10/9/12: Special Mid-Week Posting: Keep Breathing, PATINS State Conference Updates, CIESC-IDOE Back To School Resource Fair, Parent-Family iPad Evening in Indy

Well, to say things have been busy the last couple weeks would be a severe understatement!  I do apologize for missing the last couple of weeks with the blog though and have lots to share.  This one, actually should have posted Friday and didn’t, but here it is and I’ll do my best to get another posting out this Friday.


scuba cycle image

First, and quite appropriate to my life recently, is a discussion I’ve had with some colleagues in other states and in some Indiana districts that relates to one of my other lives as a scuba diver!  KEEP BREATHING.  While it may sound silly/obvious at first, it’s the best advice around amongst scuba divers.  Seriously, new or overwhelmed divers can have a tendency to forget to breath!  So, when the air is compressed at depth, then held in because they forget to breath and then expands rapidly as the stressed diver rushes to the surface in panic… well, the lungs explode.  This Fall, like many starts to the school year of the past, can be particularly stressful as we all try to do 15 different jobs at once.  So, remember that the most important thing may just be to stay exactly where you are for a moment and remind yourself to keep breathing.  😉


PATINS State Conference Announcements!  

It’s Getting Closer and Closer!  We’ve got an awesome lineup of speakers that include such national presenters as Joy Zabala, Scott Marfilius, Kelly Fonner, Mystie Rail, Anne Rowe, Judi Sweeney, Jason Carroll and MANY others!  We also have two highly inspirational and entertaining keynote presenters!  The conference booklet is now available to you as a downloadable PDF.  It’s pretty large and might take a couple minutes to download, but is well worth it.  Registration for the conference is $75/day and includes your breakfast and lunch!  Registration is required and will close on Nov. 1st, so don’t delay!  There will be 2 hands on lab rooms going all day, both days and 6 other concurrent session rooms going on all day, both days!   Great Door Prizes (iPads!) will be given away each day!  For the first time ever, there will be a “DRM Corner-Chat” on both days where you can casually bring your questions, ideas, concerns, success stories to the ICAM & IERC experts!  Download the Conference Booklet and register at the links below!

Presentation Schedulehttp://bit.ly/PresentationGrid

Full Conference Booklet (including presentation schedule)http://bit.ly/FullBooklet

Conference Registration:  http://bit.ly/PATINSStateConf2012


CIESC IMage Flyer

CIESC / IDOE Back To School Resource Fair!  TOMORROW!!!

The Indiana Department of Education and the Central Indiana Education Service Center are hosting this event for all interested teachers and administrators.  What: This open house style event will be an opportunity for educators to gather resources, ask questions, and provide feedback on Indiana’s newest education initiatives. IDOE representatives will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about: Teacher Evaluation, A-F School Accountability, Indiana’s Common Core, REPA II, eLearning.   Download/View the PDF Flyer here: CIESC IDOE Resource Fair Flyer




Oct 29 Parent iPad Evening Image

PARENT-Family iPad Training Evening Announced!

This great evening opportunity, co-hosted by the PATINS ProjectINSource, which is primarily intended for parents & families, will offer several ways to improve the accessibility of the iPad for children experiencing Vision, Hearing, Physical, Cognitive, or Communication challenges.  Limited to the 20 registrations!  Content of this evening presentation will be tailored to the specific and unique needs of the registrants to the greatest extent possible.

Virtual National Presenter: Dr. Theresa Willkomm, a.k.a. The MacGyver of Assistive Technology! University of New Hampshire
On Site Presenters: Jeff Bond, Jim Lambert, Daniel McNulty – PATINS Project

When: Monday October 29, 2012 from 6:00 – 7:30pm

Where: CIESC (Central IN Educational Service Center) 6321 La Pas Trail, Indianapolis, IN 46268

Register Here: http://bit.ly/familyone 

Download Flyer Here: Parent Night Flyer2 10 29 12










8/10/12: Apple Special Ed. Seminar! VI Teacher Audio Interviews, Whitley County Autism Walk, Alternatives To Powerpoint, 2 Great Upcoming Events

Apple Special Ed. Seminar September 13:  Co-Sponsored by PATINS Project and ICASE

ICAM VI Teacher Audio Interviews: If you’ve not yet heard any of the audio interviews that Martha and the ICAM staff are doing with outstanding teachers of the visually impaired, check these out!

iPad Document Camera: A pretty cool stand that will turn your iPad into a Document Camera.  Could be quite useful in some classrooms, where the teacher is walking around with an iPad anyway, to make things larger for increased accessibility to examples, demonstrations, etc.  www.ipaddocumentcamera.com


Whitley County Autism Walk: Sunday Oct. 7, 2:00pm.  1 mile, $10, Includes Walk T-Shirt!


6-Week Long UDL Course from ISTE: http://www.iste.org/store/product.aspx?ID=2490&utm_source=Store%2BEmail&utm_medium=Store%2BEmail&utm_content=Feature%2BAd%2B(UDL%2BCourse)&utm_campaign=Store%2BEmail%2B(UDL%2BCourse)%2B8.9.12 

10 Alternatives To Powerpoint:  www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/08/10-excellent-alternatives-to-powerpoint.html 

Two More Events to keep an eye on!

  • Nov. 8-9   PATINS State Conference Returns!  Save The Date.  Watch here and on the PATINS Website for Registration info very soon!  AND, we’re still wanting a few more teachers, therapists, admin, IT staff, who are working toward accessibility and are willing to share!  The Call For Proposals will absolutely close 1 week from today on Aug. 17 2012.  Get your Proposal in NOW, by clicking this link:  www.surveymonkey.com/s/PATINSStateConf2012CFP
  • End of Sept/Beg. of Oct.  Parent Webinar nights with ISTE presenters that PATINS will be co-sponsoring with INSOURCE.  Watch for more information on this next week and start thinking about parents that you think could benefit.  There will be 2 locations; one in Indianapolis and one in South Bend.  Space will be limited to 20 parents at each site.

7/19/2012: Announcing NEW ICAM Blog! Big PATINS Changes Reminder, A Few Dates To Put On The Calendar Now!

NEW ICAM Blog Announced! Martha Hammond at the ICAM has started blogging all things AIM, NIMAS & ICAM related on Thursdays via the brand new “ICAM Dispatch.”  I think it’d be a wise decision to take 5 minutes and check it out, subscribe just like you do to this blog and leave Martha some comments, suggestions, etc.  …especially if you are a DRM or serving students with print disabilities.

 First Friday Walk For Autism:  Aug. 3.  This wonderful event helps raise awareness and funds for families in Grant County
living with autism.

Aug. 7:  PATINS Live TV Returns at 11:45am EST

Nov. 8-9: Save The Date:  PATINS 2012 State Conference!  Flyer Here: State Conf 2012 Flyer 1 CFP

ASAP: Still a little time to get your proposal in to present at the PATINS State Conference Nov. 8-9.  Contact me with questions: dmcnulty@ciesc.k12.in.us

A Reminder:
Big PATINS Project Changes!

Several things have now officially changed within the PATINS Project organization that I want to make sure you’re aware of as we get closer and closer to the start of the 12-13 school year.

