Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Assitive Devices for the Classroom


    Assistive Technology


           A Quick Overview of the AT Concept:
                         You Tube Video: Understanding Assistive Technology:  Simply Said.

          I learned from the You Tube Video: Understanding Assistive Technology:  Simply Said, that every state has a technology program at http://www.ataporg.org/. There are also Pacer activity centers that can help those who need assistive devices to explore resources that are available. They have lending library that lets people try different kinds of AT to discover what works best for them.

          Assitive Technology comes in several forms: Low Tech, Mid Level Tech, and High Tech

                        Low-tech AT

http://atto.buffalo.edu/registered/ATBasics/Populations/LowTech/printmodule.php
Assistive devices, age groups, and the reason they would be used.  

I. Early Childhood-
2a Paper Punch (Fiskars) This tool would for a student that has trouble holding objects. This paper punch features a large, non-stick button for whole-hand use. It offers 13 different "punch" shapes. Students can enjoy decorating and designing items with the fun pieces they can punch by just placing the hand over the puncher and pressing down.

2b Mary Benbow Scissors (OT Ideas) There are all sorts of adaptive scissors for children who do not have mature fine motor skills. This would be good for children who have problems holding items with the hands, because these scissors feature small finger loops coated in vinyl to help scissors stay on the child's fingers for a better grip.

II. Elementary age-
3a Built up Grips Some students can more easily grasp and hold pens, pencils or markers if they're built up and made larger. Some students can more easily grasp and hold pens, pencils or markers if they're built up and made larger. 

3b eBooks-These are accessed on the internet and it has a touch screen to increase the size of the
font for kids who have vision problems. The eBook is currently available in two models from Gemstar: the GEB 1150 (previously Rocket eBook) and the larger, full-color GEB 2150. Features include the ability to take notes in the margins, use the touch screen to bookmark pages and to increase the size of the font.

III. Secondary and/or Post-Secondary-
4a. Touch Turner (Touch Turner). This was chosen because it has page turners, which can be used with a single switch. Pressing a switch turns the page and holds it in place. Some models also turn pages in reverse. There are two models that have forward turning and forward/reverse.

4b Math Line This would be good to help with math manipulations. It is an actual math line that can be held and manipulated. Move the rings down the line to see how numbers represent size and quantity. There are Manuals and videos on using this self-contained math tool.

IV. Home and Recreation
5a. TV/VCR/Cable Remote (Enabling Devices). It has a cordless remote, and this would be good to help a child watch an educational video at home.  This cordless remote unit allows the user to control the basic functions of a TV, VCR, or cable box by simply operating one or more switches! It accommodates 5 switches--one for each function.

5b All-Turn-It T Spinner (Ablenet, Inc.). This would be a good device for a child who enjoys playing games. It uses a spinner for curriculum adaptations, Student with severe disabilities can be active participants to many commercially available games. There are also accessory packages available for Golf, Bowling and Bingo and for creating spinner games. It requires the use of any single switch.
 
                              Mid-techAT
http://typesofat.wikispaces.com/MID+TECH+AT

I. Early Childhood-
6a Time Timer (Generaction) – This will help children who are a little slower than others to
stay on task. The child will know how much longer he or she has to do a particular task in red as the clock counts down. This will help children who are a little slower than others to stay on task. Instantly shows children time remaining for a task and give sensory challenged children confidence
 
6b
Talking Photo Album- This is an inexpensive way for a child to write a story. For children with learning disabilities are more visual learners they can tell the story and display pictures.
The photo book has digitized speech device. Individuals can record four minutes of speech, 10 seconds at a time, in any language of your choice. You can use photos, book cutouts, symbols, drawings, Xeroxes, newspaper clippings, and/or text on each of its 24 pages. Individuals can use TPAs to give instructions, to begin a conversation, to tell stories, to record autobiographical information, to facilitate daily conversation, to order in a restaurant, to facilitate memory and for scores of other purposes.
II. Elementary Age-

7a.
Time Timer (Generaction) –– The child will know how much longer he or she has to do a particular task in red as the clock counts down. This will help children who are a little slower than others to stay on task.


III. Secondary and/or Post-Secondary-

8a.
Neo (AlphaSmart, Inc.) portable keyboard – This would be mainly used in schools for students who have dysgraphia or trouble producing written language or other learning disabilities that make penmanship unreadable or difficult to produce. Keyboards have small displays that allow the user to see a few lines at a time, but material either needs to be printed or downloaded onto a personal computer into a word processing program to see larger areas of text and for more editing features.

8b.
Speaking Homework Wiz– This device helps students with proper spelling and definitions as well as penmanship. This tool can help a child stay on task with his or her homework. It promotes reading support for student independence.


