Are you looking to jump start or develop your AT/AAC knowledge and skills? Are you a teacher, related service professional, paraeducator, or administrator? Thanks to sponsorship from the CT State Department of Education, NEAT’s educational program, “AT Champions” may be just the ticket you need to move forward!
NEAT is thrilled to host a unique assistive technology learning program once again, “AT Champions.” This program, initially a pilot project during the 2022-2023 school year, will now be repeated and revamped! During an introductory course and an optional advanced course, NEAT will lead professional development exclusively for selected CT educators to build their assistive technology (AT) and augmentative & alternative communication (AAC) capacities.
Professionals (“AT Champions”) will develop their confidence and expertise in AT or AAC knowledge, while being part of a unique learning network of fellow Champions. Students (“Peer Mentors/Junior Champions”) who show leadership qualities will be able to gain experience in learning new technologies while supporting their peers who use AT through an “AT Buddy” component. Learning Toolkits that contain a variety of assistive technology items will be loaned to AT Champions for the duration of a semester to give them opportunities for hands-on learning.
Generously funded by the CT State Department of Education, this program is offered to participants at NO COST.
- AT Champions_Program Overview 2023-2024
- Apply to join the Fall 2023 program – Deadline August 4, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
What learning format can I expect for the “AT/AAC Essentials” course?
This course will be presented virtually. Most of the course content will be pre-recorded and available for viewing in a self-paced manner over the course of the semester. Attendance at occasional live sessions will be expected, with some degree of flexibility permitted. Assignments will be incorporated into the coursework, but we promise they will be fun and hands-on to keep the outcomes meaningful for you!
What learning format can I expect for the “Next Level AT/AAC” course?
This course will be taught both virtually and in-person at Oak Hill in Hartford during a two-week intensive program. AT Champions will independently watch archived course content using a virtual platform. Short quizzes and mini-tasks will be embedded into the webinars to solidify participant learning. Live NEAT-led sessions will promote networking while AT Champions learn from one another through discussions of “real-life” applications of AT/AAC within CT school districts.
I don’t have access to much AT/AAC. Will that impact my ability to participate?
No! Learning Kits with AT/AAC tools will be provided to participants. Plus, you can borrow items from NEAT’s Lending Library for your own professional growth (also applicable to NEAT Members who are not AT Champions!).
What else can I expect to learn aside from AT/AAC knowledge?
This program will offer a unique networking opportunity, as adult participants will form connections with other CT professionals (including the NEAT team!) and student participants will meet other like-minded peers. Additionally, participants will build their confidence in seeking out resources that will be helpful to them in the future.
I am interested in the program but am not available this fall. Can I apply for Spring 2023?
The application for the Spring 2023 program will open this fall. Subscribe to NEAT’s newsletter to be informed when the application goes live!
I already have some basic AT/AAC knowledge, and am interested in taking just the advanced “Next Level” course. Is that possible?
Thanks for your interest! At this time, the advanced course is only open to AT Champions who have successfully completed the introductory “Essentials” course. Instead, you can check out NEAT’s live and archived webinar library to keep learning! These webinars are free for NEAT members and are available for a fee for non-members.
I still have more questions. Who can answer them for me?
NEAT’s Director of AT Services would be happy to speak with you! Contact her at Elena.Hurlburt@OakHillCT.org.