Spotlight on Assistive Technology

graphic of tickets, theater stage, and curtains

Click on one of the titles below to register for an Assistive Technology workshop.
Therese Willkomm in:
“Simple AT Solutions”
‘AT Solutions in Minutes’ with Therese Willkomm, PhD. Dr. Willkomm is an occupational therapist who is known as ‘the MacGyver of AT’- and after spending a day with her, you will know why! Dr. Willkomm will discuss and demonstrate DIY assistive technology projects that can be made quickly and inexpensively using common materials you can find at your local hardware store, including PVC pipe, corrugated plastics, new Velcro materials, and double sided tapes.

October 24, 2014
at Arizona Department of Education
1535 W Jefferson 3rd Floor, Phoenix

Tony Vincent in:
“iPads in the Classroom”
iPads are finding their way into the hands of excited teachers and students since thousands of useful apps and superb accessibility options make these devices popular. Bring your own iPad to get hands-on time with Tony Vincent as he guides you through using some of the best apps around. Tony will share sample activities across various subject areas grade levels K-8 and you’ll learn how iPads can personalize learning and engage all students. Special education and apps can certainly go hand-in-hand!
January 13, 2015
at Arizona Department of Education
1535 W Jefferson 3rd Floor, Phoenix

Penny Reed in:
“Assistive Technology Assessment”
Are you confused about your responsibility to provide assistive technology devices and services? Are you frustrated with delays in obtaining AT assessments from sources outside of your district or with the cost of those assessments? Are you looking for an efficient, effective way to determine a student’s need for assistive technology? Then this workshop is for you! This workshop will present a team-based model for completing assistive technology considerations and assessment. It begins with a brief overview of the laws related to the provision of assistive technology in the schools. A simple, easy-to follow system of AT considerations of IEP teams will be demonstrated. Then an assistive technology assessment process will be explained. This assessment process includes three stages: information gathering, decision making, and trial implementation. Specific, easy-to-follow forms will be provided. There will be opportunities for guided practice and feedback throughout the day.
May 6, 2015
at Arizona Department of Education
3300 N. Central Ave, 16th Floor, Phoenix

INFORMATION: Employment First April 29 Webinar

The Arizona Employment First Strategic Planning Committee recorded a webinar on April 29, 2015, to provide an update on the work the Committee has been involved in over the past year. Members of the Planning Committee presented an overview of the draft Strategic Plan key directions developed from the input received from stakeholders who attended a series of Community Forums held across the state in 2014.

The webinar can be viewed by clicking on this link:

The PowerPoint has been saved as a PDF and can be downloaded here along with the draft of the Employment First Strategic Plan Book.

Administrators Academy: A Brick-by-Brick Approach to Building Knowledgeable, Empowered Leaders in Special Education

Administrators Academy is a four-part, interactive coaching series designed to teach participants how to practically and effectively apply the legal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

This academy is geared toward school leaders, such as principals and assistant principals, who want to better understand their role in the special education process; special education directors looking for a more comprehensive understanding of the intricate legalities involved in special education; and special education practitioners who are interested in the legal foundations and purposes of their jobs.

This intimate workshop experience will feature an in-depth analysis of obligations under the IDEA. Presenters will build participants’ knowledge and confidence brick-by-brick by explaining responsibilities as school and special education leaders through deconstructing and reorganizing the IDEA into coherent pieces, while allowing interactions with the information to improve comfort and familiarity with the material. The instruction received through this academy will provide the necessary foundation to be thoughtful and skilled decision makers and practitioners in special education.

Institute presenters will be Kacey Gregson, attorney and Director of Dispute Resolution for the Arizona Department of Education, and Shannon Chavez, special education teacher and Arizona Department of Education Corrective Action Compliance Monitor.

Registration Link:

Event Dates:                                                                                                   

Friday, October 31, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Friday, February 6, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015

Event Location:

East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT)
1601 West Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85201

Registration Fee: $150 for the four-day attendance

Registration Deadline: September 30, 2014

Facilitated IEP Trainings

The Arizona Department of Education/Dispute Resolution Unit is excited to present the first Facilitated IEP training of 2015.

