What Essentials are in Your Toolbox?
I was asked to recommend some tools that I consider "staples of the trade" to put in a tollbox for special ed classrooms. I was asked to keep it "reasonable" in cost and equip with the essentials. I might be sticking my neck out here, but I thought I would throw my list out to you and get your feedback. What am I missing? What would be better? Give us your ideas... remember, in this scenario there is money to spend!
My Toolbox List:
Boardmaker software $399 (Mayer Johnson)
Super Talker Progressive Communicator - $339 (Ablenet)
2 Jelly Bean switches - $45 each (Ablenet)
1 Switch Interface Pro USB 5.0 - $99 (Don Johnston)
1 Big Mack Communicator - $109 (Ablenet)
1 Big Red Switch - $45 (Ablenet)
I Universal Mount - $80 (Ablenet)
1 Powerlink 3 - $189 ( I would get a cheap radio to use with it) (Ablenet)
2 Battery Interrupters (AA and C/D sizes) - $12 each (Enabling Devices)
1 Touchscreen (13"-15") - $179 (Don Johnston)
1 Canon Canoscan LiDE 200 flatbed scanner with OmniPage SE OCR software- $99
1 Mp3/voice recorder/audiobook flash drive player - $39.95 (RCA Pearl)
Don Johnston SOLO Literacy Suite with Talking Word Processor, Graphic Organizer, Text Reader, Word Prediction. - $749 (Don Johnston)
(A free suite of tools with some lower-end tools like on SOLO comes in Access Apps as a download to put on a 2GB flashdrive) A low cost alternative I recently discovered is Confident Reader. It will not read DAISY files, but you can get one that does free online from Bookshare.org if you have an account, They also have a free version of a Don Johnston Reader.
There are so many great software tools like Classroom Suite, Clicker 5, Kurzweil 3000, etc. but with the tools above I could do alot - I think I could survive fairly well actually. I also know there are lots of different kinds of switches, but we have our equipment center to trial varities of switches so I would check them out and get them as needed. There are low-end ideas like pencil grips, see-through color strips, etc. What are your resources? (things you would want to be on your list?)
All the best to you!