Lunch & Learn Webinars

The internet is flooded with pictures, just think about all of those adorable cat pictures your family and friends post on social media or all the images teachers use in their lesson plans! If you’re blind or have low vision, enjoying these pictures is not easy. Enter alt text! Alt text, or alternative text, is an incredibly important way authors or posters of these images and pictures can make them accessible to people using screen readers. In this webinar you’ll learn what alt text is, how to add it in various applications, and some guidelines to help you master this easy to implement but difficult to master assistive technology.

Date & Time: Monday, October 21, 2019 | 12 – 12:30 pm
Presenter: Adam Kosakowski, AT Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $15 fee.

Register Today!

I will go over my favorite features found in the latest release of JAWS, as well as, highlight some of my favorite features found in the previous few releases. During the past several years, many new features, both big and small have been added to the JAWS screen reader. We will look at some of the most helpful features that I use on a daily basis.

Date & Time: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Steve Famiglietti, Blind Services Vocational Manager

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

In this webinar, we will explore the differences between the big 3 digital assistants. Some digital assistants excel where others lack. Attendees will gain further perspective into choosing the right digital assistant based on feature-matching and device capabilities.

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Kristopher Thompson, Smart Technology Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

Many schools are now using Chromebooks as their main computing platform. The combination of the Chrome web browser and Google Apps for Education is providing a set of tools for all students to complete their schoolwork productively and efficiently. But there are also several Chrome tools that are especially helpful to students with learning disabilities. This webinar will explore the built-in accessibility of Chrome OS, along with a selection of apps, extensions, and tools for Google Docs that can be added to the assistive technology tool belts of LD students.

Date & Time: Friday, November 22, 2019 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Jamie Martin, AT Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

Today’s smart phones and tablets provide people with a quick and easy way to take photos. While these photos are a great way to simply capture memories, they also provide a meaningful way to support children and adults with communication challenges. This webinar will describe ideas for using everyday photos to target language expansion and to create communication opportunities. Further, the presenter will suggest ways to use photographs to specifically support individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. Lastly, the audience will learn strategies for organizing these photos to give individuals easy access to them for in-the-moment communication.

  • List at least 3 language skills that can be targeted with everyday photos.
  • Name 1 strategy for using photos to specifically support AAC users.
  • Describe 2 ways to organize and present digital photos.

Date & Time: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Elena Fader, M.A., CCC-SLP, AAC Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

Is keeping up in meetings difficult for you or someone you work with? Meetings can be tough since traditionally the information being delivered is largely auditory. But, if auditory information doesn’t match one’s learning style, whether it be due to being Deaf or hard of hearing, or having central processing disorder, etc., something needs to be done so they can more fully participate with everyone else! What about adding live captions to a meeting? Luckily, adding live captioning is easier and cheaper than ever, often times, it’s free! In this webinar you’ll learn about various ways to add live captions to a meeting which can help participants better participate, take notes, and revisit the material later.

Date & Time: Monday, January 6, 2020 | 12 – 12:45 pm
Presenter: Adam Kosakowski, AT Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $20 fee.

Register Today!

A look at the top ten technology treasures that I like for 2019 with a twist. The presentation will consist of short videos and my commentary on each of the ten treasures shown. Join me and see what the twist to these ten treasures will be during the presentation.

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Steve Famiglietti, Blind Services Vocational Manager

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

The iPad has steadily improved as an assistive technology tool for students with learning disabilities. The built-in accessibility of iOS includes text-to-speech, dictation, and word prediction that can help students with reading and writing. In addition, there are many AT-related apps that can be used to make language-based activities easier. Since many apps have single or limited functions, the challenge is figuring out how to combine apps in order to complete multi-step or complex tasks in school. The practice of combining apps into workflows has become known colloquially as “app smashing.” This webinar will focus on various app workflows that LD students can use to complete various assignments. Attention will be given to schoolwork involving reading, writing, and note taking.

Date & Time: Friday, January 24, 2020 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Jamie Martin, AT Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

Transitioning to college in general can be challenging for students with disabilities, but what about their AT? Transitioning a student’s AT needs from high school to college is often a road filled with misinformation and confusion, and unintentionally a student may be left without their needed AT when they begin their college journey. As a parent or high school staff, what can you do to help your student and their AT transition better to college? In this webinar you’ll learn about the realities of how AT transitions to college, what a college will and will not provide, and what can be done before high school graduation to help your student transition with their AT more smoothly.

Date & Time: Monday, February 10, 2020 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Adam Kosakowski, AT Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

The smart phone is a truly universal device that levels the playing field for everyone. In this webinar, we will explore the limitless abilities of iPhones. From apps that provide social connection to free built-in accessibility options that many don’t even know exist. Attendees will gain further understanding of one of the most powerful tools that often goes under-utilized.

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Kristopher Thompson, Smart Technology Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

Join us for a personal look at my current guide dog, Joel. Participants will learn about how guide dogs grow, evolve and are trained through a story of his life. During the presentation, participants will see a slide show containing photos of Joel throughout various stages of his life. You will learn about how puppies are raised, socialized and trained to become guide dogs and you will see a short video of Joel guiding me on a daily walk.

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Steve Famiglietti, Blind Services Vocational Manager

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than those without disabilities. Several factors contribute to this heightened risk, with communication challenges being a key reason. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) plays a critical role in supporting this population of individuals who are more vulnerable to abuse.
This will provide insight, strategies, and resources that human services professionals and families can utilize to protect their clients and loved ones. Resources include a preview of an adapted sexual health curriculum and a demonstration of ways to use an AAC device to help individuals learn, self-advocate, and report.
Oak Hill, Connecticut’s largest non-profit for people with disabilities, has started a #seventimes campaign to draw national attention to this horrific statistic. By bringing awareness to the AT world, we hope to make immediate strides in attacking the sexual assault epidemic using the power of communication.

