Sunday, September 30, 2012

iPads for Learners with Severe/Multiple Disabilities

Updated 11/4/2012

Cause and Effect Apps

Tap/Touch Anywhere

Early Targeted Touch/Tap, Drag or Scroll

  • Interactive Alphabet ABC $1.99 - Touch the letters on the screen to hear the letter, word and sound effect ***NEW***
  • Press Here $0.99 - A story book where things happen when you touch the dot ***NEW***
  • Peeping Musician $2.99 - touch a musician to make her play
  • Rad Sounds $4.99 - touch to play music (switch accessible)
  • Bubbles $0.99 - touch to pop bubbles or balloons
  • Catch the Cow $2.99 - touch the cow to make something happen (switch accessible)
  • Sounding Board Free - create communication boards using your pictures or included clip art (switch accessible)
  • Hatch Free - touch the egg repeatedly and see what hatches
  • Fish Fingers 3D Interactive Aquarium $0.99 - touch the water and fish come to your finger, tilt the screen and water splashes, interactive fish move when you do
  • Baby Drums $2.99 - allows multi touch with scrolling and targeting - or not!  Play lots of instruments.

Refined Target Touch/Tap

  • Aunty Maggie's Recipe $2.99 - Choose ingredients to make a secret potion (switch accessible)
  • Picture Chase $2.99 - with your pictures and music as back ground chases of cats and butterflies, for example, ensue
  • Picture Pusher $0.99 - learn how to target, drag and drop by putting images into a box, use your own pictures if you want
  • Touch Trainer $4.99 - instructional activity to teach targeting

Switch Accessible (using an iOS switch interface such as the APPlicator)

    • Games
    • AAC

Companies Selling Multiple Switch Apps
    • Apps from tBox
      • Predictable $159.99 - for literate users an advanced text to speech system with scanning or direct select that includes social media integration
      • Scene and Heard $49.99 - visual scene based display AAC created using "hot spots"
    • Apps from Conley Company/TapSpeak
      • TapSpeak Button $9.99 - record a message for play back, store each as long as you like
      • TapSpeak Button Plus - $34.99 - same as above but includes symbol set
      • Tap Speak Button Plus for iPad $34.99 - same as above but for iPad
      • TapSpeak Sequence $19.99 - record and store sequential messages for playback
      • TapSpeak Sequence Plus $34.99 - same as above but includes symbol set
      • Tap Speak Choice for iPad $99.99 - create communication boards with 1-56 messages per page, text-to-speech and a full symbol library
    • Apps From Alexicom
    • Apps from Attainment
      • Read to Learn $39.99 - 85 stories with graded comprehension checks.  Incudes Life Skills Readers, Safety Skills Readers and Focus on Feelings Books
      • Go Talk Now $79.99 - complete AAC app with scanning, symbols included
    • Apps from RJ Cooper
    • Apps from MarbelSoft (prices vary)

      • MarbleSoft Click To Read Book Series ($9.99 each) each book has a story tied to the common core and related questions, works with touch or a switch(es) titles include: "My Country", "A Leader Is", "I Can Help",  and "Recycle It" (these work fantastic with the Unique Learning Program).  Books use the SymbolStix Symbols.
      • Koppy Kattz $19.99 - cause and effect through more advanced memory games for one or more players using switches or touch
      • Scan and Match $19.99 - find the match using your switch(es)
      • Switch Kids $9.99 (limited free version as well) - three kind of games include cause and effect, multiple choice cause and effect and sequential cause and effect
    • Apps from Creative Communicating ($9.99 each)
    • Inclusive series of apps (about $2.99 each - see page for ever expanding list)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Inhibitor Pages on AAC Devices

Sometimes it seems as if their is an all or nothing choice when deciding what other programs and activities to add to high technology speech generating devices for our students.  Sometimes we decide against giving access to recreational activities on speech devices because the student is impulsive and “gets into things” or “just plays”.

The choice isn’t all or nothing, however.  One option is inhibitor pages. Inhibitor pages are something I started using for a student who used an eye gaze based AAC device and was constantly “getting in trouble” for accessing iTunes and online videos.  Inhibitor pages were just one tool in helping the student learn there is a time and a place for leisure activities.  Other tools used included both positive reinforcement for using these activities only during appropriate times and a response cost program of “strikes” which ultimately could result in the loss of internet and iTunes for a period of time.  I now use inhibitor pages on many students devices.  You can create them on just about any high tech dynamic display device.

An inhibitor page consists of a reminder or visual cue and a choice.  The page layout and cell/button size can be designed to facilitate appropropriate choices.  So if a student activates a button which links to a recreational activity like online videos or music an inhibitor page can be inserted before that link works.  For example clicking on “iTunes” brings the user to an inhibitor page as it plays a message like (using a lower volume if desired), “Remember music is a leisure time choice.  Please be sure it is ok to listen now.  Should you be opening iTunes?”  The reminder is careful not to ask, “Do you WANT to open iTunes?” instead asking the user to think about the action he or she is able to take.  The large “no” button brings the user back to the main or home page and not back to the previous page, which can prevent repeating the interaction impulsively.  The small “yes” button opens the chosen program, activity or website.  Teachers and families should introduce the inhibitor page a way for the student to make better choices and direct instruction should happen so the student learns precisely when and where he or she can say “yes”.

The concept of inhibitor pages reminds me of the quote:
If a child can’t read, we teach them.
If a child can’t add, we teach them.
If a child can’t behave, we punish them?
Teachers teach.

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