One of the key features of Cognitopia is that it is designed for maximum access by users with cognitive disabilities while also providing tools for teachers or parents to assist as necessary. Continue reading
Our work on cognitively accessible self-management applications has always relied on a participatory research approach that grounds development in the real-world life experience of individuals with disabilities and those who support them. We are fortunate to have a rich network of students and adults with disabilities, parents, and teachers who drive our iterative development approach by providing design input, using our beta version apps, and telling us how to improve them. Continue reading
When we started the MyLife project, our focus was on the development of a cognitively accessible, multimedia ePortfolio that would function as a kind of online résumé with a person-centered planning style. The end goal was to provide an intuitive, digital tool for students as end users that would let them document and share their educational, work, and personal experiences, and interests in a way that would foster more meaningful IEP participation and help with transition to adulthood. Continue reading
In a previous blog post, we showed how the Goal Guide app is being used by the Community Transition and Connections Program in Eugene 4J School District in Eugene, Oregon to foster independence and empower students to run a school store with minimal interaction, prompting, or supervision. Continue reading
In a student’s mind, assessment is synonymous with “testing,” and nothing causes anxiety like the prospect of having to take a test. Most educators realize, however, that effective formative assessment of progress, learning, and educational experiences go way beyond test taking. Measuring student progress over time should include formal and informal assessment procedures and it requires tools that capture the full range of students’ experiences, preferences, and goals. Continue reading
I remember first meeting Tom Keating in 2001 at the Community Living Program (CLP) in Eugene, Oregon. The CLP is a special education program for students ages 18-21 with a range of exceptionalities who have either graduated with a modified diploma or high school equivalency. Continue reading
Cognitopia stated out as an idea, much like a seed, now it has grown into a beautiful tree with flourishing branches that give ideas, encouragement and motivation. Continue reading
Last fall I decided I was going to college and I was very excited about my decision. I took the placement tests for reading, writing, and math and I got into credits classes at Lane Community College. I started in the winter term and I was ready to quit in the second week. Why? Because there was a lot of homework and speed. Continue reading
I met Dorothy Miller for the first time a few months ago. She’s young and beautiful and has the kind of optimism and enthusiasm one might expect from a person about to enter the workforce. Dorothy wants to make the world a better place, starting with children.
Due to her dysarthria, Dorothy uses the TouchChat program on her iPad to communicate with staff and students in her first year at the local community college. Dorothy’s ultimate goal is to receive her early elementary teaching certification. Continue reading
One of the things that we take pride in doing is embedding ourselves in the special education and autism communities here in Eugene. We learn so much from our peers and friends at places like the ARC of Lane County, Pearl Buck Center, the newly launched SLLEA house, and especially the innovative Connections Program run through the 4J school district. Continue reading
The transition between adolescence and adulthood is hard, but it can be really hard for people who experience Autism Spectrum Disorder. It’s also a stressful time for parents.
Sherry Sandreth knows this from personal experience. Continue reading
My name is Josh. I’m a special education transition teacher in the Eugene, Oregon 4J school district and work in a program called Connections. Connections is designed to support students as they move from high school to adulthood; we serve students who are 18 to 21 years old who have graduated high school with modified diplomas. Continue reading
Beyond setting the foundation for teamwork, work ethic, and a sense of ownership, assigning my kids household chores helps me feel a little bit less like Alice from the television show “Brady Bunch.” As many parents can relate, keeping up with your kids’ chore list is a chore in itself. Continue reading