Skip to main content

Training

Training activities are instructional events, usually planned in advance for a specific purpose or audience that are designed to increase participants’ knowledge, skills, and competencies regarding AT.  Such events can be delivered to large or small groups, in-person, or via telecommunications or other distance education mechanisms. In general, participants in training can be individually identified and could complete an evaluation of the training. Examples of training include classes, workshops, conference sessions, and presentations that have a goal of increasing skills, knowledge, and competency. Training and/or presentations intended only to increase general awareness of AT are considered public awareness events.

Definition

Although the AT Act does not include a formal definition of training, the Act describes training as “activities that enhance the knowledge, skills, and competencies of individuals…(from entities described above) which may include—

(aa) general awareness training on the benefits of assistive technology and the … funding sources available to assist targeted individuals and entities in acquiring assistive technology;

(bb) skills-development training in assessing the need for assistive technology devices and assistive technology services;

(cc) training to ensure the appropriate application and use of assistive technology devices, assistive technology services, and accessible technology for e-government functions;

dd) training in the importance of multiple approaches to assessment and implementation necessary to meet the individualized needs of individuals with disabilities; and

(ee) technical training on integrating assistive technology into the development and implementation of service plans, including any education, health, discharge, Olmstead, employment, or other plan required under Federal or State law” (Section 4 (b)(i)(II)).

Distinguishing Training Activities from Public Awareness Activities

Training activities have more depth and breadth than public awareness activities and are focused on skill building and competency development. If the purpose of a training session is to create awareness, the training session should be counted under public awareness, not under training. In general, participants in training can be individually identified, while in awareness activities it may not be possible to identify each individually. Working with individual consumers on how to use a particular AT device or troubleshooting problems with devices should be reported under Public Awareness as Information and Assistance.

Distinguishing Training from Technical Assistance

Training is designed to teach, present or guide individuals in order to impart knowledge, skills and competencies. Technical assistance is focused on providing extensive assistance to state or local agencies or other entities (rather than individuals) and generally involves problem solving to achieve a mutually agreed upon goal. Technical assistance may involve multiple contacts and interactions over an extended period of time. In some cases, training may be a component of technical assistance. Training that is provided as part of technical assistance can be reported here, but only if the training was one of other several technical assistance activities. If training was the only technical assistance activity, it can be reported as either training or technical assistance, but not both. 

Performance Measures and Required Data Collection Elements

A performance measure is required for the training topic area of Information Technology/Telecommunications accessibility (terminology used in the AT Act) or Information and Communication Technology accessibility (ICT, the more current terminology). No other training topic areas have a required performance measure.

Training topics are organized into five primary categories:

  1. AT Products/Services - training focused on AT: such as instruction to increase skills and competency in using AT, and integrating AT into different settings
  2. AT Funding/Policy/ Practice - training focused on funding sources and related laws, policies, and procedures required to implement and deliver access to AT devices/services and related.
  3. Information Technology/Telecommunication Accessibility – training focused on accessible information and communication technology (ICT) including web access, software accessibility, and procurement of accessible ICT.
  4. Combination of any/all of the above
  5. Transition

The APR required data elements include the number and general characteristics of individuals who participated in training, the topics of training, and the geographic distribution of individuals who participated in the training.

There is no explicit reporting requirement for Transition but Section 4(e)(3)(B)(i)(III) of the Act includes a requirement that statewide AT programs provide training/technical assistance to assist students with disabilities who receive transition services under IDEA and adults with disabilities maintaining or transitioning to community living. Section 4(e)(3)(A) also requires that at least 5% of the money spent on State Leadership activities be used for the transition training and/or transition technical assistance activities. Training focused on education transition and community transition must be reported unless transition technical assistance activities are reported. Detailed information on the reporting of ICT and transition activities can be found in the instructions for the Annual Progress Report (APR) and the APR reporting instrument.

2017 Training Data Collection Update

The updated APR for 2017-2019 has a few minor changes in reporting of training data. A text box has been added to provide a description of a training activity related to ICT accessibility conducted during the reporting period. This narrative must be completed if training participants are reported in the ICT accessibility topic area in a previous data table. In addition, the 70% target for the ICT Performance Measure has been added to the table and an automatic calculation showing if the state met or did not meet that target.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

We provide individualized training to consumers. How do we report the data?

Individualized training is considered public awareness and should be reported as such.

We had a booth at a conference and we provided a presentation session about our program and services, how do we report this data?

Both of these activities are Public Awareness events and should be reported as such. Only presentations that are designed to increase participants’ knowledge, skills, and competencies regarding AT should be reported as training.

