2003 Conference Proceedings

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Indispensable Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Writing

Scott Marfilius
Assistive/Instructional Technology Consultant
855 W. County Line Rd.
Bayside, WI 53217
Phone: 414-379-7779
Fax: 414-351-4274
Email: marfilius@wi.rr.com

This fast paced session will give participants a whirlwind tour of a continuum of writing supports. We will demonstrate low tech devices such as pens, grips and templates to software applications such as word prediction, Kidspiration, and DraftBuilder. Often when individuals struggle with writing, a few basic tools such as talking word processors and word prediction are utilized. These tools, although beneficial, may not be what is required depending on what aspect of the writing process the individual is having difficulty with. All to often the students do not receive the appropriate tools they need in order to successfully write.

It is evident that no one instructional strategy works for all individuals. Students have different backgrounds, skills, interest, and learning preferences. Without reasonable accommodations individuals who struggle with writing, are faced with numerous barriers. We will look at a variety of aspects of writing and offer participants a framework with which they will be able to provide assistive technology support both in remediating and accommodating the individuals learning differences.

Technology has created ways and means for persons who struggle with writing to become far more successful in educational and work environments. It has also increased greatly the ways that persons can get and use information. The new means developed through technology often fit well with the learning needs and methods of persons with all students. However, persons who struggle with writing need to gain both access and training in these new technologies that could help them move up the academic ladder.

The writing process has three primary componants: mechanics, language expression and message construction. A break down may occur in one or more of the componants. A continuum of devices and supports will be shared in each componant area. The presenters will be sharing strategies that have been implemented with teachers who now have seen success with their students.

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