The Maryland Assistive Technology Network

The Maryland Assistive Technology Network (MATN) is a premier professional learning network which connects educators, families, and educational leaders engaged in improving learning and teaching through the effective use of assistive and universally accessible technologies in education. MATN is a service of the Johns Hopkins University, Center for Technology in Education (JHU CTE). MATN membership is free and open to all.

By becoming a member of their online community, you exchange ideas, questions and recommendations with educators, families, researchers, leaders and policy makers around assistive technology tools, services, and processes. This vibrant network strives to help support individuals’ learning and independence.

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L’Arche GWDC Hosts Traveling Ark

from their site: ”

Walton Schofield shows off one of the five arks traveling the world in celebration of L’Arche’s 50th anniversary. Photo ©Brian A Taylor

Shortly after Jean Vanier, Philippe Seux, and Rappahël Simi moved in to a small home in Trosly-Breuil, France, Jean asked his friend Jacqueline d’Halluin help him name the house.

“She suggested about a hundred names,” Jean writes in his book An Ark for the Poor. “When she said ‘L’Arche,’ I knew without any hesitation that that was it.”

Only later did Jean realize the symbolism of the word, which means the ark in French. The story of Noah’s ark – a boat of salvation for God’s people – appears in Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu scripture as well as they mythology of other early cultures, and aptly symbolizes a place where people can find safety from life’s raging storms.

Today, there are L’Arche 146 communities in 39 countries where people with and without intellectual disabilities share their lives together. Born in 1964 out of the Roman Catholic tradition, communities today focus their spirituality around Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and inter-faith traditions. While each has its own unique characteristics, they share common core values of dignity, relationship, spirituality, sharing life in community, and solidarity with one another.

This year the International Federation is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of that first small home by passing five wooden arks from community to community. Each ark can be opened to reveal three levels in which pictures, signatures, and inscriptions are being collected.

L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. hosted one of the traveling arks July 1-11. During its stay, the community re-enacted the story of Noah’s ark with founding core member Michael Schaff playing the leading role.

When asked how the L’Arche community is like Noah’s ark, members responded, “It’s a safe place,” “God is with us,” and “We’re a family.”

Once the arks have traveled to the all the communities they will land in France for a final celebration. Each country will also send a pair of representatives, symbolic of the animals going two-by-two into the safety of the ark.”

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Smithsonian Folklife Festival Accessible to Visitors with Disabilities

The Smithsonian Institution is committed to making the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival accessible and enjoyable for visitors with disabilities. The 2014 Festival features “China: Tradition and the Art of Living” and “Kenya: Mambo Poa.”

The Festival will be held Wednesday, June 25, through Sunday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 2, through Sunday, July 6, outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets. Admission is free. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, with special evening events beginning at 6 p.m. The Festival is co-sponsored by the National Park Service.

Visitors with disabilities who need assistance are advised to report to the Information booths located at various points around the Festival site or to the Volunteer tent located in the Festival Services area near the Smithsonian Metrorail station’s Mall exit. A large-print version of the Festival’s daily schedule and food concession menus will be available. The Festival schedule is also available in audio format. A limited number of wheelchairs will be available at the Volunteer tent for loan.

American Sign Language interpreters will be on site daily to interpret selected performances and presentations. An additional ASL interpreter is on site each day and can be reached via the Volunteer tent for visitors with requests beyond the scheduled events. Real-time captioning (CART) will be provided for selected performances and presentations. Refer to the online Festival schedule for the complete times and dates of ASL and CART services, or pick up an updated schedule of interpreted events from the Volunteer tent or Information booths.

Verbal-description and tactile tours are scheduled for Saturday, June 28, at 1 p.m. and Thursday, July 3, at 3 p.m. for visitors who are blind or have low vision. The Festival will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 28, to host “Morning at the Mall” with pre-visit materials for families with children with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities. Visitors interested should RSVP for both events by calling (202) 633-2921 or emailing access@si.edu.

