Readtopia™ Coming Soon!

Posted April 24, 2017 By Lee Learson

Don Johnston, Inc. will be releasing Readtopia and make learning to read an experience! Readtopia™ is a comprehensive reading curriculum for middle and high school students with autism and other complex needs. It brings first-hand experiential learning into the classroom—teaching students standards-aligned social studies, ELA, and science content.

For many, reading is not a natural act, but everyone naturally derives learning from first-hand experience. The purpose of Readtopia is to bring first-hand experiential learning into the classroom, so students can bridge the gap between learning through reading, and learning through experiencing.

In so doing it taps students’ natural learning capabilities, and channel them into reading capabilities so students can begin to more fully participate both in school and in life. Readtopia takes students on-location throughout the world as they learn to read through original video, activities, and graphic novels. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Many of us use Microsoft Office products on a daily basis. Writing documents, creating spreadsheets, sending and receiving emails, and creating and presenting presentations is a part of everyone’s life. Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint makes things easier for us!

Although it is important that we present good content in attractive, easy, and readable formats, it is equally important to make our content accessible for people with disabilities.

Fortunately, all Microsoft Office products have built in capabilities to make our content accessible. In addition, Microsoft also provides rules and best practices, and helps us check our content with the Accessibility Checker and other tools (like Color Contrast Analyzer) to ensure content follows accessibility guidelines.

Below you will find four different links that will show you how to create accessible content with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. They are short, and easy to read but give a plethora of information on how content can be made accessible with just a few clicks. 

Direct links to accessibility guides:

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft Outlook

 

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ShortcutWorld.com is an open, wiki-style Reference Database for Keyboard Shortcuts. Using Keyboard Shortcuts on a daily basis is the mother of all productivity techniques. With this project, ShortcutWorld.com is building an open Hotkey Reference Database with the goal to cover as many Applications on as many Platforms and in as many Languages as possible.

Their goal is to get millions of users out there to be more productive. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more how the site works and how you can contribute.

Here’s an example of what’s available on the site… Read the remainder of this entry »

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The Reeve Foundation has awarded seven grants focused on exceptional access to assistive equipment and technology, totaling to $520,996.  Massachusetts, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Illinois, Virginia and Kentucky have received support for their innovative assistive technology programs. For details….. read on Read the remainder of this entry »

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Written by Keith Lambert, Education World Associate Contributing Editor. Lambert is an English / Language Arts teacher in Connecticut (Reprint from Education World)

In the new age of technology and the push for 21st century skills in our classrooms, it’s easy for teachers to feel intimidated. New tech appears every day, but “new” tech doesn’t always mean “better” tech. How do we sort through it all? On top of that, much of this new tech requires resources and funding that might not yet be available to school districts. Math teachers, in particular, face a challenging task of wanting to integrate computer literacy, while still teaching and supporting many of the foundational skills for math work. Students often need to show their work, which, without tablets, can be a challenge on a digital forum. The wide variety of math software available on the market today tends to require a separate type of literacy altogether, which can be both tough to learn and time-intensive. Khan has been revolutionary in differentiating math learning, supplying both video lessons and a vast amount of practice for students, easily monitored and facilitated by teachers. 

However, what about interactive, manipulatable math tools that support learning? Where are the digital math support programs that can assist in math learning, as opposed to outsourcing the direct teaching to the device? More importantly, can our students access them without pricey licensing fees, new hardware, or complicated apps? Today, Education World shares three free easy-to-use sites that assist math learning in the teacher-facilitated modern classroom.

 

1.  Desmos

Not only does Desmos provide free online four-function, scientific, and graphing calculators for student use (no more losing your calculator), it carries a wide variety of full interactive—almost game-like—lessons. Providing nothing more than your email, Desmos allows teachers to Read the remainder of this entry »

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A 12-Credit Online Graduate Certificate Program

Posted March 18, 2017 By Lee Learson

The University of Connecticut (UConn) A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD), in partnership with the UConn School of Medicine Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, is offering an online graduate-level Disability Studies in Public Health Online Graduate Certificate.

Program Description:

The Disability Studies in Public Health program examines the multiple aspects of public health, health care, society, culture, politics, economics, history, legislation, education, and social attitudes that impact people living with disabilities. The 4 courses (3-credits each) that comprise the Disability in Public Health program (12-credits total) are:

  • Foundations of Public Health and Disability
  • Epidemiology of Disability
  • Disability Law, Policy, Ethics, and Advocacy
  • Public Health Interventions in Disability

As an online program, the Disability Studies in Public Health courses are offered year-round, and the full, 12-credit program can be completed in as little as one year. Students must earn Read the remainder of this entry »

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App Ed Review Roundup: Multicultural Apps and a Website

Posted March 10, 2017 By Lee Learson

by Todd & Alex from AppEdReview (reprint from EmergingEdTech)

Open Your Students up to a new Perspective With These Multicultural App Experiences

Multicultural EdTech may not get as much attention as some other topics in the field, but developers have created some really innovative apps and websites to engage students in this topic. In our communities, we have so much diversity and recognizing it in our classroom can be a powerful learning experience for our students. The challenge, however, can be that teachers may need support regarding how to use EdTech for those purposes. With that in mind, we sorted through our review database and identified three apps and a website that directly engage this topic and that teachers can use easily! Read the remainder of this entry »

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Visual and Audio Cookbooks!

Posted February 13, 2017 By Lee Learson

Cooking is a fun and practical activity for everyone and an opportunity to not only increase independence, but also to put basic academic skills to use in a functional way. Determining what is needed, obtaining the ingredients and following directions to put it together are all important steps.

It not only allows individuals to be more independent, it also gives them an opportunity to put other skills like shopping and basic math to practical use. Using these skills in a real life situation, like cooking, can build self-confidence and self-reliance. And it’s fun! There will be spills and general messiness but the end result is worth it (and tasty too!).  

The following are some wonderful visual and audio cookbooks and links to on-line recipes to help you get you started. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Reprinted from AbleGamers Charity

We utilize fun to bring inclusion and improved quality of life for people with disabilities through the power of video games. 

With a combination of technologies such as mouth controllers, eye gaze, and special custokids playing video game mized controllers, we find a way for people to play video games no matter their disability. When our accessibility experts give assessments to determine the right set of equipment for each individual, we’re using the latest, bleeding edge technology to bridge the gap between ability and desire.

How We’re Making Fun… Read the remainder of this entry »

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Hearing Aid Comparison Guide

Posted January 27, 2017 By Lee Learson

If you, a family member or someone you know is considering hearing aids, where to start is often daunting. Consumer Affairs* (www.consumeraffairs.com ) has recently published a consumer resource about the Best Hearing Aids for 2017. The guide includes brand comparisons, important features, different types and hundreds of verified consumer reviews.

Over 36 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss, and hearing aids – small sound amplification devices worn inside or around a person’s ear – are one of the most common ways people manage it. Today, the need for hearing aids is growing as more people are diagnosed with hearing loss each year.

 While there are many types of hearing aids and many causes of hearing loss, the purpose of a hearing aid is always the same: to amplify sound and improve the wearer’s quality of life. Hearing aids can vary in placement, features and pricing. The guide does a good job of comparing these products. The reviews from consumers and experts are useful, informative and a good resource as you begin to investigate the possibilities in this expanding market.

 *Please note that Consumer Affairs is not a government agency and charges a fee to companies to become accredited.

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