Switch Access for Older Students

Looking for switch accessible, or easy-to-access interactive sites for older learners with more complex needs?  Check out these:

SENICT Software’s – Choose from an array of games, activities focused on popular characters and stars, interactive classroom topics, and more.

Priory Woods – Switch Accessible Videos.  Check out the left column for more switch accessible activities.

Shiny Learning – Variety of single cause-and-effect games, with limited play for free, on ‘Flash Enabled’ browers (not Chrome).

Tarheel Reader Gameplay – videos and games can be advanced, or chosen, using a single switch.  Choose by skill, level or type of control.  You can even make your own!

Tarheel Reader Books– don’t forget about this switch accessible book site with audio support.  Lots of great nonfiction content.  You can now choose your computer’s built in audio voices when activating speech output.

 

World Autism Awareness Day – App & Software Discounts

April 2, 2017 is International Autism Awareness day, so many apps will be discounted or free.  Many are listed below, however others will be available.  Check Smart Apps for Kids each day to find others.  If you have a favorite, be sure to check them out in the app store!

Proloquo2Go (April 2, 3, 4) – 50% discount, regularly $249.99
Gateway to Language – an in app purchase for P2G will also be 50%
Proloquo4Text (April 2, 3, 4) – 50% discount, regularly $119.99
Pictello (April 2, 3, 4) – 50% discount, regularly $19.99
Keeble (April 2, 3, 4) – 50% discount, regularly $24.99
Speak for Yourself! (March 31-April 4) – 50% discount, regularly $299.99
LAMP Words for Life (April 2, 3) – 50% discount, regularly $299.99
Avaz Pro (April 1-15) – 50% discount, regularly $119.99
Total Talk AAC (thru April) 50% discount thru April
AACORN AAC – regularly $119.99go to website, scroll to the bottom, to claim discount at
this link:  AACORN AAC Website
Coughdrop AAC – (March 31-April 7) – 50% off lifetime subscription, regularly $200 (sign
up at this link:  Coughdrop Subscription)
Alexicom Elements AAC apps (April 1-8) Move the decimal sale to get the discounted
price
Elements Child Pre – $19.99 to $1.99
Elements Child Home – $19.99 to $1.99
Elements Child School – $49.99 to $4.99
Elements Teen Home – $19.99 to $1.99
Elements Adult Home – $19.99 to $1.99
Elements StoryMaker – $9.99 to $.99
Elements Core 280 – $9.99 to $.99
Tobii Dynavox apps and software – (March 29-April 5) 50% discount
Compass – regularly $179.99
PODD (Based on Compass) – regularly $299.99
Compass with Gateway – regularly $299.99
Compass with Eye Tracking – regularly $499.99
Communicator 5 – regularly $699.99
Snap Scene – regularly $49.99
Boardmaker Online and Boardmaker disc software – 25% discount (use code BLUE25
at checkout)
Zones of Regulation – (April 3) – 50% discount, regularly $4.99
Zones of Regulation – Exploring Emotions (April 3) – 50% discount, regularly $4.99

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs

tlwmsnIf you need a terrific resource for ideas, activities, accommodations and supports for students with complex disabilities and learning needs, then the Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs blog is just what you’ve been looking for!  Kate Ahern, an assistive technology specialist and special education teacher hosts this blog with countless resources to use and share.

 

If you need ideas for use of a single message switch, free online switch games, ideas for AAC, links to free and low cost pictures, iPad and app ideas, transition activities, accommodations for students with Autism or any of the other countless supports focused on students with significant needs, then head over to Kate’s blog today!  It will become a constant and valued resource that you will return to again and again!

Switch Accessible Online Activities – Older Students

switch

Looking for switch accessible, or easy-to-access interactive sites for older learners with more complex needs?  Check out these:
SENICT Software’s – Choose from an array of games, activities focused on popular characters from tv and film, music and pop stars, interactive classroom topics, topics from around the world, individual interests and hobbies, and more.
Priory Woods – Switch Accessible Videos and slide show animations.  Check out the left column for more switch accessible activities.
Tar Heel Reader – don’t forget about this switch accessible book site with audio support.  Lots of great nonfiction content.  You can now choose your computer’s built in audio voices when activating speech output.  Take the additional step of having your students write and upload a book!

Google Docs Accessibility

grackle docs

Google Docs has become an essential tool in our classrooms, utilized by educators and students for everything from instruction and collaboration through assignment completion and more.  This makes it increasingly important to evaluate the accessibility of the documents being created and shared.

