Bye Bye Slideshow Maker

After hearing about the problems some colleagues have been facing when running the activities they have downloaded from my web site (need admin rights), I decided to move away from the open framework program I was using and write something new. All of my new ‘slideshow’ activities will be published in a new format which will make them accessible to pretty much everyone.

Access

The new format has specific sections for switch users at cause and effect level with both auditory and visual prompts. A touch screen section puts large targets around the screen which students will need to find and touch. Mouse or other pointing device users get a section with a huge mouse pointer and targets that change colour when the mouse pointer is over them. Finally eye gaze users get their own section with large targets and a cross hair cursor to help them pin point the targets. (more…)

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Creating Switch Recipes in IOS 9: Step-By-Step

Switch Recipes IOS9

Apple made a few changes with IOS 9 including adding ‘switch recipes’ to the long line of accessibility features on their mobile devices. Switch Recipes has huge potential for special education, enabling us to make bespoke switch actions for specific apps or students. This will open up even more iPad apps to our switch users. I’ve put together an example using the app ‘Drawing with Stars’. The two minute video below shows the process and there’s also a step-by-step PDF if you need it.
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New SEN ICT courses announced

I've just posted details of the first in our series of 'Every Moment Matters' ICT courses for colleagues involved in the education of people with severe, profound and complex needs.…

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SENSwitcher: Still great, still free and still available

Senswitcher

I designed my first program for switch users back in 1999 / 2000. I had attended a meeting where we discussed the possibility of creating ‘PMLD’ software that could run online and delivered through the Northern Grid for Learning web site. The result was SENSwitcher. 140 activities that could be operated with a switch, touch-screen or pointing device that could be configured to allow for specific student colour preferences, tracking speeds and more. (more…)

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Zumo slapping for switch skills success?

ZumoImage2

I’m not one to knock innovation, especially in the field of special needs where new technologies can have such profound impact for our students. Take eye gaze for example, originally developed to help sell food in supermarkets, now facilitating independence and communication for people with the most complex difficulties. Innovation is something to be encouraged. (more…)

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Busted: Developing Switch Timing Skills

singlesw

When someone is learning to scan using one switch there are two key skills that they need to practice. The first is the ‘timing’ skill. This involves the student pressing the switch in response to some cue often something popping up on the screen. In the Switch Progression Road Map, it’s described as;

20: Student can press a single switch in response to an on-screen cue.

The most common way to teach this skill has always been with software. You know the thing. A car pops up on the screen and the student hits the switch when they see it. If the student manages to press the switch before the car disappears, they are rewarded with a short animation. Sounds easy and for some of our students it is.

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