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AAC courses in Scotland, in March 2015 - book now!

By Sally Millar on Thursday 22nd January, 2015 at 3:39pm

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Good news for AAC folk - there are TWO upcoming courses  - in March 2015 - that promise be not only valuable and interesting but also FREE!

  • Liberator AAC Awareness Day: 27th March, Kilmarnock
  • One-day PODD Training:  31st March, Alloa Campus, Forth Valley College

Book early to be sure to get a place!

Flip across to the AAC Scotland website right now to get the full information and links to booking form etc.


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TeeJay books are available on the Books for All Database again

By Paul Nisbet on Tuesday 13th January, 2015 at 10:59am

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Following the incident where a TeeJay book was found available on the internet (see the 7 January blog post), we have modified the wording of the Books for All Database records and we hope that it is clearer and encourages staff to read and understand the terms and conditions.

Tom Strang at TeeJay is happy with the wording and so we have made the TeeJay books available once again. We are very grateful to Tom for his understanding and for allowing us to share his publications, free of charge, so that learners with print disabilities can access them.

You can see all the TeeJay books by clicking here

This is the arrangement:

These accessible copies are made available under the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency Print Disability Licence to be used only by a learner who is visually impaired or otherwise disabled and by reason of such visual impairment or disability is unable to read or access the original printed book.

Under the terms of the licence you must download or obtain an accessible copy for each learner who needs one. All learners must have a print disability.

By downloading this book I confirm that:

  • I am downloading this book for a learner with a print disability.  I will not supply the book to learners who do not have a print disability.  I will not upload the book to the internet for public access.  
  • I understand that I am legally responsible for the file and for its usage.  
  • I agree to the Books for All Database Terms and Conditions.

Books for All Database Licence Conditions for TeeJay Books

  • The user of this Accessible Digital Copy must have legal access to a print copy of the book, bought either for personal use or as part of a class set.
  • The Accessible Digital Copy should be deleted once the pupil has completed the course for which it was supplied.



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Wot? No TeeJay Books?

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 9th January, 2015 at 3:17pm

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You may have found that the TeeJay maths PDFs are not on the Books for All database any more. We have temporarily removed them because just before Christmas one of the files appeared on Wikispaces, freely downloadable, and this is not permitted under the agreement we have with TeeJay.

We are discussing how we can prevent this from happening with TeeJay and once we have a solution we hope to have them available again soon.

This emphasises how important it is to abide by the Books for All terms and conditions and to ensure that the files are only provided for learners with print disabilities. If we collectively don't protect the publishers' rights and property, they won't let us share their files. 

Watch this space - we'll let you know when they are available again.


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New resource - Accessing Books - A Guide for Dyslexic Adults

By Stuart Aitken on Friday 9th January, 2015 at 1:13pm

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A new free resource book on dyslexia is available. Although written mainly for adults who have dyslexia it may be of interest to a more general audience that includes parents of children with dyslexia.

Written anonymously by an adult who has dyslexia it takes a holistic approach to reading. It describes skills, alternative formats (large print sources, audio source, audiobook sources etc.) and dyslexia friendly options,  Also, it considers why an adult might want to engage with books (benefits, strategies), the position regarding copyright and more.

The resource uses a font that is readable with good size and line spacing and sections that are  split into manageable chunks. A 3-page synopsis is included as an Appendix. For those who prefer a more visual approach a spider diagram is also provided to  guide people to the relevant section of interest.  

Additional information provided to us by the author -

‘Accessing Books - A Guide for Dyslexic Adults’ is a free resource which:

  • explores various options that dyslexics can use to succeed with books;
  • provides tips, ideas and information; and
  •  is written by a dyslexic adult

Downloading the guide

The guide is available to download in PDF from one of these three options:   

  2. Download from Google Drive
  3. WordPress blogpost​ - then click on the text at end of post ‘Accessing Books – A Guide for Dyslexic Adults’ 

As some may find an online or digital copy difficult to use you are free to print the downloaded guide or any part of it.

