ACE CentreThe ACE Centre (Aiding Communication in Education) offers help and support to children with complex physical and communication difficulties and their parents, caregivers, and therapists. Working with parents, the child, and the child's school, it identifies communication aids and other technologies and methods that can enable the child to communicate and read. In addition to assessment and training services, it also develops software and participates in research projects.
92 Windmill Road
Headington, Oxfordshire OX3 7DR
Products manufactured by ACE Centre (listed alphabetically)
AccessMaths is a geometrical drawing program designed to provide a range of input options for students with upper extremity or fine motor disabilities. The program can be operated using the keyboard, mouse, track ball, or Concept Keyboard. The program approaches drawing tasks using geometrical principles. The user defines reference points on the screen, such as the ends of lines or the center points of arcs, and the program automatically draws the shape. The program's drawing tools allow the swift and accurate construction of lines, squares, rectangles, circles, semi-circles, ellipses, triangles (equilateral, isosceles and scalene), polygons (regular and irregular), parallelograms, arcs, and pie charts, all of which may be annotated by arrows and text. There are three preset Toolbox configuration levels to suit different ability levels of use, and users can customize these by adding or deleting tools, or creating completely new configurations. The drawing tools are complemented by a full set of editing facilities, including scale and rotation tools. The user can create grids to work on, import a background image, and create and edit text for annotating drawings. Other features incude three on-screen measuring tools (ruler, protractor, and set square) that can be manipulated freely around the drawing area; a zoom tool; a transform tool that enables users to modify an existing shape; a fill tool for coloring drawings; and a joined-line tool for the creation of complex polygons. Users can scroll around pages, move shapes simply by clicking on them, and export all or part of a worksheet or picture as a bitmap file. Three simple educational activities (an abacus, clock and number line) are included to give younger students a friendly introduction to the world of mathematics. Images from all three can be pasted directly into the main program as part of the drawing or for printing. Users decide which tools and features appear on screen, so that the appearance of the screen matches the ability of the user. Switch users can access the program through specialized Switch Access for Windows (SAW) Selection Sets. On-screen help is available via a Help dialogue box and an extensive set of help files. This program provides users with access to the tools necessary for the geometry components of key stages 2, 3, and 4 of the United Kingdom's National Curriculum. COMPATIBILITY: For use with IBM and compatible computers. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: 32 megabytes (Mb) random access memory (RAM); 5 Mb of hard disk space; Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, or 2000.
Multimedia Plocka is an educational program with cause and effect, matching and sorting, sequencing, numbers, language, and games activities, designed for use by children with cognitive, learning, communication, upper extremity, and fine motor disabilities. In this multimedia program, learning is enhanced with graphics, sound, and video. The program uses the principle of objects and targets. On-screen shapes, pictures, or text are scanned and selected with switches or the keyboard. Once selected, these choices are automatically moved to chosen target areas. Designers, teachers, and therapists can adjust the nature and complexity of the tasks. Age-appropriate shapes can be selected from a built-in picture library of animals, trees, clothes, transport, and food, or from clip art libraries, scanned images, or a photo-CD. Output to a speech synthesizer and/or real recorded sound can be used to aid and motivate students, prompting responses and indicating switch actions in order to make tasks easier and more interesting. Video sequences or animations can be added to give stimulating rewards. The program comes with a set of ready-made introductory screens and activities including cause and effect, numbers, matching, sequencing, games, language and sorting. A tutorial guide on how to modify these screens is also included. OPTIONS: Standard version or switch users version. COMPATIBILITY: For use with IBM and compatible computers. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Windows 95 operating system; 486 or better processor; sound card; 4 megabytes (Mb) random access memory (RAM) and 640 kilobytes (Kb) hard disk space. The switch users version may also require a separate switch interface box.
Number Navigator is a math skills training program designed for use by individuals with upper extremity and fine motor disabilities. This mathematical software enables children to record their arithmetic and algebra exercises and homework via the button bar, keyboard, or switches without having to resort to the complexities of a spreadsheet. Numbers are entered into grid locations on the screen, using the keyboard or switches with SAW (Switch Access for Windows) Selection Sets. The pupil then navigates through the grid by means of the arrow keys, mouse, or switch. Automatic navigation options are available for left and right movements as numbers are entered. There are also extra navigational tools to assist with addition and multiplication for add and carry movements on the grid. Letters and numbers can be entered in super or subscript sizes and lines can be drawn around any numbers or blocks of figures. The size of the grid can be changed to suit the user, as can the color of the writing, grid, and paper. The grid can be removed for printing. This program is compatible with AccessMaths (see separate entry) and work can be freely copied between the two programs. COMPATIBILITY: For use with IBM and compatible computers. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Windows 95 or 98.1 operating system; 4 megabytes (Mb) random access memory (RAM); 300 kilobytes (Kb) of hard disk space.
NumberPack is a math skills training program designed for children with upper extremity and fine motor disabilities. This software program contains three simulated pieces of classroom equipment: a teaching clock, an abacus, and a number line. These simulations are keyboard-operated stand-alone units with their own printing functions. The clock is a re-creation of a classroom teaching clock with a number of additional features. The clock can be moved forwards or backwards in a number of adjustable steps and can be geared or ungeared. Users can change the color of the hands and choose whether or not the clock face has markings in 12 or 24 hour mode. A digital clock can be displayed alongside the analog one. The abacus activity can be set up to show up to ten rows of beads, each containing up to ten beads. There are two modes of use for easy access, mouse only and keyboard/mouse, and the program has a key delay that is useful if the user has a tremor and is likely to hold a key down too long. The number line can have up to 25 divisions in a range of units between minus 150 and plus 150, making it suitable for learning multiplication as well as addition and subtraction. Both mouse and keyboard operate this activity, which features a key delay for users with a tremor. COMPATIBILITY: For use with IBM and compatible computers. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Windows 3.1, 95, or 98; 4 megabytes (Mb) random access memory (RAM); 100 kilobytes (Kb) of hard disk space.
Prophet is a word prediction program designed for use by individuals with upper extremity disabilities. This program allows users to type long words with as few as two key strokes. It supports speech output and switch input through Switch Access for Windows (SAW). This word prediction program automatically learns any new words typed and updates its on-screen word lists to reflect the user's writing style and frequency of word use. As the user types the first one or two letters of a word, the program provides an on-screen list of words that it predicts what the user wants to type. The user can then finish the word by hitting the function key that corresponds to the intended word. The program has a 10,000 word main dictionary, every word of which is ranked according to frequency of use. The user can add to this dictionary by choosing to edit or exclude new words as they are typed. The user can also set up specialized dictionaries. An intelligent word ending feature offers the user a selection of suitable endings to words being typed, such as -ing and -ed. COMPATIBILITY: For use with IBM or compatible computers. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: 4 megabytes (Mb) random access memory (RAM); 1 Mb of hard disk space; Windows 3.1 or 95 (version 1.5), or Windows 98 (version 2.0).