Co:Writer Word Prediction App Released!

CoWriter screenshotI am always excited when our trusted special education software manufacturers make a program available in app format. I am REALLY excited this week, as Don Johnston just released an app version of Co:Writer®!!

This is a word prediction tool that reduces the number of keystrokes required to type and that makes it a great tool for students with physical disabilities or just poor typing abilities.  Since it provides support for spelling and grammar with writing tasks, it’s an amazing tool for our LD students who know what they want to say but can’t seem to think of the right word or struggle with spelling.  As the first letters are typed, Co:Writer predicts the intended word and presents a selection of word choices. The program uses ‘inventive’ spelling to predict words, even if the student misspells the word or omits vowels.

Word suggestions can be read aloud with a swipe; selecting the intended word places it into the document. Built-in text to speech will read letters, words, sentences, and the entire document using the Heather voice.  Control settings allow for adjustingt the font, text size and color contrast for improved readability.

Co:Writer has access to a main prediction dictionary (that includes core words) and an endless range of Topic Dictionaries (that includes topic specific words).  Available today on iTunes, it will be the best $17.99 you’ve spent in a while!

I already have it and absolutely LOVE it.

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Free Web Accessibility Tools

 

ATbar

I have just fallen in love with another web 2.0 support to add to our technology toolkits!   The Mada Assistive Technology Center in Qatar has created an amazing array of web 2.0 supports packaged in a single toolbar for improving web accessibility.   The “ATbar” contains tools for font magnification, text-to-speech, word prediction, background and font color changes, pop-up dictionary, spell checker and readability adjustments (to reduce visual clutter).

There are three versions of the ATbar:

  • The download version stays available when you move between web pages and is made up of the standard functions.
  • The lite version acts in a similar way to a bookmark or favorite and has to selected each time you visit a new web page – it also has the standard functions.
  • The marketplace version allows you to build your own ATbar, by choosing the plug-ins to suit your needs then save the custom made bar as a bookmark.
  • Other software is available on a USB flash drive with an accessible menu system as a Portable Accessibility Toolkit and there is a desktop version of the ATbar on the download page.

These supports are available for download onto any PC for personal use or directly onto your own website or WordPress blog as a plug-in for those who visit your site.

And…best of all…they’re FREE!!

For more information, visit their site  https://www.atbar.org

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Voice Dictation With Dragon Software

I keep a million notes on student and classroom needs, assessment findings, etc. and I have begun to lean heavily on my voice dictation tools to get it all written down before I’ve forgotten it all.  If you’ve never used Dragon Naturally Speaking, you should give the free version a trial run.  I have  the Dragon Dictation app on my iPod  and use this for making notes  throughout the day.  Once back at the office, I upload the notes through my wi-fi onto the software on my desktop for transcription.  We use it for our students with writing difficulties and also for our teachers who need to keep notes throughout the day without taking their hands off the students.  It’s easy and it’s accurate!  For more information on the full range of Dragon programs available, visit http://www.nuance.com/for-individuals/index.htmDragon

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