Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This little blog has been chosen as a finalist in 2008 Weblog Awards Education Category!

Voting isn't open yet, but I am hoping you all will cast your ballots on January 5th when it begins!

(You can still vote for TLWMSN in the Edublog Awards though! - TLWMSN currently has 42 votes, which is 3% of the vote. We are the only sped blog there too.)

Apparently there were 5,000 nominees in 49 categories, which gives a 1 in 10 chance of being chosen as one of the 10 finalists in a given category.

Here are the finalists for education (sorry they are not linked - it is late and I am tired):

This Week In Education
Joanne Jacobs
Mr. Hancock's Class Blog
Nature Society of ACS Klang High School, Malaysia
Mike Falick's Blog - A School Board Trustee's Blog
Dr. Wizard's Advice for College Students
Education for the Aughts
Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs

I am proud to once again create a place for special education in the top ten.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Whatever It Takes

Years ago at a workshop an educational speaker said to the group, "Parents are sending you the best kids they have. They aren't keeping the good ones at home and holding back on you. These are the best kids they have."

I have repeated this statement, in one form or another, countless times over the years in workshops I have taught or when mentoring new teachers, but there is something more to that statement for me than the obvious. That statement is not only a reminder to let parents off the hook a little bit and remember you are in the same boat, but also a reminder that to truly change the life of a child you sometimes need to commit to helping to change the life of a family.

Heavens knows that is NOT our job as teachers (or OT/PT/Speech therapists or school nurses or whatever); we are not social workers, case managers or family counselors - but sometimes we are all that families of students with significant disabilities have. We are it. The only other person who may care about their child. The only other person who knows that child in good times and bad. The only other person who cares for and respects that child as more than a diagnosis. The only other person who looks at the child and sees strength and possibility.

When that happens I feel a human responsibility to reach out to that family however I can. I, as a human being, have to try to be the change I wish to see in the world* and go that extra mile. I have to do whatever it takes to make a difference to that child and that family.

P.S. Obviously there is a story behind this story, a story about a child and a family. I promise you it is a story that, for one child and one family, is starting to have a happy ending.

*"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

Image above by http://www.wordle.net/

Friday, December 26, 2008

This in from Gadget Lab:

LG Sunlight-Powered LCDs Bring Sunshine To Notebook Users

Lg_dispplay_sunlight_illuminated_lc LG's latest green displays could offer consumers the two things they want out of their notebooks--lower power consumption and higher battery life--while working outdoors.

The company announced a 14.1-inch LCD panel that can switch to being illuminated by sunlight instead of the backlight unit when used outdoors.

The switching allows the display’s outdoor energy consumption to fall to one fourth the level of indoors consumption boosting battery life. Backlight units in conventional notebooks can account for about 75 percent of the total energy consumption used in LCD panels, says the company.

The new displays will solve the problem that most users face around visibility and clarity of their notebook screen in bright sunlight. LG says its offers contrast ratio of at least 9:1 when used outdoors, compared to 2:1 or 3:1 for most displays used currently in notebook PCs.

The LCD panels will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show next month where LG is likely offer more details on price and availability.

Does this mean AAC devices that can be seen outdoors might FINALLY be on the horizon?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Correction: Tizmos Visual Start Page

I just want to let everyone know that the Tizmos Start Page CAN two switch scan. It is far from perfect, but you can use the tab to move through all selectable objects on a page one at a time and enter to select one. Thus a switch set to "tab" and another to "enter" will do that same thing.


A tip is to use some of the accessibility features in your operating system and browsers to make what is being highlighted as you "tab"/scan through the options more obvious. Another tip for scanning is to be sure the link on Tizmos goes directly to a switch accessible page and not to a non-accessible entry page.

Note: this isn't going to work perfectly because some pages that are linked to need different switch settings (i.e. space bar not enter) or there is no way to link past the set up page effectively. Someone will need to be on standby to help.

Maybe someone can let me know a way to refine this or Tizmos or another start site would be interested in adding single switch scanning or more refined step scanning.

You can try my Tizmos Launch Page here or make your own.

Happy Holidays

May this season be filled with light and hope for you and your family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Three Visual Start Pages

Visual start pages seem to be all the rage right now, though I am waiting for one that allows at least step-scanning (tab to move through the choices and click or enter to select) to try in the classroom. (That would be because of the fact that I cannot install a touch screen onto the only internet connect computer due to admin privilidge issues.) Anyways, if you are lucky enough to have a touch screen or interactive whiteboard with internet you might want to check out these three options for visual start pages:
  • Symbaloo - Symbaloo has many preset, pre-designed pages for those who use common applications like Gmail, Google, Box, Twitter, Remember the Milk, etc. However you can customize a start page for your classroom. I like that Symbaloo allows me to add my own images or symbols to the page, but I would have liked an integrated icon search engine like on MyClusta as well. I dislike the search bar always being in the middle, but I might be missing some vital step. Try my functioning sample or my screen shot below.
  • MyClusta - Like Symbaloo, MyClusta allows you to create a visual start screen with icons for your most commonly used site. It has an integrated search for icons, but doesn't allow you to upload symbols. In general it seems to be simpler to use than Symbaloo, but I still seem to like the visual appeal of symbaloo better.
  • Tizmos - Tizmos is another visual start page, but it uses thumbnails of pages instead of icons - saving a lot of time in the set up. My Tizmos page is here.
All told I have to say I would rank Tizmos as the easiest to put together, but least visually appealing and Symbaloo the toughest to put together and most visually appealling. MyClusta is in the middle of both in both areas. However, I am still holding out for one that scans. Pretty please?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another Fun Touch Screen Program

Bomomo is another free simple cause and effect painting program that works on touch screens or interactive white boards. It has six dots or balls that chase your movements making designs on the screens, making hand and arm movements highly rewarded. Yet, Bomomo also has higher level options making it work as an alternate slightly weird paint program for some students. Give it a try.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Interchangeable Switch Backings

I was thinking (while stuck behind, but thankfully not in a six car pile up on the way home tonight) that while the new interchangeable, screw on switch tops from Ablenet are nice it would be way more useful to have interchangeable, screw on switch backs.

Basically it would be awesome if the bases screwed on and off. The backs of the bases could be your choice of interlock, hook velcro, loop velcro, rare earth magnet, table top/wheelchair tray ready clamp or universal mount ready with nuts and screws (make sure the screws are attached and if possible the nuts are too).