Members of Dyslexia Scotland can borrow a paper copy (including a CD). 

Non-members can consult it at the Dyslexia Scotland Resource Centre.

Dyslexia Scotland Resource Centre
Dyslexia Scotland
2nd floor - East Suite
Wallace House
17 - 21 Maxwell Place
Stirling FK8 1JU
Tel. 01786 44 66 50



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Digital Exams in New Zealand

By Paul Nisbet on Tuesday 6th January, 2015 at 9:48am

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Back in 2006 Naomi and Ross Forrester from Speaking Solutions in New Zealand visited us to find out about digital exams. Naomi and Ross are experts in speech recognition and digital tools to support learners with disabilities and difficulties. Since then they have been working with Louise Oliphant at Auckland's Sacred Heart College to introduce digital assessments and examinations and Naomi sent me a copy of an article published in the New Zealand Interface magazine, which makes interesting reading.

The school are now using digital exams and assessments for students who would normally require a reader and/or writer and have found that the students achieve similar grades to their mainstream counterparts. They are at the point where they can hold multilevel assessments for more than 30 students in one room with 2 invigilators and this gives an 80% saving to the school in terms of wages, room costs and administration. The article notes that "the results from digital examinations have been astounding" and digital exams are regarded as a "fair and equal way of testing their abilities". The article gives an example of using digital maths papers, where students use text-to-speech to read the questions and handwrite their answers, and points out that this tests "knowledge of mathematics rather than whether a candidate could read the questions."

The article concludes that "Overwhelmingly, the research and experience at Sacred Heart College demonstrates that all students – not just those who have special learning needs – should be extended the opportunity to choose a digital format as an option to complete examinations, thus expressing true subject competency, rather than their ability to read and write.​"

Great to hear about digital assessments and exams having a positive impact on the other side of the world.



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How to speak to an Android

By Craig Mill on Monday 15th December, 2014 at 3:59pm

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Voice personal assistants are becoming increasingly popular with the rise of Apple’s Siri and Android’s Google Now. 

Siri and Google Now have a lot of features in common, such as location services, e.g. asking for the nearest restaurant, setting up calendar events and reminders, searching for personal contacts, launching apps, playing music and so forth, and both rely on a strong Wi-Fi connection in order to search and collate information. The Android TipBot blog provides a full list of Google voice commands.   

Voice Searches with Siri and Google Now

Siri and Google Now will both respond to questions such as ‘What is the capital of Scotland?’,’ ‘What is the population of Scotland?’ and if the appropriate Settings are activated, both will reply with a combination of text and spoken answers, offering multi-sensory feedback.  

Google Voice Search

Where Siri and Google Now differ is the source they use to compute answers and provide knowledge, i.e. Siri relies on Wolfram Alpha (a computational knowledge engine – as opposed to a ‘search engine’). Google Now gathers information using its famous search engine compiling answers into the Google Card format; combining text and images (as well as voice feedback) laid out in a series of categories (which can be customised), e.g., weather, temperature, places to stay, local restaurants etc. 

Google Card example

A benefit of Siri is that you only need to press and hold the Home button and Siri jumps into action (or by tapping the microphone icon on the on-screen keyboard), assuming you have an iPad 3rd Generation or later. 

However, things aren’t so straight forward on Android as much will depend on the version of Android operating system (OS) (Jelly Bean, KitKat etc) that’s installed on your mobile device. Since there are so many manufacturers that use Google Android's OS the implementation and updates can and do vary significantly, i.e. Samsung, Asus, LG, Sony etc. Even when Google announces a new updated Android OS, some devices may never receive the update. 

On a positive note, the Google Play Store offers a number of apps that can be downloaded for free which can help to overcome some of the issues described above. The Google Now Launcher app integrates into the Android operating system so you can access the search features from anywhere on the device by tapping the Google Now/Search microphone icon. Similarly the voice command, ‘OK Google’ will also stir Google search into life. The Google Chrome web app also offers voice searches from within the URL form field or from within the search box.