 IV. Home and Recreation
9a.
Talking Photo Album- This is an inexpensive way for a child to write a story. For children with learning disabilities are more visual learners they can tell the story and display pictures. The photo book has digitized speech device. Individuals can record four minutes of speech, 10 seconds at a time, in any language of your choice. You can use photos, book cutouts, symbols, drawings, Xeroxes, newspaper clippings, and/or text on each of its 24 pages. Individuals can use TPAs to give instructions, to begin a conversation, to tell stories, to record autobiographical information, to facilitate daily conversation, to order in a restaurant, to facilitate memory and for scores of other purposes.
9b. Neo (AlphaSmart, Inc.) portable keyboard – This would be mainly used in schools for students who have dysgraphia or trouble producing written language or other learning disabilities that make penmanship unreadable or difficult to produce. Keyboards have small displays that allow the user to see a few lines at a time, but material either needs to be printed or downloaded onto a personal computer into a word processing program to see larger areas of text and for more editing features.

 High-tech AT
https://connect.mybps.org/groups/bpsoiit/wiki/03630/Assistive_Technology_High_Tech_Tools.html

I.  Early Childhood-
10 a. Touch Window – (Edmark) The Touch Window is a touch sensitive screen that goes over the computer monitor. The Touch Window is ideal for students who have trouble manipulating the mouse. It is especially effective with early learners, and it is recommended for students with developmental or physical disabilities. This portable touch screen takes advantage of children's natural desire to reach out and touch what they see on the computer screen. They make selections, move objects, pull down menus and draw graphics, all with the touch of a finger.
10b. Earobics (Cognitive Concepts) – Earlobes is auditory discrimination software. Students with reading problems may benefit from Earobics, because of the way it exercises the ear-brain connection, the software teaches children reading skills through a set of highly-structured games.

II. Elementary Age-
11 a. Electronic books, e.g., Start-to-Finish Books (Don Johnston) –These books strengthen reading fluency and comprehension, so students so struggling students can build volume. The Start-to-Finish Library offers readers who are struggling a wide-selection of age-appropriate narrative chapter books written at two readability levels (Gold for 2nd-3rd Grade level, Blue for 4th-5th grade level) and available  in three media formats. The students can practice reading fluently and with comprehension using multiple text and electronic supports, while accessing the curriculum’s required topics, genres and literature.
11 b. Inspiration/Kidspiration (Inspiration) – Children that have difficulty with reading comprehension can greatly benefit from programs and curriculum that provide visual support.  Kidspiration is a software application program designed for K-5 learners and develops "thinking, literacy and numeracy skills using proven visual learning principles. In reading and writing, Kidspiration strengthens word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension and written expression." 
III. Secondary and/or Post-Secondary-
12 a.
Zoomcaps would be good for a student with low vision. The visibility is enabled by color-coded letters and numbers and function keys.  ZoomCaps™ have upper-case letters with white letters on black for high contrast or black letters on beige to match keyboard. Lower-case keyboard labels from Hooleon feature color-coded vowels, numbers and keyboard functions.
12b. Electronic text -For students living with visual impairments or learning disabilities the E-Text makes printed formats more accessible. E-text is textual information available in an electronic format. This text can be read and interacted with on or by a computer. E-Text can be converted into several accessible formats to meet students’ various needs.
IV. Home & Recreation
13 a. Board Maker –The Board Maker is designed for individuals challenged by significant speech or language disabilities. The Board Maker can be useful in the classrooms to support students with a wide variety of reading, cognitive and communication needs. This tool has features like natural sounding voices, word prediction and more. It has Picture Communication Symbols software; create stories with text/symbols; picture dictionaries, supplement text with symbols, substitute text with symbols, create communication boards, etc.

13 b. Loc Dots – This will helped students who are visually impaired with raised plastic dots that are used to identify keys on a keyboard or objects. In this way students with visual impairment can use their sense of touch to find the keys on a keyboard or object with the dots placed on them.
5. My Dream Classroom site (slide 12):
http://www.humanware.com/mydreamclassroom.com/college/categories/blindness/partners/bookshare
Response “14” Name a the product and tell why you might see yourself using it in the classroom.

          One product that would be useful in a dream classroom as an assistive device is called the Zoom Text Magnifier and Screen Reader. This tool magnifies the computer screen for the visually impaired child. The child can use the Zoom Text Magnifier reader computer software program to help visualize the screen, when the student is trying to do computer work. This will help the child interact with classmate in a collaboration project, and be part of the group without allowing the visual impairment to slow down the learning process.

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