The Dispute Resolution Unit believes there are three components needed to facilitate a successful IEP meeting: standardized meeting practices, knowledge of the IEP process, and the use of meeting management skills that aid in minimizing conflict and maximizing collaboration. This training is designed to teach these three components.

There is a limit of 50 participants; registration is $75.00 for the two-day training and will include breakfast, lunch, and all training materials.

: 8:30 – 9:00
Event: 9:00 – 4:00

Click on Choose and continue to register for this training.

Who Should Attend: Any school personnel involved in a student’s IEP including special education and general education teachers, district representatives, and school psychologists.
Contact: Amy Dill @ 602-542-7579


Safford Unified School District
734 W. 11th Street
Safford, AZ 85546
Mar 9, 2015 – Mar 10, 2015 @ 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Flagstaff Unified School District Family Resource Center
4000 N. Cummings St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Mar 31, 2015 – Apr 1, 2015 @ 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Arizona Department of Education
1535 E. Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Apr 23, 2015 – Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:00AM – 4:00PM

TBI 100 — Concussion and Mild Brain Injury and Returning to Learning

This new ½-day (3.5 hour) course introduces participants, especially general educators, special educators, coaches, trainers and parents, to the concept of mild brain injury (mTBI). Content will address types of mild brain injuries and causes as well as the implications of injury on normal brain-behaviors. In addition, the workshop will focus participants on how to successfully return students to the learning environment after concussion. The format will include short lecture segments with open discussion and a 20-minute video segment addressing the need for concussion/mild brain injury prevention.

Who Should Attend: Administrators; Directors of Special Education; Secondary and Elementary Principals; School Nurses and Health Assistants; School Counselors/Behavior Coaches; School Psychologists; Coaches, Assistants, and Athletic Trainers; General Education Teachers; Speech/Language Pathologists; Occupational and Physical Therapists; Special Education Teachers; Community Agencies working w/children; Parents and Foster Parents; Support Personnel (buss drivers, clerical staff)
Contact: Jeannette Zemeida @ 602-542-3855

Flagstaff Unified School District
Family Resource Center — Literacy Room B
4000 N. Cummings
Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 5, 2015 @ 4:00PM – 7:00PM
Sierra Vista Unified School District
Apache Middle School Library
3305 E. Fry Blvd.
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Mar 21, 2015 @ 8:30AM – 12:00PM
Kyrene Unified School District
District Administrative Center
8700 S. Kyrene Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:30PM – 8:00PM
Kyrene Unified School District
District Administrative Center
8700 S. Kyrene Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284
Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:30PM – 8:00PM


2016 IDEA – STMP-CCRTT Year 1 Grant-Funded Training Alert

Special Projects is identifying teams to participate in the grant-funded Secondary Transition Mentoring Project/College and Career Readiness Team Training (STMP–CCRTT). As a result of intensive face-to-face trainings, specially selected district or school teams of educators will develop skills and take part in activities in multi-tiered instruction and interventions, effective collaboration between stakeholders, and data-based decision making and action planning at the student, classroom, and school levels. This training will prepare local education agencies (LEAs) to provide all students with the competencies they need to plan for careers, to engage both socially and emotionally, and to equip themselves as lifelong learners.

Teams selected to participate in the training will receive instructions for submitting the online funding application at a later date.

To be contacted by an ADE/ESS Transition Team representative to further discuss the grant application process and/or provide you with more details about the grant, please complete the STMP/CCRTT Pre-screening Application

2016 IDEA – SETTA (Special Education Teacher Tuition Assistance) Grant

The Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS), has released a grant that will help local education agencies (LEAs) to grow their own special education teachers. An Arizona school district or non-profit charter school with a current or anticipated special education need may apply for an eligible paraprofessional who has the desire, motivation, and commitment to complete college coursework requirements that will lead to a bachelor’s degree in special education or early childhood special education and to acquire a special education certificate within six months after completing the teacher preparation program.