  • Recognize at least two communication-related reasons that individuals with IDD are at a higher risk for sexual assault.
  • Identify at least two ways that AAC can help to decrease the “#seventimes” statistic.
  • Discuss at least three strategies that can be used to support individuals with IDD in learning, self-advocating, and reporting information related to sexual health.
    Date & Time: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 12 – 1 pm
    Presenter: Elena Fader, M.A., CCC-SLP, AAC Specialist

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

Microsoft has been putting a lot of work into the magnifier feature found in Windows 10. The magnifier feature is free and built into Windows 10! Throughout each year, they have been releasing updates to Windows 10, found in these updates, are improvements to the magnifier. Come join us for a look at the magnifier and see the exciting ways it can help users who have low vision.

Date & Time: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 | 12 – 1 pm
Presenter: Steve Famiglietti, Blind Services Vocational Manager

Registration Information:

  • This is a NEAT Member ATventure and is FREE for NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers.
  • This is also open to the public for a $25 fee.

Register Today!

Workshops

Screen readers provide a bridge for those people who are blind to read documents with ease. However, if a screen reader is unable to gather the necessary information to give to the end user, they are unable to read the document. There are several things that you can do to assure that your documents can be read by a screen reader. There are also easy methods that you can use to make it easy for the end user to navigate around the document. Come learn some important strategies to help you create documents that can be read by everyone. This workshop will give you several hands-on practices in creating accessible documents.

During this workshop you will learn:
• How to make images, tables, and charts accessible.
• How to create a logical structure for your documents.
• The universal concepts behind making all digital content accessible, including documents, social media posts, email, and websites.

Date & Time: Tuesday, October 28, 2019 | 9am-12pm
Location: The NEAT Center at Oak Hill, Hartford, CT
Presenter: Steve Famiglietti, Blind Services Vocational Manager and Adam Kosakowski, AT Specialist

Registration Information:
• Register today for $125!
WAIT! NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers can register for $100!

Register Today!

Communication partners play several critical roles in the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) implementation process. One primary role is to teach AAC use by means of a specific modeling technique called aided language stimulation (ALgS). ALgS is a research-based practice in which a communication partner uses an AAC device while simultaneously speaking messages aloud in order to teach the power and the purpose of using the device. While ALgS seems simple by definition, executing it can initially feel overwhelming. This workshop will explain strategies that can make modeling more manageable and will describe other tips to becoming an effective communication partner. Guided hands-on activities will give participants an opportunity to practice AAC implementation in a systematic manner.

  • Describe at least 2 AAC competencies that can be taught using ALgS.
  • List at least 2 strategies that can be used to improve ALgS practices.
  • Recognize modeling opportunities within an individual’s daily routine.

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | 9 am – 12 pm
Location: The NEAT Center at Oak Hill, Hartford, CT
Presenter: Elena Fader, M.A., CCC-SLP, AAC Specialist

Registration Information:

  • Register today for $125!
  • WAIT! NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers can register for $100!

Register Today!

Pack your bags and hop in the car for a fantasy road trip across the United States. Your journey will take you from Seattle, Washington to Boston, Massachusetts. Along the way, you’ll make stops at some of the country’s most famous landmarks and explore assistive technology tools that have proven invaluable to the academic success of students with learning disabilities. You’ll explore AT for iPad, Chrome, and desktop computers and learn about text-to-speech, dictation, word prediction, electronic graphic organizers, and more. Be sure to bring your own devices for hands-on practice. And don’t forget to buy enough stamps for the postcards that you’ll want to send home!

Date & Time: Friday, February 7, 2020 | 9 am – 3 pm
Location: The NEAT Center at Oak Hill, Hartford, CT
Presenter: Jamie Martin, AT Specialist

Registration Information:

  • Register today for $200!
  • WAIT! NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers can register for $175!

Register Today!

Smart technology is giving so many people the ability to live more independently. But is Alexa always listening? Can someone hack your smart devices? How secure is the “internet of things”? In this workshop, we will discuss these concerns and cover steps that you can take to improve security and peace of mind.

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 | 9 am – 12 pm
Location: The NEAT Center at Oak Hill, Hartford, CT
Presenter: Kristopher Thompson, Smart Technology Specialist

Registration Information:

  • Register today for $125!
  • WAIT! NEAT Members, the CT SDE Subscription and CT Birth to Three Providers can register for $100!

Register Today!

CT SDE PDs

CT SDE Subscription professional development opportunities are listed below. Make sure you register for one that is convenient for your schedule or travel. These PDs are ONLY for LEAS in Cohort C.

Packing a Punch with AT

Getting the most out of your AT resources and supports!
NEAT believes the most sustainable quality assurance plan is one that grows organically within each school district. To support this growth NEAT is excited to help LEAs in Cohort C build capacity within their own teams by offering six (6) regionally located professional development (PD) events throughout CT. These PD opportunities will be geared specifically towards the needs of school-based teams regarding fidelity in assistive technology (AT) supports and will provide new information about best practice for these services. We will also cover the latest trends in AT and how they can be implemented throughout classrooms as well as during important transitional stages.

Sign-up dates:

  • October 3 | The NEAT Center at Oak Hill, Hartford, CT
    9 am – 3 pm
  • October 9 | Camp Hemlocks, Hebron, CT
    9 am – 3 pm
  • October 10 | Rockville Public Library, Vernon, CT
    10 am – 4 pm
  • October 21 | Waterbury Public Library, Waterbury, CT
    9 am – 3 pm
  • October 22 | Bridgeport Main Public Library, Bridgeport, CT
    10 am – 4 pm
  • October 31 | Meriden Public Library, Meriden, CT
    10 am – 4 pm

Register Today!