• Assistive Technology

    This Department provides assistive technology evaluations and hardware and software tools to qualified students to help them meet their IEP goals and objectives. In addition, it provides technical support and training to school staff and families in the use of these tools.


    Our Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Assistive Technology Resources (both hardware and software) are available to provide learning solutions to our students. We offer:

    Augmentative Communication

    • Augmentative Communication refers to the use of a method or device to supplement a person’s ability to communicate.  The method may be the use of a specialized software program which allows an individual to use his or her computer for communication, learning, working and playing games.  The software programs can be divided into two main categories:  (1) icon or picture-based and (2) text-based, although most systems have both options.  Includes:  Go-Talks; PECS, SymbolStix, Design Overlays, voice output communication i.e. Step-by-Step Communicator.  For Medicaid-Funded communication devices, a team of educators from a BOCES or school district would complete a trial of communication device for each student.

    Alternate Access

    • Switches: An individual who has limited motor movement may be able to press a switch.  Switch use ranges from pressing a switch to run simple cause/effect programs, to using a switch to perform all computer functions including word processing.  An interface is needed to connect a switch to a computer.

    • Keyboards: An individual who has difficulty using a traditional computer keyboard may find that an alternate keyboard will allow him/her to be successful.  Alternate keyboards can offer larger keys, one-handed access, and varied layouts.  In addition to meeting physical and visual needs, an alternative keyboard can provide a simpler layout for individuals with cognitive disabilities.

    • Point and Touch: A point and touch computer screen is appropriate for an individual who cannot use a regular keyboard, but can point to choices on the screen.

    • Pointing Devices: Mouse, Joysticks and Trackball.

    • Speech Recognition: Is a software that allows an individual to dictate text to the computer and or/ control the computer by voice. Speech recognition software is appropriate for individuals who have limited use of their hands as well as individuals with learning disabilities.  A user needs at least a 10 year cognitive level to be able to use this software

    Software for Access 

    Software for access can use a single switch, 2 switches or hot keys to click, double-click, or drag mouse.  Options can be set to meet individual needs.

    • Early Concepts: Educational software appropriate for pre-reading students with disabilities is available.  Typical early concepts software activities teach colors, shapes, letters, and numbers.  Teacher can customize the program to meet individual student needs.  Can be used with a mouse, switch, alternate keyboard or touch window.

    • Literacy Support: Literacy support software provides auditory and visual feedback for struggling readers and writers and students with learning disabilities

    • Math Support

    iPads as assistive technology tool are loaned out to school district personnel for trial with a student for Augmentative Communication, Alternate Access, and Software Access.



  • Susan Lynch
    Director of Special Education
    P: (315) 253-0361 ext. 5317

    Sharon Goskoski
    Assistive Technology Coordinator
    (315) 253-0361 ext. 5101

    Scope of Services

    Scope of services provided include:

    • Perform student evaluations with the intent to provide students the means to achieve their annual goals with the highest degree of independence possible.

    • Consult in classrooms to define necessary student supports and to put in place appropriate interventions, material adaptations, and equipment adjustments.

    • Provide in-service training to BOCES and district classroom personnel, students, and parents on the use of equipment and software available to them.

    • Oversee the technology lab and lending library of hardware and software and facilitate informed decisions before recommendation or purchase.

    • Customize software and program development to allow unique and individualized adaptations of available hardware and software.

    Assistive Technology Process

    To have a formal Assistive Technology Evaluation completed on one of your BOCES or district student(s), please complete the entire “Assistive Technology Education Referral”.

    Once completed by appropriate team members, please send by mail or electronically to:

    Sharon Goskoski
    Assistive Technology Coordinator
    Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES

    If you have any further questions, please email Sharon at sgoskoski@cayboces.org.