AT Train – Free Assistive Technology Training for Organizations in the Greater NYC Area
In order to extend our reach to assist individuals in the acquisition and effective use of Assistive Technology (AT), ATHelp.org at the JCC now offers Zoom or onsite Free Assistive Technology Seminars, called AT Train to educate and train professionals who work within schools, work opportunity programs, and advocacy groups across the greater NYC area. These Free Assistive Technology Seminars serve education professionals, rehabilitation therapists, mental health professionals, advocates (parent and professional groups), and any group serving the direct needs of individuals with disabilities in an educational or workplace setting. The seminars address any requested/recommended topic in the AT field regarding hardware, software, apps, cloud-based solutions, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and implementation strategies and problem-solving for individual/group user needs.
Two Models for Free Trainings Offered:
1. General Training Model: These trainings are tailored for staff at organizations/schools that serve individuals with particular disabilities. Trainings may include topics such as: an introduction and overview to the field of AT; demonstrations of specific AT resources available for addressing particular needs; and/or how to best implement AT solutions within classrooms or workspaces. These trainings will feature a combination of instructional and hands-on approaches, and all attendees will leave the session(s) with more practical knowledge of tools to support the particular needs of the individuals they support. Depending on the requests/needs of an organization, trainings usually encompass three segments: assessment, acquisition, and implementation.
- Assessment: determining the unique needs of individuals for communication, physical access, learning, vision, hearing, or attention/behavioral needs.
- Acquisition: an overview of the variety of Assistive Technologies available for the particular needs of the people they serve and how they might be obtained.
- Implementation: training in the effective operation and integration of specific assistive technologies selected based on current research and best practices.
2. Train the Trainer Model: These trainings are offered for organizations that wish to provide select professionals with more detailed and focused strategies for the application of assistive technologies in addressing specific needs of individuals. These trainings are designed to also provide professionals with the resources they need to design in-house professional development platforms for their colleagues in the effective use of assistive technologies. Ideally, these trainings will include the individuals with disabilities being served so that their insights are valued and integrated into implementation practices as well. Trainings may cover any topic(s) requested and/or may include an initial walkthrough assessment to help organizations determine their particular AT needs.
Training Details: Either training model can be offered to organizations at their sites and free of charge. Trainings can consist of any distribution of a maximum three hours over one to three site visits. Organizations can arrange the presenter’s time as they deem beneficial: instructional lectures; observations & feedback; product demonstrations; implementation practice; or even program development. In addition to the hours offered to an organization, please note that all the individuals they serve, regardless of age, are also invited for free one-to-one consultations regarding their specific AT needs, at the JCC of Manhattan by contacting our flagship program, ATHelp here.
Examples of Agencies Served & AT Solutions Addressed:
• Preschools - Selection and use of Augmentative Communication (AAC); Physical Access Solutions; Vision supports;
• Elementary - AAC implementation; UDL; Therapeutic gaming applications; Accessibility tools for mechanical needs;
• Middle School - Advanced AT applications for executive functioning and productivity needs (literacy, math, organization, testing accommodations, etc.); UDL;
• High School - AT Solutions for accessible science labs, math tools, note-taking, and testing accommodations; AT self-advocacy;
• College - All the above refined for advanced individual needs - AAC for adults; AT for college productivity;
• Day-Habilitation, Pre-vocational and Vocational - AAC for adults; physical access solutions for workplace; literacy and productivity tools; ADL, safety, and independent living tools; and more as requested.
To arrange for trainings please contact Mark Surabian at ATHelp@me.com or click on the link to the right.
About the Trainer:
Founder, Mark Surabian has utilized assistive and instructional technologies to serve the educational and vocational needs of thousands of individuals with disabilities for over 35 years, across five states, in both private and public school systems, residential and work facilities, and within home-based learning programs. He developed and presently operates ATHelp.org, an assistive technology support program at the Marlene Meyerson JCC in Manhattan, where he has offered free AT support to over 4300 children and adults with communication, vision, learning, and physical challenges. His new program, ATTrain.org, provides free AT training to professionals at schools and agencies across the greater NYC area.
As an Assistive Technology Consultant he has provided services to the NYC DOE, NYS Acces-VR, and to 100+ public, private, and charter schools, addressing the curriculum and participation needs of students and training/support for professionals. He currently teaches comprehensive courses on Assistive Technology (AT) for NYU’s Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy and for the graduate schools of Education at Bankstreet College and St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn. He previously taught at Brooklyn College and Pace University as well. He provides tailored guest lectures on AT for Columbia University Teachers College, CUNY, Fordham University, and other local institutions. He has developed/delivered lecture series for agencies such as The Everyone Reading Assn., The NYC Special Education Collaborative, and The Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project, and presented on a variety of AT topics at most national AT/IT/Ed conferences such as ISTE, ATIA, CTG, AERA, and ATCNE. He has consulted for AT developers like AMDi, Kinems, LC Technologies, and Panther Technologies, and volunteered his services to advocacy groups such as The UNICEF Innovation Fund, The Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian Accessibility Advisory Committee, The United Federation of Teachers, The National MS Society, Advocates for Children, Parents for Inclusive Education, and the ARISE Coalition. He also collaborates on research projects around the use of AT for learning, communication, and accessibility.
More information may be obtained at: www.linkedin.com/in/marksurabian