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Wrubel Assistive Technology Portfolio
Transcript of Wrubel Assistive Technology Portfolio
in the Classroom
The ProxTalker is a mid-tech, assistive technology augmentative device that promotes verbal communication through the use of electronic Picture Exchange Communication Symbols (PECS) and sound. The student can use this device to promote choice and socialization within the home and school environments. The student places 1 to 5 PECS on the device to create a sentence. The device comes with a canvas case and is easy to carry for the student. This device would work well with students who are primarily non-verbal and require the tactile feel and movement of an item for communication purposes. The ProxTalker is a more expensive AT product at $2,995; however, it can be used with a variety of people of ability levels and ages. A limitation of this product is the weight and bulk while carrying it.
Echo Pen by Livescribe is a wireless pen that transcribes handwriting on paper to a computer. Students can also record auditory sounds so that they can listen to the lecture again during their own time. The Echo Pen has bluetooth technology and an infrared scanner that can easily send written notes to the coordinating app. It will convert handwriting to text in the computer. The Echo Pen only works on the Livescribe dot paper and is rechargeable for up to 14 hours. Information that is transcribed for the pen can also be shared with others after it is in text format. The Echo Pen can assist many students with disabilities whom have difficulties with note-taking in the classroom. This AT tool can also be used for collegiate level students with disabilities. The Echo Pen is expensive at a cost of $129.95 for the basic pen and ranging up to $235.85 for a set of 3 pens, but can be worthwhile to those who need assistance with notes. Students who have poor handwriting or fine motor difficulties may not choose to use this device.
Abilipad is an iPad app that integrates a student's ability to participate within the curriculum and to promote socialization. Some of the features include customizable keyboard layouts (AAC), text-to-speech, adaptive notepad and bluetooth capability. Abilipad can also provide word prediction and spell check to the student who has difficulty with reading and spelling. Students who have intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder may benefit from the app's flexibility of including images within the platforms. Students from other countries may also use this application due to the 20 different languages that are included within the text to speech mode. Lessons, email, and text can be easily sent to other Abilipad users. The Abilipad app is a cost of $19.99. Students with physical disabilities may have difficulty manipulating the different platforms.
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon Naturally Speaking is speech recognition software that incorporates a variety of simple commands in order to "type" a document or communicate through social networking. It allows persons with physical disabilities to engage in technology in numerous and meaningful ways. Dragon software can also assist students who have difficulties in writing technique by encouraging students to "speak" their assignment instead of writing it on a piece of paper. Emails and searching on the web is accessible through the use of the program. It is completely hands-free and allows the user to speak commands. Students can also use a wireless headphone microphone for ease of use. This software program can be downloaded easily to any computer. Dragon is somewhat expensive ranging from $99.99 to $199.99; yet, it is an easily accessible program for those who require the use of the computer without the use of one's hands. Students with speech/communication disabilities may have difficulties using this product.
Kurzweil 3000 is text-to-speech reading software that is designed to enhance and allow access to the curriculum for students with learning disabilities. Any reading material can be scanned into the computer and the system. Students with reading disabilities, dyslexia, or vision difficulties will benefit from the use of the program. The program can also assist students who are learning English as a Second Language. The
system is a web-based tool that allows the student to access his curriculum at any time. It has similar components to the standard Kurzweil 3000 software, yet it is a web-based instructional tool.
also comes in the form of an app on the iPad, in which the user can "read" any material with the help of the program. Kurzweil also assists with the writing process and encourages the student to strengthen writing skills. Test-taking is another option for the software and allows the student to be more independent. This software is expensive and can be purchased individually for a home or a larger package for a school environment. The cost ranges from $700 per student to $4,000 for a district package.
Popplet is a free, web-based, interactive, brainstorming platform that enables students to work together in unison on projects. Popplet is a visual tool that assists students by providing collaboration with others and integration of technology. This web tool also has the capability to be used on the iPad or iPhone at an extra cost of $4.99 for the app. Students can incorporate visuals and videos into the diagram, assisting those with learning disabilities or who are ESL students. Teachers have the capability to view the "timeline" of events to see who placed items on the given diagram. The finished product can also be exported as a JPG or PDF file for ease of use. Teachers or other business professionals can use this product for presentations or timelines. Teachers can access Popplet for free for a limited amount of times or purchase a yearly subscription for unlimited Popplets for $30.00. Districts can also purchase accounts for students ranging from $.50 to $2.00 per student, depending on quantity. Students with organizational difficulties may benefit from this product in the brainstorming stage of a project or writing assignment.
ZoomText is a magnifier and reader software program that enlarges the computer screen in a clear enhancement for students with vision disabilities. This product will also read the material on the screen aloud for the student who has a reading disability. The magnification of the screen is perfection and cursors, colors, and pointers can also be customized for the student's ease of use. This Enhanced Web Finder will search the Internet with specific word phrases and then will read the information aloud. The many features of ZoomText allows the student with vision or reading disabilities to access the computer and content with ease. The cost of the software ranges from $399 to $999, which is on the higher end of AT. While this product can be helpful for most students, it may be difficult to use for students with profound vision difficulties.