How can you ensure that your documents are accessible to everyone?  And what features should we be teaching our students to incorporate?  Here are the key areas to consider:

  • Use of Headings and Lists or Bullets when formatting the page content
  • Adding Alt Text to images, tables, charts or graphs
  • Structuring hyperlinks
  • Utilizing contrasting text and page background

How do you know if your document meets accessibility standards?  Grackle Docs is a Google Docs Add On that will check your document for accessibility errors, and help you repair them.  It’s a free and intuitive tool that will help you reach all users.  Download it from the Chrome Web Store and give it a try!

 

Apps for Students with Autism Wheel

apps for students with autism wheel

The “Apps for Students with Autism Wheel”, created by Mark Coppin has been updated!  This list was developed to provide apps based on common learning characteristics and traits that are typical for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is important to remember that all students learn differently and selecting apps should be based on the unique learning needs of the student. This list is only a sampling of apps available for each skill area. This is not, nor is it meant to be a definitive list. This list is intended to give you a starting place and a rationale for picking certain apps.  Use the link above to download the interactive wheel.

Follow Mark on Twitter: @mcopp

 

Doorway Online

graphic image of keyboard activityDoorway Online – is a free, Interactive and accessible website, with several activities targeting beginning literacy, math, time, money, memory, matching and keyboarding.  Activities utilize a standard keyboard and mouse, but are also single and dual switch-accessible.  Several activities have audio support, as well as learning mode or testing mode.  And it’s free!  Great for use in your classroom, or to share with families!

Follow them on Twitter @DoorwayOnline

 

SpecialEdTech.net – Tips for Enhancing Classroom Learning

SET-mastheadA-small1Special Ed Tech is a newsletter geared toward and developed in collaboration with special education teachers, although the tools and tips are useful to all K-12 teachers.  It provides practical, leading edge tips and resources for using technology and free/low-cost games to provide professional development and help engage students.  Although packed with good ideas, the newsletter can be read quickly.  It can be read online or printed on a standard printer.

Subscribe for email updates and links, or head to the website to access all articles and content.  Find resources supporting assistive technology and UDL across topics Eye Gaze AAC, QR Codes in the Classroom, MathTech, Tools to Support Writing, Using Tablets in Moderate/Severe Classrooms, UDL- Why It’s Important, and much, much more!  You can even find information and links to professional development available on assistive technology and UDL topics.

Check it out and subscribe for new information all year!

Closed Captioning Improves Literacy

Closed_captioning_symbol.svgCaptioning, or Closed Captioning, has a proven track record of improving literacy for learners of all ages.

In one randomized study, students engaged daily in content with “Same Language Subtitling” scored significantly higher than students in the comparison condition on the reading comprehension achievement post tests.  Data from PlanetRead has shown that even 30 minutes of weekly exposure to SLS or captioning over 3-5 years, enables adults and children with basic familiarity of the alphabet to become functionally literate.  The science underlying SLS and captioning is strong. Eye-tracking research has established that SLS causes an automatic and inescapable read-along response. Early-readers when exposed to SLS or captions, try to read along, and in the process, find their reading skills improving.

This free and simple tool is available to parents, educators, and anyone trying to help someone improve their reading skills! Closed Captioning is available on most devices including TV, Digital Cable, Satellite, DVD’s and many internet video channels such as YouTube.  Simply turn on this feature and captions become immediately available.  In addition, many educational video sites and organizations with digital content provide Closed Captions on their content.

Turn on captioning to turn on reading!  To find everything from how to turn on captioning, to finding sites with captioned content, visit Captions for Literacy.  (@Caps4Lit)

 

EPIC – eBooks and Audiobooks

epicEpic! – Unlimited Books for Kids is a subscription based digital book resource for children ages 12 and under. While the individual cost is $4.99 per month, Epic is available to educators for free!

Register, create student profiles, assign books, attach quizzes, and track reading progress (time and pages read).  Over 10,000 ebooks are available, along with Audio Books and Read-Along books, and over 500 Spanish/English bilingual books.  Additional books are added each month.  Books can be read on any digital platform, or made available offline (there is a web-based portal, and apps in the Chrome Web Store, iTunes Store and Google Play Store).

Epic’s service includes a variety of fiction & non-fiction from leading publishers. It’s been called the “Netflix” of books for kids!

With all of the options available, this is a terrific tool for Universal Design for Learning and differentiation!

Watch this video to get started with your Free Educator account. @EpicKidsBooks