AT Tip of Week Archives

These tips will cover a variety of areas, devices and tools. Most of the tips will focus on low or no cost AT. We hope these will be helpful for you or others you work with in your schools, districts, at home or in your workplace. Please feel free to send us any tips that you feel would be helpful for others.

Brought to you by:
Carolann Cormier and Nicole Natale
TABS- Special Services Support Team
Capitol Region Education Council

 

Week of 10/09/2017

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. In honor of this, CREC is screening the documentary, “One by One: The Teachings of Diana King” by Harvey Hubbell V at the Theatre for the Performing Arts in Hartford on 10/13/17. We will have food available before the movie and a question and answer session after the movie with Diana and Harvey. This will be a great evening for anyone who is interested in learning more about direct instruction for students with dyslexia. Tickets and more information can be found by following the link below. We hope to see you there!

Lisa, Nicole and Carolann

http://www.crec.org/movies/

Week of 10/02/2017

We hope the school year is going well for all of you!

We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know of a big sale that Assistiveware (makers of Proloquo2go) is having on October 10, 11, and 12th. According to their website:

“To honor AAC month we will offer a 50% discount on Proloquo2Go, Proloquo4Text, Keeble, Pictello and Gateway to Language & Learning©!

Excited? We are!

Discount on high volume purchases

The discount also applies to Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for Education. When your school or educational organization purchases 20 copies or more, you get an additional 50% off. That’s 75% off!

Save the date!

The 50% discount will be in effect from Tuesday October 10 to until and including Thursday October 12.”

Check it out here: http://www.assistiveware.com/save-date-3-days-discounts

Hopefully some of your districts (and/or parents) can take advantage of this deal while it happens.

Thanks, Carolann, Lisa and Nicole

Week of 05/22/2017

Have you wondered if you could restrict access to websites or requiring students to stay on specific websites? This question recently came up on the QIAT (Quality Indicators in Assistive Technology) listserv, and I found out about the following resources:

StayFocusd is a chrome extension that can block certain websites, or keep you on a certain list of websites for chosen amounts of time.

With StayFocusd you can restrict access to specific websites AND you can choose one, or a list of websites to make accessible and the student will not be able to access all other websites. The site states: StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day. It’s highly configurable, allowing you to block or allow entire sites, specific subdomains, specific paths, specific pages, even specific in-page content (videos, games, images, forms, etc).

Strict Workflow – It works much like StayFocused only there is a work time and break time. Sites are blocked/allowed during the set work time and then everything is open during the break time. The site states “Features: * Easy to use: just one click starts a work/break timer * Easy to get started: pre-configured to block popular distracting websites * Easy to personalize: block the sites that are most distracting to you or change the timer durations * Blacklist or whitelist: either choose what sites to block during a work timer, or what sites to allow”

And one to look forward to: Focal – Travis at travis.m.snyder@ME.COM wrote “I just finished programming an extension called Focal. It’s pretty much precisely that– “guided access” for Chrome. Just click the extension icon and it locks the page to whatever site you’re one. Click it again (and enter a passcode) and you’re back browsing the full web. I kept it intentionally simple for teachers who just don’t have time to fanangle menus of settings. Just lock and unlock. The extension is done (and has been working wonders all year in the school district for which I’m the AT specialist), but it is NOT YET publically available. I plan on releasing it at the start of next school year. If anyone on the QIAT listserv wants me to let them know when it has landed in the chrome store, just email me and I’ll send you a link for a free download when it’s out.

I plan on checking out StayFocusd and Stick Workflow and can’t wait until Focal come outs. Enjoy using these with your students (though they might not enjoy it).

Have a great week,
Carolann, Nicole and Lisa

Week of 04/24/2017

I recently upgraded my iPhone to an iPhone 7 with the most recent version of iOS 10. I was very impressed by the additions of more accessibility features. Below is a link to an article by Louis Perez that explains four features that you’ll want to know about.

https://luisperezonline.com/2016/09/13/4-new-accessibility-features-of-ios-10-you-should-know/

Happy Spring!!

Lisa, Nicole and Carolann

Week of 03/27/2017

Happy Spring?!?!

April is Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month and many app promotions occur either during specific days during the month or for the whole month. The following are some examples of some deals we know about already:

Some Assistiveware apps (PROLOQUO2go) will be 50% off for three days: http://www.assistiveware.com/dont-miss-get-50-our-popular-aac-apps

Here’s a list of AAC apps that went on sale last year: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2016/03/31/2016-autism-awareness-month-aac-app-sale-roundup-tips/ and may do so again but some aren’t advertising yet.

Also, check out this website at the beginning of the month, they do a good job of summarizing deals: http://www.smartappsforkids.com/

Happy shopping! Carolann, Lisa and Nicole

Week of 03/13/2017

The Apple Watch has been on the market for a couple of years and is only beginning to be utilized in educational settings. Below is a link to an interesting article about educational uses of the Apple Watch with individuals on the autism spectrum. We hope you will all be safe and warm during the upcoming storm. Spring is coming!

http://www.autismpedagogy.com/blog/2015/5/19/autism-accessibility-and-apple-watch

Lisa, Nicole and Carolann

Week of 02/27/2017

Cybraryman’s website offers over 20,000 links to websites organized into categories under: Parents, Students, Educators and General Interests. His Educators page includes multiple links organized by his favorite links, staff teacher tools, grade level organization and by subject areas. You can see the multiple links for you to explore in the screen shot below. I enjoyed exploring various resources, under several of the subject areas, including reading. While the amount of links can be overwhelming, the site was easy to navigate and to get back to the educators’ links. The site is not geared towards special education or assistive technology, but in several of the subject areas, it did include links to these resources. You can find the site at http://www.cybraryman.com/.

A screenshot of some links available on the Cybraryman's website.

Have a great week.
Carolann

Week of 02/23/2017

Check out the Perkins School for the Blind eLearnings Website: http://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/posts/free-online-library-and-ipad-eligible-students-who-are-visually-impaired

They’ve announced this program for eligible students: (From the website)

The Lighthouse Guild and Bookshare announce an exciting new student literacy program. Eligible students with visual impairments or print disabilities will have access to more than 500,000 titles through Bookshare, an e-reading application designed for users with visual impairments called Spotlight Gateway, and a free iPad.

Please let us know if anyone uses this service and is successful with garnering a free iPad!

Have a great week and enjoy the Springlike weather!

Nicole, Carolann, and Lisa

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