Wouldn't that be great?

Ablenet, what do you say?

And how 'bout I get a few sets for free?

P.S. I've had a note from Ablenet, a version of the idea has been sent to the engineers. Perhaps we will see something like this soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You're Welcome

As a preface to this story you need to understand that I work at a large sub-urban public high school. I do not work for this school, I work for a public educational agency who rents space in public schools so that our students may be educated in the least restrictive environment while still receiving the benefits of a highly specialized educational program. Our host school is, on a whole, very welcoming. This story is a one time occurrence and not at all illustrative of how things are for us in this building or in the community there.

Today I took a student of mine into the teacher's dining room for a treat. Several plates of cookies, packages of donuts and a cake have been in and out of the fridge in there since last week when the PTO had a recognition day for the staff.

The teacher's dining room was full, which wasn't unexpected since it was nearly noon, but I hadn't realized it would be because I had never been in there at that time before. My student didn't seemed phased by the crowd which was basically a very full table of women that I recognized as mostly paraprofessionals, another smaller grouping of female teachers and two male teachers at the furthest table.

While we were in there I turned my back to get some paper towels because there were no plates or anything on the table with all of the food. In the 90 seconds I had my back turned I heard someone snap, "Don't touch!". When I turned back around my student didn't have anything in his hands or mouth and wasn't touching anything so I proceeded to cut two pieces of cake and didn't say anything.

At that moment one of the women at the crowded table said, "He shouldn't be in here! You can't bring students in here!" Horrified someone would talk about another person right in front of them I ignored her and put one hand on my students back protectively out of instinct. The woman next to her took up her case, "This is the teacher's room! We don't bring our students in here! (and she implied our special students by how she looked at my student)". The first women finished, "He's grabbing at food!" That much I doubted, if this student grabbed at food it would be in his mouth.

I gently guided my student out of the room and back to the classroom fuming. Smiling to myself when he did, indeed, grab a donut on the way out, thinking, "serves them right!" Once back in the room I steamed for a minute and explained what happened to a woman who works in my room. Then I returned to the teacher's dining room.

Once I arrived I was shaking and my palms were sweating. I walked over to these two women and I said, "In the future if you have something to say about one of my students you will say it when he or she is not present. You will not speak about people with disabilities like that in front of them."

"Sorry." The instigator said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

"He was standing right there and he could hear you." I said.

"I said I was sorry, you don't have to go on and on!" she said.

At that I gave up. Obviously this woman was not going to be swayed. Besides I had students back in my room who were much more deserving of my attention than she was.

Back in the room I set one student up with an independent vocational task and sat down to assist the same student I had taken to the teachers room with a sorting task box. Then there was a knock on the door. It was one of the female teachers who was sitting at the second, smaller table of women. She spoke to my student and said she was sorry they talked about him in front of him and then she whispered to me, "Thank you for coming back and standing up to them. It made me sick that they did that to him. Thank you."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Speakaboos Stories

Here's another option for online stories for elementary aged students: Speakaboos. Currently there is a fun (and age appropriate for somewhat older students) version of A Christmas Carol and five other December stories including the Dreidel Song.

Additionally there are favorites like Arthur and Curious George, fables, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folktales and lullabies. Soon you will be able to record your own stories and download the stories for use off line or even on an iPod for 99 cents.

The site is currently in public beta (which means that it may eventually cost money, change features or disappear). You can get nearly all the features without going through the lengthy and privacy challenging sign-up process.

As for adaptability the stories are videos not animations of pages turning, thus your cannot do the old "put the mouse arrow over the button to turn the page" trick to make it accessible. However, you can put the mouse arrow over the play/pause button - for all that is worth. Oh and these stories should be super fun on a "big screen".

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Anna's Book Angel Project

Seedlings offers children who are blind the opportunity to win one free braille book a year for through the Anna's Book Angel Project. Anyone can register the child and the books are delivered through Free Matter for the Blind. Ten names are drawn per week and the a book is sent out to each winner.

Starting in 2009 children can receive two free books a year from Seedlings from a separate the 2009 Book Angel Project.

P.S. They have several tri-lingual picture book titles in Braille, English and Spanish.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

From a Private E-mail: Admin Priviledges and Boardmaker Frusterations

This is from a private e-mail conversation I have been having with online, it references the frustrations of not having admin privileges on school computers and some special education software companies refusal to take these issues into account.

Isn't it crazy that schools don't install sped software because of "security issues"? Like Boardmaker and Intellitools are going to be problems! I haven't been using Boardmaker very much because I cannot nstall it on the school computer attached to the "big screen" (due to admin privilege issues) and I cannot run Boardmaker Player from a flash drive. Switch It Maker Player, Choose It Maker Player and Classroom Suite Player can all be run from a flash drive, but not Boardmaker Player. I know my school is technically the problem, but why is it Intellitools and Inclusive are responsive to this pervasive issues and Mayer-Johnson isn't?

Would it kill them to design their software in a way that it doesn't need to install files to the registry and therefore is not a problem in all the schools with this issue. I am one of MJ's biggest advocates and they are slowly losing my loyalty.... (with every day that passes that I cannot use activities that my students would find meaningful on the computer of my choice).

It really is amazingly frusterating that just when all these fantastic interactive boards are going up on Adapted Learning so many teachers and speech therapists cannot use them at school because of lack of admin priviledges to either install the Boardmaker series of software or to download and unzip files on school computers. When I mentioned the issues with downloading in schools a Boardmaker rep told me he hopes schools can work out those issues. Well I hope they can too, otherwise people will only use Boardmaker for print activities and use other, easier to share, easier to install softwares for interactive activties. (That's what I do, Boardmaker for printing Classroom Suite or Choose It Maker for interaction.)

PLEASE, PLEASE comment if your school (or your child's school) has these issues. The more people that say something the more likely Mayer-Johnson knows this is a pervasive issues across the US and the the more likely they are to address it!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Around the World

I like to show little video clips at the end of morning meeting to ease the transition into the more academic part of the day.

Last week I showed "Where the Heck is Matt?" (O.k. "Heck" isn't the actually the title but none of my students read and the overwhelming multi-cultural message of the video is worthwhile enough to forgive the less than acceptable word usage in the classroom.) Today Paul Hamilton shared the "Stand by Me Around the World", which is in the same theme as "Where the Heck is Matt?".

