Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Get to Know Nook Study for PC and Mac

On the journey of researching e book readers and tools for print disabilities, I stumbled across Nook Study, a free download from Barnes and Noble for PC and Mac only - it is not in an app version (yet) for tablets and the iTouch, iPhone and iPad. I downloaded it and put it through the paces this past week. Here is what I came up with:

It is free.
It has a key-stroke shortcut, Ctrl -Alt-S, to activate text to speech. Using the space bar starts and stops the reading of any text you highlight and starts and stops continuous reading.
The voice it used seemed pretty natural and you can speed it up or slow it down by accessing the settings in the Library home page under settings and the accessibility tab.
You can highlight text in various colors and add sticky notes.
Highlight a word and add a tag, note or website link.
Books you purchase can be set up into folder categories, i.e. history, literature, science, etc.
You can set up media stacks for newstand purchases in chronological order.
There are many college and professional trade textbooks in e format.
The Nook Study syncs with other Nook apps; i.e. books I purchased on a Nook App on an iPad show up on the computer on Nook Study.
There are many free classics and public domain books available. (Check out Calibre for formatting pdf's and other documents and managing/adding to your e reader libraries)

Textbooks available in a Nook format are limited. You are not going to find a fourth grade social studies textbook.
Not yet available for portable devices.

I would check out this free download if you are looking for a text to speech accommodation and want some study helps. I am loving it.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

14 Apps for AAC, Part Two

Here is Part 2 on the AC Apps for the iPad. I am going to be getting my hands on all of them and writing reviews of each to kick off 2012 in January/February so check back as those are posted!

8. ICommunicate: $49.99. Low to mid user, single hit communication maximum board is 4 X 10 cells. Board view and schedule view. Can email boards to print them off. Has recordable voice, text to speech and has 10,000 image library included.

9. AutoVerbal Pro: $9.99. Utilizes multiple sliding ribbon/bars to choose and build phrases. More advanced versions available.

10. Tap to Talk: Lite, Free; Full version with access to online library, $99.95 1 year, $179.99 “forever”. Tap to Talk home page:

11. Grace: $37.99. Users can navigate through the categories and click on images they want to use. Users can use each picture isolated or combine a set of pictures to make phrases.

12. Look to Learn: $14.99. “I want” paired with a photo and higher quality voices allow needs and choices to be communicated. For early to mid communicators. Free assessment can be downloaded at App store description:

13. Proloquo2go: $189.99. contains text-to-speech voices, up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a default vocabulary and much more. Builds phrases to speak by selecting folders with categories. App store description:

14. Ablenet Sounding Board: $49.99. Design 1 to 9 button boards. Record your message, use built in library or use pictures off camera. Has ablility to collect data on user as well. Ablenet is developing pre-made boards to purchase and download for this app. Website:


Cases: AMDI makes a durable case with a handle designed for AAC with an iPad. Here is a link to a blogpost on it:
The AMDI website and iAdapter 1 and 2: $198,

Keyguards: Lasered Pics makes iPad Keyguards and can make customized ones for the apps they don’t carry as well. They are currently made for the apps Grace, iClick iTalk, Proloquo2go, Speak it, and TapSpeak Choice. They also make one to fit over the iPad for the iPad keyboard. $19.95

I will be presenting a 3 hour break out session on these apps in Portland, Oregon at the AT Now! Conference March 1 and 2. (The breakout session day is March 2). If you are in the area and might be interested in attending, I know there are 2 other presenters doing sessions on iPads that day so there will be a lot covered. For more information go to the Oregon Technology Access Program website and check the conference page. They don't have the actual conference info up yet, but it should be up in January sometime to register.

All the best!