Technology Solutions to Enhance Therapy for Communication and Cognitive Deficits for Under $30: Part One of a Two-Part SeriesBy Green, Joan; Closing the Gap, Vol. 26, No. 4
Publication Date: October/November 2007
Review of free or low-cost computer technology for rehabilitation and special-education professionals. Teachers and therapists with Windows-based computers can avail themselves of built-in accessibility options such as the Microsoft Word 2007 dictation program; the free text-to-speech utility Narrator (www.microsoft.com/enable); Microsoft PowerPoint to produce talking books, slide show lessons and therapy activities; and pre-installed games to improve visual-perceptual skills. Electronic organizers such as Microsoft Outlook can be used to facilitate functional communication and assist with memory and organization. Closed captions, text hidden from normal television viewing, are free and can be turned on using the set’s menu options. A list of free or low-cost text readers, software that enables computers to read aloud, is included. Software programs teaching English as a second language are interactive, focus on everyday communication skills and are low-cost; several product recommendations are listed. Recommendations are also itemized for free and low-cost demos and trials for specialized drills and practice, available on CDs, DVDs or the Internet. Also included are lists of programs for easy access to e-mail and free Web-based note-taking management systems and programs to assist with organizing contact information and schedules. Music, an effective tool in speech and language development, can be downloaded very inexpensively from the Internet at sites such as iTunes.com and Napster.com.
Assistive Products Discussed: INSTANT IMMERSION AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE
READPLEASE NATURAL VOICES
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)