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Assistive Technology and Acquisition of Skills for Written Expression District 75 Citywide Speech Services Prepared by Z. Volkin, M.S., C.C.C.-SLP.

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Presentation on theme: "Assistive Technology and Acquisition of Skills for Written Expression District 75 Citywide Speech Services Prepared by Z. Volkin, M.S., C.C.C.-SLP."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assistive Technology and Acquisition of Skills for Written Expression District 75 Citywide Speech Services Prepared by Z. Volkin, M.S., C.C.C.-SLP

2 Challenges Physical limitations/inability to use traditional writing tools, Spelling difficulties, Language delays/restricted vocabulary and concepts, Poor language organization skills/difficulties in expressing thoughts and ideas, Limited exposure to reading materials/text/examples of good writing, Limited exposure to writing activities.

3 Devices/Software/Features to Address Writing Difficulties Word processors, alternate keyboards (e.g., Intellitools), on- screen keyboards with scanning capabilities, dynamic display AAC devices with scanning capabilities; spell check, auditory feedback while typing, word prediction; Pictorial support for printed words/text (e.g., provided by AAC devices and various applications); Graphic organizers, templates; semantically and grammatically-based word prediction; Digital books; Computer/iPad/AAC device-based writing activities.

4 Facilitating Writing Skills in AAC Users via Voice-output Devices Here are some the of the dynamic display voice-output devices that can be used in facilitating writing skills: From Prentke Romich: SpringBoard, SpringBoard Lite, Vantage, Vantage Lite, Vanguard, Eco2 From Dynavox Technologies:http://www.dynavoxtech.com/products/maestro :http://www.dynavoxtech.com/products/maestro Maestro, V, Vmax, MT4, DV4, Express, MiniMo, MightyMo How do they address writing skills? AAC devices allow for the same process of learning how to write as in typically developing children, which is by pairing a picture with a word. Most of these devices, old and new, have a message window, an area where selected pictures/ words go and remain displayed while the person is constructing his or her message. According to the level of the student, these devices can be set up to allow few or many words and pictures to go into a message window when selected by a user. In essence, it is a talking sentence strip that can changed and used repeatedly just like during a writing process

5 Facilitating Writing Skills in AAC Users via Voice-output Devices Utilizing a message window of dynamic display voice- output devices, even when students do not spell, is a great tool in teaching our students beginning writing skills. Why? -in typically developing children, writing begins with drawing a picture and making a statement about it. Using a message window, gives AAC user the same opportunity, enhanced by a verbal feedback. -adding pictures paired with words one by one (bubbles, more bubbles, blow more bubbles, I blow more bubbles) teaches students to form sentences and express their ideas clearly, -use of the message window allows for a much needed practice of writing while the student is communicating (requesting, commenting, describing, answering questions, etc.) Utilizing a text-to-speech feature (written material is read out loud by the program) of dynamic display voice output devices via an on-screen keyboard allows for actual typing /spelling/writing practice. The text composed by a user is spoken when the message window is activated. Note: set up the device to allow pictures to appear in a message window when selected by a student to support comprehension (if such support is needed) -most of the devices can be set up to provide an auditory feedback during writing process at various levels (letter, word, sentence). Choose one appropriate for your student. -some of the devices have a word prediction feature which allows students with emerging spelling abilities choose the word they intended to write independently, and experiences success!!

6 Facilitating Writing Skills in AAC Users via Voice-output Devices Most of dynamic display devices allow for various access methods including scanning, so your physically challenged students can participate in writing activities. You can use AAC devices to help your students create their own paper product as a result of a writing activity by connecting the devices to a computer. Read the article Turn Dedicated AAC Devices Into High Powered Pencils and Computer Keyboards!!!!! on aacintervention.com to find out how to do it.

7 Facilitating Writing Skills via iPad Communication Applications Some of communication iPad apps (Proloquo2Go, TouchChat, SonoFlex) have the same features that the much more expensive dynamic display AAC devices. These features are: -a message window to construct/write phrases and sentences; -on-screen keyboards with texts-to-speech feature, -various levels of word prediction, -various levels of auditory feedback, In addition, some of the apps offer: -an option of adding pictures to already written text (symbolate in Proloquo2Go); -an option to open and use previously written text (History in SonoFlex,recent in Proloquo2Go)

8 Facilitating Writing Skills via iPad Communication Apps (Proloquo2Go recent option

9 Facilitating Writing Skills via iPad Communication Apps (SonoFlex-free app with a message widow, keyboard, and retrievable messages )

10 Facilitating Writing Skills via iPad Communication Apps (TouchChat Spelling setup with programmable phrases)

11 Facilitating Writing Skills via iPad Communication Apps (TouchChat Word Power24 setup allows to use grammatical constructions)

12 Facilitating Writing Skills via iPad communication apps (Prololoquo2Go with symbolate option insert)

13 Facilitating Writing Skills via iPad communication apps (Verbally-free option with a word wall, word prediction and phrases)

14 Facilitating Writing Skills via computer software (PixWriter)

15 Facilitating Writing Skills via Computer Software (PixWriter) PixWriter (by Slater Software) is an older application; Allows non-spellers to construct sentences/write stories by choosing pictures and few sight words from a pre-populated by a therapist/teacher word bank on the bottom of the screen; As a picture is selected, it appears in the writing area and its label is spoken. The entire message/story can be spoken by activating speak button; The word bank can be organized in any way chosen by the teacher, and locked to prevent accidental changes; A completed story can be printed so a student can have his own paper product.


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