Comments from RJ Cooper's RoadTrips
Here's a great
evaluation sheet summary (about 60 attendees) from a 1/16/08
workshop in the Bay area in CA.
<>Here's another great one
from the 2008 Assistive Technology Cluster
Conference in Richardson, TX on 7/30/08.
From some of the Previous RoadTrips
"I must tell u he was fantastic. I was telling everyone that when
u started talking about RJ I didn't have a clue about who he was or
he is about. From the time I sat in my seat until I stepped out
2:45 I was on the edge of my seat listening and trying to see what he
doing. I truly enjoyed him. He was very informative and the
kids were fantastic. I just can't say enough about today. I
was telling my husband about my day. You know its not very many
that I really really think r dynamic but today was that. Thanks for
him. We were exposed to a lot today and my vision is very
"Thank you so much for the RJ day. I thought it was great and
inspirational. I have never felt so inadequate and so fulfilled at the
same time as I have working with these children the last two years.
you for making it possible."
"This was the most practical workshop I have ever attended."
"Things I like:
"It was so helpful to see the demonstration with actual people!!
Would recommend highly this workshop to others. Thank you for
- Thinking aloud
- His questions about each person in prep for the evaluation
- Seeing actual software work
- Different age people being assessed"
"This was fantastic. I love RJ's enthusiasm and his
I have nothing to add as I feel his workshop is excellent."
"Having the students added so much since I'm such a
person. I like the manner in which you interacted with them -
as you would anyone else. Your software also seemed to be fairly
easy to use - that's good. No negatives here - your presentation
was informative and moved quickly!"
"As a resource teacher of both EMD and LD students, I saw how
of the software and/or devices can enhance my students' learning.
I'm glad I cam. Thank you R.J.!
P.S. I'm very, very interested in your products.
You'll be hearing from me soon!"
"Mr. Cooper's presentation was outstanding. In all honesty,
this is one of the most useful and entertaining workshops I have
I have gotten ideas that I would like to get started on ASAP with some
of my students. Our financial folks might not be thrilled but too
bad! Thanks so much - I will come again when you are anywhere
"This was a great workshop. I admire your willingness to
with people who are so unpredictable in front of an audience of
and others who might be critical. I thought you were incredibly
"Picked up rapidly in assessing needs of subject & providing
"Thank you for providing the experience & opportunity to see
new innovations, and having someone of RJ's caliber in La Grande!"
"We wish the inservice could last more than 1 day so more of our
children can get some input from RJ and crew. It went by too fast
and I think he should come and visit again."
"I really appreciate your working with students from our system
than showing videos of others - It gave us a chance to see that this
"I learned more than I thought I would ever learn."
"Believe it or not, for a beginner I was satisfied and not
"I appreciate his humor..."
"Your enthusiasm, fun and conviction that these kids can succeed
is awesome! I'm inspired :)"
"It was great."
"I would like to recommend any family w/a severly handicapped
to participate in this."
"You are a great resource and problem solver. Thanks."
"I was impressed with the ease with which Mr. Cooper worked with
the students & adapted software."
"This was wonderful, and the equipment and software is
"It is wonderful to see a hands-on workshop with the kids as
It is also refreshing to see someone with no therapy or education
have an interest and be so good with the kids. You both have a gift and
are a gift."
Next, here is a response from a recent host to a
host that is quite "skeptical" of my RoadTrip format. It is
followed by comments gleaned from session evaluations.
Skeptic: >> 3. I have a bit of a problem with the
audience of 30. I understand that your main purpose is marketing
your products (I think), but an audience of 30 seems like it would be
extremely difficult on the person that you're working with. What
has this been like on other road trips? I am quite skeptical...
Craig: My first recommendation is, don't be skeptical - let RJ come in
and do his thing. I hosted an assistive technology workshop last
Friday with RJ (65+ in attendance) - he came in energized and
completely focused on what is best for the learner. I am a Speech
- Language Pathologist and have been working with assistive technology
and adults / children with special needs since 1983 [sic]. I have
never seen any one work so effectively and efficiently to get responses
from the learner whether it was cause / effect, choice-making,
keyboarding, and etc.
RJ comes with an array of hardware and software from a number of
vendors - he spends only a small amount of time reviewing these
preliminaries as this is essential to understanding his philosophy and
the direction he goes with his interventions. During this time
and throughout the day, he interjects his suggested teaching strategies
which he has mastered over his many years in the AT field collaborating
with peers and working with students with special needs.
A larger audience for some individuals may be distracting or
intimidating. However, RJ does not work in isolation - the
learner's parents, education and other support staff are with the
learner and very much a part of the session. In addition to this
though, RJ has a gift for making the learner feel comfortable and at
ease. At our session, the audience too helped the learner feel
good about himself / herself as we found ourselves cheering them on at
appropriate times and applauding the learner for target
responses. Several of our young adult learners quickly warmed to
this audience response and became real "hams" - in the end, their
response to RJ's interventions were fantastic and the parents /
educators who support the user, went home with new avenues to explore
as they further define the individual's educational support plan.
Skeptic: >>4. 30 minutes for each person to work with
seems enough, but not enough when it comes to hearing your
comments and recommendations as well as taking comments and answering
questions from the audience. How has this worked on other road
trips? Do you take time before the actual working session
to hear some background info re each person?
Craig: Granted - 30 minutes can go fast, but RJ works quickly for
his sake yet is patient when it comes to giving the learner time to
respond. As RJ problem solves each individual's needs and
develops an intervention strategy, he talks to the audience so that
they know what he is doing and why. Yes, there is time for some
questions and comments from the audience - interjected througout the
day. However, the audience needs to be as focused as RJ is on the task
at hand - you also need a good note taker (and camera person to video
the workshop) so that you have good information to reference after he
A suggestion that worked well for us - We served a box lunch for those
who wished to stay on site for lunch - this gave us an extra hour with
RJ to "pick his brain" and look at some of the equipment he was using.
RJ gets some basic information from the host site facilitator re:
selected learners needs / goals / background information and etc.
With this information upfront and what is shared with him from the
learner's circle of support at the time of the session - he takes it
Bottomline, if you structure this workshop as RJ recommends in his
guideline, have a good selection of learners, and an open-minded
audience - it will run smoothly and the day will be very successful for
learner as well as audience. Everyone will walk away having
learned something new. Our administration and staff were
impressed with RJ's energy level and focus on the learner and, in the
end, all were very complimentary of his skill in managing each session
- I even heard it from people who didn't have a chance to attend - now
they wish they had!
I wouldn't hesitate twice in having RJ come to your locale for this
workshop - you won't be disappointed!
Craig B., MS, CCC-SLP
Speech - Language Pathologist
GV Developmental Center
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