Hey Google example

Google Voice Typing 

But both Siri and Google Now go beyond doing web searches and voice commands (or even asking funny or unusual questions such as 'Why did Apple make you?) and can be used for dictating text directly into word processing apps, such as Notes or Pages (for the iOS) or Google Docs, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft OneNote, Office Suite etc.for Android. 

Google Voice Type with Google Docs

Google Voice Type with Microsoft Onenote

In the case of the iPad, the microphone icon (Siri) is integrated in to the iPad’s default on-screen keyboard. Google Voice Typing, the Android’s version of speech recognition requires a few steps to set up before you can start using it, but once it’s ready to go Google Voice Typing is every bit as impressive (if not more) as Siri.   

Setting up Google Voice Typing 

The process for setting up Google Voice Typing may differ between device and operating system but hopefully the following steps should help. On some devices you may be prompted to set up Google Play Services which is used to update Google apps and Google Play. 

On newer Android devices Google Voice Typing may be set and ready to go as default. 

1.    Tap the Settings icon, 

2.    Under ‘Personal’ tap Language and input,

3.    Tap Google voice typing. Check in settings (to the right hand side) for additional features and options. 

Setting up Google Voice Type

Depending on the keyboard you’re using will determine how Google Voice Typing (indicated with a microphone icon) is accessed. I would recommend you use the default Google Keyboard (the icon is located on the far right hand side of the keyboard) which also features word prediction as standard. 

To correct any errors or wrongly pronounced words you can either delete the word and repeat it or simply go back to keyboard mode and make corrections with the keyboard.


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Create your PDF prelims, assessments, worksheets and activities on your iPad!

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 12th December, 2014 at 5:36pm

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Previously if you wanted to create an interactive digital prelim, assessment or other resource with answer boxes on screen, you had to use Adobe Acrobat Pro, which costs around about £60 per license under a special licensing arrangement from Education Scotland. Even though this is a very good deal (the full commercial rate for Acrobat Pro is £440), some staff have commented that it is a significant outlay for each department in a school to buy a copy. 

However, there are now some alternatives to Acrobat Pro that are worth considering. I'll outline the Windows software options in a blog next week, and today I want to introduce PDF Office, which is a brand new app that lets you create digital question papers and prelims on your iPad!

DF Office lets you open a PDF, do small edits to the text and add drawings and other annotations, and most importantly, you can insert form fields for answer boxes. There is a form field detection feature that adds fields automatically for you. In testing on my standard prelim paper, I found that it works very well: it even detected the difference between a field where I wanted a tick box, and other fields where I wanted text boxes. (This is better than Acrobat, which puts text boxes into tick box fields that you then have to delete.)

You can change the properties of the fields to make them look like the SQA Digital Question papers, i.e. red borders, multi-line where necessary. I couldn't find a way to select all the fields in the whole paper to make these changes once, but it was easy to select all the fields on one page and set the properties for that page.

You can draw in fields for text, tick boxes, numbers, date, radio buttons, action buttons (e.g. send by email), drop-down lists, and image fields for users to insert photos from the camera. You can tap on a field and duplicate it, which gives a faster way of inserting fields.  

You would want to use a stylus rather than your finger, to get accurate positioning (although it 'snaps' to other fields that keeps things nicely aligned), and I actually found it slightly easier and quicker than using a mouse on a computer.

The completed PDFs can be accessed and completed by students on iPad using apps like Adobe Reader, ClaroPDF and PDF Expert, or on a computer with Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader.

Cost? The app is free, but to use it you need a subscription which is quoted at $4.99/month or $39.99/year. However, when I installed it, it gave me a free year's subscription for nothing because I already had PDF Expert, one of Readdle's other apps, on my iPad. PDF Expert costs £6.99, so for just £6.99 you can get both PDF Expert, which is an excellent tool for reading and managing PDFs, and a year's worth of making digital prelims and resources on your iPad!


