2001 Conference Proceedings

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USING TECHNOLOGY TO TEACH LITERACY SKILLS TO STUDENTS WITH MULTIPLE IMPAIRMENTS

Nina McCloskey
Beth Anne DiFabio
Overbrook School for the Blind
6333 Malvern Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19151
Phone: 215-877-0313
http://www.obs.org

Introduction

This thirty-minute presentation will highlight using technology to teach literacy skills to students with multiple impairments. The students outlined in this presentation are ages 16 through 21 and are currently enrolled in the life skills program at Overbrook School for the Blind. The focus of their studies includes learning functional vocabulary such as sight words and vocabulary related to every day living. These students were, in the past, not typical candidates for a formal literacy program. Using technology, the students are learning letters, sight words, and basic grammar skills. The literacy program that this class is currently using can be applied to students with or without visual impairments.

Methods and Materials

The presentation will include a power point presentation in conjunction with a demonstration of some of the technology and resources used in the classroom. Attendees will be provided with an extensive list of ideas for teaching literacy skills to students with multiple impairments.

Students currently use a variety of resources to develop literacy skills. Custom overlays have been created using Intellitools’ Overlay Maker(TM), and function utilizing Intellikeys(TM). Intellikeys (TM) is an alternative keyboard device that allows complete computer access for students with a wide range of abilities. A portable card reader has also been incorporated into the curriculum to read vocabulary words, learn new vowel sounds. The students utilize Co-Writer 4000 (TM), which is a word prediction program to access the Intellitalk(TM) word processing program. These programs allow students the satisfaction of writing sentences right from the beginning of implementing the program. High-interest, low vocabulary resources are used in the literacy program and a comprehensive list will be provided to all attendees. All information presented is adaptable to suit a wide range of student abilities and curriculum goals.

Resources

Don Johnson, Inc.
1000 N. Rand Road, Building 115
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
1-800-999-4660
www.donjohnson.com 

Intellitools, Inc.
55 Leveroni Court, Suite 9
Novato, CA 94949
1-800-899-6687
www.intellitools.com 

Humanware, Inc.
6245 King Road
Loomis, CA 95650
1-800-722-3393
www.humanware.com 

Freedom Scientific, Inc.
www.hj.com 

Blazie Engineering
www.blazie.com 

Saddleback
3505 Cadillac Avenue, Bldg. F-2
Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1443
(714) 540-4010
www.sdlback.com 

2000 ESL
Delta Systems Company, Inc.
1400 Miller Parkway
McHenry, IL 60050-7030

Highsmith, Inc.
W 5527 Highway 106
PO Box 800
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0800
www.highsmith.com 




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