  1. The SE PATINS Site has moved from Madison to Columbus, IN and as you may know, Tina Jones ( SE Site Coordinator for past 17 years) has retired.  Tina will be missed by many people!  Tina’s replacement as the new SE Site Coordinator is Sandi Mahl.   The email you are currently using to reach the SE Site (sepatins@ciesc.k12.in.us) will remain the same, but will be received by Sandi now instead of Tina Jones.  We hope you’ll help us welcome Sandi to the PATINS Team!  More on Sandi to come!  Kelli Suding will be assisting Sandi at the SE Site and Kelli’s email is: ksuding@ciesc.k12.in.us.  The new SE Physical & Mailing Address: 1200 Central Avenue, Columbus, IN 47201
  2. The NE PATINS Site has also moved, but just a couple miles down the road to the Wabash City Schools Admin Building.  I have handed over the NE Site Coordinator position Julie Kuhn!  We’re also excited to welcome Julie to the PATINS team and more details on her will also be coming soon!  Much like the SE, the NE Coordinator email will still be (nepatins@ciesc.k12.in.us), but it will no longer come to me.  It will go only to Julie!  Brandon Culver has also transitioned out of the NE Assistant position and Emily Booth has transitioned in.  Her email is ebooth@ciesc.k12.in.us.  The new NE Physical & Mailing Address: 1101 Colerain St. Wabash, IN 46992.  After today, please don’t send anything to the old Wabash address as it will likely not reach PATINS!
  3. Vicki Hershman has also officially retired as the PATINS State Director after 17 years of dedicated service to PATINS and to Indiana’s K-12 schools.  Vicki will also be missed considerably by many and while there really is no replacing her (or Tina in the SE), I have now assumed the role of PATINS State Director.  My new email is: dmcnulty@ciesc.k12.in.us and you may begin using it now.  The Central PATINS location and phone numbers will not change:  Contact Us Page Here
  4. Finally, the PATINS UDL Blog is going to be merged with this PATINS Rapid Fire Blog.  Tina has done a great job of keeping you informed with UDL related information on the UDL Blog and going forward, I plan to combine UDL, AT, AIM, Creative Ideas to Engage, Announcements, Important Information, all in this one convenient location.   So, if you were subscribed to the UDL Blog, you’ll want to make sure you’re now subscribed to this one.  Just enter your email address in the upper right-hand area of this page and click subscribe.  That way you’ll receive just the headlines each Friday in your inbox and can then decide if you want to click them for more information.

We ask that you continue to bear with us during this time of transition.  I do not anticipate any problems or delays in PATINS services to you and your colleagues, but we will have several new staff in new positions and are losing three very valuable PATINS Staff.  Vicki, Tina, and Brandon will all be missed greatly.  I am excited and very optimistic about the new staff joining us and I view this as an exciting opportunity to evolve, adapt & grow!   More details on new staff members will be coming and I hope that everyone out there will help to welcome them.  I will still blog over the summer months as much as possible and my plan is to continue blogging in this coming school year in my new role as well.



4/22/2011: An ICAM Note to DRMs, PATINS Infomercial, Autism Virtual Fair Next Week, Tech Expo Videos, iPad Resources, Upcoming Events, Shifting Nature of Writing, TextHelp Free Trials,

PATINS Infomercial Image

PATINS Infomercial! We recently worked with CIESC Media staff to develop a VERY SHORT introduction to the PATINS Project.  It seems that every single week I run into at least one person who has never heard of PATINS and who asks me what we are all about in the state of Indiana.  Well, now in 5 minutes folks can view this clip and have a good overview of the PATINS Project. This might be something you want to share with your colleagues, your administration, your student’s parents,  your child’s teachers, etc.

ICAM Logo imageIndiana DRMs:  A Spring-Time Note From the Indiana Center for Accessible Materials (ICAM):

Recognizing your very busy schedule, the ICAM reminds you to plan ahead!

The new school year, 2011-12, will begin in approximately 5 months!

Please place requests for material as soon as you have your booklists, to avoid waiting once school begins. If you are not the teacher of record, please offer them a friendly reminder. All of us are responsible to ensure the provision of accessible instructional materials in a timely manner. With this goal, the ICAM will make every effort to serve you efficiently, effectively and immediately, after you’ve placed your requests!

Orders for Braille, large print and specialized aids and equipment should be requested by April 15th for August delivery.  The IERC has already begun filling and shipping orders for next year.  Please have someone at your ‘ship to’  location check the contents of all packages shipped to you, verify that the packing slip matches the items in the shipment, and sign and date one copy of the packing slip.  Keep one copy for your records and return the signed copy to the IERC.  Please report any discrepancies to the IERC immediately at 1-800-833-2198 or 317-554-2740.