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iVona MiniReader and MS Word - keyboard shortcuts

By Stuart Aitken on Wednesday 10th December, 2014 at 4:48pm

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Many pupils are now using iVona MiniReader as their main text-to-speech tool in Scottish schools. One question has come up a couple of times and it came up again in today's SQA ICT & Literacy Seminar (URL).

iVona MiniReader with Play button

Today's question was how to use iVona to read out a National Literacy 3 or 4 exemplar paper using only the keyboard. The N3 and N4 papers are available in MS Word. So we are considering iVona working with MS Word keyboard shortcuts. (PDF has different keyboard shortcuts not covered in this blog.)

Pressing Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar isn't a problem for pupils who can find the word, phrase, sentence to speak! 

But what if the pupil has dyspraxia, or a physical disability or, say, a visual impairment  that makes it difficult to i) locate the chunk of text to be spoken, and ii) to then navigate to that Play button in order to press it? 

Become a Power user!

Often referred to as Power users, keyboard users also have a trick available. It uses Extend mode, F8 (Function key 8).​


We'll cover three scenarios.

  1. Pupils who can independently find the first word to be spoken.
  2.     Pupils who need to use the keyboard to find the first word or phrase to be spoken.
  3.     Pupils who can only press one key at a time.

1. Pupils who can independently find the first word to be spoken

  1. Open the Word document, launch iVona MiniReader.
  2. Position cursor (blinking) somewhere in the first word to be spoken.
  3. Press F8 once to turn it on. Press again to select the whole word.
  4. (Optional) To select the whole sentence to be read, press F8 a second time.
  5. (Optional) To select the whole paragraph to be read, press F8 a third time.
  6. Press Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar to speak the word, sentence or paragraph.
  7. To deselect the word, sentence or paragraph, press Esc, followed by an arrow key.

2. Pupils who need to use the keyboard to find the first word or phrase to be spoken

  1. Open your Word document and launch iVona MiniReader
  2. Press Ctrl+F to find the first word or phrase to be spoken - this opens the Find pane. Type in the word or phrase to be found.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Use the arrow key to highlight the box containing the word or phrase.
  5. (Optional) To select the whole sentence to be read, press F8 a second time - may need three presses.
  6. (Optional) To select the whole paragraph to be read, press F8 a third time - may need four presses.
  7. Press Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar to speak the word or phrase found (iVona actually speaks it from the Word document itself rather than from the pane - clever!).
  8. To deselect the word, sentence or paragraph, press Esc, followed by an arrow key.

To close the Find pane - some pupils may find it distracting or it may take up too much space on the screen

  1. With the cursor (blinking) in the Find pane somewhere.

  2. Press Ctrl+Spacebar then W.

3. ​For pupils who can only press one key at a time

Use Sticky Keys

  1. To activate Sticky Keys press Windows key +U > Make the keyboard easier to use > Turn on Sticky keys.
  2. It is now possible to press keyboard combinations by pressing one key, then the next etc. Each key will 'stick' e.g. Ctrl then Shift then Spacebar has the same effect as pressing Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar together.

The document Extend Selection Shortcuts Word is a slightly edited version of those listed under Microsoft Word 2010 Help - which of course can be accessed by pressing the F1 key. 


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Free symbol goodies

By Sally Millar on Monday 1st December, 2014 at 9:31am

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If you're looking for quick-to-make Winter / Christmas activities, check out the free downloadable symbol supported worksheets, from Widgit .



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New in iOS 8

By Craig Mill on Thursday 27th November, 2014 at 2:05pm

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The latest iOS, (iOS 8) for iPhones and iPads, features new Accessibility options as well as a few enhancements to existing tools.  

These include:


QuickType is a new context-based word prediction feature for the iPad’s built-in on-screen keyboard. To set up QuickType go to Settings, General, Keyboard and switch on Predictive.  When you start typing in Notes or Pages QuickType will recommend your next word based on your writing style and past messages, which appear at the top of the keyboard. QuickType can also be used in combination with Switch Control.

