At the moment, my favorite presentation to do at conferences is the Assistive Tech Toolbox for G-Suite. This is primarily because I am learning disabled adult and my disability is a real piece of business for me every day.
This morning I got very frustrated because I had a schedule emailed to me as an attachment. As I was looking at the dates, time slots and numbers I knew I was going to miss something. For most people looking at a schedule/agenda doesn't generate anxiety. But for me it does, it’s the worst. I often ask my husband Peter to check what I am reading to make sure I have not omitted anything or changed times in my head. (I have a knack for this). This is what happens when you have a reading disability and executive dysfunction paired together in a nasty little couplet.
Do you know what it is like to have second guess what you’re reading every time? I do. No matter how many times I read I am almost always missing something. The sad thing is I can triple check what I am reading but unless I read out loud or have something read to me, I will insert words that aren’t there or skip others. Often, I simply can not trust my eyes.
I would love to say that I have moved on and accepted myself and the wonderful things that are assets about how my mind functions, but there are still times that I will cry out of frustration because yet again I missed some important detail that was buried in text.
A few years ago I would not even mention my learning disability among my colleagues because I was still ashamed that I was so different. It was the Special Ed teachers that I was working with that convinced me to be brave, and openly discuss my struggles and how I modify with technology. It was Jeff Heil’s keynote in Capital Region 2016 that asked “What If ?” And my first thought was “What if Special Ed students openly discussed their struggles?” My next thought was, “How could you ask them to, when you do not?” That was the birth of my GAFE-ing Special Ed presentation which has now taken on many iterations.
That is why I am starting the #AssistLearning Hashtag to brand my posts that are Instructional Assistive Technology for Special Education students. Assistive Technology is extremely broad, my little niche is in Instructional Assistive Technology. My main objective is to use my experience as both an learning disabled student and an Instructional Technology Specialist to empower students and teachers with new tools and hacks to make learning more accessible.
Technology gave me my voice, it’s time to pay that forward.
Oh, and my hack for calendar management? I use Youcanbook.me to manage calendars in 5 different locations that all feed my Google Calendar entitled-"Cronk's Work Schedule". Every time I get involved in heavy scheduling, I will mess it up. Hence, all my calendars are automated around my parameters, they send reminders and follow ups and will also remove an appointment if it has been cancelled. I find the less I am manually scheduling, the smaller margin for error.
I am a technology leader, professional developer, teacher, parent and proud owner of an IEP. Let's talk about some fabulous learning experiences.