Please remember to review your orders placed on the ICAM and check the action taken codes on pending orders. If you have questions regarding an action code or the status of an order placed for Braille, large print, and/or specialized aids and equipment or need additional information regarding IERC materials, please do not hesitate to contact the IERC at 1-800-833-2198 or email Leslie Durst at ldurst@isbvik12.org or Martha LaBounty at mlabounty@isbvik12.org .

Tech Expo 2011 2

Tech Expo Videos (2011): In case you missed it last week, check out a bunch of very short video clips from the April 13th PATINS Tech Expo here:

Some iPad Resources:

Adapting Writing Instruction: Here’s a nice article found by Tina on the shifting nature of WRITING.

TextHelp Free Trials: TextHelp, makers of Read & Write Gold and Fluency Tutor recently announced free 30-day trial downloads from their website.
Take a look: http://www.texthelp.com/pag e.asp?pg_id=10227

Don’t Forget to Register for 3 great FREE upcoming Events:

3/4/2010: Upcoming Events List, Organize Your Computer, No More Textbooks? VoiceThread for All Students, Teach Paperless, App Deployment, Virtual Reality and Autism

Textbooks No More? Several of you have probably heard me talk recently in-person about the future of textbooks and some ways to prepare.  Here’s an interesting article about Washington State and their redesigning of the textbook for the digital age, as a follow up: http://education.newsweek.com/2011/01/25/who-needs-textbooks.html

VoiceThread for All Students: You’ve probably heard me talk about VoiceThread in the past as a way for students to express what they know as sort of a more complex form of Digital Story Telling.  Check out this article, specifically looking at VoiceThread and students with Special Needs.  VoiceThread and Students with Special Needs Article

Teach PAPERLESS! Are You Ready? I’ve been working hard this year to become 100% paperless in my office and I’d say we are about 99% there!  Like any change in procedure, it’s been a process that involved a learning curve, but not many things in the office are more efficient, quicker, easier, far more accessible and cheaper!  Here’s an article, somewhat related to the above textbook article, on what a digital textbook should/could be:  http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com/2011/02/digital-textbook-should-be-more-than.html

App Depoyment: I get questions almost every week about APPS and how to get them from the iTunes Store onto student and teacher devices.  2 things I want to direct your attention to in this regard.  First is the Apple Policy and second is thing concept referred to as Mingled Content model of app deployment:

  1. A webcast describing the App Store Volume Purchase Program (ASVPP) is available to explain the volume app purchase program.
  2. The new App Store Volume Purchase Program (ASVPP) is described in detail at:

Virtual Reality and Autism: www.education.com/magazine/article/can_virtual_reality_help_autistic_kids

Organize Your Computer: Last week I had someone ask me, following my discussion on keeping teacher files on a computer organized into folders and utilizing other organization methods, if the folders on a PC could be color coded.  Great idea!   …but, no it appear that they cannot, unless you use some third party software.  Here’s some information from microsoft on staying organized with your files (essential as you move to paperless) and also on some third party software for color coding your folders: www.microsoft.com/atwork/productivity/files.aspx


you won’t want to miss!

8/20/2010: Accessibility Specific Apps Special, ROL University Edition, My Thoughts on iPhone Accessibility

iPhone Accessibility Image

My Experiences with Built-In iPhone  Accessibility Tools: Check out all the Built-In Accessibility features that come on the iPhone/iPad without needing any other equipment or software.  I’ve been playing with the settings on my phone and have a few thoughts.  www.apple.com/iphone/features/accessibility.html

