The Step Up AT to Promote Early Literacy Project (Step Up AT) is an innovative professional development resource to increase teacher and parent knowledge of evidenced-based assistive technology (AT) practices to increase early literacy outcomes for preschool children with disabilities. Through interactive online modules, access to AT devices, and expert coaching, teachers and parents learn how to identify children’s needs and incorporate AT to increase their participation in early literacy activities at home and school. This project is funded by the U.S Department of Education Office of Special Education, Stepping Up Technology Implementation Grant, and developed and implemented in partnership with Florida’s state-run program to improve access to AT, the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), and the University of Miami (UM) Mailman Center for Child Development and Pediatrics. Online interactive modules are provided in English and Spanish.
UM is the lead agency on the Step Up AT grant and subcontracts to FAAST to house a device loan program, device demonstrations, information and referrals, and outreach services. FAAST's South Florida Regional Demonstration Center is also housed at UM and many team members work on both programs. The first iteration of this grant was from 2016 to 2021. UM received another grant from the U.S Department of Education Office of Special Education, Stepping Up Technology Implementation Grant, to continue the program from 2020 to 2025. UM and FAAST will continue their efforts through the end of the funding period, then will determine how best to continue Step Up AT's activities if there is no future funding available.
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