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: http://assistivetek.blogspot.com/2008/06/writeonline-from-crick-software-first.html

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: http://paulhami.edublogs.org/2008/06/11/udl4all-online-resource/


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: http://wheeliecatholic.blogspot.com/2008/05/does-it-matter.html
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: http://annemarie80.edublogs.org/2008/03/25/writing-his-name/

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:

http://atmac.org/2008/03/31/use-your-regular-keyboard-as-a-perkins-braille-keyboard/#more-321



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:
http://talkingbookslibrarian.blogspot.com/2008/06/victor-reader-stream-version-20-is.html

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

http://talkingbookslibrarian.blogspot.com/2008/06/window-eyes-70-beta-1-released.html

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:
http://nolimitstolearning.blogspot.com/2008/06/adventures-in-using-free-tools-to.html
Follow-up post:
http://nolimitstolearning.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-to-use-ms-word-to-daisy-add-in-more.html

Teaching Tips.com Article on 100+ Resources and Links for Special Education (They are all under some helpful categories):
http://www.teachingtips.com/blog/2008/06/25/the-ultimate-guide-to-special-needs-teaching-100-resources-and-links/

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!
Lon

12 comments:

Penny L. Richards said...

Carnival #4 is lovely! Small tweak: I'm not Wheelie Catholic--her name is Ruth--I just submitted one of Ruth's excellent-as-usual posts for your consideration.

Talking Books Librarian said...

Hello, this is Talking Books Librarian, and I just wanted to mention that I have 2 new articles about Version 2.0 of the Victor Reader Stream, as the new version was released on June 30! Check out the new blog posts at http://talkingbookslibrarian.blogspot.com

Thanks! Looks like we have a lot of interesting posts this go around!

Lon said...

Sorry Penny, I get so many links they get messed up. I know Wheelie is Ruth - I was trying to get all these things together and I am used to having folks submit there own posts. Submitting others is fine too - we do need to give credit where credit is due. I will fix that. Will you add a comment with your link so we get it straightened out. I am so glad you are submitting...
Lon

Penny L. Richards said...

No apology necessary, I've done it myself in the Disability Blog Carnival! ;) And you fixed it very gracefully.

Kate said...

Another great blog carnival.

I meant to get something in, but I waited until the last second and spent June 26-July 1 in the hospital with pneumonia.

Thanks for the effort you put into this Lon.

I do want to mention that I have a problem with the 100 Teaching Tips entry. They emailed me and asked me to post a link on my blog and I asked them to please change the article to use person first language. I even provided links to articles about person first language and explained it with examples. I don't like the idea of a lengthy blog post on a general education blog that uses inappropriate terminology like the term "mentally retarded" used in this sentence: "From downs syndrome to sex education for mentally retarded students, this list includes all kinds of resources for communicating with and stimulating mentally challenged children and adults." in the entry posted in the carnival.

It seems to me that if this blog can go through all of the trouble to email bloggers who write about special education and submit to sped/AT blog carnivals then they could take 45 minutes and make their entry respectful to people with disabilities.

Lon said...

Good point Kate. I have to admit that I thought there were some great links and resources - and only looked through it from that standpoint. I wasn't catching the labels and the headings in the way you did - and that shows your sensitivity to this - I should have thought ablout it and looked a little harder. I was "bleary-eyed" and trying to get the carnival up and missed it. I will try to be a little tougher on my screening next time around. I am glad you put your remarks at the the bottom of the post for folks to read.
I'm sorry you were sick and I hope you are getting better. I had the crud and was on an antibiotic most of June. It just didn't want to go away. Please submit something for the July edition. Your input is of great value...

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