Autism Equal Access Project
Was designed to provide training to culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families with children with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) attending Seattle Public Schools, to use iPads as assistive technology for communication needs.
The overall goals were to increase parents’ knowledge and skills, as well as students’ skills on using iPads and iPad communication apps. 10 Seattle Public School Special Education students met the requirements of the Autism Equal Access Project iPad Program, according to their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) communication goals. iPads, iPad apps and accessories were provided at no cost to these 10 CLD Seattle Public school students in Special Education and the training necessary for parents and students to use these iPads effectively for communication needs.
Recommendations for appropriate communication apps and whether iPads are suitable assistive technology devices were led by Seattle Public School Assistive Technology team. A commitment to full participation was required from all participating parents.
In April – August 2015, parents of eligible students participated in 12 hours of iPad training classes and 6 hours of parent-child play group sessions. Parents and students also received support in their homes on using iPads and iPad communication apps over a 4-month period. Each visit consisted of providing any necessary support on using iPads and specific communication apps to parents with their child present, as well as getting a better understanding of how to support CLD families more effectively when using iPads. Home visits provided opportunities for parents to try what they learned in class with their children, with the direct support of ODMF. This ensured that parents understood the training content, in order to increase their knowledge on using iPads and iPad communication apps.
With the cultural and language support of bilingual ODMF Family Support Staff Specialists and the technical support through STAR Center staff, these CLD families will increase their knowledge and skills in using iPads to communicate more effectively with their children with ASD.
Some communication apps that were used for this project were:
Proloquo2go; Touch Chat; First Then Visual Schedule; Choiceworks; Pictello