2001 Conference Proceedings

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PixWriter, the Write Start Hands-On Lab

Hands-On Lab
Jim and Jean Slater
Slater Software, Inc.
351 Badger Lane, Guffey, CO 80820
phone: 719-479-2255
fax: 719-479-2254
info@slatersoftware.com 
http://www.slatersoftware.com



PixWriter is software to help beginning and struggling writers experience success with written language. By selecting picture/word buttons which are on-screen, the child can write words, sentences and stories. Vocabulary setups can be made to meet educational objectives, student capabilities, and curricular needs.

“I can write without really writing” said a fifth grader with severe learning disabilities when he first saw PixWriter. Now children of all ages and disabilities can enjoy writing and improve their skills. Designed for beginning or struggling writers, the software is adaptable to fit the needs and capabilities of students.

During this hands-on lab, attendees will learn how to make vocabulary setups, how to adapt those setups accounting for children’s varying capabilities, and how the features help them teach written language skills.

A service provider or parent fills the vocabulary buttons at the bottom of the computer screen. This vocabulary setup is then saved and presented to the child. By selecting a button by either direct-select using a TouchWindow (R), mouse, alternative keyboard, or single-switch scanning, the child can write words, sentences or complete stories.

There are many features of the program that educators and students appreciate--the ability to import pictures and photographs from other sources, the ability to change pronunciations, different sized pictures and printing formats, choice of access methods, and flexibility of vocabulary arrangements. All these will be explained and practiced by those attending.

PixWriter is appropriate for students who have fine-motor disabilities that affect letter formation, who benefit from speech feedback during the writing process, who are helped when vocabulary is visually presented, who lack alphabet and sound-symbol relationship knowledge, who have limited word recognition skills, who use written language for communication of original thought, who have difficulty comprehending the written word, or who are just beginning to write and show an interest in print.

This lab session is appropriate for all educators, therapists, and parents who work with students with limited or emerging writing skills.


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