Easterseals Arkansas Outreach Program and Technology Services (esOPTS)

Who We Are

The Easterseals Arkansas Outreach Program and Technology Services (esOPTS) program provides quality educational and therapy consulting services for school teams in Arkansas.  The services include training, mentoring and coaching school personnel in the educational environment how to use various tools and strategies that will enable students with disabilities to achieve their highest potential.  ESO values an integrated team approach and works to develop a collaborative relationship with teachers, parents, administrators and therapists to assist in developing appropriate evidence based interventions. 

What We Do

In collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education – Special Education Unit (ADE-SEU), the esOPTS program provides districts an array of services designed to improve measurable outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities, autism, multiple disabilities and other qualifying conditions.  Supports and services include initiatives such Project Prepare (preparing Arkansas schools for sustainability in special education) ; Assistive Technology  Team development; the OPTS (Outreach Program Technology Services) website and resource hub; student specific support through CIRCUIT (Centralized Intake Referrals-Unified Intervention Team); psychological evaluations for students who are hard to test; support and coaching for assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication evaluations; and trainings on topics related to delivering evidence based instructional and therapeutic practices.  

Services We Provide

The Easterseals OPTS team members are an integrated and experienced group of professionals that include Special Education Teachers/Consultants; Speech-language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Assistive Technology Specialists, a Licensed Psychological Examiner and Autism Specialists.  The team members have extensive experience and expertise in one or more areas including early childhood special education, secondary special education, multiple disabilities, behavior, sensory processing, dual sensory impairments, assistive technology, augmentative and alternative communication, education leadership, traumatic brain injury; and feeding/swallowing disorders. 
Depending upon the need of the district, school or classroom, the services accessed from Easterseals OPTS can range from general, to targeted, and to intensive:  

General Technical Assistance

The following are examples of services that are available to all districts and educational cooperatives in the state of Arkansas:
The Outreach Program Technology Services (OPTS) website provides resources that include:
  •  Evidence-based instructional practices
  •  Links, forms and video modules to state and national resources
  •  Access to Assistive Technology Loan Program
  •  Brief email and phone consultations as well as web conferencing
  •  Statewide and regional professional development on a variety of relevant and evidence-based topics
  •  Presentations and exhibitor booth  at state and national educational conferences 

Targeted Technical Assistance 

The following are examples of services provided during 1-2 consultations or small group training:
  •  Short term coaching to small groups as a follow-up to trainings 
  •  Access to the Assistive Technology loan program
  •  Onsite or remote technical assistance or consultations guiding implementation of  evidence based practices 
  •  Guidance on how to access feeding/swallowing evaluations; neuropsychological, seating/mobility, technology  and medical evaluations
  •  Support and training provided for districts who have the resources to develop local evaluation teams in the area of AAC and AT
  •  Work with administrators to help incorporate SpEd services requested of ESO  into school improvement plans
  •  Provide tools/supports needed for writing appropriate IEP goals and objectives
  •  Provide Administrators with tools to assess fidelity of classroom instruction 
  •  Demonstrate/model specific teaching and or therapy techniques

Intensive Technical Assistance 

Services include student specific evaluations as well as provision of consultation services on a consistent basis throughout the school year. Examples of intensive technical assistance:
  •  Student specific consultations through CIRCUIT referrals to include student and/or classroom observations with detailed action plan that    addresses identified concerns 
  •  Psycho-Educational Evaluations; Educational assessments for Autism Identification; support for Technology needs and augmentative/alternative communication and assessments for  School Based Feeding/Positioning needs.
  •  Recommendations for restructuring the environment
  •  Assistance with developing classroom schedules / sample lesson plans
  •  Modeling then coaching specific teaching techniques
  •  Appropriate methods to collect and interpret data
  •  How to self –monitor for fidelity of implementation on instructional methods 
  •  Accessing  related services for support across the school day
  •  Building capacity of  districts ability to meet the Assistive Technology and Augmentative/Alternative Communication needs of students
  •  Preparing districts for special education team sustainability through multiple trainings on various topics and follow up coaching for classroom, school and district personnel

For more information, please contact:

Suzie Baker
Outreach Program Director