Podcast: Special education at home in the age of COVID

By JoLynne Lyon | October 14, 2020

This month's interview is with Kent Remund of the Utah Center for Assistive Technology and Austin Oseguera of Utah Assistive Technology Teams. They are both experts on assistive technology for education--and how it can help parents who are teaching their children at home. 

A complete transcript of this episode is available on our podcast website.

1:50 - Kent and Austin are both still going into homes to help with assistive technology, depending on the comfort level of the individual, using protective gear. They are also doing evaluations remotely when it's practical.

3:00 - Austin offers strategies to help parents teach their children at home, including creating a consistent routine and using technology.

5:50 - Austin and Kent offer a brief overview of free assistive technology, built into phones and computer software. 

11:40 - Austin explains the difference between Dragon and free dictation programs.

12:35 - Kent encourages people to check with their schools to see what technology they are using. He describes some built-in tools being used in Utah.

14:00 - Kent describes "universal design for learning," a concept to make the classroom to be accessible to all students, whether they have been diagnosed with a disability or not.

15:45 - Barriers to education and learning are being revealed by remote learning.

16:25 - Kent describes ways that different learning styles can be accommodated by parents/teachers.

18:30 - Is it cheating to listen to a book rather than read it? Austin responds. "We need to be able to test for comprehension."

19:50 - Anxiety is an issue for students learning from home. Austin suggests some ways to address it, especially in helping students to connect with their peers even from home or take a break.

22:40 - Kent discusses AT solutions, encouraging people to work with the schools to keep up with their plans to make sure they get the support they need.

25:10 - Austin discusses the bright side of distance learning, which has forced schools and businesses to take virtual learning and jobs seriously. The pandemic has meant people have more opportunities, more creativity, more services to rural areas through remote delivery. 

For more information, visit the Utah Center for Assistive Technology and the Utah Assistive Technology Teams.

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