2015 IDEAS Conference in St. Simons Island

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Every Moment Counts: Using Assistive Technology to Promote Positive Changes with Mental Health Challenges in the Classroom


Carolyn Phillips, Tools for Life Director & Rachel Wilson, Assistive Technology specialist, Tools for Life I AMAC Accessibility at Georgia Tech

Assistive technology can be used as an innovative way to provide support for individuals with mental health issues. Use of AT is an emerging mental health treatment field which in many cases improves the accessibility, effectiveness and affordability of mental health care. Assistive technology is making significant strides in helping people living with mental health disorders. Applications on mobile devices are tracking emotions, lifestyle changes, providing therapeutic activity and supplementing traditional therapies. Personal use of electronic devices and associated Apps are helping individuals manage these issues, remain productive and increase independence. This session will discuss and review AT in educational planning, implementation and reporting. These will include a range of AT from digital cameras, use of telepresence, tablets, apps, text to speech and word prediction. In addition, an AT approach for recognizing and helping people stay off the "FAST" (Frustration or Fatigue, Anxiety, Stress and Tension) Track will be shared. Information will be shared concerning device use, low tech solutions, software applications, new technology and supporting accommodations. Use of AT in the workplace and classroom will cover specific applications to maintain accuracy and productivity. Discussion of ADL’s, home independence and monitoring will be included.

Building Bridges for Smoother Transitions through Assistive Technology


Carolyn Phillips, Tools for Life Director & Martha Rust, Assistive Technology specialist, Tools for Life I AMAC Accessibility at Georgia Tech

Access and Explore! Using Environmental Control in the Classroom


Liz Persaud, Training and Outreach Coordinator, Ben Jacobs, Accommodation Specialist, Tools for Life I AMAC Accessibility at Georgia Tech & Trey Quinn, Cambridge High School

The move from classroom to “real life” can be a major transition. Students go from being surrounded by their teachers, peers and helpers regularly, to being by themselves more often and needing to learn strategies for independence. Creating an environment in the classroom that enables learning independence can help ease the transition process. In this session, presenters will demonstrate affordable environmental control solutions that can be implemented in the classroom and then used throughout the transition process. Multiple environmental control options and options for interacting with the environment (voice, computer, tablet, phone) will be covered.

Across the Table: Personal & Professional Perspectives


Carolyn Phillips, Tools for Life Director, Liz Persaud, Training & Outreach Coordinator, Tools for Life I AMAC Accessibility at Georgia Tech & Aimee Copeland, Advocate and Tools for Life Advisory Council Member

Many of us have sat at "the table" making decisions that often have a significant impact on lives of students with disabilities. We, too, have sat at that decision making table on many occasions and in various roles. Most people know us as professionals in the AT community, but we both have personal experiences in the AT field that have impacted and informed our professional lives. Join us as we reflect back, look forward and share a little bit of our story of lessons learned and resources that helped us as we stumbled along the way. We will also share tips on developing self-determination skills, tricks of how to climb out of transition gaps and resources to help build bridges to better services & support.