Our colleagues at CALL produce a regular update on new and interesting developments in the world of assistive technology. Here are a few sections from their latest publication. The complete New in CALL booklet can be downloaded here.
Making Accessible Books for All
In April 2007 the CALL Centre completed a project to investigate the need for, and availability of, learning resources in accessible alternative formats for pupils with additional support needs. The project was funded by the Scottish Executive Education Department and the report was published on the Scottish Executive web site* (and the CALL web site) in June 2007.
Local authorities are obliged to consider how they can provide material in suitable alternative formats for pupils with disabilities ‘if the pupil may have difficulty reading information provided in standard written form’. Many local authorities provide learning materials in Braille, enlarged text or audio format to visually impaired students and Disability Discrimination legislation requires consideration of how this provision can be extended to any pupil who has difficulty reading or accessing information. (Read more.)
Using Technology in SQA Exams
Every year thousands of students in Scottish schools require ‘reasonable adjustments’ to sit SQA exams. Many of these students are using technology to assist with reading and writing tasks on a daily basis in school, but have to use a reader or scribe in exams. (Read more.)
Assistive Technology on YouTube
The YouTube web site is not just a collection of video clips of teenage girls lip-synching into hair brushes and boys pulling faces – there is also a lot of material that is interesting and useful for people using technology to support people with disabilities.
AbilityNet, for example, have set up their own page on YouTube with a small collection of their own videos (mostly tutorial material for using the screenreader) and links to their ‘Favourites’. The favourites are particularly interesting with links to over 100 video clips of people using or talking about assistive technology. (Read more.)
Introduction to Clicker Phonics
Clicker Phonics is a new set of add-ons for Clicker 5 that provide a comprehensive set of resources for use with any phonics scheme (though it is based on the Jolly Learning scheme). A total of six CDs are available, under the headings Get Ready! & Get Set!