QuickType with word prediction

Third-party keyboards

As well as the iPad’s default on-screen keyboard you can now use additional 3rd party keyboard apps, such as Keedogo Plus, Swype, Flesky, Ginger Keyboard + Page and SuperKeys – see Allan’s blog post on SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard App. These keyboards can be used in Pages, Keynote, Notes and other text-based apps that make use of the iOS keyboard.  A benefit of using integrated keyboards is that pupils do not need to ‘Send to’ or ‘Copy’ text between different apps, thereby making the workflow process much simpler.  

Keedogo plus


As well as the existing tools in Vision i.e. Full Screen Zoom (Double-tap three fingers to zoom etc.) a new feature, Window Zoom, allows users to magnify parts of the screen by moving the magnification window with a small handle situated at the bottom of the Zoom Window. Positioning can also be controlled with a new feature ‘Show Controller’ allowing you to control or specify which part of the screen is magnified and to adjust the level of the zoom. The Zoom Window can also be resized to suit different needs.  

Zoom Window

Follow Focus and Zoom Keyboard

Another addition to iOS 8 and Vision is Follow Focus and Zoom Keyboard. Follow Focus tracks the text wherever the cursor is placed when typing which is particularly useful if a document is magnified at high zoom. With Zoom Keyboard you can set the on-screen keyboard to the default size underneath a magnified window (and/or Double-tap three fingers to magnify the keyboard)  thereby making it easy to both type and see what you’re typing without having to continuously zoom in and out of different sections of the screen.

Speak Screen

By far my most favourite new addition is Speak Screen which can be found in Accessibility, Speech and Speak Screen. Once Speak Screen is turned on a simple ‘swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen’ will activate the Speak Screen bar, similar to the illustration below:

Speak Screen in iOS 8

Speak Screen will read anything where there is content on the screen such as text in Safari, Pages, Kindle Books and queries asked of Siri.

Guided Access

Guided Access is designed to keep pupils on task by ‘locking’ them into a specified app. A new feature in Guided Access is setting time limits so teachers and parents can stipulate the length of time Guided Access is to be used. This could be useful for setting timed reading/writing activities with a ‘you can play a game now ’reward (which could also be timed) after the time limit has expired.  

Enhanced Braille Keyboard

iOS 8 adds support for 6-dot and 8 dot Braille input system-wide in combination with VoiceOver. This feature involves a dedicated Braille keyboard that will translate 6-dot and 8 dot chords into text and can be used for searching apps via Spotlight Search or in Pages, Notes etc. A useful video tutorial can be found on the Luis Perez YouTube Channel.

To find out more on iOS 8 watch the CALL Live webinar on ‘What’s new in iOS 8’ which explains how to add and select 3rd party keyboards and make the most of the new tools and features.  


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CALL Archived Webinars

By Craig Mill on Thursday 20th November, 2014 at 3:19pm

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There are now almost 30 recorded webinars available to view on the CALL Scotland webinar archive. So if you’re looking for some additional Professional Learning to update your skills and knowledge or would simply like to find out about technology to support pupils with additional needs, the CALL Webinar Archive is a great place to find out more.

Webinars include finding out how to download and use books from the Books for All database on computers and iPads, making the most of communication apps, National Literacy Assessments, Digital Exams and much more!

Example of a CALL Scotland webinar

Snapshot of a CALL webinar focusing on Books for All
















You can watch a preview of a recent webinar. Webinars tend to last for about 20 - 30 minutes and can be viewed on a computer via an internet connection.

To find out more and browse through the list of archived webinars visit the CALL Webinar Archive.  

Alternatively, if you would like to join a ‘live’ webinar visit the Professional Learning section of the CALL web site to see the list of forthcoming webinars. 


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Supporting Writing Difficulties a practical guide from CALL Scotland

By Craig Mill on Tuesday 18th November, 2014 at 3:50pm

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I have a child with writing difficulties. What could help?

