1999 Conference Proceedings

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Beyond The Book: Infusing Literacy and Assistive Technology into the Classroom

Debbie Grant
Santa Barbara County Education Office

Paula Justice
North Central Region Assistive Technology Resource Center
Greensboro, NC

Kathie Maltby
Speech and Language Specialist
Irvine Unified School District

Sharing repetitive line books with children is a concept you’ve come to love, but now you’re stuck. What else can you do? Through the use of assistive technology you can make the books accessible for everyone. Make the text and pictures visible for those with perceptual impairments. Where do you find the time to develop multisensory themes to promote repeated readings? This presentation provides answers to these questions, and demonstrates adapting off-the-shelf books, as well as creating custom versions in print and on the computer using IntelliPics, OverlayMaker, Hyperstudio, Boardmaker and other software programs. Strategies and activities using assistive technology will be introduced.

The following areas will be covered during this presentation:

Using the "storyboard stencil", developed by The Literacy Committee at Gateway Education Center in Greensboro, NC, make page design simpler and facilitate consistency in presentation. One large picture conveys the main idea, with six smaller picture communication symbols/cells per page to convey the text concept. The two line presentation promotes basic print concept awareness, such as left to right and top to bottom progressions in books.

The icon/text pairing used in this template promotes improved text/symbol awareness and moves the emergent reader closer to being a text user.

Physical Access

Off-the-shelf books often need to be adapted to permit physical access by children with disabilities. Methods demonstrated will include: cutting the book, laminating and binding the book, page fluffers and turners, use of Velcro, highlighting important text, use of multiple types of VOCAs for repeated lines.

Adapting, modifying and coloring picture communication symbols with a graphics program and Boardmaker (Mayer-Johnson and Claris)

The picture symbol storybook is used as a basis for developing the IntelliPics and Hyperstudio activities/book. This will be done using a Macintosh computer. Similar versions would be possible with software for the Windows platform. Coloring and animating graphics, as well as embedding children’s voices/interesting sounds will be demonstrated. Access methods such as regular or adapted keyboard (IntelliKeys), mouse, touch screen, or single switch, will be shown, allowing for possible independent reading and access by all users.

Activities are designed to enhance and expand on the repeated line book(s). A variety of ways to use these materials will be shown. Adapted writing templates will be shared.

During this 3 hour session template construction and animation (IntelliPics) will be demonstrated. Some of the activities demonstrated will be made available to workshop attendees for the cost of the materials ($10). A copy of the book, storyboard stencil book, game boards, spinners, VOCA overlays, IntelliPics activities, etc.

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