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Assistive Technology Resources

Authorized List of Resources (ALR) Authorized assistive technology resources currently available through the ALR are described at the Nova Scotia School Book Bureau. Search using subjects: Assistive Technology, Professional Development

Joy Zabala is a consultant in Assistive Technology and the developer of the SETT Framework which is the structure around which the board carries out assessment.

Closing the Gap Inc. is an organization that focuses on computer technology for people with special needs through its bi-monthly newspaper, annual international conference and extensive web site.

WATI Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative’s primary goal is to improve the outcomes and results for children and youth with disabilities through the use of assistive technology to access school programs and curriculum.

Software and Hardware

Boardmaker software is used by educators to create printed symbol-based communication and educational materials. It isoften used to create visual supports for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders. Boardmaker features more than 4,500 Picture Communication Symbols (PCS)in both black-and-white and color.

Online support is available through Mayer Johnson website.


Essential Skills Software - Includes Reading and Math programs that motivate students and ensure success. The educational library of software includes over 70 titles that cover a variety of elementary learning skills and subject areas, including phonemic awareness, phonics, reading comprehension, vocabulary, math, science, and more. Also includes a number ofeducational titles specifically designed for older remedial students in thehigher grades with an integrated Marks Manager that tracks, records and reports information from one Essential Skills program to another.

For more information go to www.essentialskills.org

Intellikeys/Intellitools - IntelliTools provides technology to help struggling students learn to their fullest potential: serving students in PreK-8 who use assistive technology. IntelliKeys USB plugs into the computer's USB port and provides accessfor anyone with physical, visual, or cognitive disabilities who has difficultyusing a standard keyboard. In combination with its many overlays, it is themost flexible alternative keyboard available, providing individualized supportfor young students and struggling learners.

MathPad - MathPad enables students to do arithmetic directly on the computer. The program is ideal for students who need help organizing or navigating through math problems or whohave difficulty doing math with pencil or paper.

Classroom Suite4

· Reading- There are five key areas of Reading addressed in Classroom Suite: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension.

· Writing - The scaffolded writing instruction integrated into Classroom Suite helps with brainstorming, organizing, drafting, editing and publishing.

·Math - They use onscreen mathmanipulatives to build core skills and master concepts. There are six key areas of Math addressed in Classroom Suite: EarlyMath Concepts, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, PlaceValue, Fractions, Decimals. Also included are early learning activities such as easy explore, choice and errorless writing.


Inspiration 7 & 8- Inspiration® is the essential tool students rely on to plan, research and complete projects successfully. With the integrated Diagram and Outline Views, they create graphic organizers and expand topics into writing.This powerful combination encourages learning in multiple modes. As a result, students gain and retain a better understanding of concepts and demonstrate knowledge, improving their performance across the curriculum.

Inspiration 8 – 45 Minute Tutorial


Kidspiration - isthe visual learning tool for K-5 students. It helps students create stories,organize and categorize information, understand concepts, and express and share their thoughts.
Kidspiration 2 - 30 minute Tutorial


Kurzweil 3000 - is the comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties, such asdyslexia, attention deficit disorder or those who are English Language Learners. (http://www.kurzweiledu.com/)

Additional Resources /Tutorials




Teacher resources:



Microsoft OfficeAccessibility Suite - will show how a document can be more accessible by persons with vision, hearing, mobility or cognitive disabilities by doing the following:

- using the proper font size

- adding text that describes a graphic

- changing the screen colors

- positioning hyperlinks wisely knowing what to do with animation

- including information conveyed by sound in text format

- making your document navigable by both keyboard and keyboard equivalent

TUTORIAL LINK: http://office.microsoft.com/training/Training.aspx?assetID=RP063800471033&CTT=6&Origin=RC063800961033

Solo - SOLO combine sall of the following programs — Co:Writer®, Write:OutLoud®, Draft:Builder® and Read:OutLoud™. Educators can quickly and easily provide differentiated assignments, oversee skill development and analyze student progress.

SOLO includes word prediction, atext reader, graphic organizer and talking word processor—putting students incharge of their own learning and accommodations.

Additional Resources/TutorialLink:

http://www.donjohnston.com/leader_guarantee.html http://www.setbc.org/setbc/access/access_solo_resources.html

Teacher resources:


Start-to-Finish Library - These are audio books for struggling readers. There is a wide selection of age-appropriate narrative chapter books written at two readability levels.

They range from grade one to fivei n readability yet offer an interest level for grades 5 to 12. A list of available books can be obtained through the assistive technology department.


Co:Writer - Co-Writer is a word prediction program that helps struggling writers to expand their vocabulary and improve written expression. With Co:Writer students are able to produce grammatically-correct and topic-specific sentences within any word processor. It can be used in conjunction with the Write Out Loud program.


Write Out Loud – Write Out Loud is a talking word processor and writingsoftware program for students in grades 3-12. It uses realistic synthesized voices and students receivespeech feedback as they write. Write Outloud has the basic functions ofany word processor along with many helpful features to help individual studentsin the writing process. Font and background colours can be adjusted forstudents with visual impairments. There is also a talking dictionary. This website has some helpful tutorials for the various Write Out Loudcomponents.


WriteOut Loud Website: http://www.donjohnston.com/products/write_outloud/index.html

Writer Plus - The Writer is a portable keyboard instruction program. It includes innovative and patented features such as a word processor, a thesaurus, formatted files, home row keys and shift key reinforcement features. As well, it provides students with word prediction.


Voice OutputCommunication Devices – These battery-operated portable devices allow a student with limited verbal skills to express basic needs and participate in classroom activities. These devices can easily record the voice of a teacher, parent or even a classmate to be used by the student in an appropriate situation. Various voice output devices are described below.

GoTalk - GoTalk is a lightweight, durable and is available in a variety of grid sizes. For example, the GoTalk 4 has a 20 message capacity with 4 large keys, each 3” square, and five recording levels. GoTalk is also available in a GoTalk 9 version and 20 version.

Big Mack - BIGmack is a one message communication device designed for those just beginning to learn to use communication devices and need a cause and effect situation. Voice is recorded and the student can press the BIGmack to hear it. The BIGmack Communication Aid is ideal for students needing a larger target area because of motor, visual or cognitive impairments. This also comes in a Little Mack version.

Sequencer -This device will allow the user to have a series of messages. You can record as many phrases as needed up to 60 second maximum. Pressing the switch once causes message 1 to play. Pressing it again activates message 2, then 3, and so on. This allows individuals to carry on a conversation with a single switch. It also works well for reading a story,conducting a class report, or participating in a school play.


A switch is an assistive technology device that allows an individual with fine motor challenges to operate or access an electronic toy or appliance. Switches come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be activated by a specific movement such as pushing, pulling etc. Switches also vary in their colour and design and must be appropriate according to the needs and abilities of the user. Switches can be suitable for people with cognitive difficulties and developmental delays as they are a clear and simple tool to demonstrate action/reaction.  Consequently, the activities the switch is accessing also need to be clear and simple.

The followingwebsites provide information on a variety or voice output devices available.






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