans for further adaptions if needed, and create a transition plan to allow the student to take the tool with them without interruption from one class to another

    What have you found to be effective strategies in implementing assistive technology tools with your students and clients?

    Reference:

    http://www.setbc.org/setbc/topics/effective_implementation_of_assistive_technology .html

     

     

     

  • AAC Awareness Month

    AAC Awareness Month is here. But what does it really mean? AAC – Augmentative and Alternative Communication – is relied upon by people all around the world. Those who struggle to verbally communicate must find alternative ways to express themselves. Whether it is through body language, paper and pen, gesturing, paper images placed on boards, people are always creatively coming up with new and effective ways to communicate.

    TalkingTiles was first created as an AAC app (though now it’s so much more!). Who is using TalkingTiles? Researchers, therapists, educators, parents of children with special needs, and assistive technology teams. So when we say AAC awareness, we should be giving notice to the people who need AAC and the people who dedicate themselves to helping those who need it.

     

     

     

     

  • Advances in Assistive Communication

    Advances in Assistive Communication Technology Continue to Raise the Voice of Non-Verbal Individuals

    Talk about a new way to communicate - if we take a look back in history at autism and technology, it is astounding to see the major impacts and improvements in just the past decade.

    Lenovo’s infographic, The Power of Touch, helps us to understand the progress during the last century. It was just over 100 years ago that the term Autism was coined, and it took about 40 years for doctor’s and therapists to start using ‘assistive technology’ with their clients. In the 1950s that ‘assistive technology’ was not anything like we think today in terms of tablets and computers. Flash cards, toys and chalkboards were used to help children with Autism communicate with those around them.

    It wasn’t until the 1970s that speech generating devices emerged that voice was given to the words they structured together. Leap forward another 20 years and the first commercial dynamic display speech generator was available, meaning now that autistic kids could explore more complex ideas and express themselves creatively.

    As computers and devices become more mainstream and affordable, more families and individuals were able to access them. In just the past few years, the options for assistive communication technology have exploded with the introduction of AAC apps for tablets and other mobile devices. Particularly useful was the adoption of touch screens to computers and devices allowing for users to touch directly on what they want, rather than having to rely on - and understand - the connection between the computer screen, the mouse, and the cursor. A study in 2011 revealed that people with Autism have enhanced visual detection centres, which helps to explain why visual programs are so helpful and effective.

    As technology continues to change and grow, the possibilities are endless on the developments of assistive communication. Apps like TalkingTiles that work with touchscreen and internet technology are the next generation of AAC - combining an effective tool for user’s needs and the ability to remotely connect with therapists is just another example of progress that is creating better solutions for those in need.

    The Power of Touchscreen Technology: A Timeline of the History of Technology in the Treatment of Autism.