Whether your students just enjoy the auditory and visual stimulation of the music and video or they understand the broader implications of world wide diversity and the commonality of the arts these videos are a great educational tools.

Playing For Change: Song Around the World "Stand By Me" - For more of the funniest videos, click here

By the way the comments of the paraprofessionals were perhaps the best part of watching, "Where the Heck is Matt?", for example, "Timbuktu is a real place?", "What-a-stan? Is that really a country?", "I haven't heard of half these places!"

Also the links are to the non-You Tube versions of the videos because so many schools (including mine) have You Tube blocked.

Read Aloud Christmas Stories for Switch Users

Northpole.Com has some (non-religious) Christmas stories that can be read aloud, on most of them the "next page" button stays in the same spot, so you can put your mouse pointer over it and have switch users turn the pages.

Note: for some bizarre reason the sound on these is not working in Firefox on my computer, but does work in Internet Explorer, so if you aren't getting sound try a different browser. Wait... I reinstalled Adobe Flash Player and now sound is working! So quick tip if for some reason you suddenly loose sound in Firefox, reinstall the Flash Plugin.

Cause and Effect on a Touch Screen

This little online program, Koosh Generator, could be fun for cause and effect and encouraging upper body range of motion at the same time on a touch screen or interactive whiteboard.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Dance

A while ago I wrote a post in the "My Voice Is My Power" series called "First Ventures". It was about a friend I had in high school who was an AAC user.

This past Saturday I went to a dance for adults with disabilities (because my "step-brother" - in quotes because my dad hasn't actually remarried yet - is invited along with our entire family to this event every December). I looked around the room and heard this loud sound like, "Hey You!" and saw a man in a wheelchair positively freaking out with joy and trying to wave his arm at me. He was so excited and I immediately recognized him. It was my friend from high school. I went over to say hello and was asked (via AAC/total communication) to dance with him. After dinner we did dance and he managed to point out all our other friends from high school who were there as well. I am ashamed to admit that I didn't remember all their names, but they remembered mine. By the end of the evening I had danced more than I have in some time, I had been given about 2 billion hugs, I had been invited on a trip to Disney World and marriage had been proposed (which I remember happening about 50 times a day from this friend when we were in high school). Good times.

The experience was one of the most joyful I have had in a long time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Visual Scenes - On Display at Adapted Learning

If you have read my previous writing about Visual Scene Displays (VSD) you now that I am an agnostic when it comes to their use in our populations of learners with multiple special needs.

Now there is an article by Phyl T. Macomber on the Adapted Learning site lauding VSDs. Yet there is still no evidence that these work for more than a few users or that they are best practice in speech therapy, special education or AAC.

Here are some of the claims in the article:

  • "Visual scene displays organize and depict vocabulary in scenes relevant to the communicator"
  • "Research shows that visual scene displays offer more immediate success for emerging communicators and for many individuals with communication deficits due to congenital or acquired disabilities."
First, I wonder if these scenes really are relevant to our students who use them to communicate. How many of our students with significant physical challenges have looked in cabinets for food, looked in a closet for certain articles of clothing or even climbed into their own bed to indicate they are tired? Those things are not necessarily relevant to our students, at the very least they are no more or less relevant that selecting a symbol of "food" to get to choices of food, selecting a symbols of "clothing" to get to clothing choices or selecting a symbol for "feelings" to say they are tired. More over these scenes are usually cartoon drawings or photos of somewhere our students have never been. In my experience and from many research studies we know that our students do not generalize well, thus how likely are they to generalize a cartoonish bedroom with a bed that looks nothing like theirs for their bedroom or a random movie theatre that looks nothing like the local theatre?

Second, there is the claim that research shows that VSDs offer more immediate success for emerging communicators and for individuals with disabilities, yet no studies are cited. There are only five published studies about VSD. Four done on individuals with aphasia and one on a small sample of young children with autism. (All of these are cited here.) Truthfully we do not know if VSDs are better for emergent or communicators with disabilities and we won't until more research is completed. Right now VSDs are a guess for our learners. However, it seems safe to say that VSD is a good choice for aphasia.

Macomber also decribes how to design low tech VSDs to use. She says of these:
  • VSD's "Empower the communication partners to be much more active in the communication process – it gives them something to talk to their AAC user about by referencing the real-life environmental image,"
  • VSD's "Reduce the cognitive demand for symbol learning – it is easier to learn communication symbols displayed in the context in which they are used, as opposed to numerous squares,"
  • VSD's "Improve the motivation of not only the AAC user, but also the team implementing the tool because it makes sense to them and they see successful communication quickly"
She is clear that her experiences show these things to be true and it is difficult to argue with experience. Here are some experiences of my own. Students are less likely to use their communication device if they do not know exactly what in a visual scene display is "selectable". Students tend to use communication devices based on location, much like how we dial a phone. When using a visual scene display you move the burden of communicating from thinking about what you want to say and allowing muscle memory to select it (be it with direct select, head or eye tracking) to looking at the scene and determining what is a symbol and if that symbol will portray the message you want. Communication symbols can be learned in many ways that are possibly more contextual that a VSD. A language rich classroom and home, with picture symbols labeling everything and symbolic literacy experiences in the classroom are also contextual. Context is a broad word and visual scene displays are not the only way to create context. Clicking on "morning circle" and then seeing 6, 12 or 32 symbols that relate to morning circle is also contextual. Finally comes the issue of motivation. Motivation for communicating needs to come from a desire to communicate, to get needs met, to create social connection, to regulate and refuse, to get a point across.

My goal is to have all my students communicating because they are motivated to do just that and to see communication partners engage because they want to have a conversation, want to connect with a student. A student in my class came to me with tons of VSDs on her device and she only used the "feelings" page, which was not a VSD. The SLP eliminated the VSDs with enormous, unprecedented success. The student's parents have told us many times about how much more this student is communicating, how she is voluntarily turning on the device in the morning, how she is "talking" about her classmates on days she is home sick. We have seen her learn to order at McDonald's and explain to the physical therapist why she is terrified of the stairs. In fact she is insisting on taking her device with her to PT so she CAN explain that. Visual Scene Displays increased the cognitive load for this student. VSDs confused her. VSDs confused her parents and her staff. The data collected on her AAC use indicate a 75% increase in her use of the device since the elimination of VSDs. A more logical, traditional grid system made all the difference.

In short, VSD might be great for some learners. Research says it is worth a shot for those with aphasia and possibly those with autism. Yet traditional displays are great for others. We, as educators, therapists, AT specialists and caregivers, need to fully assess the student, how the student relates to the world, the student's ability to generalize, the student's grasp of general knowledge to determine whether or not VSDs, traditional displays or some other type of set up is best.

“Sections were reprinted from Phyl T. Macomber’s free AT Solutions At-A-Glance Newsletter. Subscribe at http://www.PracticalATSolutions.com.”

P.S. Have you voted?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Boardmaker Dreams

Mayer-Johnson just sent out a survey about what people would like to see in Boardmaker 7. Here are somethings I would like to see:
  • Boardmaker Player available on a flash drive
  • Pre-programmed commonly used variables or a variable glossary you can use
  • Instant thumbnails of saved boards for easy finding
  • "About this board" button to click when you open a board that shows if it is interactive, if it is programmed for scanning and who the original author was (if that person chose to include that when they shared the board)
  • A symbol that you can paste into a cell that automatically shows the copyright information
  • Better voices, especially child and teen voices in Plus and SDP
  • Many more templates, such as the Accessible Book Collection templates for picture and chapter books and lots of worksheets that can be print or interactive
  • More symbols for things like sports teams, all of the steps of various task analysis including putting on different kinds of clothes, self-care, self-transfer, community and vocational activities
  • Wizards that an non-intrusive to do things like make cause and effect switch activities, "choose it" activities, accessible books, schedules, communication boards
  • Spell check when programming the boards
  • More symbols of specific adaptive equipment (like how they now have a accurate symbol for a Rifton Gait Trainer), even if they just look through catalogs of the larger adaptive equipment companies for ideas (also see a list of symbols I would like in the Slideshare embedded in this post)
  • Able to rotate images and cells (for making folded books and materials)
  • automatically fit, align and justify text in buttons according to user settings
  • a setting to make all text the same pre-set font on a board
  • a menu bar item to automatically take you to Adapted Learning and another to publish your board Adapted Learning
  • a point system that gives you rewards for publishing boards to Mayer-Johnson sharing (like Intellitools)
  • a "zoom" feature for when you are making boards in a multiple board layout (can't tell you how many typos and simple errors I make when I create large, multiple page boards because I cannot see what I am typing)
  • integrated "Make a Face" and for added flare it could work from digital images of people turning into PCS images -- oh-la-la
  • integrated photo editing
  • a feature that alerts you when the new addendum comes out, lets you link to the MJ website, purchase the addendum, download and install and and have the CD follow in the mail
  • a way to designate ASL or SEE when using the sign addendum and you have both installed
  • menu bar item that allows you to set Symbolate to be primarily in PCS, Widgit, picture this, ASL or SEE (if you have those addendums)
  • worksheet templates in the templates folder including matching, spelling, cut and paste, tracing, scissors, and other basics
And a huge dream... online Boardmaker Plus (like Write Online).

Fun Things We've Been Up To in Kate's Class

We have been having a rocking good time in my classroom lately. Here are some of the things we have been up to:

  • Playing Hoops on the Help Kidz Learn site. Set on "easy" you still need to wait until your player aims to score a basket. We had the student nearest to the computer use a wired switch and the student further away use the Jelly Beamer. Only one of my students is a regular switch user and he has been kicking some rear end in this game. We adapted it for low vision by simply having all the staff shout, "now!" for the student with visual impairment.
  • Learning about and playing dreidel using Classroom Suite, our new Jelly Beamer and the LCD Projector on the big screen (we don't have a SMART board.) The Hannukah and driedel activties were downloaded from the Intellitools Activity Exchange. We listened to the information about Hannukah and driedels and then we switched over the the driedle cause and effect activity, from the same author on the exchange and passed around the Jelly Beamer to spin the driedel. We played three times today and the same student won every time!
  • Making "stained glass" candles for Hanukkah (yes, I know it isn't until December 21st) using the free symbol based directions from Slater Software, which we posted on the "big screen" via the LCD projector and used the Jelly Beamer to scroll down the directions as we worked through each step.
  • Reading Hoover's New Wheels, also downladed from the Intellitools Classroom Exchange and played a yes/no comprehension game.
  • Working on 1:1 correspondence, counting and greater than/less than using Power Point Presentations based on the counting candy canes presentation available from Jefferson County Schools. We do this on "the big screen" as well, and even without a SMART board it is very, very fun. One of my student inparticular is VERY motivated to point to things on the "big screen" and his accuracy increases by merely using it.
  • Playing "Christmas Squares" another power point from Jefferson County Schools with customized holiday questions to continue our work on yes/no.
For Christmas I would like either administrative privileges (or at least an administrator to install a few things) on the computer connected to the LCD projector or a way to make Boardmaker Player run from a flashdrive like Classroom Suite Player can. That way we would have a world of Boardmaker Activities to use on the "big screen" in addition to Classroom Suite Activities.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

From Key Board Shortcuts to Shortcut Stickers

Both Karen Janowski at Ed Tech Solutions and Sam Sennott at AllTogether have shared lists of keyboard short cuts for various operating systems and programs, including shortcut cards to post near the computer.

Now you can also order "Gmail Shortcut Stickers". These stickers adhere to the correct key on your keyboard so that you always have a visual cue of what short cut is what. All you have to do is send a self addressed, stamped envolope to:

Send me some Gmail stickers already
P.O. Box 391420
Mountain View, CA 94039-1420

P.S. A quick google search can find you keyboard stickers for many common programs, like Photoshop.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Voice is My Power: Part Six, A Mother's Story

This guest blog entry has been circling the special education/disability list servs and is a perfect addition to the "My Voice is My Power" series of entries.

The guest blogger is Denise, mom to Brandon who is a nineteen year old young man who speaks with an alternative communication device. When Denise and I corresponded about posting the story as part of the "My Voice is My Power" series she told me, "Originally when this was sent it was only sent to those who know me and my son and my family. I did not include his age, but I think it adds importance to the story because it shows its never too late to have that moment. It was the singles best moment of my life as his mom."

The Story:

After finishing dinner with Allen and Brandon, it was just B and I left sitting at the kitchen table. I was so tired (after all it was 7pm!) that I put my head down on the arm of his wheelchair. I positioned his hand and fingers on my head and hair so he would have that “sensory” experience of feeling my hair as his fingers would move (and I would get a gentle head massage!). The armrest was actually quite soft and comfortable and we stayed in silence like this for at least five minutes. (I probably even dozed off!)

All of a sudden I heard a voice…Brandon’s digitized voice from his Dynavox.


I looked up at him stunned, and as the tears formed in my eyes (as they are as I again retell the story), he just started smiling and laughing. Brandon knew what my reaction was going to be to what he said, even before he saw the look on my face. He knew how happy he made me with those three words. He knew that what he had said was going to make me cry “happy tears”. He thinks it is funny that I cry “happy tears”.

So together we shared our unbelievable happiness…me with my tears because my son had given me this amazing moment…and B with his laughter and smiles because he knew that he had given me this moment. A moment that will last forever.

So you see...no matter the circumstances...you never really know what can make someone happy, nor in what form that happiness will manifest itself.

It’s different for everyone but should be experienced and shared by all.

I hope that my story made you happy whether it stays with you for a moment or a lifetime...

Whether you smiled and laughed, or had tears in your eyes…or both...I hope it touched your heart...

His voice is his power!

Here is the video that inspired the "My Voice is My Power" series. It is worth a watch... even if oyu ahve already seen it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2008 Edublog Awards

Thanks to a nomination by the wonderful Patrick Black at Teaching All Students this blog (Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs) is up for a 2008 Edublog award in the category of Best Individual Blog. Please go vote, forward to your friends and family to have them vote. Have your students vote. This is one of the few special education blogs nominated in any category.

P.S. It is likely December 8th that this blog will also be up for "Best Education Blog" in the 2008 Weblog Awards (we were nominated 8 times).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Activities at Help Kids Learn

Have you all been over to Help Kidz Learn lately? They have three fun new SWITCH activities! I have been using the Advent Calendar in morning meeting and this afternoon spent some time playing with the Mosaic Painter (a great way to teach mouse cross scanning) and Hoop Stars. Hoop Stars, even set to "easy" had a bit of a challenge. Tip - you have to wait for your player to aim before you "shoot" (hit the switch). Image of three on-line activities from HelpKidzLearn.

Customer Service

For the record I think that some of the A.T. providers out there have the best customer and support services of any type of company. (Too bad the phone company, for example, can't take their lead.) Today I had folks at both Dynavox and Ablenet spend copious amounts of time helping me figure out that the parts ordered and delivered for a student's switch and switch mount cannot work together. Which was a relief, in a way, because I was starting to think there was something wrong with me that I could not figure it out.

Followed by Ken at Ablenet (thanks Ken) helping me to figure out exactly what to do about it. Ken and I came up with a plan and in the end the SLP, parent and I (coordinated through multiple phone calls) decided that we will be returning the switch and mismatched mounting plate for a different switch with a matching mounting plate (things work better if all the parts match). Ken was kind enough to give me the item numbers so I can be sure when we re-order it is correct.

On more set of phone calls tomorrow to finalize the exchange with Dynavox and we will be in business. Finally. It took me weeks to find a three hour block in my schedule, during business hours, to make all these calls! (Tough to find time around all that darned teaching!)

Maybe the return will be ready to go in time for the student to mail it himself during community based education this week!

On an unrelated note today my order from Ablenet for a Jelly Beamer and the new Read, Write and Grow software came in! I played quite a bit with the Jelly Beamer. So cool! Wireless is definitely the way to go. I can't wait to do a math lesson I have planned tomorrow and not have to worry about how far the cord will reach when I pass around the switch! More on Read, Write and Grow soon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Running Programs from a Flash Drive

One of the challenges of working with technology in a school system is that you often don't have "administrative" privileges on computers to run or install software and because software that is vital to our classrooms is often not vital to the rest of the school we have come up with creative solutions.

One solution is to run smaller and somewhat simple programs from a flash drive, thus altogether avoiding the need to install programs to a computer. This isn't easy because most software isn't designed to be run from a flash drive.

One solution (and this is likely one of many and it only works on Windows) is to use a flash drive with a U3 system (like the SanDisk drives). U3 is an operating system that allows programs to run directly from the flash drive. However programs must be converted to work with U3 and as you can imagine many of the programs we find useful with our students are not available in u3 compliant format.

Luckily there is some free software that can convert (smaller, simplier) programs to be U3 compliant. It is called Package Factory. To make everything even better their is a tutorial on Techbytes. I spent a couple hours trying to convert two programs over the weekend and today at school one of them worked instantly running off the drive. The other one... well I am not sure I can make it happen but I will give it a try soon.

I haven't tried all of the programs below, but they might be worth a shot:
Also I did get the Classroom Suite Viewer that comes with News-2-You membership (and with Aimee Solutions Programs) to work.

Another Online Timer

Here is another online timer to use for counting down break time, transitions, time in position devices or what not:

  • Timer (with or without music)
add to these formerly mentioned timers

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Classroom Makeables, Posters and More

Mentioned today on Classroom Displays, Mrs. Pancake is a fantastic site of "Doodads", also know as posters, borders, flashcards, work sheets and paper crafts.

Adapted Learning Uploads

I just uploaded about a dozen boards, including games, recipes and holiday activities to Adapted Learning. My username is teechkidz if you want to search by person. Membership is free, try it out now.

In case you have missed the announcements Adapted Learning is the new sharing site for Boardmaker, Boardmaker Plus and Boardmaker SDP by Mayer-Johnson.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Double Dutch News-2-You

If you use News-2-You you should know that there is a great extension activity at Dragonfly TV. If you use the Miro player (as described in this blog entry) you can download episodes of Dragonfly TV directly into Miro player to use offline with your class.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Phone My Phone

I can't remember ever sharing a non-special education related site before, but I thought I would share this one. You may already know about it. It is Phone My Phone and it does what it says, calls your telephone.

Perhaps my biggest flaw is my ability to loose things. My keys, wallet, and cell phone top the list of things I loose. It is a long standing, running joke at school about how I loose things. My father claims I have adult ADD, my sister used to say that I used up all of my brain on useless knowledge and there was no room left for things like remembering where my keys or phone were and it is possible that Saint Anthony is sick of helping me out. Whatever the reason I use Phone My Phone fairly frequently. I wish it could make my keys and wallet ring.