CALL Scotland is pleased to announce the release of a new resource; 'Supporting Writing Difficulties, A Practical Guide’. This is a step-by-step guide in the form of a question and answer ‘checklist’ helping  you to  identify problems and suggesting a range of practical technology focused solutions to support pupils with writing difficulties.  The guide is presented as an ‘infograph’ that can be displayed on the wall as a prompt for staff, as well as filed as part of an individual pupil’s Action Plan.

Supporting Writing Difficulties Infograph

The guide is primarily aimed at Teachers, Support for Learning Teachers and ICT Coordinators but should ideally be implemented as part of a whole school / local authority approach, and incorporating liaison with other appropriate support agencies and specialists.

Based on eight circular ‘headings’, the guide methodically guides the teacher through an initial process of identification, i.e. ‘the pupil appears reluctant to write’ to a series of ‘have you tried?’ suggestions about possible approaches and technologies to improve opportunities for children who are struggling with handwriting.

This problem-solving guide explores the following areas/issues:

  • Identifying the problems, gathering information, team approach
  • Identifying problems with physical handwriting using a pencil/pen
  • Have you tried? (examples of low tech/practical solutions)
  • Have you tried a computer, tablet or keyboard adaptation?
  • Have you tried customising the screen and computer settings?
  • Have you tried supportive software?
  • Have you tried different access methods?
  • Working in partnership with parents and professionals

A range of comprehensive hints, tips and lists of possible solutions are provided through each stage including freely available and/or built-in options such as changing font styles, background colours to more high tech solutions such as word prediction software and digital scanning pens, and alternative access methods.

CALL Scotland’s Supporting Writing Difficulties guide is available as a free download in two formats, a digital version which has clickable links to online resources, and a printable version.

Download the digital (with links) infograph guide

Download the printable infograph guide

Although this is a ‘generic’ guide, the content and format of the infograph can (at CALL's discretion), be modified and adapted to reflect the processes and procedures of particular local authorities. Please contact CALL if you would like to explore that idea on behalf of a local authority in Scotland.


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Meeting CfE outcomes using AAC

By Joanna Courtney on Wednesday 5th November, 2014 at 4:11pm

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Do these sound familiar?

In everyday activity and play, I explore and make choices to develop my learning and interests. I am encouraged to use and share my experiences. HWB 0-19a

I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations. HWB 0-14a

​Yes, that's right, they're Early Level Curricular Health and wellbeing outcomes from Curriculum for Excellence.

Now, how do we try to meet these particular outcomes for those pupils using AAC?

Well, you could try using some of the activities from CALL's Keep Talking Book, in particular the 'Communication Friends Groups' activities like

Show and Tell Photos

In this game the pupils show a special photo to a group of friends and answer questions about it using their Talker. They can then find out more about their friends’ photos by asking them some questions too.

Have fun and Keep Talking!



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Free Sensory Light Box activities!

By Joanna Courtney on Wednesday 5th November, 2014 at 11:16am

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There is a great 'cause and effect level' iPad app called 'Cause and Effect Sensory Light Box,' which costs £1.99 from the App Store. It's a lovely early level app for those who are beginning to interact with a touch screen.

It would also be very nice projected from the iPad onto a whiteboard or similar to help create a variety of sensory environments.

However, it just got even better...

You can now download a PC or Mac version for your computer FREE from SEN Teacher!

Download here 

So you can now use the activities on your Touch screen computer or with your Eye Gaze systems, free of charge!

This will make a welcome addition to your suite of Eye Gaze resources and sit nicely at the 'Sensory' level of the Eye Gaze Learning Curve.

So go on, download it and try it out with your eye gaze users and check out the app for your iPads too!

N.B. When using on the computer, always remember to try out the activities with a mouse yourself first, so that you know what the correct mouse emulation setting is for eye gaze e.g. mouse over, left click or click and drag




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App for AAC assessment?

