Sunday, March 27, 2011

Answers: Yes/No is a great app but just got even BETTER

Answers:YesNo HD - SimplifiedTouch

Answers: Yes/No has a new feature added today.  You can add pictures for a 2 picture communication board through an in app purchase. 

Your In-App purchase allows the user to...

- Use pictures on 24 custom pages

- Create four distinct picture button lesson plans consisting of six custom pages each

- Set custom text, audio, and button color for each picture button

- Increase the total number of preprogrammed pages to 31

- Easily navigate between all custom button sets

I am looking forward to using this app immediately with my emergent communicators. 

The app is $1.99 and the in app purchase is 2.99.  Well worth the price and function.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Marin Co. to issue iPads for its special ed students

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Marin County is about to lead the nation in issuing iPads for its thousands of special education students. In less than a year, Apple's tablet has revolutionized speech and language therapy.

Richard Hart reports on the Drive to Discover a digital coach (Geoffrey Rush) for "The Kid's Speech."

"How are you?" asks the computer voice after a finger's push. "OK. Good question," says the teacher." It's an easy question for most of us, but not so much for Jennifer Lambert and her friend Alessandra Lituanio. These two teenagers carry on with touch-screen pads. One of the pads has sparked a revolution in speech and language therapy.

"What's this thing?" we ask Jennifer.

"iPad," she replies through her... well, iPad.

"Is it easy to use?"

"Yes," she says.

Her and her friend's teacher is Assistive Technology Specialist Dan Phillips. "I think that the iPad is just beginning to tap into the whole world of special needs," she says. Phillips is a specialist with the Technology Resource Center of Marin County, which is undertaking to supply iPads for some of its 4,000 students in special education. That's something unthinkable with its predecessor, purpose- built devices like the one these kids used to use that cost up to $7,000. The iPad costs one-tenth as much and never mind that it is infinitely more flexible.

"If you go onto the iTunes website," Phillips points out, "the fifth item down is special education links. That just shows you the power that special ed has right now on what's happening with this movement."

And, it is a movement. A phone conversation between Jennifer and Alessandra is an iPad conversation.

"Hello, what are you doing?" comes out of Alessandra's device.

"Want to come over?" asks the other.

"Nice. OK," Phillips tells them.

"So you asked her 'Do you want to go see a movie?', right?"


"OK, and you asked her, 'Do you want to go hang out at the mall?'"

Any word can be typed to be spoken, but phrases can be created for easy recall later. And, what about the King's Speech? Is there an app for that?

"You know, I'm waiting for that," Phillips laughs. "I'm sure it's seconds away from coming."

Parents are raising the funds for the iPad deployment through a group called "Dedication to Special Education."


Dedication to Special Education site for parents

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our Winner

Soliz M. is a 3.5 year old boy.  He resides in Arizona with his family.  He attends preschool and receives therapy at preschool along with various private therapies.  He has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome (4p-) resulting in a hearing loss, cortical vision impairment and other ocular conditions.  He is currently using a rocker switch with Yes/No responses and beginning to sign 'more'.  Soliz is working on improving his fine motor skills and his family is hoping the iPad will help him learn to use his hands better.  Soliz also has a little sister with the same diagnosis and the family is hoping she will be able to utilize the iPad as well.  Congrats to Soliz and his family.  We look forward to hearing more of how he is progressing and the opportunities the iPad offers him and his family.

YEAH!!!! The First Babies with iPad Grant has been awarded

I just meet with the committee and went over the applications and a child has been chosen to receive the first iPad grant.  I will be calling the family this afternoon to let them know.  The iPad will be mailed Monday morning to this deserving child and family.  Thanks for all the applicants.  Today I also received several donations to make it possible to buy another iPad in the next week or so.  The next iPad will go to a child in WV since that is where I work and the majority of the donations came from this time.  I plan on changing the criteria each time to get iPads out to serve a variety of needs.  Again I wish I could do more but at this point 'Baby Steps to One iPad at a Time' is what I am trying to focus on.  All the applications will be filed away for later consideration as funds allow. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

R J Cooper's List of Apps and Developers of Switch Accessible Apps

Rj Cooper's List of Apps and Developers that work with a switch or in the process of becoming switch accessible:

AutoVerbal Talking Soundboard PRO - No Tie, LLC - 1/23/11 - Todd advises: "You [customers] should let the developer [us] know that it's impacting your buying decision so they [the app developer] can prioritize that feature."

MyTalkTools Mobile - 2nd Half Enterprises LLC - 11/27/10 - Bick writes "We are not going to be ready with this for a couple of months at least."

Predictable - tbox apps - 1/26/11 - Works right now :)

Proloquo2Go - AssistiveWare - 1/26/11 - "At present I think March/April is more likely, but as it requires so many changes it is really hard to nail down exactly."

RJ Cooper & Associates, Inc. - Now! :) Greatest cause/effect music player ever!

SoundingBoard - AbleNet - Ablenet - RJ writes: "Our (RJ's) new version (as of 2/15/11) of our interface/Super-Switch will be compatible. Their app (SoundingBoard) looks for and as the 'switches', BUT Steve from Ablenet writes: "The ~1 and ~3 commands have been added to our list for a future release. The date of a future release has not been determined." Owners of my current interface/Super-Switch will be able to trade theirs in for the new one for a $20 charge or can wait for the updated Ablenet version.

TapSpeak Choice for iPad - Ted Conley - 1/24/11 - Ted (> has had his apps switch-friendly for over a month now. I applaud him.

TapToTalk™ - Assistyx LLC - 3/2/11 - Lenny - "I will have a version of TapToTalk for iPhone/iPad later this week or early next week to test on which to test scanning."

TouchChat HD - AAC - Silver Kite - Dave - 1/22/11 - "We have a final definition for implementing the scanning into our software, but have not coded it yet. We won't have anything to show until at least the CSUN conference." (which is in mid-March)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We Have Reached our Goal and More

We are going to keep on collecting donations for One iPad at a Time.  My original goal was 3 to 4 iPads a year but due to the wonderful contributors hopefully we will may be able to shoot for more.  Thanks everyone.  The first iPad has been ordered and the grant is out for everyone.  We have a good start on saving for our next iPad.

Special Thanks to our Chipin Contributors


Grant is ready and iPad has been ordered

The first Babies with iPad grant application is available.  Click on the pages tab above for eligibility requirements and then next tab for the grant application itself.  March 18, 2011 at 4:30 is the deadline for the first iPad grant.  The iPad will be mailed the following week.  The refurbished iPad 16GB with complete Apple Warranty has already been ordered. 

Thanks to everyone for the donations.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Coming soon Grant Application for an iPad

We received a $100 donation today and that makes our total $505 a whole month earlier than anticipated.  I am working on the grant application now and hope to have it out tomorrow.  Thanks for all the support and donations.  I am looking forward to giving out our first iPad to a deserving child.