The 9th annual ED Games Expo will take place in Washington, DC, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts REACH on September 20 and 21, 2023 (Agenda). The Expo is a public showcase of game-changing education technology (EdTech) innovations developed through programs at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and across the federal government. There will be a Showcase of Special Education and Technology products on September 21 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Studio F of the REACH building (Agenda/Overview). The showcase will focus on accessibility and inclusion, with special speakers and demonstrations from 30 developers.
With artificial intelligence (AI) tools and products are spreading across schools and other learning contexts, it is important to maintain a focus on accessibility and inclusion in the development of these technologies. Accessibility needs to be considered from the beginning stages of design/development of technology, including digital games and learning technology. This showcase will highlight product developers doing just that!
The showcase starts with three thought leaders with expertise in this field who will share their ideas for what we can do now to make sure these special education and assistive technology innovations can be disseminated to have impact at scale and be sustained over time.
Laura Allen, head of strategy and programs for Accessibility and Disability Inclusion at Google, works to improve the accessibility and usability of Google products and processes and to make Google a more accessible place for people with disabilities.
Erin Mote, executive director and co-founder of InnovateEDU, is a recognized leader in mobile and broadband technology and has spent much of her career focused on expanding access to technology in the United States and abroad.
Kevin Custer is a founding principal at Arc Capital Development, an early-stage venture firm for education and special needs healthcare markets that has invested and managed more than $18 million in companies that provide products and technology for educators and people with special needs, especially autistic individuals.
We will host two panels with developers funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) of technology for accessibility, including:
- Matthew Seita, postdoctoral researcher at Gallaudet University
- Katrina Best, accessible coding product manager with American Printing House for the Blind
- Sarah Bradley, braille technology product manager at American Printing House for the Blind
- Denise Kavin, assistant dean for admissions, National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
- Jason Roop, director of the NTID Regional STEM Center at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
- Spencer Montan, associate director at RIT/NTID’s Center on Access Technology
- Jason Stark, director of Described and Captioned Media Program
- Maggie Pickett, senior technical assistance specialist, Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems and Accessible Educational Materials Center
In addition to the talks on special education technology products funded by SBIR, OSERS and its Office of Special Education Programs, and other federal agencies, the showcase will feature live demonstrations of the following 11 innovations funded by the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER):
- ATHEMOS (video trailer) is a videogame and real-world intervention package to help middle school students with ADHD improve their organization, scheduling, and note-taking skills.
- ATLAS-PA (video demo) a web-based program developed for children ages 3 to 7 years that includes three subtests with items related to rhyming, blending, and segmentation.
- Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching is a naturalistic, behavioral intervention for students with autism that includes 10 teaching strategies to improve outcomes for learners.
- The Cognitopia Platform for Self-Determination (video trailer) is a suite of web-based self-management tools including MyLife for IEP self-direction, Routines for multimedia task analysis, and GoalGuide for learners in kindergarten to post-secondary.
- Connect-IT is a computer-based inference-making intervention for middle school students with or at risk for reading disabilities.
- Goal Setting Challenge App (video demo) is a technology tool for teachers to engage secondary students with disabilities in setting and attaining academic, behavior, and transition goals.
- ibestt (Integrating Behavior Support and Team Technology; video demo) is an online coaching and collaboration system that guides school-based teams in the implementation of individual student behavior support strategies in elementary and early childhood settings.
- Inference Galaxy (video demo) is a fully automated, web-based platform that includes tools designed to assess and support K-2 students’ inference-making skills in a non-reading context.
- MARCS: Facilitating Math Learning with Adaptive Reading Supports is a set of individualized reading supports (video trailer), embedded in MATHia—Carnegie Learning’s adaptive mathematics learning system—for middle school students with reading difficulties.
- NumberShire™ (video demo) is an internet-based, educational game with an intensive focus on critical whole number concepts and skills for K-2 students with or at risk for mathematics difficulties.
Many of these products will also be demonstrated the night before at the ED Expo Public Event, held Wednesday, September 20, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm (Register Here). This event is open to the public (including families) where they can meet with developers and test out the innovations.
After the Special Education Technology Showcase, there will be office hours on September 21 from 3:00 to 5:30 pm where people can meet with developers and representatives from over 40 government offices that invest in and support EdTech initiatives, as well as dozens of national education organizations that lead initiatives to support EdTech innovation, research, and commercialization. Sarah Brasiel, program officer for NCSER’s projects focusing on technology for special education, will be at a table during office hours and happy to talk to you about our NCSER funding opportunities.
Space is limited for the Showcase of Special Education Technology, so please Register Here!
This blog was authored by Sarah Brasiel (Sarah.Brasiel@ed.gov), program officer at NCSER.