Resources Archive

Searching Apps Made Fast and Easy

Posted December 7, 2017 By Lee Learson

Knicket is a filter and tag based app search engine that enables the user to find the best apps and games in the app jungle. It works with an asynchronous database to provide a near real-time search experience. Knicket allows you to search the app world in depth, before downloading or purchasing an app.

This search engine allows you to choose iPhone, Android or iPad and then you select your search term such as “word prediction” or “AAC”. It can further refine the results by cost or specific tags such as “education” or “learning tool”. Knicket also allows you to search in different languages!

Looking for autism apps? try https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/autism-apps/id441600681?mt=8 . This is an app that lets you search for other apps. It offers  specific categories such as “AAC” or “cause and effect” but it also lets you type your own search terms.

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Visual and Audio Cookbooks

Posted December 5, 2017 By Lee Learson

Looking for last minute gift ideas? 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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Home Mods! Ideas, Resources & Funding

Posted November 21, 2017 By Lee Learson

Reprint From Home Advisor

Every year, more Americans living with disabilities are able to call themselves homeowners. Thanks to support and legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), having a home to call one’s own is now an achievable dream for more people than ever before. For many individuals, purchasing a home is only half the battle, since the nature of someone’s disability can impact many areas of life – including the way he or she accesses, maneuvers through, and enjoys activities at home.

That’s where the option of home modification comes into play. Whether you love the house you’re currently in or have plans to build a home that’s more accommodating to your disability, there are many different home modifications you can choose to implement. If you have stairs in your household but depend on the use of a wheelchair, a beneficial modification might be a chairlift. If a family member is blind, it might be useful to install grab bars in the shower. Or if you have a child with a mental disability, you may be able to better protect him or her from illness or injury by installing locks on cabinet doors that hold harmful chemical cleaners.

While renters have the responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to tenants with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act, many homeowners with disabilities can’t afford these expenses out-of-pocket. But did you know that there are many different national programs whose mission it is to provide you with a safe, comfortable home by donating grants to those in need? Furthermore, most states also have local programs for easing the financial burden of installing home modifications, or even building a new home that meets the needs of all of its occupants.

This guide is designed to provide information on many of the available grants to improve your quality of life at home. You will find grants that are intended for all kinds of recipients, whether your disability is one you were born with or the result of a previous medical condition. You will find information on nationwide and state specific programs, as well as suggestions on what modifications may be the most rewarding for you. Read the remainder of this entry »

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New App Wheels From CALL Scotland

Posted October 31, 2017 By Lee Learson

CALL Scotland has just released new and updated App Wheels. Separate app wheels for iPad and Android users are available on their website and they’re free!

The ‘Wheel of Apps’ are not comprehensive, but attempt to identify relevant, useful apps and to categorize them according to difficulties faced by people with learning and communication disabilities. Note that some apps address a range of difficulties. To save space, they have not placed individual apps into multiple categories, but have listed them under a single category that is particularly relevant to the app. Links on the electronic version are ‘clickable’ and will take you to iTunes, where you can find out more about the individual apps.

Their newest additions for iPad users are: Read the remainder of this entry »

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The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) released four resources for special education teachers, administrators and advocates.

Educators Experiences With and Attitudes Towards Accessibility Features and Accommodations explores results of a survey about educators’ familiarity with and attitudes toward accessibility features and accommodations. Most respondents reported that they work with students who use accessibility accommodations, which they believe to have a positive impact on educational outcomes.

NCEO State Surveys: 2016 Survey of States: State Activities Amid Evolving Educational Policies provides a snapshot of the new initiatives, trends, accomplishments, and emerging issues during a period of new education laws and initiatives. States addressed the need for inclusive assessments while facing requirements for assessments and accountability.

Forum on Text Readers for Everyone on All Tests: Getting a Handle on What This Means reports on a forum that brought together state departments of education, school districts, testing and testing-related companies, and other educational organizations to discuss the availability of text readers for everyone on tests, the differences in terminology for text readers, ways to develop common language around text readers, and the challenges associated.

NCEO Brief: Meeting the Needs of ELs with Disabilities in Your State: Making EL Exit Decisions (#13) highlights the numbers and characteristics of English learners (EL) with disabilities and current decision-making processes for exiting these students from EL services. It provides recommendations for states as they support districts and schools in making appropriate exit decisions for ELs with disabilities.

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The Center on Technology and Disability has a new resource paper out on selecting assistive technology with students and young adults. This resource helps families to get teens and young adults involved in learning about and selecting assistive technology. An important goal for older students is to understand the areas in which technology can support them in their educational and employment goals. This enables students to advocate for themselves, and to take an active role in selecting assistive technology to address their needs.  This is a downloadable resource on the CTD website  .

The CTD website has a great library of resources including Early Childhood, Education K-12, Student & Family Support, Transition and State & Local Resources!

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A New Free E-Book from Make Beliefs Comix

Posted June 14, 2017 By Lee Learson

“Plant Your Dream Seeds: A Way to Grow Hope in Your Life” can be used by students to express in writing their deepest and hopes and dreams. This book of writing prompts is the latest addition to the interactive books section of MakeBeliefsComix.com and can be downloaded at: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/eBooks/  Just click on the cover.

On its pages students will find writing prompts to help them think about the important things that they want to see happen in their lives.  By filling in the pages they will be able to 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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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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