Friday, January 23, 2015

Mapping Your Future Conference: SC Assistive Technology Program Exhibit

Visit the SC Assistive Technology Program’s exhibit at the Mapping Your Future Conference

When: Friday, February 27, 2015
Where: Furman University, Trone Student Center, 3300 Poinsett Hwy, Greenville, SC 29613.
Time: 9:00-5:00
Cost: $25 with lunch provided
Registration Opportunities for continuing education units (CEUs) will be available.
View the tentative agenda.

John Payne, Director of the Department of Education Office of Exceptional Children, the I'm Determined Project of Virginia, and other esteemed speakers will present to:
·         -Inform participants about their student’s rights regarding transition services.
·         -Provide professionals with the tools & resources to support student-set transition goals.
·         -Demonstrate empowerment skills and techniques to equip students to become self-advocates and reach their goals after high school.
·         -Empower transition professionals to set higher expectations and to effectively support their students in reaching transition goals.

When: Saturday, February 28th 
Time: 9:30AM to 3:45PM
Where: Furman University, Trone Student Center, 3300 Poinsett Hwy, Greenville, SC 29613
Cost: Free. Lunch will be provided
View the tentative agenda.

The goals of the conference are:
·         -To inform participants about their rights regarding transition services.
·         -To provide students with the tools & resources to create meaningful transition goals.
·         -To empower students to become self-advocates and reach their goals after high school.

·         -To empower parents to set higher expectations and to effectively support their children in reaching transition goals.

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4th Annual Shuck-A-Rama Oyster Roast!

We are less than 2 weeks away from our 4th Annual Shuck-A-Rama
Oyster Roast! 

 Have you bought your tickets yet? It's not too late to get yours today!!

2015 Shuck-A-Rama

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Gold Bug Island
1560 Ben Sawyer Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 

All Inclusive Tickets:
$40.00 In Advance
 $45.00 At the Door

*Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

Join us for fresh oysters, chicken pirleau, beer, wine, soft drinks, beach music, shagging and fun fellowship with friends!

All proceeds benefit the Brain Injury Association of SC, SC's only non-profit organization dedicated to serving children and adults with brain injuries and their families. 

Tickets are on sale now! Purchase your tickets here or contact the BIASC office at 803.731.9823 or 877.TBI.FACT. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SC Department of Education - Free Assistive Technology Workshop - Android Resources

Android Resources

Date: February 4, 2015
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am
Cost: Free, but pre-registration required

Instructor:  Madalina Tudora, SC Dept of Education Assistive Technology Specialist

With an increasing number of students using Android mobile devices, teachers and parents are finding themselves in the position to make best use of its available resources. In this workshop, we will compare Android to other operating systems. We will discuss pros and cons of using this platform, and address accessibility features and switch access. Free and low-cost apps and resources for communication, literacy, math and organization will be discussed, as well as exciting new technology, including Google Glass.

Register for the Android Resources workshop:

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Empower Hour 2015

Able South Carolina offers peer networking groups for individuals with all types of disabilities. Our EMPOWER HOUR is led by your peers and meets to discuss the meaning of independence, share resources, find social opportunities, and provide support and encouragement to each other.
Empower Hour is a great opportunity to connect with others and meet new friends. Individuals with disabilities can participate in one of our in-person meetings at our Midlands or
Upstate offices or in a web-based peer group.

If you are interested in participating in our online discussion, please RSVP at least a day before the meeting so that we can provide you log-in information. If you would like to participate, call 803-779-5121, TTY: 803-779-0949, or email

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Family Connection of SC: Upcoming Events

January 19
Autism Connection6:00-7:30 pm Family Connection- 1800 St. Julian Place Suite 104 Columbia, SC 29204
January 24    Support Parent Training9:30am -12:30 pmFamily Connection - 1800 Saint Julian Place Suite 104 Columbia SC 29204Free training to join our group of Support Parents offering emotional support and information to parents. Call Susan,  803- 252-0914 to register.
ADD/ADHA Aspergers Coffee Group10:00 amat Barnes and Noble on Beltline.(Richland fashion mall)RSVP- Gigi Garzon  803-315-9988
Scrapbooking1:00-5:00 pmFamily Connection - 1800 Saint Julian Place Columbia SC 29204Join other parents at Family Connection who enjoy scrapbooking. No charge. Bring your own supplies.
January 26SMILES Mom’s Night Out7:00 PM IHOP - Lexington
January 27Morning Coffee9 AM Panera Bread in Lexington

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Monday, January 19, 2015

AbleSC: Transportation & Travel Options

During this training, individuals with disabilities will gain an understanding of using transportation, including the bus system, para-transit, and airline travel.

