Technology Tips for Oral Administration

Special Education teachers spend a lot of their time reading tests and quizzes out loud to students, not to mention regular classroom lessons and assignments. For some students, this is an unavoidable part of their instructional plan. But we think that, for many students, technology tools can provide an equally good, if not better, approach to this accommodation. And the less time teachers spend in the “reader-role”, the more time they can spend doing what they do best — teaching students.

In the video below, Kim and Nichole explore two approaches to using technology for Oral Administration: using text-to-speech tools and letting teachers record themselves. Beneath the video you will find an array of resources for planning the implementation of this approach. These tools might be more than enough to set you on your way, but if you have questions or would like to talk through your campus’s unique needs, please don’t hesitate to contact: Region 13 Assistive Technology Specialist Region 13 Access to the General Curriculum Specialist


Tech Tips for OA (Quick Reference)
Accurate Accommodations
Accommodation Effectiveness Form

Basic Computer Skills Assessment

Does He Really Need an FM? – Part I

Hearing technology today is better than ever with digital hearing aids and cochlear implants. They give the wearer tailored access to the sounds of speech.  So if a student has this great hearing aid, cochlear implant or BAHS, why does he need an FM system?  These personal amplification devices are designed to amplify the sounds that are near the person’s ear.  Certainly sounds from a distance can be ‘picked up’ by the microphone of a personal hearing device, but when it comes to understanding speech, the spoken message going into the device needs to be loud and clear.  There are three common obstacles to a clear speech signal reaching the person with hearing loss:  Distance, noise, and reverberation.  FM systems are designed to mitigate these effects.

For a simulation of how FM works with hearing aids, take a look at this short video:

Beat the Heat 2014: Registration Is Open

beat the heat logo

Registration is open with 4 registration options available!

ESC Region 13’s Beat the Heat is a three-day professional development opportunity for educators who work with children 3-5 and children with significant disabilities ages 6-21.

Pre-Conference: Wednesday, June 25, 2014.  Back by popular demand this day provides day-long, in-depth learning opportunities at a more advanced level.

Beat the Heat: Thursday & Friday, June 26-27, 2014. This popular traditional format of a keynote speaker and breakout sessions on best practices features area professionals and ESC staff.  Content for the breakout sessions is developed to meet the needs of new and veteran teachers.  Topic include: Curriculum & Instruction; Classroom Management & Organization; Behavior; Autism; Communication; Assistive Technology; Sensory-Motor; Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD); Transition; and 18+ Programming.

Want the entire experience?  

  • Register for Beat the Heat 2014 – 3 Day All Inclusive!  
  • June 25-27, 2014
  • Workshop #SU1428736
  • Cost: $120.00 (This represents a discounted price over registering for individual days)

Can only come 1 or 2 days?

  • Register for Beat the Heat 2014: Day 1 Pre-Conference
  • June 25, 2014
  • Workshop #SU1428536
  • Cost: $50.00
  • Register for Beat the Heat 2014: Days 2 & 3 Main Conference
  • June 26-27, 2014
  • Workshop #SU1428537
  • Cost: $100/00

Don’t want to fight Austin traffic?  Try our Virtual Conference!

  • Register for Beat the Heat 2014 Virtual Conference
  • June 26-27, 2014
  • Workshop #SU1429966
  • Cost: $50.00


  • Paraeducators attend at no cost for any registration option!  Use the discount code: Para2014
  • Parents attend at no cost for any registration option! Use the discount code: Parent2014
For more information contact:

A Message from our Keynote!

Region 13 is excited to announce the keynote speaker for our fourth annual Inclusion Institute, Susan Hentz. Susan focuses on classroom-proven researched based strategies and resources to ignite student enthusiasm for learning while maximizing the potential of every student. Susan’s seminars are well known for being high-energy, humorous, interactive, and packed with practical ideas that support effective teaching and engaged learning. You will leave her seminar with a wealth of strategies you can use immediately to ensure that every student in your classroom has access to the curriculum.

Meet Susan:

And register for the Inclusion Institute below:

Inclusion Institute 2014 (SU1427634)

Inclusion Institute 2014 – Virtual Conference (SU1428827)


Inclusion Support for ELA-R

If you are teaching students with disabilities in an inclusion setting, either as a Special Education teacher or as a General Education teacher, Region 13 would like to encourage you to attend Accessing the General Curriculum in English Language Arts on April 9, 2014. Participants will leave with strategies to help deliver engaging, scaffolded lesson cycles, determine and implement appropriate accommodations, collect and use formative assessment data, manage behavior, and differentiate instruction for students with disabilities. Just search E-Campus for SP1428576

Twice-Exceptional Students

A “twice-exceptional learner” is a child or youth who performs at — or shows the potential for performing at — a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:

  1. exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
  2. possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
  3. excels in a specific academic field (TEC 29.121)

…and who also gives evidence of one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility (IDEA, 2004) (300.8) (Section 504) criteria such as:

  • learning disabilities;
  • speech and language disorders;
  • emotional/behavioral disorders;
  • physical disabilities;
  • sensory disabilities (hearing impaired, visually impaired, blind-deaf);
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • autism spectrum disorder; or
  • other health impairments such as ADHD.

Parents, teachers, and other educators may be interested in exploring TEA’s “Equity in Gifted Education” website, which includes a host of resources dedicated to meeting the needs of this student population. Access the website here:

©2014 Texas Education Agency All Rights Reserved 2014

Math for All – AGC in Math





STAAR – Modified is going away. What does that mean for my students in math next year?

In this workshop you will learn how to accommodate and modify instruction in the math classroom. Develop a plan for preparing all your students for higher expectations.

Hands-on experiences will be provided to show you how to meet the needs of a diverse population. Various resources and tools will be shared at this training.  Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate and network with other math and special education teachers.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 9 – 4pm

Register at

Workshop ID # SP1426974 – Math for All

Inclusion Support in Social Studies – Rescheduled

What is this picture and how can I use visuals like these to enhance my instruction? 

Due to the ice day, Accessing the General Curriculum in Social Studies: Inclusion in the Age of STAAR has a new date, Monday, February 24, 2014.

In this workshop:

  • Participants will receive a copy of “Social Studies Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites” by Marcia Tate.
  • Develop instructional strategies such as use of Graphic Organizers, Visual Aids, Mnemonic Devices, Movement, and Storytelling for teachers in inclusive Social Studies classrooms
  • Align accommodations available to students with disabilities on Social Studies assessments with classroom instruction
  • Engage in brain-based strategies and learn how to apply them in the classroom so all students can better retain and apply information