Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sue Center AAC and More Free Software

I never cease to be amazed that after 30, 50, 75, 100, 120 posts to this blog there are still amazing, free resources out there for individuals with special needs and those who work with them to improve their quality of life.

So many special needs companies create products and increase the price to unaffordable levels to make a huge profit, or worse, place mainstream items into their catalogs and increasing the price by 10% or more, because now it is being marketed "for the disabled". It is refreshing that places like Oatsoft and the Sue Center exist.

Sue Center offers a complete text based AAC system that is compatible with most alternative mice such as head mice, eye trackers, touch screens, joysticks, trackballs and other mouse emulators (even mouse emulating switch programs like CrossScanner).

The basic idea of Sue Center is that instead of using software programs to access standard computer programs one software program would replace the access software and the standard software.

Thus Sue Center includes e-mail, a limited web browser, a digital photo program, environmental controls (x10), e-book, word processing with word prediction, a dictionary, a calculator, an alarm clock and more. A visit to the site and a peek at the slide show, film or documentation will show you all it can do. Sue Center is also very clear about what it cannot do (see limitations on the site). Finally, Sue Center is configurable, so you can set it how to work best for your student.

So, if you have a student capable of text based AAC with a mouse emulator/alternate input device, this might be a great, low cost program to use for evaluation, to start with, to have as a back up or to install on a laptop or tablet PC as a permanent AAC solution.

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