Proloquo2Go is an augmentative and assistive (AAC) platform on the iPad, iTouch, and iPhone that encompasses "touch-to-voice" sound for students who have communication needs. The program also has the ability of word prediction and symbol use to allow easy access for students of all ages. Students who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Intellectual Disabilities (ID) may benefit from this easily accessible app. Proloquo2Go is similar to PECS; yet, it is electronically-based instead of paper symbols. There are over 14,000 symbols included in the software and students can create their own sentences to communicate with others. Vocabulary assistance is an option, as well as, sending emails and posting to social network sites. This app can be purchased individually and is an expensive application at $249.99.
The high-end Tobii Dynavox systems are speech-generated AAC devices that enable students to access the curriculum and social environment through a complex "computer platform" that is easy to utilize. The computer system has symbols and letters that the student can use to form sentences. The touch-screen capabilities of the Tobii Dynavox system allows the user to increase independence. The symbol or text reader will declare the sentence aloud for the user's audience to hear. Students with physical and/or intellectual disabilities would benefit from this high-tech AT device. The device can be mounted to a wheelchair to ensure independence throughout the day. The Tobii Dynavox system can be compared to a rechargeable, talking computer with symbols. The system encompasses folders and subjects that are easily categorized for the student. Real life pictures can be inserted into the files. Some more advanced Tobii Dynavox systems have eye tracking capabilities, as well as, Internet and television. A Tobii Dynavox app on the iPad is called Compass at an annual cost of $99 and is also available for people with disabilities. People of all ages can use this technology due to the variety of formats from beginner to advanced. This AT product is costly; yet, very effective for those who require advanced technology to promote communication and independence. The cost of a device can range from $1,500 to $20,000, depending upon needs.
Powerlink is a control unit that enables the student to access power-controlled items through the use of a button switch. Two electric items can be plugged in at the same time to allow choice for the user. Students can control any powered item through a cord. Large, electronic buttons or Big Macks can also be connected to the Powerlink to encourage independence to students with severe physical disabilities. A Powerlink can be used for a variety of tasks, educational or personal. Adults may use this AT tool to turn on an electric blender or a musical instrument. This AT device allows accessibility for students or persons with physical or intellectual disabilities. The cost of a device is $239.00 and can be used in many different situations. Other AT items usually have to be purchased with the Powerlink.
Inspirational Story of Assistive Technology
A young, non-verbal girl with Autism finds her voice though the use of a computer.
Co:Writer is word prediction software that assists students with spelling words when writing. The program also incorporates speech recognition capabilities during the writing process. Students who have a specific writing disability may benefit from this product. Word banks will appear on the screen when the student is typing a word. Co:Writer can be be utilized on the Internet (blog, searches) and iPad. The settings can be adjusted to meet the needs of the student. The cost of the program is $59.88 for a student and ranges up to $750 per school site. The program can be quite efficient if it benefits a number of students.
Just for your information...
Famous and successful people with disabilities.
Ginger is language correction software that assists those with difficulties in writing, spelling, and grammar. It is a valuable tool for students who need assistance in the language arts curriculum and other subjects. This is also an excellent tool for students in ESL programs. Ginger includes the capabilities of a grammar checker, sentence rephraser, personal trainer, and text reader. The text reader can assist students during the revision process of writing, by allowing the student to hear their written work. It is free to the public and can easily be downloaded to your computer. A new product is also the mobile app for Android that includes the grammar checker and personal assistant. Ginger can assist a variety of students with and without disabilities in the area of writing, reading, and revision.
How can I access the Assistive Technology?
-Free 30-60 day trials can be downloaded from the product websites
-PATTAN Short Term Loan Program
-CCIU Workshops and Training
David Cattell, AT consultant email@example.com
-Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
-Reused and Exchanged Equipment Partnership
Grant Writing for Assistive Technology
-Roberts Education Foundation
mini-grants due near end of November
-Vision Corps provides funding for AT for students with vision disabilities
-How to write mini-grants
Tap-it is a touch accessible platform that encompasses the ability for a student to touch an enlarged screen that is connected to a computer. The platform may be adjusted both by height and angle so it is easily accessible to a variety of students with differing intellectual or physical disabilities. It is also mobile on wheels and may be moved to any location. Tap-it may be used with any computer software, Internet, or communication device. This AT is a large piece of equipment and is on the higher end of cost at $9,995 per platform.
Boardmaker is Picture Communication System (PCS) software that is able to create pictures or symbols for communication. A variety of instructional/communication materials can be created with Boardmaker including visual schedules, communication boards, and interactive activities. Students with communication/social, reading, or organizational disabilities may benefit from the Boardmaker program. Boardmaker is available online, on a disc or on an iPad. This program ranges in cost from $399 for the basic version to $1819 for extras that include PCEye Explore which is an eye tracker made by Tobii Dynavox.
A sound field system is a sound system for schools that improves the learning environment for the entire class by improving the sound environment in the classroom. Designed specifically for speech sounds, these systems greatly enhance speech understanding. Sound field ensures an even distribution of sound from the teacher, the students and any multimedia equipment.
There are a variety of sound field systems available. It is important to consider the intended uses of the system to determine which would be the best model to purchase. The systems' pricing starts at $999 depending on the options and add-ons. The cost of repair also needs to be considered, ie. a battery costs $112 and needs to be installed by the audiologist.