At our Portland, Oregon AT Interagency meeting on February 8, we discussed Accessible Instructional Materials. Below are some of the ideas and concerns that were shared on methods, tools and struggles implementing text in alternate formats and readers, etc.
Student Eligibility - Bookshare accounts need to be managed and teachers need a system to track and manage files to make sure everyone is in compliance.
Wynn, Premiere, SOLO and Natural Reader have been used. RFBD has a free individual account - (parents can sign kids up - schools can't do this) digital download now.
When it comes to an organic dysfunction, parents are going to the doctor and getting a certifiable designation letter to submit. Schools aren't getting the letters from the doctor, but they are using a form letter that gives the doctor guidelines and parents can take it when they visit.
The Don Johnston Reader - Read OutLoud is free on Bookshare to download and use to read books. It was shared that if you download files from the reader vs. doing a Bookshare title search and download, it seems to be easier.
National Geographice Young Explorer - you can go online and access the issue and you can click on the page and it will read in a nice voice. Great reasourecs for free open titles are Library 2 Go and Gutenberg.org.
Teacher Curriculum Institute has titles on website. Email them and they send you a form, you return and they send file if they have the title
Pearson Publications have the online purchase file of text as option. A lot of the textbook companies will charge $7 in addition to the purchase of the book in hardcover to add the E-version. Some will throw a couple of the E version files in when a lot of books are being bought in a district.
Comments on NIMAS:
NIMAS book files with images are huge and the Read OutLoud software does the best job of all the readers at opening thye files but the books will freeze up when trying to get to page 200 - have to scroll through the pages.
There are issues with districts having locked computers so that students can't independently download anything - so there are steps to get the files downloaded and then unzipped and put on a students file area on the networked server space. The IT have to give the AT person a code and then they do the download - but not sustainable in the longrun.
Applications being used or tried:
Victor Reader WAVE
Natural Reader with the pay voices
Jaws for Windows
Freedom Scientific, Sara - a stand alone scanner with voice output - $2000.
There are district trends to put software through an adoption process so that there is a uniform software the district uses and trains to use.
All the best,
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