Monday, November 13, 2017

A Twist on Ability Awareness at Calavera Hills Middle School

Calavera Hills Middle School (Carlsbad) has a Design and Modeling class, lead by Mr. Aaron Sottile.  The class emphasizes the design process using principles of project-based learning. They recently completed their  first project. They had to design an Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO) brace for a child with cerebral palsy.  They were not allowed to see what a real AFO brace looked like.  The students stepped up to the challenge and they got creative.  They made one out of pool noodles, popsicle sticks, rubber bands, elastic bands,  glue guns Etc. 

Melissa Haider, MPT with Haider Pediatric Physical Therapy, spoke to the class about what Cerebral Palsy is and  why people with it may need a brace. Part of the emphasis of this class is to design and create with empathy in mind.  To help students with this, Melissa Haider collaborated with their teacher Mr. Sottile and held an Ability Awareness which included participation from OT, PT, AT, and APE. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

The School Year is Off to a Great Start!

There have been several updates in the world of accessibility since the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year!  Below is a summary of a few of them.  For more information in these areas, check out the respective pages by clicking on the tabs above.


The Read&Write for Google toolbar looks a little different...
You may have noticed that there is a new icon at the end of the toolbar now instead of the "settings" gear.  Don't worry, it does the same thing and so much more!  Now there are options to change preferences for the word prediction tool.  Also, don't forget you can turn features the toolbar on and off too. This is a great one to keep in mind for those students who are easily distracted.

Bookshare works with iBooks on iOS devices...
Now that Bookshare offers books in EPUB format, Apple users can read EPUB books on their computers and mobile devices using iBooks.  It has a few accessibility options for readability (including the ones built into your device under settings) and it's free to use!.  Click here for more info.


Many of the AAC apps were recently updated
Check the AAC  tips tab for more details

Monday, May 15, 2017

Check out how Cardiff School District held a successful Ability Awareness Fair!

Cardiff School District held an Ability Awareness Fair on March, 24 2017. The fair was held simultaneously on both campuses. Classrooms came in at designated times, but students were allowed to come back a second time during their recess and lunch if they didn't get to see everything. Ashley Smithey, Director of Special Education in Cardiff, along with the Cardiff team, did a wonderful job planning and organizing this event. Check out the video below to see how they did it!

Friday, April 21, 2017


The ultimate goal of the 2016/2017 Classroom Collaboration project was to help create model classrooms, utilizing a UDL model for academic and language enriched classroom environments, that could potentially be replicated in the local district and/or SELPA wide. This year we were able to work with 3 phenomenal teachers, related service providers and paraeducators. We learned a great deal from them!

JoAnna Rodriguez, San Elijo Elementary School, SMUSD

Nicole Aschenbrenner, Rancho Santa Fe Elementary

Ann Lulay, Maie Ellis Elementary School, FUESD