Chromebooks and Accessibility Supports

Chrome AT Toolbox

As more districts more toward the use of Chromebooks for 1:1 device use, there are always questions about how these devices can provide the accessibility supports needed by our students with physical and/or learning disabilities.  Since Chromebooks don’t allow for installation of software programs (the usual source of specialized reading/writing support), assistive tools must come from apps and extensions that can modify the user interface.  These tools, many of which are free,  are available from the Chrome Web Store and offer accommodations for visual needs, reading, writing, studying, note-taking, web navigation, etc. Be sure to check out user reviews and give a number of options a trial run before deciding which work best for the intended user.

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Free Resources for AT, AAC, Modifying the Curriculum

I love great resources and I really love them when they’re FREE! If you’ve never visited the Special Education Needs (SEN) Teacher website, you need to do it now.

SEN Teacher offers a wealth of FREE printables, a page full of links to specialized support sites, as well as free software downloads for addressing the academic, sensory, communication, and assistive technology needs of children with special needs.

Most printable resources can be adapted to suit a variety of individual needs. All SEN Teacher resources are free to use at school and in the home.

Here are a few examples …

 

Quick AAC Photo Cards ⋆SEN Teacher image
Visual Aids Printables: Quick AAC Photo Cards

 

Printables ⋆SEN Teacher image
SEN Teacher Printables
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Free Webinars

HelpKidzLearn logo

It’s hard to find time to get away from the classroom for training, so webinars make it easy to keep up with what’s new.  HelpKidzLearn is an excellent resource created by Inclusive Technology and they have some wonderful online sessions coming up this week.  Sessions are 60 minutes long, interactive, and (best of all) free!  Register even if you can’t attend the live session…you’ll be sent a link to the archives so you can catch it later when you have time.

Beginning Tuesday, April 21, topics include:

  • iPad Access for Physical Disabilities
  • Creating Personalized Eye Gaze Activities with Chooseit! Maker 3
  • Using Technology to Support Reading
  • Using Technology to Support Writing.
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Bookshare Web Reader Update

I love Bookshare, but I will admit that it takes a little work to learn how to use it.  That said, it is WELL worth the effort and will make you wonder how your students ever read without it! I was happy to learn today that they now offer an option for web reading without an individual membership and wanted to share this link with you for learning more.  Previously, students needed an individual subscription and password to log in outside of the school’s account.  Now the teacher can assign a specific log in for them, download books for the student, and assign them to a shared reading list to allow student access from the internet anywhere.  Wow.  It just keeps getting easier!

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