Please note: Being listed here is not per se an endorsement of any particular site or email list. I have included annotations for those sites or lists that I am familiar with and strongly recommend.
A useful site for info on assistive technology is LINC (Learning Independence
through Computers) - http://www.linc.org.
Their guide to assistive technology can be found at
The Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) is comprised of networks of
community-based Resource Centers, Developers and Vendors, Affiliates, Associates
dedicated to providing information and support services to children and adults
with disabilities, and increasing their use of standard, assistive, and
information technologies. These ATA Members can be found all across the country.
This site has a lot of useful information.
Another good site for assistive technology is the Assistive Technology
Training Online Project (ATTO) at the State University of New York, University
Assistive Technology Evaluation Guide For Students with Learning Disabilities - this guide offers several tools to assist with the evaluation process: a form listing areas to be considered, a list of critical questions for consideration, plus a quick guide to No Tech/Low Tech/High Tech materials, equipment and technology tools. (NOTE: PDF format only - you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader Software to download and print.) http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/technology/evaluation.pdf
Considering Your Child's Need for Assistive Technology by Gayl Bowser and
Penny Reed. Written for parents, but also useful for teachers.
An interesting article on using Adobe Acrobat as assistive technology
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS),
Library of Congress, administers a free library program of Braille & recorded
materials circulated to eligible borrowers through a network of cooperating
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, has a 77,000-title library of taped
textbooks, reference and professional materials for people who cannot read
standard print because of a disability. Anyone with a documented
disability—including a visual impairment, learning disability or other physical
disability which makes reading standard print difficult or impossible—is
eligible to use RFB&D's taped textbooks but in order to access our library, you
need to become a member. The cost of an individual membership is $25 per year,
plus a registration fee of $50.
Bookshare.org is an online community that allows people with visual
disabilities to legally download over 10,000 copyrighted books in accessible
formats. Books from Bookshare.org contain the full text of the book (not
pre-recorded audio) that can be read with the adaptive technology of the
reader's choice. A talking software application is included with membership,
providing members with one option for reading the books. Books are also
available in contracted digital Braille.
BookCourier is a portable tool for listening to electronic text, voice files,
and music by downloading files from your PC or the Internet
using the supplied transfer software. BookCourier includes a
built-in MP3 player; a built-in voice recorder; bookmarks, jumps, and other
navigation controls; a built-in alarm, sleep timer, clock, and calendar; plus
controls for adjusting volume, reading speed, and more.
Help Read is a free text reader that reads web pages and other text files out
Another free text reader, ReadPlease, includes a "reading toolbar" for
IBM Home Page Reader isn't free, but there is a 30 day free trial
Ray Kurzweil created the first reading machine for the blind, back in the
'70s. The company produces advanced reading and scanning software.
WeMedia has produced a talking web
browser which you can download for free. The WeMedia Talking Browser is the
actual browser through which you surf the Net. Complete with large buttons and
keystroke commands for easy navigation, the browser 'speaks' the text you select
within the browser.
Windows XP has some text-to-speech capabilities built in. For
information on how to implement them, see
Accessify.com is a good source of information on making websites accessible.
They have a list of screen readers at
LiveInk is a system that takes text and converts it to short formatted lines
to make it more readable - this can be especially helpful for people who
have vision problems involving saccades difficulties and can't read across a
line of text. There are also CDs of preformatted books, including
children's literature and the King James Bible.
The Sequential Spelling program from AVKO system is supposed to be helpful
for dyslexic children
Many children on 504 plans or IEPs end up using Alphasmarts to keyboard
instead of handwriting. Alphasmart recently added the
DANA to it's line-up
- it's basically an Alphasmart that also has the Palm OS, making it more
versatile - especially for middle school and high school students, who can
benefit from having a schedule program available. Alphasmarts and DANAs
are less expensive and lighter than laptop computers.
Earobics is a program that some people have found helpful for their kids with
Fast ForWord is another program that some people have found helpful for
remediating CAPD. It is more expensive than Earobics and usually
administered in by an audiologist, but some parents have gotten trained to
do it themselves at reduced cost.
Sites with Further Information
Joanna Leong and Punit Jain have put together a list of toys that can help
children work on their perceptual and motor abilities.
Here are some commercial sites that people have found helpful. Being listed here is not to be taken as being a specific endorsement of any of these organizations or their products/services.
Davis Dyslexia Association International has a method that is geared towards
visual-spatial learners with reading problems
Don Johnston Products: Products fall into two basic categories: Solutions for
Students with Disabilities and Reading and Writing Solutions for Struggling
Educators Publishing Service: publishes books and workbooks for students from
kindergarten through high school, including Wordly Wise, Explode The Code,
Future Horizons: Autism/PDD books, conferences, tapes
Gaining Face is a software program to help people with autism-spectrum
disorders and similar issues learn to recognize facial expressions
Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes: Some people have found the Lindamood-Bell
program very helpful for their dyslexic kids.
Pocket Full of Therapy: OT supplies for pediatric and school-based therapy
products and toys
Super Duper Publications publishes and distributes fun, colorful materials
for speech-language pathologists, special educators, teachers, parents, and
caregivers in educational, home and health care settings.
Wilson Language Training is another program some people have found helpful
for kids with dyslexia
"Children require guidance and sympathy far more than
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Meredith G. Warshaw