2000 Conference Proceedings

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BEYOND THE BOOK, THE STORY CONTINUES: INFUSING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND LITERACY INTO THE CLASSROOM

Debbie Grant
Santa Barbara County Education Office
565 Atterday Road
Solvang, CA 93463
Phone: 805-688-1849
Fax: 805-688-1849
Email: debgrant@sbceo.org 

Paula Justice
North Central region ATRC
3205 East Wendover
Greensboro, NC 27405
Phone: 336-375-2575
Fax: 336-621-1922

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 visual and or perceptual impairments. When and where do you find the time to develop multisensory themes to promote repeated readings? This presentation will provide answers to these questions, and demonstrates methods of adapting off-the-shelf books, as well as creating custom versions in print and on the computer using IntelliPics, OverlayMaker, Boardmaker and other software programs. Learning activities are designed to enhance and expand on the repeated line book(s). Strategies and activities using assistive technology will be introduced and a variety of ways to usethese materials will be shown.

The following areas will be covered during this presentation.

Selecting Your Book

Finding a book that meets your curriculum needs and your students' literacy needs is not always a simple task. In addition to an appropriate theme, you want a book with at least one repetitive story line, uncluttered graphics, and as age appropriate (graphics and wording) as possible.

How to do Print Adaptations

Picture communication symbols added to text Storyboard stencil- At Gateway Education Center in Greensboro, North Carolina, the staff on The Literacy Committee (TLC) uses a consistent page layout for all of the storybooks they created or modify from published books. Each page has seven cells, 1 large cell at the top and 6 smaller cells of two rows of three. The large top cell has one picture to represent the storyline of the page. The six smaller cells each have a word and a corresponding picture (when possible) to encourage/enable the reader towards a successful reading experience. We use the Boardmaker software with Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) as the main application program. In addition to PCS, we use other graphic library symbols to represent words when needed. The paint portion of ClarisWorks is used to modify graphics, color graphics and/or join graphics together so that they can be placed together in one cell. Using the "storyboard stencil" 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/symbolawareness and moves the emergent reader closer to being a text user. Modified versions of book(s) for student's home use: When the student leaves school, his literacy opportunities should follow him. Typically developing peers have numerous opportunities to share their books and school work with parents. Our students often miss these vital interactions unless we can modify materials and provide support for caregivers. We will share various ways we have adapted materials forhome use so that our students can share their experiences with family members.

Braille added to text

How to Provide Physical Access

There are a variety of ways to physically adapt books so that they are easier to handle/access. We like to laminate (5 ml or thicker) the pages whenever possible. If you don't have a laminator, use clear contact paper or the single sheet sticky back film sold in office supply stores. This helps to protect the page from spills, dirt and rips. Using page fluffers to separate the pages so that there is a space between the pages is very helpful for many children. We use a multitude of materials for page fluffers, a few are velcro, small clothes pins, large paper clips, cubes of foam, self stick window insulation, tongue depressors, etc. Take a look at many of the items we have found to use as page separators, fluffers and turners.

How to Create Computer Adaptations

IntelliPics activities (IntelliTools): The best way to learn how to use IntelliPics is to attend one of the IntelliTools training sessions or work through the IntelliPics tutorial which is available from IntelliTools. The tutorial is designed step by step which is very helpful. Instead of going to the picture library for your graphics, you would get the graphics from the Overlay Maker overlays you created with the book graphics, from the scrapbook (if you saved them there) or from the Boardmaker pages that were created for the book.

Helpful hints when using IntelliPics

Designing and Creating Communication Displays

Low tech to high tech devices - using the pictures we have captured from the off the shelf book and the storybook we've created, we use ClarisWorks Paint to change the shape and size to fit on different switches such as the Jelly Bean, the Buddy Button, Big Mac, etc. These are used to "say" the repetitive line from the story. The captured pictures are also put into Boardmaker for use on CheapTalk 4 and 8, the Hawk, AlphaTalker, etc. Once we have identified the pictures from the story we can use them in a multitude of ways for communication.

Communication vests - Use the very same pictures, just change configuration and size for use on vests.

Choice boards - Again we use the same pictures for choice making activites.

Quick and Easy Extension Activities

How to use Screen capture as a tool for creativity.

Game boards - Using our very same pictures we can put them into OverlayMaker, design a game board, cards, items and teach game skills using simple to hard game boards. This idea is from Jo Meyer of SoftTouch/KidTech.

Sample manipulatives will be shown that can be used for a variety of learning activities.

Adapted Writing activities on and off the computer - See how we have created multiple activities, from easy to difficult using the same pictures. By adding words, phrases and sentences we can make poetry and writing fun.

Adapted writing templates will be shared.


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