Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Calling for iTouch App Ideas for Special Needs: What Do You Use?

I had a parent send me this video clip today and asked if I had a resource list of apps she might use with her son. He is in 3rd grade and we are introducing Clicker 5 on a laptop to him and he is developing computer skills and writing with the grids.

We have an iTouch in our loan center but have had some glitches in setting up an account and getting funding released at work to put into gift cards to buy apps - one of which is the proloquo2go app. I use Speak it! and have looked more at augmentative communication apps. Here is a list from egolfer on scribd for iPhone, iPad and iTouch Apps for Special education. He has a great list all categorized. I would like to hear from you on things you use and have found success with.

What are you using? We would love any ideas and suggestions you have as to what you are finding for the iTouch/iPhone. If you add a comment with your suggestions, I will start a sidebar list for everyone of what we turn up. Also, if you want to email me at lonthornburg@nolimitstolearning.com I can read and share what you send if you don't want to leave a comment.

All the best to to you!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Making IT Plan Implementation Work for Integrating AT/AIM in Schools

I work in a large region with about 12 school districts, 4 ESD's and the eastern half of the state of Oregon. It is hard to organize tools that can be on all computers for all students to create self-accommodation. I am always looking for ideas to help me integrate AT into IT plans in districts. Besides the task of sometimes convincing them of the need, there is the training and implementation once tools get loaded and out in the schools. The Family Center on Technology and Disability has released their March 2010 newsletter/magazine. These issues from FCTD are great resources and this one is dedicated to IT Plan Implementation: Making Change a Friend.
Check out this issue if you are looking at how to partner with IT in your district to implement AT or AIM tools and strategies.
All the best to you!


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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Breaking news on Digital Image and Graphic Resources for Accessible Materials: DIAGRAM

Breaking News for AIM!
This press release just in from Benetech...

"U.S. DOE, OSEP awarded Benetech, along with partners WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) and the U.S. Fund for DAISY, a $5 million, five-year award to establish an R&D center to transform the production of accessible digital images. DIAGRAM stands for (Digital Image and Graphic Resources for Accessible Materials).

Who benefits: U.S. students with print disabilities

About the DIAGRAM partners:

. Benetech, NCAM and USFDAISY have led technology initiatives that
fundamentally changed how people with visual and print disabilities
experience and interact with all forms of media, from the DAISY standard to
the Bookshare library to NCAM's work on image descriptions.
. All 3 have strong track record of working productively with
technology developers and hardware and software manufacturers to design and
extend accessibility features for people with print disabilities.

DIAGRAM's mission:

. develop simple and cost-effective tools and best practices for
producers of accessible instructional materials, such as publishers and
state and local education agencies
. expand the field of image description and interactive exploration
of graphical content
. increase the understanding of accessible image production and
access strategies
. create open-source tools to make graphic content more accessible
and widely available
. make a broad range of general education curriculum accessible and
graphically understandable
. accelerate the development and inclusion of accessibility
specifications for high-quality images in electronic publishing standards to
support implementation by technology developers
. advance national efforts toward providing more equality of access
to benefit people with print disabilities.


. Fewer than 5% of books are available in accessible format.
. Burden of accessible image preparation typically falls on
educators who have limited time and tools to create useful descriptions or
accessible graphics.
. Barriers to accessing information pose fundamental challenges for
students with print disabilities.
. Students using text-based accessible instructional materials are
presented with only the words "image" or "graphic" when using software
devices that encounter illustrations, equations, graphics, photos or
diagrams in digital textbooks.
. Numerous studies cite how students with disabilities benefit from
digital resources that offer flexible, multi-modal methods of interacting
with content. "

All the best to you!


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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Limits to Learning on Best 100 Blogs for Classroom Teachers

Online Degrees comes out with a Best 100 Blogs list every year and this is the second year in a row that No Limits to Learning has been included in the list. I am in very good company with some of my colleagues who do a fantastic job.
The Assistive Technology category includes 8 other blogs that you will find great resources.
Check them out on the link above.

All the best to you!


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