Technology to the rescue!
Technology is truly AMAZING!! It allows people gain access to text auditorily, to dictate their thoughts, ideas and information into a digital recorder, plug it in to the computer and viola, words instantly appear on the screen! Dragon is available as an app on the iPad, as stand alone software or as a package with a digital recorder (as pictured below).
audio book resources:
note taking resources:
Assistive Technology Guide for Children with learning disabilities
Assistive Technologies (AT) Manual
developed by The Frostig Center, Assistive Technology for Children with Learning Difficulties was underwritten by the Schwab Foundation for Learning, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of students with learning differences.
amazing audio books
25 years ago when I was driving 2 hours a day to go to the university, my dad introduced me to audio books.....I'd put a cassette in my car radio and listen to Brad Pitt's smooth voice as he read Texas or Peter Coyote 's voice as he read The Horse Whisperer, leading my imagination on a ride thru the wilderness, breaking the monotony of 60 miles of highway. I enjoyed listening to their voices and more importantly, enjoyed one of my most favorite things in the world: books, stories and more books...I can't get enough and I can't imagine life without them or life with a struggle to get to something so amazing that I would avoid it. When my mother-in-law lost her eyesight to diabetes she lost some of her spark. She was an avid reader. When we signed her up for audiobooks thru the Recordings for the Blind she regained some of that spark, she could finally have access to romance novels and murder mysteries--her favorite types of stories. Long gone are the bulky tape players, now audio books are accessible thru Kindle, iTunes, local libraries, restaurants, book stores, friends and companies like Bookshare and Learning Ally. Some are read by real people or actors while others are digital versions which can be accessed thru various dialects, the voice is at first a bit mechanical, but within a few minutes, it becomes addicting, the voice lulls your imagination into the story.
Over the years, I've seen many students 'fake-it' by carrying around a book they cannot read but they want to look like their peers, so they do. When someone asks about the book or attempts to carry on a conversation, the whily dyslexic tries to skillfully avert the details, sometimes they make it through unscathed, other times it is painfully obvious they don't know what they are talking about and someone gains more information about him than he/she wishes. Having access to audio versions of books gives a life-gift to kids with reading challenges. This passed March, for March is Reading Month, I got together with our librarian and PTO organization to purchase 12 audio books, 12 portable CD players with headphones, rechargable batteries and a charging station. The kids are chomping at the bit to check them out!! The CD players allow kids to take the book to their classroom or even home so they can listen at their leisure. It doesn't do much good if they check out a book without a way to listen to it. Although it may be an expensive risk to let the CD players go home, a $50 bill if the book and player don't come back, it is more important to the kids to feel like they are a step closer to their peers. This is worth the cost of replacing a few a year.
Bookshare is available thru schools and is free for those with a reading disabiltity. You can't beat FREE!!!! With an iPad, we can download the Daisy version which shows the text on the screen and highlights the words as they are being read. My son uses this system, he can see and hear the text which keeps him more focused. He enjoys seeing the words and reading along with the story. The exhaustive nature of reading is markedly diminished allowing him to plow thru novels and keep up in conversations with his friends about the latest greatest books.
The company, Learning Ally is an amazing resource for parents, teachers and those with reading challenges. They not only offer digital books, but also audio books, read by a person AND textbooks in audio format which is huge for high school and college kids! They are a non-profit company that is growing in leaps and bounds! They offer high-quality webinars, teacher training, parent resources and more! Their annual fees are doable for most. Imagine the possibilities for kids who have a high interest in a higher-level subject area---they could essentially learn engineering or marine biology or a host of other subject matters auditorily & independently! If you are of the means and wish to make a substantial difference in your local community, consider sponsoring a school or entire district's access to Learning Ally, especially for the textbook access to so many kids with IEP's and 504 plans can level the playing field by Ear Reading.
Apps--Wheel of great apps
tech guru peeps:
There are many resources for tech people who review apps, devices and make recommendations.
Jamie Martin is among the top Tech people in the country. Check him out at his website, twitter and facebook page.
Most of these apps are multi-purpose, however categories are usually helpful for most in some organized fashion.
Voice Dream Reader
Books2Go (use with Bookshare--has Daisy option for text and audio)
WRITING & PRESENTATIONS
Kidspiration & Inspiration
General disclaimer: The views expessed on this website are soley my own, they are not intended to do any harm or misrepresent anything or anyone. There are links within the site that are to affiliate sites or advertising for which I may receive minimal compensation.