Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Special Words App Adds Switch Access

A long time favorite app, Special Words, has added support for one or two Bluetooth switches today! Hopefully this means that stories created in their Special Stories app and played in Special Words will also have switch access. With any luck they will add switch access to the Special Numbers app next! It is a good day for literacy learning on the iPad for switch users.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, March 25, 2013

Life Skills Apps for iOS

Activities of Daily Living
Graphic Calendars/Planners

Health and Safety

Money Skills/Budgeting
Reward/Chore Charts

Social Skills

Social Stories
Video Modeling
Visual Schedules

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Some Books about Kids Who Use AAC

  • Out of My Mind is about 11 year old Melody who, in spite of her high intelligence and perfect memory spends her days listening to baby songs.  Until she is provided with a chance at inclusion and an AAC device.  (Middle school and up.)
  • Sarah's Surprise stars six year old Sarah who wants to sing happy birthday to her dad.  Her speech therapist helps her move from a communication board to a speech output device - just in time.  (Early elementary and up.)
  • Rules is about Catherine, whose brother has autism.  She likes to go with her mom to take her brother to occupational therapy.  There she meets who is a wheelchair user and communicates using a low technology communication book.  Romance ensues. (Middle school and up.)
  • So Don't and See What Happens and Sour Puss are both picture books about Madi and her brother Colin. Madi happens to use a wheelchair and a pink Dynavox to communicate. (Elementary school and up.)
  • The Romeo Riley, Private Eye Series is a set of detective novels about Romeo, another character who happens to use a wheelchair and a speech generating device.  (Late elementary school and up.)
  • On Being Sarah tells the story of a young lady who has CP and uses a wheelchair and a Bliss Symbol communication board to communicate.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

News-2-You Videos

Last week News-2-You introduced an exciting new product, News-2-You Animated Videos.

These videos, done in collaboration with Wonder Grove, embed SymbolStix picture symbols as animated characters teach about safety, nutrition and other life skills.  The concepts taught in the videos produced to date nearly all require communication or independent mobility to be relevant to learners.  Hopefully topics more relevant to our learners with more significant challenges will be added, such as self-advocacy, abuse prevention and choice making beyond nutrition and fitness.  As they stand the collection of videos would be superb for many students with Down Syndrome or related disorders or on the Autism spectrum.  I can see them being added to lessons on a SmartBoard or put on mobile devices for students to watch.

Currently there are 12 videos which star four animated characters: Chris, Dee, Maria and Peter are a diverse bunch of characters.  However it is my hope that a character with a physical and/or communication disability is added.

As an alternative to SymbolStix a number of the videos can be purchased with "Signing Savvy" sign language embedded into the video.  The videos can also be purchased without any embedded signs or symbols.  You can find free samples on their website.

You can check out two samples or purchase the videos online at News-2-You or Wonder Grove Kids.

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