My Name is David

My Name is David is an animated short film from one of the animators of Robot Chicken, Matt Manning. The film provides an audio visual that aims to educate people about some of the things that impact the character in the film.  The film features the actual words and voice of the films author, David Sharif, a young man with autism.  The film was created as a way for Sharif to share what Autism is with his fellow classmates. His speech looks to not only educate children and adults about autism but also to give a voice to the more than one million young men and women with autism in schools throughout the country.  This is a wonderful resource to share with others on some of the sensory, communication and special interests that may impact a person with Autism as they attempt to build relationships with others.

Apple Promotes Educational Apps on App Store for World Autism Awareness Day

In 2007 The United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to make April 2nd World Autism Awareness Day to “highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of children and adults, who are affected by autism, so they can lead full and meaningful lives.”  In celebration of this Apple has launched a new section of its App Store focused on apps designed specifically for individuals with Autism.  If you go to the app store under the Education tab you will find a link for Autism Awareness and the sixteen apps related to navigating the social emotional world around us.

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Snap Type App for Occupational Therapy – A Tool for Writing

snaptype-icon      Looking for a quick and easy app to help students who struggle with handwriting (dysgraphia)? Snap Type for Occupational Therapy may the answer you are looking for.  This free app was created for use with iPads by Amberlynn Gifford, an Occupational Therapy student in Springfield, Massachusetts. The app allows  students can take a picture of their worksheet in class and use the iPad keyboard to  type their answers directly onto the worksheet. A screenshot of the completed worksheet can then be emailed to the teacher.  Download it for free from the app store.

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The search continues for low cost solutions to assistive technology

Looking for low cost solutions to assistive technology can be a challenge when attempting to meet the diverse needs of learners. We have shared a variety of solutions to meet the needs of students for reading and math over the past few months Oklahoma ABLE Tech however is another site to  explore for free to low-cost assistive technology solutions  that are $50 or less! Categories featured include reading, vision, hearing, handwriting/keyboarding, composition, and communication.  Check out their website to explore some options that we have shared on our blog in the past as well as a few that might be new to you.

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Interactive Multiplication Tables

Create a customized multiplication table using MS Word Graph Paper.  Laminate them or put them in page protectors and use them with dry erase markers.  Even better, cover a Pringles can with the separated chart.  Twist the can to find the answers.  Thank you Cynthia Feist and Tara Jeffs, Loudoun County Public Schools for showing this cool trick on your recent TechKnowledgy Conference Webinar, Making Math and Science Accessible for All – Differentiating Instruction with Low Cost Tools.


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What do you see?

When you read a book do you imagine what the characters and setting look like?  If that book is made into a movie does the picture you painted in your mind match that of the movie makers? Meet seven year old Emily, who is blind, as she shares her “vision” of the characters in her favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz. Learn how the producers of a Comcast commercial worked with Emily to help share what she sees when she watches her favorite movie. During the Academy Awards, Comcast shared Emily’s vision as they introduced a new product to assist people with vision impairments independently make movie selections using a talking guide.  The talking guide reads aloud selections, such as program titles, network names and time slots, as well as DVR and On Demand settings.                                                   Emily's Oz

Making Math and Science Accessible for All – Differentiating Instruction with Low Cost Tools

Today, Dr. Cynthia Feist and Dr. Tara Jeffs, AT specialists for Loudoun County Public Schools presented an incredible webinar for the TechKnowledgy Conference.  This was a fast-paced webinar with lots of great ideas and resources about making math and science accessible.  They demonstrated low to high tech AT for math and science instruction for students with multiple learning preferences and differing abilities, for little or no cost. Watch this webinar and learn how to create: accessible math and science resources for differentiated instruction, including: scientific process and math sequence ropes; customized graph paper; graphic organizers; item banks; electronic timers; mini-offices; virtual and physical manipulatives; file folder activities; shoebox work tasks; foldables, interactive lessons and quizzes with voice; adapted books and worksheets; and, templates and tutorials. Adapt and modify curriculum using instructional materials created with Microsoft Office, free interactive online resources including Web 2.0 tools and Internet downloads, and other inexpensive and widely available materials.

The Webcast will be posted within the week on the TechKnowledgy website.  In the meantime, explore the wonderful resources they are sharing on their Google Drive (link posted on the TechKnowledgy website).

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Highlighting low tech AT

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Assistive technology doesn’t always need a battery, charging cord, download or buttons to push. Low tech assistive technology to help students can be found in your local dollar office supply store. With teaching and modeling students can  use simple solutions such as highlighters and highlighter tape to assist in targeting information on a page. Using different colored highlighters provides visual assistance with organization of homework written in agenda books as well as locating information. By assigning different colors for homework, projects, tests and quizzes students can easily find assignments written in their agenda.The same use of assigning colors can  be used to locate vocabulary words, main ideas and supporting details a passage or text. Highlighting can be use to target a line before writing or where to enter the numbers in a math problem. Using highlighter tape allows students to use the same strategies to highlight in books without damaging the pages or leaving permanent marks.  Looking for a bigger version of highlighter tape try Avery See Through Sticky Notes to help visually block off math problems or sections of a reading selection. Use the See Through Sticky Notes to make notes or summarize on the page of a book without damaging the page.


Using Tar Heel Reader on the iPad

We love Tar Heel Reader for its collection of free, easy-to-read accessible books.  You can even write your own book using the Flickr pictures in Tar Heel Reader. If you haven’t browsed the collection of hundreds and hundreds of books or written your own books, you are missing out on a valuable resource of high interest books for your students.

We are linking you to two blog posts that describe how to use Tarheel Reader in app mode on the iPad and how to put Tar Heel Reader books into iBooks with speech support.  Now, Tar Heel Reader is even more accessible!

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