All performance stages and narrative stages, the Flavors of Kenya stage and the Five Spice Kitchen are equipped with induction loops; receivers are available in each tent from a volunteer or Festival staff member. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival welcomes all service animals.

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ZamDance: Solving The Puzzle Through Dance

ZamDance is a fitness class for children and adults with disabilities. The class introduces a structured environment while allowing the students to be able to move at their own pace. The students are entertained by the music and dance movements. This class also keeps the students happily engaged while learning different dance steps such as MERENGUE, JAZZ and HIP-HOP! (Ages 8+)

http://www.zamdance.com/

ArtStream’s mission is to create artistic opportunities for individuals in communities traditionally under-served by the arts.

ArtStream is a regional organization based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area whose mission is to create artistic opportunities for individuals in communities traditionally underserved by the arts.

We are a consortium of compassionate, professional, experienced artists who wish to serve the needs of our clients. Our goal is to reach out to members in various groups such as persons with disabilities, seniors, people with short or long term illnesses and their families or caregivers, immigrants, veterans, people who are grieving, and students and teachers.

Our purpose is to inspire and help heal through various art forms such as theatre, puppetry, visual arts, multimedia, music, and dance. This is accomplished through interactive workshops and productions, on-going classes, seminars, performances, and training.

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Ivymount for Music for Autism on March 22

Interactive Autism-Friendly Musical Concert at Ivymount on Saturday, March 22

Join families from around the Washington DC metropolitan area at Ivymount School on Saturday, March 22nd at 11:00am for an fun and sensory friendly Music for Autism Concert! Ivymount is the host site for this national program that provides interactive concerts featuring world-class musicians designed especially for individuals with Autism and sensory issues, and their families.

The March 22nd concert will feature National Symphony Orchestra Violinist, Marisa Regni and Trombonist Barry Hearn from the US Army Ceremonial Band.

The Ivymount School
11614 Seven Locks Road
Rockville, MD 20854
www.ivymount.org

Legend of Blarnia and The Vegas Way

ArtStream OnStage, in partnership with Educational Theatre Center (ETC), is proud to present the 2014 Arlington Inclusive Theatre Companies in The Legend of Blarnia and The Vegas Way.

March 27-29 and April 3-5 at Gunston Theatre One in Arlington, VA.

Try your luck in two different “magical” lands!

Registration Formview flyer (pdf)

Inclusive Theatre Companies are directed by trained theatre professionals and feature actors who have intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities, or are on the Autism Spectrum. An original script is developed during the rehearsal process through improvisation techniques. A play is scripted and then blocked, memorized by the actors, and performed for the public. The final production is designed to showcase each actor’s unique talents.

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The 12th Annual Sprout Film Festival

By presenting films of artistry and intellect, the 12th Annual Sprout Film Festival hopes to reinforce accurate portrayals of people with developmental disabilities and expose the general public to important issues facing this population. The goal is an enjoyable and enlightening experience that will help breakdown stereotypes, promoting a greater acceptance of differences and awareness of similarities.

Saturday May 31 – Sunday June 1, 2014
School of Visual Arts (SVA) Theatre
333 West 23rd Street
New York City

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Reelabilities: 3rd Annual Greater DC Disabilities Film Festival

ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. Initiated in NY in 2007, the festival presents award winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout each hosting city. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.

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TRIBES, by Nina Raine. Directed by David Muse.

At The Studio Theatre – extended through March 2nd.

Billy was born deaf into a garrulous academic family who raised him to lip read and integrate into the hearing world. When he meets Sylvia—who’s going deaf herself—Billy decides it’s time to speak on his own terms, sending shock waves through the family.

Playing out in sign language, argument, music, and mesmerizing silence, this sophisticated drama examines family, belonging, and the limitations of language. See the Tribes trailer andinvitation to see the play from James Caverly, playing Billy.

“The best-written, best-plotted, deepest, most daring—and funniest—new play in recent years.” —The Wall Street Journal

Click here for details.