Grant Proposal Email Submission Deadline: June 1, 2015

For more information, contact Celia Kujawski, IDEA Capacity-Building Grant Coordinator, at

2016 IDEA – Az-Tech

To lay the foundation for capacity building and systemic change in their schools, teams of educators known as Az-Tech grant teams will participate in grant-funded training workshops in the fundamentals of assistive technology (AT) and universal design for learning (UDL). National and state leaders in the field of AT will conduct 11 days of outcome-driven training events during the training year (September 2015–May 2016) with support provided by the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS), Special Projects Az-Tech AT team. At the end of the year, the team will be better equipped to consider and implement AT tools and strategies to support students with disabilities and contribute to the training of other education professionals in its local education agency (LEA).  This grant is appropriate if your agency serves students with a wide range of disabilities.

Although this is a non-competitive grant-funded training, the program is limited to a maximum of 15 teams. Special Projects will select five grant applications for eligible LEAs from each of the three regions of the state (northern, central, and southern) on a first-come, first-served basis in order of their submission through the new Grants Management Enterprise (GME). Applications that miss the 15-team cut-off will be put on a waiting list in the order of submission. Teams on the waiting list may be given the opportunity to participate if a selected team must surrender its place in the program prior to the first training day.

The funding application will be available soon in the Grants Management Enterprise (GME).

Meeting Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards (AZCCRS) for Special Educators

Team up a special education teacher or leader with a general education teacher or leader and get 50% off one registration!

Throughout the two-day workshop participants will have the opportunity to engage in whole group, small group, and paired collaborative discussions within grade level and content areas to refine collaborative practices between general education and special education and develop and write AZCCRS standards-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals.

Training Outcomes:
During this two-day workshop, participants will:
• Expand understanding of the AZCCRS for ELA/Literacy and Mathematics in order to develop standards-aligned IEP goals aligned to the student’s AZCCRS present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP)
• Integrate research of how children learn to order to identify areas of need in the development of IEP goals
• Obtain a solid understanding of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to integrate learning into daily practice
• Develop and write standards-aligned IEP goals related to students’ needs as described in the PLAAFP
• Discuss and explore how to use and differentiate assessments based on students’ IEPs to inform instruction
• Explore and use readily available resources, tools, and evidenced-based strategies to support students with disabilities to access the AZCCRS in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics

Please bring laptop or iPad to the training if possible.

Presenters: WestEd

March 23-24, 2015
Registration and breakfast at 7:30 AM

Yuma Union High School District Vista South Campus
221 E. 26th Place
Yuma, AZ 85364

Breakfast and lunch provided each day for both sessions.

Registration Fee: $125 covers the two-day attendance, or team up a special education teacher or leader with a general education teacher or leader and get 50% off one registration (i.e., $125.00 for the special educator, $62.50 for general educator). Please type ‘discount’ after the payment number when registering the general education teacher or leader.

Make payment payable to Arizona Department of Education.
Mail to:
Arizona Department of Education
Attn: Abby Sanchez
1535 W. Jefferson, Bin #24
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Who Should Attend: Special education directors, special education teachers, and administrators.
Contact: Linda Mosteller @ 6025424469

Click to register on the ADE Events Registration Page.

Universal Design for Learning Institute

March 12–13, 2015
Pendergast Learning Center
3841 N. 91st Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85037

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to designing flexible curriculum, instruction, and materials that are accessible to all students. The training will introduce the principles of UDL and present information on a framework to reduce barriers and maximize learning opportunities for all students.

Presenter Jeff McCormick, MS, is the Program Director for the Universal Design for Learning Center at OCALI in Columbus, Ohio.  Jeff presents at schools, universities, and state and national conferences on topics ranging from universal design for learning, technology integration, and educational project deployment at state levels. He has created on-line training modules for UDL that will be available throughout the year to institute participants at no additional cost.UDL March