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ASL & Technology - Complex Needs

by Claire Harrison

on Wed Jun 02, 2021

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This is the third in our series of blogs highlighting various upcoming sessions at our 2021 ASL & Technology. Today we’re looking at sessions which may be helpful for people supporting learners who have Complex Needs.

The ASL and Technology conference will be held online on Wednesday 16th June and as I write this, the countdown timer on the home page of the ASL and Technology website is telling me that it begins in just 13 days, 23 hours and 38 minutes! There’s a great selection of sessions and because the conference is online the dilemma of having to choose between two sessions scheduled at the same time is removed – we can listen to the other session at a later date.  

Complex Needs - What to See

Viewing the conference schedule with a ‘supporting complex needs learners’ lens, the following may be of interest:

At 9.45am CALL colleague Joanna Courtney will be talking about and demonstrating ‘Accessible early reading and writing resources for Clicker and Grid 3 software’. This session will be a good opportunity to find out about eye gaze accessible literacy and communication resources and hear them speaking Scottish using ‘Andrew’ and ‘Mairi’ the Scottish child voices.  

Kerry Vacara and Graeme Innes from Smartbox will be talking about some of the accessible apps, communication Grid Sets and features of Grid 3 software at 10.55am.

11.30am sees one of these ‘which do I choose’ points as both sessions look really interesting and relevant. Sue White and Eleanor Barber from Widget will be talking about some of the updated symbol sets for their symbol resource making software InPrint 3 as well as demonstrating how to make bespoke learning resources. Whilst over in the other virtual room Karen Sharkey and Kenny Falconer from Hollybrook Academy in Glasgow will talk about how they use the Showbie app in their ASN Secondary School. I always enjoy the practitioner presentations at ASL Tech and I’m sure this one will be excellent.

At 12.05pm Phil Hackett from Crick software will be talking about Clicker Software and Apps. If it’s been a few years since you’ve used Clicker it will be well worth taking a look at this session, it looks quite different to the Clicker 4 I remember using many, many years ago in a Special School. Clicker has lots of useful features which can support the development of early literacy skills.

Dave Gilbert from Pretorian will be exploring accessible assistive gaming at 12.40pm. If I wasn’t presenting a session on Tar Heel Gameplay at the exact same time, I would definitely be there! Pretorian have a huge range of assistive devices and Dave will be talking about their controllers, switches, joysticks and more. I’m looking forward to catching up with the recording of this session. I’ll be showing how the Tar Heel Gameplay website works and talking about how we can use to create simple ‘cause and effect’ style activities.

If you’ve wanted to know more about how Talking Mats work, at 14.35pm Margo McKay will be talking about one if their recent projects which investigated well practitioners understood and implemented Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Margo will share key findings from this project and show how the updated Talking Mats app works. Also at 14.35pm Rossie Stone of Dekko Comics will be talking about the new Mental Health and Wellbeing comic which was written to help children and young people learn about coping skills and managing their emotions in an engaging, accessible way.

And finally, at 15.45pm the final sessions of the day will both be of interest. Marion Stanton from Candle Ltd will talk about their reading, writing, speaking and listening literacy resources. And finally, another CALL colleague Gillian McNeill will be sharing information on Communication Passports, exploring the rationale, the process of creation and options for printed and digital formats.

Phew! It’s going to be a busy day and I’m sure you’ll agree there’s lots to choose from. See you all online on the 16th!

 

 

 

Tags: asl, complex needs

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