Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology is designed to provide vocal output for those who cannot (or struggle to) express themselves verbally. This technology could be useful for a wide variety of communication challenges, including autism spectrum disorders, neurological disorders, brain injury, developmental delays, dyspraxia, and any other type of challenge or injury that might affect speech.
With many of us working from home this week, we thought it would be a good opportunity to look at some tips and best practices for telecommuting that will help you make the most of your at-home office. These tips are applicable to anyone working from home; whether you’re telecommuting due to sickness, for convenience, or you’re someone whose physical circumstances make it difficult to access a typical office environment, there’s something here for you.
A message from Gary Birch, Executive Director, Neil Squire
March 13, 2020
We want to reassure you that we are closely following the latest developments of COVID-19. Our priority is ensuring the health and safety of our participants, clients, staff, their families, and the greater community.
At this time, our programs and services remain open for business.
Calendars have been used as our primary means of organizing and scheduling for thousands of years, so it perhaps shouldn’t be much of a surprise that even in the digital era that we live in today, the basic structure and utility of the calendar hasn’t really changed, although it certainly has become digitized. This is great news for individuals who struggle with reading, writing, and executive functioning, or for anyone who simply forgets to, or chooses not to use paper calendars, because with this digitization comes convenience, and most importantly, an increase in accessibility.
When it comes to office-based productivity, the Microsoft Office suite is by far the most popular, with a current run of over 1 billion devices worldwide. And while much of that popularity is based around PCs in the workplace, Microsoft has been delving ever deeper into the mobile space, with a variety of mobile friendly apps and platforms being launched in recent years, including OneNote, Office Lens, Office 365 mobile, and more.
In previous posts, we’ve discussed a variety of solutions for challenges related to writing. In the classroom, writing and reading challenges tend to be the most common, and about 80% of individuals with learning disabilities struggle with dyslexia, hence why this subject is so often explored here. Today, we’re going to look at an option that seeks to uniquely alleviate some of those challenges.
For individuals with learning challenges, traditional approaches to studying math are often inadequate, and can leave the student feeling frustrated, disconnected, and ultimately will have a negative impact on the students sense of pride in their overall academic abilities. And, because math skills can be affected by a wide range of learning disabilities, such as dysgraphia, dyslexia, and dyscalculia, finding the right supports for the right student can be a real challenge.
Earlier in the month, we explored a variety of assistive technology apps that are available as Google Chrome Extensions. These apps were created by third party developers such as Ginger Software, TextHelp, Claro Software etc. and use Chrome as a platform to host their product. What many AT users might not realize is that Google has also created their very own accessibility extensions, and that those extensions are always available for free. The extensions that we’re looking at today can be found through the Chrome Web Store under the “Accessibility” category, or, by clicking here.
Since the original roll out of extensions in 2010, Google Chrome has become a leading hub of accessible apps for PC and Mac computers. Many of these apps are free or free to try, thus providing users with an exposure to accessibility that was never possible before, and with Chrome being responsible for over half off all of the world’s internet traffic, accessible apps and features have never been more mainstream. And, thanks to the open-sourced origins of this browser, new accessibility extensions are being added every day.
Apple’s Air Pods have become hugely popular among consumers thanks in part to the fact that this new iteration of earbud is small, discrete, and completely wireless. But, what a lot of Apple users might not know is that these devices can also be used as assistive technology for individuals with auditory challenges! In today’s e-bulletin we’re going to explore the Live Listen accessibility feature which first debuted with iOS version 12.