Cohort 6 Model Demonstration Projects
University of Delaware, Center for Disabilities Studies
Delaware Early Childhood Assistive Technology Demonstration (DECATD)
The DECATD project considers the complex system of stakeholders supporting early childhood best practices and intentionally engages key stakeholders to assist with the integration of project activities into existing local and state-wide infrastructures and transference of leadership responsibility to the community. DECATD is being conducted in the community, by the community. DECATD staff - implementation change agents, will collaborate with three geographically dispersed Delaware demonstration programs which serve children between the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years in home and community settings. The programs are also demographically diverse and serve, at a minimum, 10% of children with disabilities across all developmental domains. Families, early childhood teachers, early intervention providers, administrators, professional development providers, and policy makers will participate in promoting promising practices in assistive technology (TA) use.
Example components of the DECATD model:
Coordinate, develop, refine, and implement innovative and accessible opportunities for adult caregivers to receive explicit instruction on, exposure to, and practice with AT so that they consider AT as an effective strategy to promote learning and participation
Expand the capacity and capabilities of change agents (i.e. professional development providers) by conducting a collaborative review and revision of curricula, supplementing where necessary with new content related to AT
Expansion of AT access and acquisition mechanisms including device maintenance, refurbishment, re-use, exchange and loan
Examine the funding and policy paths to AT acquisition with consideration of all potential routes: publication of navigation guides for families and early childhood education and early intervention service providers that specify eligibility parameters, funding navigation paths, and strategies for resolving challenges.