We participated in a conference where we brought multiple AT items and set up a demonstration area. Attendees were able to try devices and some received training on devices. Can we report these as demonstrations and training?

General demonstrations of equipment and individualized trainings are a public awareness activity not a training.

Is there a minimum duration required for a session to be considered training?

There is no required length of time. However, a session must increase the skills and competencies of the participants to be considered training. Providing an overview of services and/or showing different AT devices does not meet the criteria to be considered training.

ICT

Must a program provide Information Technology/Telecommunication Access training?

Yes. 

What type of ICT training must be provided?

AT programs are required to provide training on the importance, development, application, and integration of accessibility for information and communications technologies. This can include laws related to ICT, organization infrastructure to address accessibility, development of accessible documents, multimedia, and websites, procurement policies, accessible communications, and other technology and telecommunication components related to ICT infrastructure.

Is training for computer access or phones considered ICT training?

No. ICT training can be distinguished from other trainings in that it addresses policies, development, integration, and/or infrastructure related to accessible ICT. Specific AT devices, hardware, and/or software is not ICT training and should be reported under the AT Products/Services category.

What are the performance measures for Information Technology/Telecommunication Access training?

There are two possible outcomes related to ICT training: 1) Information and communication technology procurement or development policies, procedures, or practices will be improved or better implemented to ensure accessibility and/or 2) Training or technical assistance will be developed or implemented to ensure accessibility of information and communication technology. 

What if our program does not have staff that are skilled in this topic area?

The AT3 Center can assist state programs with ICT training and technical assistance needs in order to build capacity within states. Contact AT3 to discuss your specific TA needs.

Where can I find more information on specific laws related to ICT?

Access to information and communication technology (ICT) is addressed by the US Access Board standards and guidelines issued under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act.

How do I access the ICT training webinars?

Announcements on upcoming webinars are distributed via the ICT Community of Practice list.

Transition

Must a program provide training on Transition?

AT Programs must implement at least two required types of transition activities. One activity must be related to school transition (e.g., secondary school to post-school) and one must be related to community living transition (e.g. congregate living to community living). The activity conducted may be either a training event or a technical assistance initiative and should only be reported once in the appropriate section of the APR.

What is the fiscal requirement for transition activities?

Section 4(e)(3)(A) of the AT Act requires that at least 5% of the money spent on State Leadership activities be used for the transition training and/or transition technical assistance activities.

How do programs calculate the 5% requirement?

The 5% is a required minimum and is calculated based on the expenditure of funds used for state leadership activities; not the full award. This expenditure should align with your state plan and APR.

AT3 Technical Assistance Partnership for Information and Communication (ICT) Accessibility

The Oklahoma ABLE Tech AT program is a partner organization with the AT3 Center to help support ICT training and technical assistance activities. The AT3 Center and ABLE Tech provide ICT training opportunities that include other organizations such as the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology, Teach Access (web accessibility for higher education curricula), and the Georgia Tech Accessibility Solutions and Research Center.

Resources

General

For training and technical assistance related to the state leadership activity training requirement, Contact the AT3 Center

ICT

ICT Community of Practice

The goal of the ICT Accessibility Community of Practice is to provide training and resources to support the efforts of AT Act Programs working to deliver ICT training and technical assistance in their states and to provide a forum for Programs to share best practices. Email Rob Carr to join rgcarr@okstate.edu.

The Georgia Tech Accessibility Solutions and Research Center provides expertise, tools, and technology to support college disability service providers, K-12 educators, corporations, non-profits, and government institutions throughout the United States, to provide equal access to ICT technologies.

Oklahoma Able Tech offers ICT expertise and services and shares a list of some of their favorite resources to help as you create more accessible information technology products.

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is a multi-faceted initiative to foster collaboration and action around accessible technology in the workplace.

Teach Access is a collaborative effort of higher education, industry, and advocacy to create models for teaching and training students of technology to think and build inclusively and create accessible experiences with ICT.

TheUS Access Board develops standards and guidelines related to ICT federal legislation.

WebAim offers training and services related to website accessibility.

Transition

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition assists State Education Agencies, Local Education Agencies, State VR agencies, and VR service providers in implementing evidence-based and promising practices ensuring students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate prepared for success in postsecondary education and employment.

The Center on Technology and Disability is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The Center is designed to increase the capacity of families and providers to advocate for, acquire, and implement effective assistive and instructional technology (AT/IT) practices, devices, and services.

The National Council on Independent Living advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities. Their services include training and resources on independent living skills for transition to the community.

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging is a 501c(3) membership association representing America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation’s capital for the 256 Title VI Native American aging programs. Their resources include information on transition and livable communities for aging adults.