About All Access Autism
All Access Autism is dedicated to advocacy and resources for those who work with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Content can be found for parents, siblings, professionals or those who want to know how to help people with autism and developmental disabilities. Assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning play major roles in allowing individuals with disabilities access to curriculum, jobs and quality daily living; therefore, you will find a great deal of information on assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning, including devices, services and implementation. All Access Autism is about bringing awareness to the community and helping those with autism and other developmental disabilities gain access to a world that historically kept them in a corner.
About the Author
My name is Alex Wheatley. I was raised in Tennessee and moved to Utah in 2011 to attend college. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Brigham Young University in 2013, and with a Master of Special Education from the University of Idaho in 2016. I have worked as a direct support professional for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, case manager for individuals applying for Social Security disability, substitute teacher and consultant. During my time as a direct support professional, I worked extensively with individuals confined to wheelchairs who used myriad assistive technologies.
Electronic wheelchairs might be the most common form of AT that comes to peoples’ minds. I spent much of my time teaching individuals with developmental disabilities how to operate their wheelchairs properly and effectively. I spent some time using iPads to teach critical thinking skills, functional life skills, and to habilitate motor functions. I also assisted an individual learn how to use an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device (GoTalk communication board).
I left my job as a direct support professional to become a case manager for individuals applying for Social Security disability benefits. I helped individuals file paperwork and managed communication between Social Security Administration and clients. I enjoyed helping individuals with a variety of physical, developmental, and mental disabilities with their claims and receiving the benefits they desperately needed.
Currently, I work as a special education teacher in Utah. I teach 7th and 8th graders in reading, writing, social skills, and transition planning. I also act as the assistive technology specialist for my school’s special education team. My future educational interests lie in school psychology and instructional technology. My research interests are in assistive and instructional technologies. To view my online portfolio, visit AlexWWheatley.wordpress.com.