I don't know who taught her Morse Code, she came to me already knowing it, although she occasionally forgot the code for the semi-colon. I have often wondered why this access method is not taught more; it could work so well for so many. In that light, Darci is offering a free program to aid in teaching Morse Code to those with disabilities.
Morse Code has a number of useful applications in special education/assistive technology, no the least of which is literacy. If the goal is literacy for all, morse code as an assistive technology tool helps us reach that goal. Use of semantic oriented AAC (Minspeak, Unity) and computer input increases speed of AAC but not literacy (in fact, in my experience, it impedes literacy). Morse code improves speed and literacy. Most code users can reach 30 wpm, with even the most limited users reaching at least 10-15 words per minute, expert users can use Morse code at up to 99 words per minute. This can be dramatically faster than scanning, head or mouth stick. Add the assistance of word prediction and macros and this can increase dramatically. In fact, in test after test Morse Code is faster than typing on a handheld. Morse code users can create unique AAC messages, which is something that can only truly be done by those who can spell, using Morse code or some other spelling method.
The pre-requisites to Morse Code for access are ability to hit a switch with control for a length of time or two switches without that timing control, ability to count to five, emergent literacy/spelling skills. You do not need to be able to see or hear, you do not need to be able to control a mouse or mouse emulator, you don't even need head control.
Morse Code Teaching
- Darci Free Program
- Morse Code Teaching Machine Free Software
- MRX Code Teaching Software
- Morse Code Learning for Palm OS
video of a user entering input with Morse Code.
Please comment if you know of a resource I missed.