By Sally Millar on Tuesday 4th November, 2014 at 11:14am

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Sandra at Logan Technologies (who sell a range of iPad accessories including customised keyguards) challenged me this week by asking if there was an App for AAC assessment. Here is the information that I passed on to her - but if anyone out there knows more about possible AAC assessment tools on iPad, then let's hear it, please?

We need to be clear  - apps are no substitute for a full assessment by a speech and language therapist  / AAC specialist! - they are only potentially useful additional tools.

The app AAC Evaluation Genie  (£7.99) is a helpful tool to evaluate certain aspects of function, relevant to AAC: visual perception & discrimination (broad brush only); accuracy of targeting of different numbers and sizes of targets on screen; and some early vocabulary, basic concepts, and categorisation skills. It is also designed to be switch accessible and to allow evaluation of three common scan patterns, and a range of scan timings, from within the app.

           Later sections of the app focus specifically on Pixon symbols and the Unity vocabulary, so may not be relevant for all, although these could be used to explore the general ability to learn to 'decode' more abstract representations. The final sections look at putting together symbol choices from a grid, to describe a picture, and word recognition / picture matching (to determine whether text/word prediction could be considered as an AAC medium), so the app covers a huge range of skill levels.

The AAC Evaluation Genie is a far cry from being a full AAC assessment. It certainly is not 'diagnostic' nor does it aim to 'prescribe' which AAC system or device is most appropriate, but just informally supports AAC specialists in evaluating a number of relevant skill areas.

The app is easy to use and the 'Settings' allow you to select which skill areas you want to turn off, or on, for testing. The user interface is very clear and uncluttered, and the picture quality is good (and by and large suitable for both child and adult users) - though American. Correct responses get a mini tinkle of fairy bells, while incorrect responses just move on silently.

The app also collects full data of the users responses and can be printed out (or saved as a screen shot)

There is a little video that illustrates it well. Reviews are available.


There is a 'bundle' of apps called Speech Therapy Assessment (£84.99) - each app can also be bought separately - we have not tried this.

More affordably, the Receptive Language Assessment with Splingo (£17.49)  seems useful  (but it's for language, not AAC as such). The fun Splingo language apps in general (cheaper!) can reveal useful information about the ability to listen, follow verbal instructions, and about language level (child oriented). Try Splingo's Language Universe (£1.99) and Pronouns with Splingo (£1.99). You can also construct your own highly customised assessment suite using the wonderfully versatile Bitsboard app (free) - I find the 'Photo Touch',  'Odd One Out' and 'Sort it' games most useful for this function, out of the 14 available game formats.

In fact, just using ordinary Apps and carefully observing the user, with a clear idea of the skills you are looking for, is often just as useful, as an informal form of assessment, as a 'test' would be. The iPad is a powerful 'viewing window' into a user's functioning. I often recommend the AAC app Sounding Board  (free) as an evaluation tool (to get info about user's ability to cope with different numbers of locations on screen, recognition of photos, pictures etc., ability to navigate links, and ability to learn functional use for requesting, responding to questions etc. etc. 


And finally - there is also an App called ATEval2Go (£27.99) which looks very interesting, and here at CALL we plan to explore this further as soon as we can. It is not a one-off therapist / teacher - patient/child interaction like the AAC Genie, it is a full scale productivity system for structuring assessment, record-keeping, reporting, photo and video storage, and documentation based on the excellent Joy Zabala's SETT framework, and on other recognised assistive technology assessment processes. 'Banks' of commonly used goals, strategies, tools and recommendations are available (and these are editable so you can add your own) - time would be needed to evaluate the banks to see if they might match the needs of your particular organisation.  ATEval2Go produces a cumulative editable report which can be exported, e-mailed or printed. Adoption of this tool could revolutionize an organisation's whole assessment process - this would need to be an agreed 'whole team' approach.


Look forward to hearing if anyone else has found any useful AAC assessment apps?


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