Monday, June 30, 2008

Edition #4 of the Assistive Technology Blog Carnival

The Assistive Technology Blog Carnival, Edition #4: Grab Bag Edition

This month we have 10 great submissions from some wonderful writers and providers of AT resources and information. There are posts on new updates of software and tools for AT, a UDL Wiki, some insights into the Kindle and AT equipment, adapting a keyboard for braille, using the SMART Board for special education, and a look at the MS Word add-in that saves documents as a DAISY file. The last submission is a great list of resources for Special Education. I hope you get some time to sit back, relax and explore!

Assistive Tek, Brian Friedlander:

I am excited to share a post from one of my mentors, Brian Friedlander. Dr. Friedlander was my AT professor through Lesley University in Cambridge. I was an instructional resources trainer at the time finishing my masters. He "warned" me that as soon as people found out I knew about AT, they would put me in charge of it! Well, his words came true, and now I have found my niche and my passion. Thanks Brian! Brian has submitted a review from his blog. Find out his perspectives on Write Online by Crick:

Free Resources on the Net, Paul Hamilton:

Paul has started a project that is a wiki on Universal design. You can read about his project -UDL4All:

Disability Studies, Temple U, Penny L. Richards:

I missed getting Penny's submission in past month from Wheelie Catholic and so promised it would be in now. Thanks Penny! Here is her submission from Wheelie Catholic, Ruth - on the Kindle and Assistive equipment:
I am throwing in Penny's Blog on Disability Studies from Temple U that fits with our topics.
Thanks Penny - (and sorry I got you a little mixed up with Ruth!)

AnneMarie 80, Anne Marie Corrieri:

Anne Marie was our winner in the new blog contest drawing. She writes on uses for the SMART Board and adapting activities in the special ed classroom. She has submitted her post on SMART Boards and learning to write:

ATMac, Ricky Buchanan:

Ricky is on hiatus from her blog due to some health issues of late, but she gave me permission to sift through her blog and select a permalink of my choice to add to our collection this month. Because of the DAISY work I have been doing lately, I have been more and more interested in tools and supports for visual impairment and this post stood out as an interesting one on adapting a regular keyboard to become a braille keyboard:

The Talking Book Librarian:

The Talking Book Librarian sent me 2 posts to choose from and I am including both. She shared that this first one on updates to the Victor Reader stream Version 2.0 was her most popular this month so check it out:

Her other post is on the new version of the popular Window Eyes screen reader:

No Limits to Learning, Lon Thornburg:
Since text to speech tools and print disability text files from DAISY seem to be popular, I am enclosing my own post from this past month that has hit my most popular post list at #1. It is on my adventures learning about the MS Word add-in and how to convert text to play in a free reader. The post caused a lot of email and some comments. I began to do follow-up posts and I am including the initial post and last follow-up for June which had a wonderful contributing comment/post from Romain Deltour of the DAISY Pipeline Team (which is a converting tool for text files to digital talking book files).

Initial post:
Follow-up post:

Teaching Article on 100+ Resources and Links for Special Education (They are all under some helpful categories):

I hope you enjoy spending some time reading what folks have worked hard to write and submit. Add their blogs to your feed lists and check in regularly!

All the best to you!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

June Issue, #4 of AT Blog Carnival will be a "Grab Bag" Edition

Assistive Technology Blog Carnival #4, Issue: "Grab Bag"
Deadline: June 27 for submissions; Will be up June 30.
Hi Everyone,
I am thankful for each and everyone of you that submit and read the AT Blog Carnival. I have really enjoyed the issues so far. I have expecially enjoyed hearing from folks that have sent various submissions on different topics. When we used the Blog Carnival Service and had a topic, people sent whatever anyway, and I felt that if it fit somehow, we should go ahead and share it. There were some great posts.

The BC service is not doing anything about the Captcha issue. I feel strongly that if we are supporting the use of technology for disabilty with our blogs, then we shouldn't support a service that won't support us. It is a direct contradiction. So... I need you to show your support for this AT blog. It isn't going to get tons of submissions from the networking within the service because we aren't using it, so if we want quality posts and numerous ones and we want to get to hear from more people, then we need to ask those we know to share. Spread the word about the carnival and let folks know that we are open to anything on AT - we are not limiting it - and get folks to send in a link to a post. It is a good way to make new friends and hear different views. I know I have gained so much from the editions we have done to this point.

I am calling this issue a "grab bag" because I am interested in opening this wide for folks to share whatever they have in their post archive or something new they would like to share on AT. As submissions come in, I will group them as well as I can into categories. So, we want to hear what you have to say. What have you been learning about AT lately? What new gadget has you intrigued? What new area do you think is a frontier in research and development for servicing disability? I am excited to see new technology that is linking us together in greater ways everyday. I see huge potential to interface people with disabilities via Internet into work where the mind is the thing, not the body - the playing field is so much more level.

So, get your creative juices flowing and let's get some posts.

Email posts to: Remember the deadline - June 27
All the best to you!