  1. Many of you know that I spend A LOT of time in my car.  About 800 hours per school year to and from my office to be exact! This is a lot of time that I could be using more efficiently and these accessibility features built into the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch are so helpful to me!  No, I do not have a vision or hearing impairment and yet I still benefit tremendously from these accessibility features.  UDL???
  2. So, I on my iPhone, I go into Settings, General and then Accessibility.
  3. In Accessibility, I set Triple-click Home (at the very bottom) to VoiceOver. By doing this, every time I press the Home button at the bottom of my iPhone 3 times, Voiceover turns on and pretty much EVERYTHING on my phone can be read out loud to me!  Another 3 presses of the Home button turns it back off.  There are other accessibility settings in here, but I’ll focus on VoiceOver for right now.
  4. So, now that my phone is set to use VoiceOver anytime I hit Home 3X, I can be anywhere on my phone: my email, my google docs, my texting, my skype, my twitter, etc., and have my iPhone READ TO ME!
  5. I am constantly emailing myself documents that I want to have read to me on the drive to or from my office.  I simply navigate to that email and open the text, then hit Home 3X and touch where I want the iPhone to start reading!
  6. This is built-into one of the most popular mainstream devices of all time!  This is no longer Special Education Technology.  It is real life, it is useful and we should be teaching ALL of our students to utilize it to it’s fullest!

A Few Accessibility-Specific Apps:

Transition To College: Do you have students with print disabilities transitioning from high school to college?  Check out the press release for Read:OutLoud University Edition.  Good info to at least pass on to parents as students leave the K-12 building.


Accessibility-Specific Apps:

Transition To College: Do you have students with print disabilities transitioning from high school to college?  Check out the press release for Read:OutLoud University Edition.  Good info to at least pass on to parents as students leave the K-12 building.


8/11/10: SPECIAL POSTING: FREE Read:OutLoud Upgrade to 6.0.2!

Friday morning, the normal Blog posting is scheduled to happen, but I wanted to get this special news out ASAP!

icam image

ICAM is offering a free software update for Read:OutLoud. 

  • Remember, ROL is a great text to speech program that opens NIMAS files beautifully along with pdf, txt, rich text, html, xml, DAISY and offers many other teaching and learning scaffolds as well. 
  • This is a good piece of software for all students AND you have an unlimited license to install it on ALL of your school’s computers AND send it home with ALL students!  So, it’s a great UDL Tool!

Option 1: Upgrade Yours: As part of the ICAM license in Indiana you can download the update for FREE.  This download will search for any version 6 products that are already installed and update them to version 6.02…it’s very quick and simple.

Option 2: Install Fresh: If you don’t have any Read:OutLoud software installed yet, you can download (for FREE) the entire install package for Mac or PC from the ICAM Here:

Preview of what’s new in Read:OutLoud Version 6.0.2:

  • Added web page loading status bar to web browser
  • Proxy Authentication with password encryption (the Internet browser now works through your district’s firewall)
  • Improved table reading
  • Bookmark icons in outline

I just updated most of mine and it’s simple & quick!

Tune back in Friday morning for the normal Friday Posting!  It’s going to focus primarily on Visual Impairments!

Read:OutLoud Image Logo
Read:OutLoud Image Logo

2/26/2010: News About Your Stimulus Dollars, Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education Conference! Punishment Systems and UDL Engagement, Cool Twitter Apps! A Good Classroom Blog Example, and Two FREE Events Coming SOON!



Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education -3rd Annual International Conference- March 12,13, 2010

Once again, several of the PATINS Staff will be attending this free, online, virtual, international educational conference.  I will also be presenting a session this year on the Friday.

“The Virtual World Best Practices 2010 focus is “Imagination Around the World”.  From the North, East, West and South corners of the physical world what is evident is the collaborate nature of virtual world participants to share knowledge and experience. This 48 hour conference will indeed provide opportunities for sharing and further understanding virtual world technology.”

