iAccess: Mobile Devices to Enhance Learning for Students with Significant Needs


9/11/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

9/11/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

In collaboration with the Division for Physical, Health and Multiple Disabilities (DPHMD)

Thursday, Sept. 11
4-5 p.m. ET


Hear about research-based practices that integrate mobile devices in a universal design for learning framework to support, enhance, and evaluate student outcomes across grade levels and content areas. You’ll see concrete examples of how to use devices, programs, and apps effectively for students with significant needs (e.g., intellectual and multiple disabilities, and autism). The presenters will provide recommendations for evaluating devices and applications, with a focus on increasing meaningful participation of students with significant needs.

Learner Outcomes:

After completing this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe evidence-based practices to use mobile devices to increase participation and access to curriculum across content areas and grade levels
  • Identify grade-appropriate, high-quality resources based on students’ specific needs
  • Evaluate students’ participation, progress, and other outcomes when using mobile devices across various tasks and activities


Da Fonte AlexDr. Alexandra Da Fonte is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University where she teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate students in the severe disabilities program. She has over 20 years’ experience working with students with intellectual and multiple disabilities and complex communication needs. Her background is in speech-language pathology, and she holds master’s and doctorate degrees in severe disabilities special education, with emphasis on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Her areas of interest include teacher training, bridging research to practice, working with students with severe and multiple disabilities and communication disorders, specifically AAC needs, and working with paraeducators. 

Victoria_Knight_headshotDr. Victoria Knight, an assistant professor in the Special Education Department at Vanderbilt University, has over 15 years of experience working with students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and students with moderate-to-severe disabilities. She holds a masters degree in special education severe disabilities from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley and a doctorate in special education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Knight has secured grants to evaluate innovative uses of technology in core content areas for students with ASD. Her research interests include evidence-based practices for people with ASD and significant disabilities, general curriculum access, and innovative technologies for students with autism and other disabilities.

Bethany McKissickDr. Bethany R. McKissick is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at Mississippi State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and holds bachelors and masters degrees in special education with an emphasis on moderate to severe disabilities from the University of Kentucky. In addition to teaching, Dr. McKissick has published on providing academic instruction for students with disabilities using technology in general education classrooms. Her current research interests include computer-assistive technology to teach students with disabilities, systematic instruction, inclusive education, and teaching students with severe challenging behaviors.