2001 Conference Proceedings

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BEYOND THE BOOK: DEVELOPING EARLY LITERACY SKILLS THROUGH THE USE OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Debbie Grant, M.A., CCC-SLP
AT Specialist/AAC Specialist
Santa Barbara County Education Office
Santa Barbara, CA

Paula Justice, M.S. Ed.
AT Specialist / Program Coordinator
North Central Region ATRC
Greensboro, NC

Kathie Maltby, M.S.
SLP/AT Specialist
Irvine Unified School District
Irvine, CA

Sharing repetitive line books with children is a concept you've come to love, but now you're stuck. You want to provide your students with more, but what else can you do? Through the use of assistive technology devices and techniques you can make books accessible for everyone.

Where do you find the time to develop multisensory themes to promote repeated readings?

This presentation will provide answers to these questions, and demonstrate ways to adapt off-the-shelf books, as well as creating customized versions of the book in print and on the computer using IntelliPics, Overlay Maker, Boardmaker and other software applications. Strategies and activities involving the use of assistive technology will be shared.

The following areas will be covered during this presentation:

Through the use of a "storyboard stencil" (developed by The Literacy Committee at Gateway Education Center in Greensboro, NC), which facilitates consistency in presentation, the off-the-shelf book is redesigned to make page layout and vocabulary simpler for the user to understand. One large picture conveys the main idea, with six smaller blocks (two rows of three) for communication symbols/words 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.

How to Provide Physical Access

Off-the-shelf books often need to be adapted to permit physical access by children with disabilities. Methods demonstrated will include:

How to Create Computer Adapted Books and materials IntelliPics activities (IntelliTools) 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. These will be demonstrated using a Macintosh platform, however the materials are also created for the Windows platform. Coloring and animating graphics, as well as ways to incorporate 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.

Additional Information shared during this session:

Activities are designed to enhance and expand on the repeated line book. A variety of ways to use these materials will be shown. Many of the activities and materials shared during this presentation will be available, for purchase, on a CD in Mac and Windows platform at the end of the session.


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