Read More Here: www.vwbpe.org
Register Here (FREE): www.vwbpe.org/registration

Teacher Collaboration Key to Student Success: “…Educators at the most collaborative schools reported the highest levels of morale, trust and shared responsibility for student success.
Read more of this article here:  edweek.org/tm/articles/2010/02/17/metlife.html?tkn=RYTCpFN0hFiRdFFlQZlSJRxR2BVFGEgdORIh&cmp=clp-ascd

Why Punishment Based Systems Don’t Work: I know this isn’t directly related to assistive or accessible technologies, but I do believe it’s related to UDL, but pay special attention in this article to the point #1 that Dr. Nunley makes: “1. In order for non-aversive techniques to work, the environment inside the classroom must be more desirable than the environment outside the classroom.” As an educator, have you ever asked yourself whether your student find your classroom more desirable than the world outside your classroom?  You probably have and the answer for many classrooms is probably that most students would prefer to NOT be in the classroom if they had the choice.  …but, have you ever asked yourself, as an educator, why this is?  …or more importantly, what could you specifically do to move your classroom space toward being the more desirable location.  For me, several things immediately come to mind that would make my classroom more desirable to students.  A few of which include:

  • making sure every part of my instruction, their responses and my assessment was accessible to all of my students (making it a fair environment)
  • NOT requiring my students to “power down” all of the gear they use outside of the school when they come in (making it a relevant and engaging environment)
  • Allowing my students to have an authentic audience for the hard work they put forth with blogs, podcasts, digital story telling, etc. (making it a motivating environment)
  • Read the whole article on behavior here: http://help4teachers.com/punishment.htm

Get More From TWITTER with Twitter Apps! Check these out!  Some certainly more useful than others  …especially, TwitterCal to sync your google calendar with your twitter, and Twittonary, which will explain some twitter-specific words that may seem foreign at times!

A Couple Interesting Videos about Second Life as an Educational Tool:

  1. Breaking the Second Life Learning Curve: http://www.3outube.com/watch?v=88Dn0STScWk
  2. Second Life VWLEM 09 Conference Day Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-up0vG2qlI&NR=1

A Good Classroom Blog Example: A request came in last week from an educator wanting training on setting up a classroom blog and this educator pointed me toward this one as an example of what she hoped to do.  I think this is one nice example from 5th grade teacher, Jay Monson in Minnesota!  What a great resource for parents and students to subscribe to.  Easy to set up and administer, relevant to the outside world (utilizing RSS) and creating an authentic connection between the worlds outside and inside the classroom walls.  Check out Jay’s blog here:   http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=59644&blog_id=&listclass=32377

RFB&D and ICAM February News for DRMs: Chance to win a FREE Mp3 player!  The DRM who downloads the most books from February 22 through March 15, 2010 will receive a FREE Mp3 player and will be featured on the support site at www.rfbd.org/indiana in April.  Download audiobooks today for your chance to win!

Register now to order RFB&D downloadable books. To register email your ID (ICAM####), name, address, phone number and email address to aimcustserv@rfbd.orgNeed Technical Support? Visit the AudioPlus support site at www.rfbd.org/indiana.

Click here for News about your school’s Stimulus Dollars: In addtional to clicking the link to find out details on your schools stimulus funds, you might find it interesting that only 12-17% of them have been spent and time is running out!  Several State Buys have been added to the PATINS website and more could be coming in the next couple weeks.  Don’t forget to check this tab on our site before making purchases.  Additionally, the PATINS staff is more than happy to help you spend your money!  Actually, we just want to make sure that schools don’t forget about accessibility, that every student is different and that we have a nice collection of experience with MANY assistive and accessible technologies and are very willing to make suggestions, offer resources, training, etc.  PATINS State Buy page here: www.patinsproject.com/buys.html

Don’t Forget these TWO FREE EVENTS coming up SOON!

  1. DAVID DAVIS presents: “Virtual Instruction and Assessment Environments: Addressing 21st Century Skills for Students with Disabilities” March 4th, 3:30pm EST, PATINS Second Life Island.  More info here: www.patinsproject.com/SecondLife/DavidDavisFlyer.pdf
  2. PATINS TECH EXPO: April 20th, 9am – 4pm, Crowne Plaza Indianapolis (change in location).  This is a free opportunity to come see the newest in Assistive Technology, ask questions of the vendors, attend presentations and build your personal learning network!  More info here: PATINS Tech Expo Flyer 2010 Required Registration Here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/PATINStechexpo2010

Have a Great Weekend Image