ELLENSBURG, Wash. — As the 2017-18 school year got underway, so did the work of Central Washington University’s Special Education Technology Center (SETC). The only assistive technology resource in Washington that focuses its effort specifically to aid the state’s K-12 school system, it has received a $360,000 grant from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to support its assortment of projects.
The money—which is the SETC’s primary funding source—helps cover costs associated with providing all 296 public school districts in the state with training, technologies, and services that assist students with special educational needs. It also provides services to families of these students through the school districts.
The vast assortment of efforts involve such areas as school districts consultations, stocking and maintaining an assistive technology lending library of toys, switches, augmentative communication devices, alternate keyboards and other computer input devices, environmental control devices and software designed for students with special needs, and offering in-service trainings ranging from full-day conferences to webinars and tech support.
“We are dedicated to making sure that any and all state students with special educational needs have the greatest chance to receive an education appropriate to their abilities,” said SETC director Kristin Leslie. “Assistive technology can remove learning barriers and pave the way for successful school and post-school outcomes for students with special needs.”
The CWU SETC also operates training/consultation centers in Ellensburg, Federal Way, and Spokane, along with offering training opportunities within each of Washington’s nine Educational Service Districts around the state and at any school district site, at its request.
Training and consultation are also provided via webinar and teleconference.
In addition, the SETC employs several part-time assistive technology specialists with backgrounds in speech therapy and occupational therapy, around the state. They provide consultation and hands-on technical assistance for students whose communication and physical access needs can be addressed with technology interventions.
For more information contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu.