2004 Conference Proceedings

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OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO LITERACY USING CLICKER

Presenters
Janet Peters,
Coordinator
Perrine Dailey,
Assistive Technology Specialist
PACER Simon Technology Center
8161 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis, RUN 55437-1044
Day Phone: 952-838-1406
Fax: 952-838-0199
Email: jpeters@pacer.org 
Email: pdailey@pacer.org

This intermediate-level presentation will demonstrate how Crick software's powerful writing support and multimedia tool, Clicker 4, can be an useful literacy tool for children of all ages and abilities.

The one-hour presentation will cover an introduction to literacy and current thoughts on literacy learning based on research by David Koppenbaver A discussion of the barriers faced by children with disabilities in their quest t become literate will be presented, along with strategies for overcoming those barriers. A discussion of why children benefit from the use of picture-supported text and how to choose vocabulary will follow.

Presenters will review current research related to literacy learning based on research from David Koppenhaver, a respected Minnesota researcher. Presenters will review current thoughts on literacy, such as all skills, reading, writing, speaking (including augmentative communication), and listening develop concurrently and inter-relatedly rather than sequentially and so literacy instruction should consider all these areas, children learn written language through active engagement with their world and so; emergent literacy behaviors are variable and depend upon text, task, and environment. Research shows that written language experiences should not be withheld while speech, motor, or other skills develop and technology, media, and materials can dramatically impact children's ability to demonstrate emergent literacy, children with disabilities face many barriers when learning literacy. These barriers can include: reduced expectations or their inability to participate as actively in literacy "activities" in the home.

The presenters will discuss some suggestions for strategies for overcoming these barriers. One strategy is to provide picture-supported text. This kind of text benefits students who may struggle with reading, have limited English proficiency, are slow to learn phonics skills and/or sight.words, wan to participate in literacy activities just like their peers and who require visual images to help comprehension. A review of the principles for improving literacy with picture-supported text will include review of what skills are needed to achieve the goal of literacy and how clicker can be used to boost these skills.

clicker is a supportive writing and multimedia tool for all abilities. It contains a full-featured talking word processor that can write with words and pictures, which is easy to tailor for individual needs. The program supports all areas of the curriculum and can be used by students of all ages..

clicker 4 offers many features that make it useful to many children. An overview of these features and their importance will be presented. Following will be a discussion of the features of clicker Grids and clicker Grids for Learning, which is a free online service. Presenters will also review other teaching tools available from the crick website.

Clicker can be accessed with multiple access methods including a mouse or trackball, keyboard, switch with scanning, head pointers and touch screens. A iscussion on why multiple access methods are important.

Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences using Clicker and similar products for teaching literacy to students with disabilities.

References:

crick software http://www.cricksoft.com 
David Kgppenhaver http://www.gac.edu/~dkoppenh 
center for Literacy and Disabllity studies http://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/clds/about.html 


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