When: Wednesday January 21st @ 2:00PM - 4:00PM
WhereAble South Carolina
136 Stonemark Lane, Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29210
Please contact Able SC to register for the training:(803) 779-5121, ext.126 or
Please make reasonable accommodation requests a week in advance of the event date.

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Transition Conference: February 27-28 at Furman University

logos for mapping you future & empowering a future.
Transition Conference
Come join us for a statewide conference for professionals on February 27, and for students and families on February 28 at Furman University.

Topics will include:
  • Disability Rights
  • Life Skills on Independence
  • Options for Life after High School
  • Student Led IEP Meetings
  • Student Empowerment
  • Transition Panel of Former Students
Conference Schedule
Empowering A Future
For Education & Transition Professionals
Cost: $25.00
Mapping Your Future
For Students & Families

Recommended for
ages 13-26

Cost: Free

Register for both events online at

For more information please call:

Phone: 800-681-6805
TTY: 803-779-0949

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EQUIP #TheSame

Able South Carolina’s young adult leadership group, EQUIP, wants you to know that individuals with disabilities go to college, drive, get married, have jobs, create art, serve others, and do everything that people without disabilities can do.  “The Same” is a video where three EQUIP leaders share their personal experiences about having a disability and advice for how they wish to be treated.  Hint: It’s the same as everyone else! 

Watch The Video

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

SCI Research Update

Community-based Virtual Reality Group Exercise Training in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury 

SCIRF 2014 I – 01

Individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury many times become physically inactive, which leads to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain forms of cancer. Also, research demonstrates that the disability-related physical inactivity can cause a decrease in health-related quality of life. Some individuals with spinal cord injury may not want to incorporate exercise into their daily routine, but there may be another option.
Virtual reality (exercise computer games) in group settings are fun, increase motivation for exercise, and offer major advantages over traditional aerobic exercise programs, including increased safety and immediate feedback on how they are performing.
This study will first compare health and quality of life in individuals with spinal cord injury who are active versus those who are not active. Then it will see if increasing activity in the physically inactive group will improve health and quality of life.
It is expected that active individuals with spinal cord injury will have a better health and quality of life than inactive individuals with spinal cord injury. It is also expected that participating in eight weeks of group vocational rehabilitation hand cycle training in the community will improve health at eight weeks and three months compared to individuals with spinal cord injuries who do not participate in the exercise program.

More information about study recruitment will be provided at a later date.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Free Webinar on "Developing and Implementing an Accessibility Strategy: One Organization's Lessons (So Far)" - January 15 2015

Registration is open for the Accessible Technology Webinar Session titled “Developing and Implementing an Accessibility Strategy: One Organization’s Lessons (So Far)”. 

Date:  January 15, 2015

Time:  1-2:30pm CST

Presenter:  Ken Petri, Director, Web Accessibility Center, Ohio State University

Ohio State is one of the country’s largest universities. Though it has a central IT office, there are at least 20 IT “shops” of varying sizes on campus, each serving a constituency with unique needs, goals, and expectations. At this point, a number of prominent law suits, both at universities and at private companies, have made it entirely clear that accessibility must be a part of an overall approach to IT. We have all long known that accessibility is the “right thing to do,” but the strong advocacy of prominent civil rights groups has made it entirely clear that we cannot just say accessibility is a noble goal. Rather it must be in place, on the ground, part of an organization’s basic approach to information and communications technologies at all levels.

ADA Conferences
Great Lakes ADA Center
877-232-1990 (V/TTY)

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Free Webinars by Don Johnson

Check out these free webinars from Don Johnston:

Chrome as AT: What You Need to Know
When: Friday, January 16, 2015
Time: 2:00 noon EST
Cost: Free
Description: Includes what you need to know to support accessibility on Chromebooks with Google apps on the Chrome Browser. Literacy-based accessibility tools Co:Writer Universal (word prediction) and Snap&Read Universal (text reader and leveler) will also be reviewed. 

