Post-secondary

Reading and Writing Solutions: Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
10:00 - 11:00 Pacific Standard Time

Join us for Reading and Writing Solutions, tips and tricks including, great low tech tools, software and apps. Some of the things you will learn about will include: reading support tools such as visual and auditory supports, adapted and alternative writing tools, incredible software and helpful apps.

In this archived webinar: Reading and Writing Solutions: Tips and Tricks we review great low tech tools, software, and apps. Some of the things you will learn about will include: reading support tools such as visual and auditory supports, adapted and alternative writing tools, incredible software and helpful apps. Presenter: Laura Simmons-Martinez. 

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Telling Our Stories: Interview with Jim Ferris

Thursday, November 10, 2011
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time

Jim Ferris is a critically-acclaimed and nationally-recognized poet. In 2004, his poetry book "The Hospital Poems" won the Main Street Rag Book Award. A former newspaper reporter, television producer, and gas station pump jockey, Ferris has won awards for his teaching as well as his writing.

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Organizational Tools for People with Learning Disabilities

In some cases, the primary need that people with learning disabilities have is assistance with organization. This may affect organizing thoughts, tasks, or both. This article covers mind-mapping software, which helps with brainstorming and thought grouping, and calendaring software, which helps with time management.

Mind Mapping Software

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Notetaking Tools for People with Learning Disabilities

An important function of accessing information in most educational and work settings is notetaking -- extracting the most important material and using it for studying, supporting assertions in new writings, or transmitting to colleagues. Assistive technology is now available to help facilitate notetaking with either text or audio materials. This article summarizes these current technologies.

Notetaking with Written Materials

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Reading Tools for People with Learning Disabilities

Some people with learning disabilities experience problems with reading, for a variety of reasons. Solutions may involve modifying the font size, typeface, or color contrast, multimodal presentation of text, availability of easy-to-use dictionaries, and masking text that isn't being read.

This article covers some of the mainstream and AT solutions to these writing problems.

Mainstream Options

Office-type programs have options for making the text larger and therefore more legible to some people with learning disabilities. They also have options for changing typeface, type color, and background color, any or all of which may be useful.

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Assistive Technology Software and People with Learning Disabilities

The term "learning disability" is usually defined as involving difficulties with reading, writing, math, memory, or other cognitive functions among people with average or above-average intelligence. Because there is such a wide variation among individual needs and preferences, people with learning disabilities are often best served by software with a variety of customizable features. These features may also be of use to individuals with more temporary needs, such as beginning readers and ESL students. This article talks about some of these tools and the needs they address.

Assistive Technology Strategies for Reading

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Cognitive Training Software

Cognitive training can be used to address behavior issues in children, memory loss in elders, and other cognitive skills. This article lists some software that's currently available and provides suggestions for what to look for when selecting cognitive training software.

Cognitive Training Software for Basic Skills

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Assistive Technology for Safety and Security

There are three types of products related to safety and security that may be of interest to people with disabilities:

  • Products that provide redundant alerts for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Products that allow people with various disabilities to signal for help
  • Products that provide assistance to people with cognitive disabilities

This article covers all three.

Redundant Alarms

Most alarm systems use a loud sound. People with hearing loss need a redundant signaling method that uses lights, vibration, or both, or may connect to a lamp that flashes when activated. These features are available on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, burglar alarms, and baby monitors; many can be found in home improvement stores or big box retailers.

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Funding Assistive Technology for Libraries and Other Organizations

There are two primary ways to fund assistive technology acquisition: build it into your organization's budget, or seek outside funding. When these don't work, it may be worth trying some creative strategies. This article covers all three approaches.

What to Budget For

When putting together a budget, keep in mind that it needs to cover more than assistive technology hardware and software. It should also include as many of the following as appropriate:

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Developing Alternative/Augmentative Communication Layouts

Alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) require customization so that the device is appropriate to each user's capabilities and needs. This article covers the steps to take so that there is a good fit between the strategy and the user.

Establish what the user wants to communicate

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