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Assistive technology strategies, tools, accommodations and resources
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 Program Mission and Vision
 Program Overview
 ATSTAR Services
 Funding Efforts
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Background Information on the ATSTAR Program

In June 2000, the Texas Education Agency, through their Technology Integration in Education (TIE) grant, awarded $2,269,239 to the Austin Independent School District (AISD) to fund the ATSTAR program. “ATSTAR” is an acronym that stands for “Assistive Technology – Strategies, Tools, Accommodations, and Resources,” and is a collaborative effort between AISD and the following 6 agencies: The Austin Community College, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin Harvard School, Sylvan Learning Center, Far South Community Schools, and Region XIII Education Service Center.

The first phase of the effort produced a replicable CD and web-based assistive technology training model designed to prepare instructional staff at the campus level to conduct assessments, collect data, and integrate assistive technology into the instructional setting. The grant participants included 56 public school personnel on 14 separate campuses and 2 private school personnel. These grant participants delivered assistive technology training to approximately 640 educators and impacted 1,708 public school students and 18 private school students.

Current Program Activities

Knowbility and Region 13 of the Texas Education Agency are currently leading a pilot program to implement the lessons learned during the first phase and to further evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum. There are 30 school districts in Central Texas participating in the pilot which will run through the 2004-2005 School Year.

Program Purpose

The purpose of the ATSTAR program is to build technology-enhanced learning environments and increase assistive technology expertise among educational professionals, parents, and consumers in a way that:

  • Builds on a replicable training model to be deployed nationally
  • Integrates the national quality indicators of assistive technology
  • Targets members of the student support team to increase the impact of services
  • Provides just-in-time training and resources to parents and educational professionals
  • Fosters team collaboration through leadership and mentorship programs
  • Empowers family members and consumers to participate in the team process
  • Embeds technology into major curricular subject areas
  • Promotes community involvement

As a result of the ATSTAR program, students with disabilities and learning differences will have equal access to technology-enriched education and competitive employment.

Program Success

The ATSTAR program’s success will be measured through feedback from the grant participants, survey data, online assessments, and through the assessments conducted by our outside evaluator, the Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET).

Program Duration

The ATSTAR program is ongoing. The first phase of funding ran from June 2000 – August 31, 2001 and the current phase will run through the 2004-2005 school year.

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