Two More Online Stories Sites

These will be added to Alternate Format Books and Stories.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo (who got the link from Langwitches) and a poster on QIAT for the links.

Post-It Pockets: A Sped Adaptable

The people who make post-its (also called stickies), 3M, have a new product called Post-It Pockets. The minute3 I saw them I had a dozen ideas about how to use them in the classroom. They come in letter, bill, receipt size (9 in. X 12 in.; 5 1/2 in. X 9 in.; and 4 in. X 9 in.). Post-it pockets are supposed to be available at Target, Office Max. 3M.com and other places post-its are sold.

  • storing constantly in use symbols (as opposed to my hardware store drawers for all my other symbols), add velcro to the front and you can store symbols inside and display one on the front, i.e. to show today's school lunch offering
  • to create a sign-in center for students, put a card with "here" on one side and "out" on the other side in each pocket, with each students name and photo on the front and students can flip their card upon arrival and departure
  • to create sorting/classification boards, put several pockets on a poster board or wall, a symbol or word on the outside of each envelope and have students sort away using symbols or word cards
  • put pockets with index cards in the back of the books in your classroom and have everyone (students and adults) sign them out
  • make a "mail center" for students
  • hang 26 of them with each letter of the alphabet on one pocket and use to start teaching alphabetization and filing
  • add to you classroom job or chore area with a symbol for each chore on the front of the pockets and a picture schedule or task analysis inside
  • hang a few by the phone with the names of all the classroom staff and therapists and use them to put phone messages and quick notes in
  • hang one (letter sized) pocket by the door for each student and place any papers to go home in it for students to collect at the end of the day
  • attach to the back of data collection clipboards to hold extra notes and tid-bits of information for paraprofessionals
  • place them on the back of standers with a slip of paper inside for each student (who uses that stander) to record total number of minutes stood each day
  • use pockets for each student to collect things they need to take into the community like money, library card, I.D. card, shopping list, etc. so you always know where everything is to go out for CBE
What else can you think of?

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

I hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving. Do you celebrate the American Thanksgiving in the North Pole? I have been good, mostly. I am writing to ask for the gifts I would like for my classroom this Christmas. My students have been very, very good, mostly. We have been very lucky and have had quite a few grants filled, and our agency found a little bit of money to let us send out orders, so we don't need much. We do have some wishes:

  1. Ink. Santa Claus, we are always out of ink. I am not even exaggerating, we are seriously always out of ink. We would like some ink for our printers in our stockings.
  2. Individual student equipment. Santa, I know you will be visiting my students and I know that you can see what they need, but that youngster who needs the wheelchair - sooner would be better than later. The same is true for the kiddo who needs new hearing aids, and new glasses and the learner who needs wheelchair adjustments. If you wouldn't mind those things would be awesome. There is also that child who could really use an Easy Stand (a chair/desk that turns into a stander/desk) and a high tech AAC device. Oh and if you are really in the mood for some magic, what about a solution to that one student's AAC access issues? What a dream come true those would be.
  3. Interactive whiteboard. Oh, Santa, we could do so much with an IWB! We had a projector this year and it is almost the best thing ever, but an IWB would top even that.
  4. The iTalk2 is now out with levels and our old one is pretty beat up, we could use a new one. A couple of packs of talking symbols notepads to go with it would be fabulous too.
  5. A subscription to the Brain Pop Jr. website. Now that we have a working LCD projector Brain Pop Jr. would be a great way to add to its value.
  6. More hours in the day. I know, Santa, you can't do this one, but if you could it would be marvelous! We would never have to wait for things to be laminated or cut out or downloaded and moved to different computers, because with more hours in the day it would all be done!
Thanks so much,

Kate the Teacher
P.S. On a personal note, my Blackberry is broken AGAIN and my car needs a tune up. I never object to gift cards for gas or coffee either.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for:

  • my dad
  • my students who teach me as much as I teach them
  • this blog as a way to give back and share what I have learned
  • my cat, Roxie

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I love my new logo!!!

When this blog made 200,000 visitors I wrote a note to my childhood buddy, Christine Desrosiers, now of San Francisco, who just happens to have an art degree. I was remembering a comic she drew of me in my wheelchair when I shattered my tib/fib in 1997 and thinking that something like that might be great for a logo for my blog. She rose to the challenge and then some. For now the new logo is over there in the top of the sidebar while we work out the kinks of getting it into the header. Isn't it awesome?

Would anyone be interested in some tee shirts or bags or anything with the logo and a snappy or sappy saying?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


is a free photo communication board creator. It allows you to use any image you have on your computer to make communication boards in grids from 2 to 24 symbols on a page (the sizes of the images automatically changes). I was able to use my own photos, images from the internet, (the free) Sclera Pictos, and (the also free) Imagine Symbols on boards. This is a quick, easy and free alternative to Boardmaker if all you need to do if make boards (no worksheets, activities, or anything else, just boards). (I could not get the Boardmaker PCS Metafiles to import into PHOTOsyms.) It runs in Windows and Mac.

There are no directions to speak of so here are some tips:
  • extract all the files before you run the application
  • put the images you want to use in the My PHOTOsyms folder (took me awhile to figure this one out)
  • use the slider bar under the larger box on the left to resize the image
  • use the slider bar under the grid on the right to change the number of boxes in your grid, this can be done after adding a few images and they will stay put
  • after uploading a picture you should adjust its size and then click add to put it in the grid, repeat until you grid is full - it isn't easy to edit so plan out what you want
  • make sure your images are saved as what you want them called in your grids because whatever they are saved as is how they will come up on the grid
Thanks to The Assistive Technology Blog for the link to this software.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

For the holidays on the Assistive Technology Blog Carnival the theme is "My Favorite Things". Before I begin, please keep in mind that for 9 of my eleven years of teaching I have taught learners ages 14-22, for two years I taught grades 3-5. Developmentally I have taught learners who are working on everything from basic alterness and cause/effect to typing and spelling with Morse Code or switch scanning (or regular old paper and pencil). I have also taught life skills and for many years ran a community based vocational training program. There is likely some bias towards older learners. Here are my favorite A.T. Tools for the classroom, community and vocational training sites:

