I have been using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software for quite some time to work on ways to accommodate student learning and help students be able to access printed text when they have print disabilities. I wrote a review of Top OCR and Access Apps last spring and I have been demonstrating Top OCR to sped teachers, assistants and SLP's to use with their students.
I have grappled with all the intricate issues of copyright but I just show teachers the tools, advised them on what is within reasonable limits of the law balanced with what we are mandated to provide in AIM, and leave interpretations up to individual teachers, administrators and districts.
I have used Access Apps in several downloadable versions (it installs on a jump drive). The line up has changed as far as the tools RSC has included over the past year. I was disappointed to find Top OCR was gone. I had referred a parent to it after an inquiry on text to speech tools that were supportive with scanned text. I recommended Kurzweil 3000, but cautioned on the price. If a person is willing to give up some of the cadillac luxuries, a lot can be said for free open source tools.
I stumbled across a great review on the Top 5 Free OCR Softwares and thought I would pass it on. Hope it helps some of you as you sort your way through the many options for those with print disabilities.
All the best to you!
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Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I have taken a huge bit of the summer to be offline and rest, spend time with family, etc. I am excited to get back to writing and bring posts that will encourage and stimulate your creative juices. We just returned from a great trip to Toronto and now - back to it!With Labor Day is behind us, it is time for gearing up towards goals for children and for me, pressing onwards to new goals in my knowledge and professional development. I know that we are being told that stimulus funds are available for AT and I am writing and developing recommendations for items for Autism and AT for our districts. I will have to share them and get your feedback.
I am on a state AIM committee that is working on our implementation of print diability materials in a timely manner and will be developing our protcols for requests and connecting teachers and students with materials, knowing qualifications for access, etc.
My biggest surprise in the projects I have been involved in has been the interest in the Wii as therapy. We tested it out last spring and it seemed very successful. I am going to an ECSE classroom today to work with some children for their motor skill activity time. We have two local TV networks that are working on stories on what we are doing and we are continuing to develop our data collection sheets this fall and fine-tune things. I am working on developing some overlays with speech devices to incorporate with the Wii therapy so we can develop some communication goal work alongside the motor work as well.
I stumbled across some new successes using neuro-feedback for dyslexia with great results. The doctor that has been doing this work has agreed to an interview and so I will be writing about this and setting up a time this fall for him to share what they are doing with you.
There is so much to do and so little time. Just take a deep breath and remember to pursue the things that give you joy. Those will being about your greatest success...
Have a great fall and do great things out there!
All the best to you,
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