The Braille Teacher's Pal: A Review of SALBy D'Andrea, Frances Mary; Access World, Vol. 4, No. 6
Publication Date: November 2003
Article reviews Speech Assisted Learning (SAL), which is designed to help children and adults who are learning to read Braille practice their skills. The 16- by 13-inch device features a touch screen and an 8-dot Braille keyboard. The unit has a floppy disk drive to use with lesson disks, a compact flash slot, an earphone jack, and toggle switches on the back for adjusting speech rate and to turn the device on and off. Using bar-code technology, a student places one of the program’s Braille pages on SAL, presses prompt buttons, follows the spoken directions, and receives comments and scores at the end. The lessons are extremely interactive, as the student is required to push a prompt or an area on the touch screen to get spoken direction and to receive a score. As the student goes through the activity, immediate speech feedback is provided. The author contends that SAL has great potential to reinforce Braille instruction, though the device should not be looked to as a means to replace a skilled and certified teacher of Braille. The device cannot give the same kind of feedback an instructor would give, and cannot watch to make sure that a student is using correct hand movements and techniques.
Assistive Products Discussed: SAL SPEECH ASSISTED LEARNING SYSTEM
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw040602