  • The iTalk2 Communicator by Ablenet. This is a two sided voice output switch (which is now available with levels) that is durable (ours has been dropped and tossed) and has many, many uses. IN our room the most common use is yes/no, but we also use it for more/done, few/many, big/little, first/next, joke beginning/joke punchline, request/thank you, rude noise recording/excuse me, poll question/thank you, etc.
  • The Powerlink by Ablenet. This is a power interrupter for "plug in" power. Bascially it allows you to plug in the Powerlink to the wall, a lower wattage appliance (no microwaves) and a switch to the Powerlink and then students have several different ways to control the appliance (direct, timed, latch).
  • A variety of switches including Jelly Beans, Big Reds, Specs Switches, Wobble Switches, and a few I made. I am happily anticipating the arrival of a Jelly Beamer I just ordered. (See a post about sixty ways to use a single switch.)
  • Switch Scissors, we have three pairs, plus and unadapted pair of battery scissors. One pair is from Ablenet, one from Enabling Devices, and one pair is self-adapted with a battery interrupter I made (the scissors are from Wal-Mart, $7.00 in kids foam crafts and you can purchase battery interrupters from Ablenet or Enabling Devices). (See a post about switch scissors.)
  • Switch activated pouring cup from Enabling Devices which is on loan to the class across the hall for watering the plants on a daily basis (they have sun, we don't) but is also used for cooking, crafts and dirty tricks. (See a previous post about this device.)
  • Universal Mount from Ablenet, this is the best mount for switches. For the record most companies that sell mounts sell this exact same thing, but you need to make sure it is the Manfrotto Universal Arm with the knob NOT the lever. Trust me people, you do NOT want the lever. Seriously. Ask anyone who has been in the field longer than eight or ten years. As long as you are getting the Manfrotto Universal Arm with the Knob it doesn't matter where you order it from. In fact I wrote a post about how to get it cheaper via Amazon.com because it is really a photography mount, or go with Ebay. But, Ablenet has the best quality mounting plates, theirs are metal, not plastic and have screw holes in case you do not want to go the velcro route. They also have a better return policy than most, except if you get the knob and not that stinking lever then that doesn't matter much.
  • The Don Johnston Switch Interface Pro is, as far as I know, the only switch interface that moves from Mac to PC, doesn't require software, isn't proprietary, supports two switch scanning, supports non-special education/non-commerical software (like PowerPoint, online switch activities and downloads fron Oatsoft) and doesn't (in my experience) break. (This one time at band camp, I mean at student teaching, I had a switch interface literally go up in smoke, IN MY HAND!).
I am also tempted to add the Step-by-Step, but I actually don't use it that much because my learners mostly have their own higher tech devices or the ability to use something that allow more choices. That makes me want to add higher tech devices like the Go Talk 9+, Go Talk 20+, the Dynavox Palmtop, Four and V series, and the Chat PC series, but generally those are for individual students and not a class or group.

So there you have it, my favorites!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dynavox Downloads

Do you support a Dynavox V/Vmax user? If you do you should head right over to the Dynavox Sharing area and download any of their great games and activities. There seems to be something for every age and ability level.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

30 Days to Being a Better Blogger - Days 18-21

I am finding it more useful to "chunk" (dontcha love it when things you learned a long time ago are useful, I learned about "chunking" as a memory technique in a developmental psychology with Professor Ellen Wright who was one of the best professors I ever had with the absolute best uses of Bloom's taxonomy in my educational career) these 30 days challenges. So days 18-21 are:

  • join a carnival
  • who do you love and why?
  • go on a dead link hunt
  • give a comment a promotion
Join a carnival refers to posting in a blog carnival. I periodically post in the Assistive technology Blog Carnival, but I really could make more of an effort, so look forward to an entry soon on this month's topic of, "My Favorite Things".

Who do you love and why? Asks you to look at the blogs you love (that are in a similar field) and really figure out what makes them great. I know that I have about 100 blogs in my reader so I took at look at which ones I look forward to and this is what I realized: I look forward to the ones that post nearly every day, the ones that have photos, the ones that share something I can use right away and/or stories, and the ones that have a certain seriousness of purpose. I also appreciate good writing, although I don't mind a typo or two if it does not distract from the message (must be the sped teacher in me... or the dyslexic in me). Something that is not particularly useful to me as a blogger is that I enjoy the blogs of parents of learners with special needs, I really makes me connect to the other 18 hours a day of the five days of a school week, plus the weekends and vacations my students are not with me and it reminds me what is important.

Going on a dead link hunt is something I do twice a year, the end of June and winter break. I am running a broken link check as I type this and will work on weeding out the broken links over the Thanksgiving recess.

Promote a comment is the process of taking a comment and using it as a spring board to write a new post. Look forward to it in the next few days.

Kneebouncers Switch Games for Little Kids

Barrie over at One Switch reminded me of Kneebouncers a website I have had listed on this site since I opened it. Kneebouncers has great single switch/cause and effect games for EI, pre-K and maybe K kiddos. Set your switch to "space bar".

Try one here:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Online BigMack Switch

Powered by Vocaroo

There you go! An online BigMack Switch! So if you don't have a BigMack, your BigMack is broken, you are out of batteries or you just want to play around you can come to this blog entry, record and play back a voice! (You might want to bookmark this entry.)

Make it switch accessible by recording, putting the mouse pointer over "listen" and setting a switch to "mouse click".

Also Vocaroo is a very cool and FREE way to send voice notes via e-mail and post voice recording to the internet. Check it out.

Some of the ways you could use a Vocaroo in the classroom would be to record a note to a parent who does not read well and send it via e-mail, record a student reading or speaking and send to a parent or even yourself for data collection, and allow non-writing students to send voice e-mails to each other. Can you think of any other ideas?


Today during community based education one of my students decided not to get off the bus at McDonald's. This was likely due to a lack of explanation on my part as McDonald's is a favorite place. We typically make only two stops in the community and McDonald's was a third, surprise stop because we had a little extra time (although only enough extra time for take out). This student needs to know the schedule and routine to be able to cope well. Thus when my question, "Do you want to go into McDonald's?" was met with a firm, "No!" I let it go, "That's fine. We can wait on the bus."

So we waited. About ten minutes passed (apparently there was a line) and the student began saying, "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!..."

