Wednesday, December 17, 2008

If Santa Used Assistive Technology: (Part Two)

In order to see Christmas Eve pull off without a hitch, Santa has to do some pretty amazing data base management for all those naughty and nice lists. He also has millions of letters (and probably emails these days) to read with requests from children all over the world containing their Christmas wish lists. Wouldn't it be nice to have some help remembering what needs to get done and manage all the letters and lists?
Yesterday, in part one of this blog post, we looked at some visual supports with AT that might help Santa out with his Christmas preparations. In part two today, we share some organizational helps and text helps that can get that sack stuffed and loaded on the sleigh with greater ease and accuracy.

Speech to Text Organizational Help:
There are those days when paint, wood and building supplies run low in the workshop. There comes the time to order more grain and hay and those special reindeer treats. One way Santa can keep up with the odds and ends needs of the day is to use Jott with his cell phone and connect it to his Google Calendar. Jott helps create to-do lists, do hands-free emailing, even put a post up on your blog - all from your cell phone. This is a speech to text service that will have the Easter Bunny and Cupid envious - I bet they could use the help too!

Text to speech helps do multi-tasking:
Nothing makes the work go by faster than having something to listen to while you do those "no brainer" tasks. I like to listen to ebooks, articles, reports and miscellaneous texts while I am doing other things. I can't write while I listen too well, but I can shine some sleigh bells, saddle soap some sleigh harnesses, brush some reindeer or decorate cookies, trees and toys with some great info playing on a "boombox" in the background or on some headphones.

My favorite new toy this season to listen with has been the Pearl 1 or 2 GB Flash drive Mp3 player from RCA (Overstock .com). For around $30, I have enough listening space to cram on lots of 4 hour radio interviews, downloaded e courses and other fun things like converted text of ebooks I have bought or downloaded for free.

When it comes to converting text, I have been pasting my text into a blank blog I set up just for that purpose, using the widget from Odiogo .com for a text to speech converter tool - it downloads text to Mp3 and you can set up a blog here on Blogger and do all of it for free. Stop thinking that blogs and Mp3 downloads are just for people who want to talk to the world or create podcast shows to subscribe to. Santa can set up his own blog and Odiogo feed just to paste in his own ebooks and artcles to listen to. He just has to remember to delete anything that would be copyrighted - we wouldn't want to see Santa in court for copyright violations!
Santa could also use this tool to create informative and educational audio versions of trainings he needs his elves to complete, especially helpful, would be the support it would give to those elves with print disabilities - those pesky "invisible" processing disorders.

We have only begun to scrape the surface here. If we wanted to explore accommodations for disabled elves concerning accessibility in the workplace, we would be here a lot longer. We could start in on all sorts of other assistive devices, but we will just stick to Santa this year.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season...

All the best to you!

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