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Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Videos

Deirdre Madden, Assistive Technology Outreach Co-ordinator, Disability Support Service, University College Cork gives an overview of Assistive Technology which might be of use to people with Dyspraxia/DCD.  Although the information below is geared towards students it could also be relevant in the area of employment and everyday living skills.

Many students who have Dyspraxia/DCD find writing a challenge. Touch-typing can be an excellent alternative is most definitely is a life skill. This UCC video has some useful Touch-typing Advice & Resources.

Some students with Dyspraxia/DCD may also have reading difficulties or having their own typed work read by to them might be beneficial in helping to improve their writing. Natural Reader is a free program which may be helpful with this.

For some dyspraxic/DCD writers, stamina and/or spelling may be an issue. In such cases speech recognition software could offer a backup.

For some students with Dyspraxia/DCD organising and planning can be a real challenge and often this makes writing essays/projects and studying very difficult. Mind mapping can offer a great solution. Often educational psychologists recommend Inspiration mindmapping software. This video shows a little of what Inspiration has to offer and can help you to get started with it.

While Inspiration is a reasonably affordable piece of software there is also a free mind mapping package available called Xmind. This video gives a brief introduction to mind mapping with Xmind.

Mind maps have many, many applications in the educational environment, from helping to make very visual timetables to being an excellent comprehension and study tool where the student makes their own mind map of a certain chapter or topic. In creating the mind map the student processes the information very intensely. Through the use of colour, space and images they can make their own very visual representation of their learning materials. They can print it out or if they use the mind map on the computer they can also avail or sound files (perhaps to help with languages) or of video files (YouTube has some wonderful education resources). Once created, their own mind map on a topic is the perfect customised revision aid helping to go back over materials in the run up to an exam.This video gives an outline of how to use mindmapping for school work and homework.

Carrying the school bag or organising the school books can be an intense challenge for some learners with Dyspraxia/DCD. Electronic versions of school texts might offer an alternative. This video takes you through the possibility of getting electronic versions of your textbooks.

Assistive technology and the associated IT can be very costly. If you live in Ireland, have a disability/learning difficulty and you need an aid or appliance for day to day activities you can claim the VAT back on the software/hardware you require. This video talks you through that procedure.

 

Technology Solutions

Typing

BBC Dance Mat Typing - www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing

Nessy Fingers - www.nessy.com/uk

SpongeBob SquarePants Type Rider - www.nick.co.uk

Tux Typing - tux4kids.alioth.debian.org

Typing Tournament - www.amazon.co.uk

Text to Speech (free downloads)

Read Please - readplease.en.softonic.com

Browse Aloud - www.texthelp.com

Talking Technology

Talking Faces (freely downloadable) - www.inclusive.co.uk/downloads

Talking Postcards, tins and photo albums - www.tts-group.co.uk

There are also other similar programs but with greater flexibility from Tag Learning. www.taglearning.com

Software

2Simple - www.2simple.com: 2Create a Story, 2Publish, 2Type, 2Connect

Comic strips - www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/games-tools/comic-creator-a-30237.html

Onscreen vocabulary tool: Word Bar www.dyslexic.com

Mind mapping software: Kidspiration - www.inspiration.com

Onscreen magnifier - www.magnifier.source

Vu-bar 5: onscreen slotted ruler good for those who skip lines when reading and RapidSet -allows for quick and easy changing of background and font colours without having to go through screen properties - www.fx-software.co.uk/assistive.htm

Techdis toolbar: allows users to choose colour, font size and simplification of pages in an internet browser -www.techdis.ac.uk

iPods/iPads/Tablets

Dragon Dictation: free voice recognition app -www.nuancemobilelife.com/apple/supportdictation.html

My Pictures Talk: create stories or task completion (originally designed for students with ASD) - www.grembe.com/mpt

Visual Timetables/Organisers

www.do2learn.com

www.inclusive.co.uk/downloads/downloads.shtml#timetable

  

Other Resources

AHEAD (Association for Higher Education Access and Disability)

https://www.ahead.ie/assistivetech-students

For Educators

http://www.sess.ie/links/sen-ict-and-assistive-technology

For Employers

http://www.enableireland.ie/services/assistive-technology/services-employers

Assistive Technology

Planning for Life after School

Guidelines for Students with Special Educational Needs and their Parents / Guardians

Planning for Life after School - Guidelines for Students with Special Educational Needs and their Parents / Guardians

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