Local Educators Receive Assistive Technology Training
Educators from around Wyoming are receiving weekly training in a new University of Wyoming program poised to dramatically improve both capacity and access to assistive technology services in Wyoming schools.
The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities recently launched Project ECHO-University of Wyoming to build capacity for assistive technology in education. Experts in assistive technology from UW’s Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), UW Communications Disorders and the Wyoming Department of Education along with nationally recognized trainers provided an orientation for educators from around the state to the ECHO-UW model.
For this pilot program, educators who are members of WIND’s Professional Learning Community in Assistive Technology and represent nine school districts learned about the guidelines and procedures for subsequent ECHO-UW sessions. Every Friday through May, ECHO-UW will provide training in assistive technology and will facilitate student case presentations by educators for mentoring and co-management with the assistive technology experts.
Four key components of New Mexico’s successful Project ECHO model were applied to the UW-ECHO design for use in education, says Sandy Root-Elledge, WIND associate director. They are: the use of technology to leverage scarce resources; improving outcomes by reducing variations in care and sharing “best practices”; case-based learning; and monitoring of outcomes.
“Once data collected from the pilot project has been analyzed and used for program improvement, ECHO-UW will be expanded in September to include additional educators from around the state,” Root- Elledge says.
Educators receiving the training, listed by school district, are:
Big Horn 1 -- Chris Victor, speech language pathologist;
Fremont 1 -- Casey Widhalm, assistive technology coordinator and case manager;
Lincoln 2 -- Kellan Bagley, speech language pathologist;
Natrona 1 -- Eric Freeman, assistive technology strategist;
Sheridan 2 -- Anne Baures, speech language pathologist;
Sublette 1 -- Molly Hanson, middle school/high school life skills teacher;
Sweetwater 2 -- Katie Harmon, resource teacher.
These Wyoming Institute for Disabilities professionals were among educators receiving assistive technology training through Project Echo-UW. From left are Canyon Hardesty, coordinator of community education; John Paul Harris, coordinator of the Wyoming Accessible Instructional Materials Clearinghouse; and Darcy Regan, Wyoming assistive technology resources speech language pathologist. (WIND Photo)