2000 Conference Proceedings
Go to previous article
Go to next article
Return to 2000 Table of Contents
BEYOND THE BOOK, THE STORY CONTINUES: INFUSING ASSISTIVE
TECHNOLOGY AND LITERACY INTO THE CLASSROOM
Santa Barbara County Education Office
565 Atterday Road
Solvang, CA 93463
North Central region ATRC
3205 East Wendover
Greensboro, NC 27405
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
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
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
- Plan out what you want to do for the activity
- Save your picture items by letters in the sequence you
want them to appear . Items are arranged in alphabetical
order (a cat, b fish, c horse)
- If you want to animate a picture, you need to go into the
advanced section (after you select Create - Picture Item)
click on animation and then select the type of animation you
- When animating a picture, use a setup square in a drawing
program. Always keep your graphics inside the square when
manipulating them. Use the marquee selection tool and outline
(staying inside the lines) the walls of the square (don't
select the square lines) copy this and then drop the graphic
into the picture area.
- When putting in pictures in animation sequence, the
newest picture will be put after the picture that you can see
in the window.
- To make the IntelliPics activity function as a single
switch activity, go to the Options menu and select Activity
Preference, then select Click Response, then select Goes to
next item. 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
activities/book. This is 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. Designing a Baggie Book:
Pati King-Debaun shared this idea on how to create a small
book (1/2 page size) using pictures (we create ours in
Boardmaker), 5x8 heavy plastic Ziploc-style bags that are
stapled together and taped. The book stays dry since the
pages are in individual bags. We used the larger cell from
the redesigned book and then type the story line below the
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
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.
Go to previous article
Go to next article
Return to 2000 Table of Contents
Return to Table of
Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright.