Easy game to help find the keys on the keyboard

Ideal game to encourage young pupils and those with additional support needs to find the keys on the keyboard.  Both the upper case and lower case letters are shown and there is a 30 second timer which gives the game speed and accuracy elements.

Try it out at Big Brown Bear.

 

National 3 Literacy unit – support without the use of a scribe

Scribes are not permitted as a reasonable adjustment when learners are required to show evidence of their writing skills in SQA National Literacy Units (see http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/64698.html) but the use of ICT is allowed:

“In order to minimise the disadvantage faced by some disabled learners in attaining the National Units in Literacy, the use of word processors and other assistive technologies such as screen readers, spell checkers or speech-recognition software would be acceptable as reasonable adjustments.”

(Specification 3 – Literacy Units http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/64702.html)

CALL Scotland have produced this excellent guide on what is required to meet the standard for National 3 Literacy Writing and what assistive technology can be used.  Click here to have a look.

Music Therapy event Thursday 6th March

ELJAM Music Programme (2)

Music Therapy Continuing Forward – Thursday 6th March 4.15pm – 6pm, The Red School Prestonpans

You are warmly invited to attend an informative event about music therapy services currently available for children in East Lothian.

Find out more about the value of this specialist approach through case examples and a discussion of music therapy in educational settings.   You will have the opportunity to take part in an active music-making workshop to experience the power of music!

Music therapy is currently available in eight schools throughout East Lothian, and provides opportunities for communication, expression, and emotional and social wellbeing.  Particularly for children who are struggling in education, music therapy can provide insight into a child’s abilities and needs; and also provide support to help a child succeed.

Since 2011, the East Lothian Music Therapy Steering Group has worked to promote music therapy services for children in a variety of educational and community settings.   Following a report published in 2012, the Steering Group continues to raise awareness of the benefits of music therapy and to promote access to services throughout East Lothian.  In addition, the Group is interested in exploring collaborative funding opportunities to help support current and future music therapy provision.

RSVP to Lori Tragheim, Community Development Officer at the Red School by Thursday 27th February on ltragheim@eastlothian.gov.uk.

Family Fun Technology Day 26th April

Run by specialist staff (CALL, FAACT, KEYCOMM, SCTCI, TASSCC and others) and funded by Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland, the day is a chance for families of children with additional support needs to try out and learn about the software, hardware and specialised communication technologies that might help support them. If you are a professional you are welcome tocome along with a family you work with.

The day will include: time to chat with experienced staff about technology and software; demonstrations; presentations; ‘hands on’ time with computers and toys; games; snacks; Smart Wheelchair rides; information; prizes and more!

Although the day is free, please book a place if you wish to come, and tell them the ages of the children you are bringing. Call  0131 651 6235 well in advance if you wish to discuss any special arrangements your family may require.

Full information here FamilyDay2014

New website for deaf young people

my life my health

My life, My health is an exciting new health campaign to improve deaf young people’s experiences of GP services.  Click here to go to the website.

The campaign was created by the NDCS Young People’s Advisory Board (YAB) to support deaf young people’s access to healthcare services. They have created exciting new resources to support young people, parents and professionals.

Accessible National 4 and 5 Textbooks

Hodder Education have given CALL Scotland permission to make available CDs with accessible PDF versions of their books for pupils with print disabilities through the CALL Books for All web site.

Over the last few weeks they have received files for a number of textbooks for pupils taking Nationals 4 and 5. Titles are currently available for:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Modern Studies

Other subjects should be available shortly.

Hodder have also given CALL Scotland files for ‘How to Pass National 5’ books for a number of subjects.  Please contact them if you have any questions. 0131 651 6235

Apps for students with Austism Spectrum Disorder

 

 

When looking for apps for students on the autism spectrum (ASD), it is important to look at all educational apps and not just those that are tagged as autism apps. They have many of the same learning needs that other students have. This list was developed to provide apps based on common learning characteristics and traits that are typical for students with ASD. It is important to remember that all students learn differently and selecting apps should be based on the unique learning needs of the student. This list is only a sampling of apps available for each skill area. This is not, nor is it meant to be, a definitive list. It is intended to give you a starting place and a rationale for picking certain apps.

Click here to see the wheel in detail.

Developed by Mark Coppin (Oct 2012) – based on Allan Carrington’s Pedagogy Wheel, modified by Cherie Pickering

 

National Literacy Units – why scribes cannot be used and what alternatives have we?

The SQA states:

In relation to the National Literacy Units at all levels:

(i) exemption from demonstrating any of the four assessed skills of reading,  writing, listening or talking will not be a reasonable adjustment and (ii)  using human readers and scribes will not be reasonable adjustments where reading  and writing abilities are being explicitly assessed.

The rationale behind this is that the provision of a human reader and/or a human scribe would  undermine the fundamental assessment objectives for reading and writing and  would not secure that the National Units in Literacy provided a reliable  indication of the knowledge and skills of the candidate upon whom they are  conferred. It would not be possible to maintain public confidence in the  National Units in Literacy if learners are given  credit for ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ when that  process has been carried out by someone else.

In order to minimise the disadvantage faced by some disabled  learners in attaining the National Units in Literacy, the use of word  processors and other assistive technologies such as screen readers, spell  checkers or speech-recognition software would be acceptable as reasonable  adjustments.

I have been doing some testing with the in-built speech recognition on a Windows 7 Lenovo ThinkPad E530.  I used an Andrea USB Mono headset and from a test yesterday think the correct headset makes a huge difference.  Have a look at the short video clip here to see it working.  (slightly wobbly filming as was self-videoing)

It’s not perfect as I excitedly stated in the video clip but it’s good and could be something that could benefit many of our students.  Could this be a possibility for them to use instead of dictating to a scribe for the Literacy Unit assessment?

You can try it for yourself on a Windows 7 laptop or PC.  Click on the Start icon then type in ‘Speech Recognition’ in the Search box.  Work your way through the set up – I skipped the tutorial and so did no ‘training’ of my voice and still got very good results.

Let me know what you think!

Short Breaks Fund Re-opens

This week saw the launch of the latest round of the Better Breaks funding programme.  The purpose of Better Breaks is to develop responsive and creative short break opportunities for disabled children and young people, and their families.

There has been an additional £100,000 added to the programme to be targeted at organisations providing services for families caring for a child or young person with learning disabilities. This brings the total to £1.3m to be distributed.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 11th December 2013 at noon.

To date the Short Breaks Fund has funded over 22,000 separate breaks over two and a half years at an average cost of £293.

If you want to apply or know more then you can read the full guidance and accompanying notes on our website.