I again asked, "Hi. Do you want to go into McDonald's?" This time the non-verbal "yes" was apparent from the sheer joy and excitement on the her face.

We headed inside and while in line practiced ordering on the Dynavox. The student was literally jumping up and down by the time we were asked, "May I take your order?"

Click - "I would like a chicken sandwich please?"
"Really?" I asked, raising my eyebrows, since a chicken sandwich has never come up in practicing.
Click - "I want a hamburger please."
Click - "I want chicken nuggets."
Click - "Could I please have a cheeseburger?"
"Hold on," I said, "pick one thing."
Click - "I want a hamburger please."
"You sure?" I asked.
Click - "I want a hamburger please."
The clerk looked at me and I nodded. "Do you want anything else?"
Click - "I would like onion rings instead of fries."
"Sorry, buddy, you can't get onion rings here," I said.
Click - "May I have a small order of fries?"
The clerk glanced at me again and I nodded slightly.
Click - "I want milk instead of soda."
"Sorry, buddy, we have plenty of milk at school for you."
Click - "I want a medium diet coke."
I laughed. "And you have three half full diet cokes in the fridge in the classroom!"
The clerk smiles and asks if we just want a hamburger and small fries. I nod and assist my student in handing over some cash. My student jumps up and down a few times and grins.

Then the clerk says, "I have never seen anything like that before. That is how she talks?"
"Yes." I answer.
"She can hear, but she can't talk?" the clerk asks handing her the food and change.
"Yes, she uses that to talk, but just like you and me she doesn't always know what she wants to say." I reply.
Click - "going to hello and goodbye page"
Click - "See you later."

Sometimes McDonald's food is more important than disability awareness at McDonald's.

A birthday gift (of sorts)!

Thanks to Paul Hamilton's kind comment in the last post I was reminded that today is the second birthday of this blog.

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear teachinglearnerswithmultiplespecialneeds.blogspot, happy birthday to youuuuuuuuu!

Seriously if I had know this blog was going to take off I would have picked a shorter web address!

As a birthday gift (ok,ok it is totally unrelated) the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated half the cost of four of my Donors Choose grants that I was certain to have expire without any funding.

The catch? Now I need to raise the money to pay for the other half of the grants! I have much less of a problem watching a totally unfunded grant expire than watching a partially funded grant expire.

Feeling generous? Feeling thankful that teachers are unlikely to loose jobs overseas or to be downsized? Then feel free to donate to a grant above. Consider it a birthday gift!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

30 Days to Being a Better Blogger - Days 13-15

Alrighty then, half way through the 30 Day Challenge and I get off easy again! Here are the current challenges:
  • find yourself
  • greatest hits
  • mobilize me
Really I am only getting off easily on 2/3. I check my Google and Technocrati listings about twice a month (find yourself) and because I have spent much of the past two years in an internet free school I frequently use my own blog via my Blackberry to get resources, so I know how my blog looks on a Smart Phone (mobilize me).

That middle one though, greatest hits, that's a tough one. What are my greatest hits? Certainly my compilation of free Boardmaker Boards (which will be much less important now that Adapted Learning is open) and, of course some of my other "list" posts (freebies, special needs software, mouting systems). Other than that could regular readers take a moment and mention what posts you would put in my top ten (or even top two)? Could new readers tell me what sent you here in the first place?

Thanks so much!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Official Adapted Learning Press Release

This just in from Mayer-Johnson. The new site opens in about an hour!

Mayer-Johnson Announces AdaptedLearning.com
A New Resource for Educators and Parents of Students with Special Needs

Pittsburgh, PA – November 18, 2008 – Mayer-Johnson, developer of innovative software products and symbols designed to help special needs students learn, announces the launch of AdaptedLearning.com (www.adaptedlearning.com). This free resource provides a place to find and share adapted curriculum created with the company’s popular Boardmaker Software Family products. It also provides online community functions as well as feature articles and expert tips that meet the needs of the spectrum of Boardmaker users. Developed to provide better symbol-enhanced learning tools and make it easier for special educators and parents to adapt curriculum to ensure accessibility for all students, the website provides resources and tools that allow students with special needs to learn more effectively and succeed academically.
Over 100,000 special education professionals and parents have come to rely upon the Boardmaker Software Family of products to help children challenged by significant speech, language and learning disabilities achieve academically and socially. AdaptedLearning.com stretches the reach of the products by creating an international community of Boardmaker enthusiasts.

The keystone of the free website is the searchable database of communication boards and other educational assets created using Boardmaker products and shared by therapists, teachers, and parents of students with special needs. Additional resources include:
  • An online community that allows educators and clinicians to connect and share ideas and information with other Boardmaker users, as well as create public and private areas for groups of colleagues and parents,
  • Feature articles highlighting implementation ideas and other resources, and
  • Training videos featuring application strategies to enhance student learning and communication, and show how to create tools that make it easier for children with special needs to succeed.

Information organized by subject area in the News & Views section of the site ensures that members quickly locate the resources they are seeking. New Boardmaker users will find the Getting Started articles helpful as they experience all that the software has to offer. The Classroom Implementation area provides application ideas so that members can apply newly acquired skills and discover new ways to use previously learned skills. A resource for parents, the Home Connection provides information to help families support the child’s education and communication journeys in the home and in community settings. Find success stories and case studies that provide information and inspiration in the Results area.

“AdaptedLearning.com comes in response to the requests of the many loyal Boardmaker users who were looking for a place to share their work and access new content,” said Jim Mills, DynaVox/Mayer-Johnson’s vice president of education products. “We’re please to be able to offer them a place to share that work and their great passion for the Boardmaker Software Family of products.”

To register for this new web resource, visit www.AdaptedLearning.com.

About Mayer-Johnson
Mayer-Johnson is the developer of the innovative software products and symbols designed to enhance the learning process for special needs students allowing them to achieve their full academic potential. In addition to the company’s flagship products, Picture Communication Symbols (PCS), a comprehensive symbol set used for communication displays and instructional purposes, the Boardmaker Software Family, which provides a flexible platform on which to create interactive lessons and learning tools, and Speaking Dynamically Pro, a dynamic communication and instructional software program, the Mayer-Johnson product portfolio includes a wide range of materials for professionals working with people with disabilities. For more information about Mayer-Johnson, visit www.mayer-johnson.com.

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