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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Switch and Tablet Mounting with Loc-Line Hose!

AT Kits Brochure

If you’ve never used a mounting system offered by Loc-Line, you’re in for a treat!! Although designed for use in a range of industrial settings, it didn’t take long until some crafty OT’s recognized the potential for using modular hose to create durable mounting systems.  Don’t we all just LOVE crafty OT’s? (I may be biased just a little…)  I even love that the company gave credit to this group on their brochure featuring their latest mounts.  You can download that here:  Modular Hose AT brochure 2016.

Loc-line materials can be purchased individually for creating or customizing mounts, or you can buy them pre-fabricated in various AT Kits designed to hold tablets and switches. Their newest offering, called Tablet-X is awesome (the brochure even says so!)  Visit their WEBSITE to take a look. They’re lightweight, virtually unbreakable, very flexible, easily cleanable, and just plain fun to work with! 

Switch Mount

 

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Switch Access Basics

Children who present with complex physical disabilities need alternative access to allow engagement with toys and/or communication systems.  Switches are not new to the world of assistive technology, but their use may be new to many teachers!  In this post, I am going to offer links to a range of printable resources that will help educators and clinicians kick-start their use of switches. The University at Buffalo – The State University of New York has developed a web resource, Assistive Technology Training Online (ATTO) program that has some valuable resources.  One example is the ‘Switch Features List’, a simple guide for evaluating the features of different switches.  Another program offered by the University at Buffalo is designed to support early intervention efforts using assistive technologies.  The Let’s Play Project offers a resource guide for using switches with children 0 – 2 years old called Playing With Switches. Although the guide is a few years old and does not include many of the new toys available, the information is timeless. Inclusive technology has created a comprehensive teaching and assessment tool called the Switch Progression Roadmap. I love the ideas and the literal guide to progressively introducing and expanding switch use.  These are just a few resources for finding the help you need to get started.

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New Apple iOS7 Upgrade Offers New Accessibility Features


ios 7
I’ll say it again…you just can’t beat the accessibility features offered by Apple.  I loved the simple touch screen interface offered from the onset and they just keep adding new tools for our students with physical disabilities through every upgrade.  Yesterday’s release of iOS7  is like Christmas for our users with special needs…

With more than 200 changes in this upgrade, there is something for everybody who uses an iPad, iPod Touch or an iPhone. It includes a completely redesigned user interface and some exciting new accessibility supports our disabled students will love.  Options specifically designed for those with limited abilities include the ability to adjust fonts system-wide, provide customized captioning and set user controls for switch access. This includes the option for gesture-based controls (including actions such as head movements) to operate the devices. Wow!  What a difference these features will make for our more severely involved students who have seen iPads in their schools but have never been able to engage with them or use them to their fullest potential.  This upgrade also offers expanded functionality for the already awesome accessibility features such as Zoom, VoiceOver, Speak Selection, Assistive Touch and Guided Access.

There is a wonderful ‘how to’ guide available from the folks at MakeUseOf.  Ono of my favorite resource sites, they have created a downloadable guide to all the new iOS7 features.

The upgrade is available for iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer, and the 5th generation iPod Touch. To download iOS 7 go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Note: You must have sufficient storage memory available or it will not install.

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