Reading Instruction and Access
When: Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Time: 1:00 EST
Cost: Free
Description: Start-to-Finish CORE Curriculum and Start-to-Finish Online Library give you the instructional guidance and accessible books to meet these new expectations. Together, they help your not-yet-readers in late elementary through high school make literacy gains through real literature—the same required general ed books, only simplified. The curriculum shows you how to use chapter books to teach your students reading and listening comprehension skills.

A Smarter PAR: The Right Accommodations Start with the Right Data
When: Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Time: 1:00 EST
Cost: Free
Description: Now see what you’re capable of when you deliver the new online version—uPAR (Universal Protocol for Accommodations in Reading). It allows educators to assess up to 25 students in one class period and get documented results instantly. In fact, it’s the first AT consideration tool that can be group-delivered but gives individual results!

Visit the Don Johnston Webinars page for more information on upcoming live webinars.

Visit  the Don Johnston On-Demand Webinars page to read full descriptions of webinars and see more sessions that are now available.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pre Conference Workshops at SC Council for Exceptional Children

SC CEC TED Pre Conference Workshops

Updates on Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities
When: February 5th, 2015
Where: Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort 
10000 Beach club Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Cost: $40.00 for both, or $25/each in advance, or $30/each at the door
Registration: Send completed registration form with check payable to SCCEC-TED by January 25th to: 
Sara Mackiewicz 
331 Pendleton Road 
Clemson, SC 29631

Session 1: 9:00am -12:00pm
AT and Access: Assistive Technology for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities 
In today’s complex and dynamic classroom environment, educators are challenged to include learners with diverse needs. AT has long been acknowledged as a vital tool for supporting teachers as they work to increase student accessibility and outcomes in the classroom. This preconference session will focus on AT hardware and software that is available for students with moderate to severe disabilities. Topics will include communication, seating and mobility, computer access, and adapted literacy. Join us to learn about and experience hands on exploration of many of these amazing tools. 
Cost: $25 in advance $30 at the door 
SC CEC TED Pre Conference Workshops 

Session 2: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
AT and Academics: Assistive Technology for Students with Mild Disabilities 
Educators need to be prepared and stay current on how to address the strengths, needs, and interests of their students. All learners can participate in the learning process in various school environments with the help of assistive technology tools. This preconference session will focus on AT hardware and software that is available for students with mild disabilities. Topics will include reading, writing, math, and integrating technology to increase access to the general education curriculum. 
Cost: $25 in advance $30 at the door 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Assistive Technology and Aging FREE Webinar

The Great Lakes and Southwest ADA Centers have joined with RESNA to provide a series of free webinar sessions. 

Topic : Assistive Technology and Aging: Inclusive Solutions and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
When: Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Time: 3:00 pm ET
Cost: Free

Description: The American with Disabilities Act is more relevant today for older Americans than ever. Older individuals with disabilities are the largest and fastest-growing minority in the US thanks to a dramatic increase in life expectancy. Individuals with disabilities represent an estimated $1 Trillion in annual incomes. The ADA ensures that people with disabilities have access to public and private accommodations, yet seniors with disabilities still experience inclusion issues.
This webinar will explore access issues for individuals with disabilities in public and private accommodations as well as the gap in use of assistive technologies among older Americans.
We will discuss how affordable, low-tech, assistive technology (AT) may help older adults with disabilities obtain and maintain their independence in the community.

Learning Objectives:
1.     Participants will be able to identify three research-based benefits in the use of assistive technology by older Americans with disabilities.
2.     Participants will be able to list three new low tech assistive technology devices for daily living.
3.     Participants will be able to define what are Public Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
4.     Participants will be able to state the components for accessible routes under the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

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Accessible Technology Coalition is Offering These Free Webinars in January...

