UCP-OC 2014 Life Without Limits Gala Video

Recent studies show a staggering statistic that 1 in 6 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a developmental disability. UCP-OC proudly serves the 1 in 6 children in our community that make up this statistic.

 

Learn more about the services UCP-OC provides:

UCP SmartBrief

Assistive Technology——————

Software helps children with disabilities communicate
Invention Labs has created a picture-based software application called Avaz to help children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders communicate. Company founder Ajit Narayanan said the software converts muscle movement into speech using pictures, so a user could put together the words “I like,” then choose a picture of an apple. The Economic Times (India) (1/24)

Ohio district uses technology to remove learning barriers
Some educators in a school district in Ohio praise technologies, such as laptops and tablets, for helping to eliminate learning barriers and increase motivation for students with disabilities. “Any time you can see the kids be more independent and more involved with their peers, you know (the technology) is doing its job,” said Rita Woeste, the district’s technology-integration specialist who taught special education for 29 years. The Advocate (Newark, Ohio) (tiered subscription model) (1/26)

Disability Update——————

Panel recommends ways to improve voting experience
A bipartisan commission urged election officials to give more attention to people with disabilities, expand online registration and allow more early voting to help solve problems of long lines and other difficulties that were seen during the 2012 election. The panel said polling places should have checklists to ensure accessibility and poll workers should be trained on how to help voters with special needs. Disability Scoop (1/24)

Transitions——————

Students learn academic, social skills in greeting-card business
Teachers at a high school in Kansas are using a greeting-card business to teach students with disabilities academic and social skills. While making the cards, students follow verbal and written directions, read work orders, handle money and learn to work as a team, special-education teacher Matt DeMoss said. “My goal while they were in high school, just like any other teacher, was to get them ready for that post-secondary career,” he said. The Joplin Globe (Mo.) (1/23)

N.Y. district transitions to career-focused diploma option
Students with disabilities in the Lansing Central School District in New York who do not earn a traditional high-school diploma now have the option to earn career development and occupational skills credentials. The new path takes the place of the “IEP diploma,” which was available to some students with disabilities in the district until last July. “We’re now focusing more on students leaving our schools work-ready,” Kathy Rourke, director of special education, said. Ithaca Times (N.Y.) (1/25)

UCP News——————-

National call on disabilities treaty, Tuesday
Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m. EST, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Community Leadership team will hold a call to develop a national strategy to allow for continued negotiations on the disability treaty. The CRPD was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities, and would provide a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. RSVP for the call and contact your senators by visiting www.disabilitytreaty.org.

Register now to attend the 2014 Disability Policy Seminar
Early registration is now open for this year’s Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., April 7 to 9. This event is the biggest and best opportunity for advocates to advance the grassroots movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is hosted by UCP, The Arc, AUCD, AAIDD, NACDD and SABE. Register now and book your room at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington D.C. for a special early registration rate by visiting www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org. But act soon — the special room rates end March 4.

Ending on a “high-quote”:

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
— C.S. Lewis

New in Assistive Technology

The Apple iPad…it’s as though the word is just lingering in the air today. Why is that you ask? The new iPad 2 comes out today! This means that there is a new iPad available, but you can also find the first iPad at a much more affordable price! The new iPad promotional video even features a lengthy portion to the unexpected use of the iPad by kids with special needs.

As full supporters of living a life without limits we continually look for ways that your children can communicate, learn and play effectively. Recently we have come across a couple applications that are innovative and that really work, and conveniently available on the iPad. Many special educators, speech pathologists and occupational therapists use these applications now and have seen positive results. These apps make communication fun and are great for kids with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other special needs.

We are really excited to tell you about these apps! First we would like to introduce you to the Proloquo2Go. This is a product from Assistive Ware that provides a full-featured communication solution for people who have difficulty  speaking. It has a text to speech feature that will allow your child to type or select an action when they have a hard time communicating their needs or wants. This is also a learning tool for young toddlers so that they can learn their shapes, colors and expand on their vocabulary! UCP-OC has recently, through a Bellows Grant, provided 3 year-old Gabe with an iPad and Proloquo2Go application and his mother says, “He has blossomed with his speech production, and is now imitating words constantly and recognizes shapes, colors and the alphabet…Not only has the iPad improved his speech production, it has been a tool to help him learn and share with the rest of the world all he knows, even with limited speech abilities.”

You can find more information at http://www.proloquo2go.com/About/article/what-is-proloquo2go this app is available on the iPad, iPhone and iTouch and is $189.

The second application we want to tell you about is called Tap to Talk and is similarly offered on Apple products as well as the Android, Nintendo DS and PCs. It is a yearly subscription for $99.95 and they offer a 30 day no questions asked trial. The program originates on your computer and the apps for your mobile devices come free. On this app your child has 2,500 pictures to choose from so he/she can organize and make their own albums. The text to speech option allows your child to speak to you, or allows you to record your own voice to different pictures to stimulate memory for your child.

For more information go to http://www.taptotalk.com/

Of course before making a purchase look at reviews online and try it out! These applications give children the opportunity to learn and share with the rest of the world despite their limited communication abilities. Allowing them to be independent…truly living life without limits!

written by: Elizabeth Wylie