Distance Learning Support due to COVID-19
With the move to distance learning for the majority of Indiana school districts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PATINS Project is providing increased support to schools through virtual meetings and resource guides to assist in working around access barriers for students who are learning from home. See all the offerings below.
Daily Zoom Office Hours
Pop into one of the PATINS open office hours in Zoom to ask specific questions involving accessibility, assistive technology, Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and/or Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and their application during distance e-learning. These are held at 10 AM and 2 PM EST each weekday through April 2020. Note: For those joining via cell phone, download the Zoom app for free from Google Play or the Apple Store, click the link in the calendar.
Are your lessons accessible for students and their parents/caregivers? With the move to distance learning, adults in the home have taken on a greater role in assisting students with school work. If the materials sent home or online lessons are not accessible for those with visual impairments, those who are deaf/hard of hearing, and/or for those have difficulty with reading printed text, your students may not have the same access to the content as other students. This can lead to both student and parent frustration. Take a look at the Accessible Digital Content document for no-cost ways you can ensure the presentation of the content is accessible for a broad range of users.
DCMP provides access to over 8,000 accessible educational videos through online streaming and DVD. Families, educators, and other professionals who have at least one student with a disability are eligible for a free membership. Registration is simple and easy.
Best practices are to create, maintain and support students with accessible educational materials. This will allow students to access grade-level content independently and access content at their comprehension level. While this is a resource for available audiobooks and other reading supports, please be mindful that students who need specialized formats of text (audio & digital text, braille, large print), should have access to those needed formats with all classroom materials.
This resource can help guide your district's distance learning teams while constructing a comprehensive policy for providing digital instruction.
The ICAM team would like to offer supports and resources to assist educators, parents, and anyone who will be assisting students while schools are shut down. Please let us know if you have any information that we can share with others.
PATINS specialists have scheduled extra no-cost webinars that will have strategies and tools for accessible distance learning. Topics include captioning solutions, supporting students with emotional disabilities, working on core words/AAC at home, ways to use the Desmos online calculator suite, Windows accessibility, receiving digital formats of curriculum texts for students with print disabilities, and more. Register through the Calendar on our website. Webinars can also be requested for any time and on any topic to assist with the implementation of distance learning. Complete the form to request a training.
Compiled by PATINS Project Staff and local educators, the using augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) while eLearning document contains back up/low tech AAC boards* and core word and language learning activities that students can use in the home.
*Note: The back up/low tech AAC boards are not necessarily an equitable replacement of the system(s) provided by a school to provide free appropriate public education (FAPE).
Join #PatinsIcam Twitter Chat Tuesdays at 8:30 PM EST to discuss accessibility, assistive technology, Accessible Educational Materials (AEM), and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), all with a focus on distance learning. Indiana educators can earn 1 Professional Growth Point for attending and completing a short questionnaire. If you have never attended one of our chats before, we encourage you to try it and join our supportive personal learning network. Here are a few tips to help you get started with Twitter Chats.
Find tools, strategies, guiding questions, and other resources to support universal design for learning (UDL) and special education during distance learning and instruction.
Video Conferencing Tool Support
This Table to Compare Hangouts Meet, Skype & Zoom is provied to help compare three popular videoconferencing solutions used by Indiana Educators. It will help you determine which platform is most beneficial for your students to use. It is not exhaustive and if you need additional support, please reach out to a PATINS Specialist.
View Zoom instructions for students who use the video conferencing tool on Computer, Linux, Chromebook, iOS, Android, and Phone. Includes common troubleshooting support.
View Google Hangouts Meet Instructions for students who use the video conferencing tool on Computer, Chromebook, iOS, Android, and Phone.
What about my Assistive Technology Lending Library Loan?
The Assistive Technology Lending Library has suspended all physical loan request shipments until May 1, 2020. At this time, please refrain from returning any loans. Please clean and keep your loans in a secure location until school resumes. iOS apps are still available for loan request and will be sent to devices virtually (iPads will not be loaned at this time). Contact Assistive Technology Lending Library Managers, Carrie Owens or Sheri Schoenbeck regarding questions/concerns.