Foundations of Assistive Technology from the Center on Technology and Disability
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 at 12pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern

Developing and Implementing an Accessibility Strategy: One Organization's Lessons (So Far) from Great Lakes ADA Center
Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at  11am Pacific,  2pm Eastern  
What's Next? After Assistive Technology Consideration from MITS
Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at  12:30pm Pacific,  3:30pm Eastern for 30 minutes.
(Must register the day before.)

UDL Supports for Diverse Learners on iOS Devices  from AbleNet
January 15, 2015 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern

Inspiring Lifelong Learning with Bookshare from AbleNet
January 20, 2015 at 12pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern for 45 minutes

Let's take Action! Include all of your students by using the AbleNet Action Dictionary from AbleNet
January 22, 2015 at 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern

Special Ed Tech Center has 13 webinars in January. All start at 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern. Topics include:

  • iPad: What’s new in AT? on January 5th
  • Lower Level Math Supports: Software and Web Tools on January 7th
  • Overview of iPad Accessibility on January 8th
  • iPad: TouchChat AAC - Overview on January 12th
  • Chrome AT Apps and Extensions: Part 1
  • Multi Level Math Supports: Apps and Adapted Tools on January 14th
  • Overview of Switch Access to the iPad on January 15th
  • Chrome AT Apps and Extensions: Part 2 on January 20th
  • Higher Level Math Supports: Software and Web Tools on January 21st
  • iPad: iOS Switch Control for Higher Level Students on January 22nd
  • iPad: TouchChat AAC –Literacy Ideas on January 26th
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking on January 28th
  • Simplified Step Scanning on the iPad 

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Monday, January 05, 2015

Pets Linked to Stronger Social Skills in Children with Autism

Pets Linked to Stronger Social Skills in Children with Autism image 2015 01 01 Pets Linked to Stronger Social Skills in Children with Autism 300x203.jpg
By Heather Johnson - Living with pets may increase the social skills of children with autism. A recent study from a researcher the University of Missouri (MU) as published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders finds that having pets such as cats, rabbits, and other animals as well as dogs in the home may help children with autism improve their social skills.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that manifests during the first three years of life. The disorder is characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication and by restricted, repetitive, or stereotyped behavior. ASD currently affects one in 68 children in the United States.
Previous studies have found that pets help encourage social interaction and that pet dogs may help children with autism develop their social skills. Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, research fellow in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), explains that children including autistic children tend to interact and talk to each other more with animals present in the home, classroom, or other social setting.

Read more at 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Free Webinar - Using Classroom and Google Apps with High School and College Students

This comes from Google Education. Note: the time is Pacific Time so it would be 3 pm Eastern Time.

Using Classroom and Google Apps with High School and College Students

On December, 16th, join us for an exciting webcast where Alice Keeler, a high school and college teacher, will share how she is successfully using Google Apps for Education and Classroom with her students.

During this presentation, you will hear examples of several assignments Alice has run using Classroom and how they could benefit your school.

Sign up now to attend our complimentary presentation to:
  • Get an overview of Classroom
  • Hear the story of Alice Keeler and how she uses Google Classroom
  • Learn how Google tools are being used in the classroom and how this is improving student learning, collaboration and innovation
  • Ask your Classroom questions to our informative presenters
Take full advantage of this LIVE presentation and register now!
Sponsored By: Google for Education

If you can’t make the live event please sign up to view the complimentary presentation at your convenience.

Presented by:

Alice Keeler,
High School & College Teacher,
California State University Fresno

Jennifer Holland,
Google for Education Team
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Engineer applies robot control theory to improve prosthetic legs

New research enables powered prosthetics to dynamically respond to the wearer’s environment and help amputees walk. Wearers of the robotic leg could walk on a treadmill almost as fast as an able-bodied person.

A University of Texas at Dallas professor applied robot control theory to enable powered prosthetics to dynamically respond to the wearer's environment and help amputees walk.
In research available online and in an upcoming print issue of IEEE Transactions on Robotics, wearers of the robotic leg could walk on a moving treadmill almost as fast as an able-bodied person.
"We borrowed from robot control theory to create a simple, effective new way to analyze the human gait cycle," said Dr. Robert Gregg, a faculty member in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and lead author of the paper. "Our approach resulted in a method for controlling powered prostheses for amputees to help them move in a more stable, natural way than current prostheses."
To read the article in full please visit:
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