Do you have plans for emergency situations? Many resources, helpful suggestions, and check lists are available on the internet, but we often neglect taking the time to plan how we can act for emergency situations such as Fire, Earthquake, Storms, etc. If you are or have an individual with special needs in your family, it is recommended that you have your own plans as well as discuss these plans with your family and others.
Here are some resources to get you started:
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES OR ACCESS & FUNCTIONAL NEEDS
For people with children, children may enjoy playing the following games while they are learning. Click the following: Disaster Master Game or copy the following address to your browser. http://www.ready.gov/kids/games/data/dm-english/index.html
Disaster Master Game
The image shows the Game selections from Level 1 through 8. Level 1-Wildfire, Level 2-Tornado, Level 3, Hurricane/Blackout, Level 4-Home Fire, Level 5: Winter Storm/Extreme Cold, Level 6: Tsunami/Earthquake, Level 7: Thunderstorm/Lightning, and Level 8: The Hot Seat.
Penina Rybak, MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, the designer of the “Socially Speaking” app, posted an article in the Closing Gap magazine about IPad use for children diagnosed Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In the article, she reported that many special education teachers recognize the importance of visual supports for Autism. Many teachers have used therapeutic techniques and reputable programs such as PECS, TEACH, Social Stories, and Visual Strategies. However, there is a growing interest in finding evidence about how to work with ASD students using technology, particularly iOS apps. Some examples of apps that can be integrated into the classrooms are photo apps, flashcard apps, drawing apps, and social story apps, AAC apps, problem-solving apps, and multimedia apps. However, Ms. Rybak states that it is more beneficial to use of an IPad by customization to meet each child’s needs. The app, “Socially Speaking”, designed by Ms. Ryback is an assessment protocol containing two assessment checklists: social skills development and a lesson plan template. This app can be used to determine the children’s IEP goals among team members and the lesson plans both for school/therapy and at home. (For more information, click here.)
Many people use their smartphones to check time instead of wearing a wrist watch. However, you may start hearing about smartwatch. Some of the smartwatches can accept calls, check e-mail, take pictures, calendars, and run some other apps. For example, Samsung Galaxy Gear will be sold from T-Mobile starting October 2. The Gear links to your phone over Bluetooth and is acting more as an external display so you do not need to get your phone out every time it rings. The size seems to be a little bit bulky. I am sure that we will see more design improvement near future. I would especially like to see some built-in accessibility features to navigate the watch though. If you want to do some comparisons, you can visit the following websites:If you want to do some comparisons, you can visit the following websites:
Samsung Galaxy Gear vs Sony Smartwatch 2
Qualcomm Toq vs Samsung Galaxy Gear
The Smartwatch Review
As new accessibility laws are in effect, meeting web accessibility requirements are becoming more challenging. Closed Captions (CC) help individuals with deaf or hard of hearing view videos and make it more accessible as captioning describes dialogue and audio cues such as music or sound effects. It is helpful even for persons with normal hearing when the audio cannot be heard due to noise (restaurants, public spaces, etc.) or in quiet locations such as hospitals or a libraries.
Software from CPC allows you to create closed captions for the most popular web formats such as HTML5, YouTube, Flash, QuickTime, iTunes, and Windows Media, as well as convert existing closed captions into web formats. For example, MacCaption is the only software that enables the HD closed captioning functions of Final Cut Pro 7. You can modify and output both HD and SD closed captions to tape, file, disc, mobile devices, and the web. It works for both Windows and Mac. So if you often create videos and film, consider adding captioning to be accessible for all audience (CRC MacCaption).
If you do not have the software, but you want to add captioning on a YouTube video you created, check out this video by BigNate84 (BigNate84 Howto). You do not need the CPC software for this purpose. How To Add Closed Captions To A YouTube Video
Tar Heel Reader offers free, easy-to-read, and accessible books. These books area created by teachers and students. You can download these files and use them as slide shows in PowerPoint. These books can be speech enabled with the following voices of a child, a woman, or a man’s voice or simply silent. The files can be accessed by touch screens, IntelliKeys and switches. You can also create your own book and publish it on this web site. The Tar Heel Reader can be used as a wonderfully engaging activity in the classroom.
An Autistic child is an individual with unique needs. One example can be on how to cope with his or her feelings. The Social Express Inc. develops apps, which are designed to teach users how to think about and manage social situations. For example, the Digital Problem Solver (DPS) app (99 c) allows the user to identify how they are feeling by choosing from a selection of emotions (Bored, Happy, Surprised, Mad, Annoyed, Sad, Frustrated, Scared) Once you identify your feeling, then you will be guided to choose a coping strategy to help you control the situation. Strategies include: Take Five Deep Breaths, Take a Break to Calm Down, Remind Myself to Keep positive Thoughts In My Head (or learn how to control negative comments). If controlling the situation is more complex, the pictures can be personalized by adding text to label the feeling or the strategy. You can also use your own photos and customize to your specific needs.
Additional product information from the Social Express Inc.
Educators and parents recognized that some games help children develop in other areas, such as instilling motivation to learn, encouraging decision-making strategy, increasing creative design, improving strategy, promoting co-operation and teamwork, and fostering problem solving. In addition, they indicated that certain games motivate children to work on literacy and other creative activities, such as writing stories and other narrative-specific skills.
A few years ago, while I was researching Games, I came across a school, which included an exercise game called Exergame as one of their activities.
In the Dovepress Joural, an article published on September 2011, titled “Management Autism and exergaming: effects on repetitive behaviors and cognition” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3218790/), it is reported that case studies and preliminary research show that aerobic activity can decrease self-stimulatory behaviors in children with autism.
Other games have been researched by educators. For example, New Mexico University has a learning game lab, funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State of New Mexico and 15 other university partners.(http://learninggameslab.org/index.html)
After reading the comments from many sources, I have considered more of the benefits, such as developing creativity and imagination, collaborating with other students, and exploring thoughts and feelings. What is your opinion about games?
While researching productivity apps, I have found many articles about Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/) and Evernote (http://evernote.com/), and many people seem to like both. These services are based in the cloud, and I think that both services are good productivity apps. If you are wondering about the differences, you may find the following articles below interesting. However, I have also discovered that you may be restricted in use to one or another if you combine with another app or a device. For example, when I was testing a Livescribe Sky Pen (http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/smartpen/wifi-smartpen/), the Sky pen model only supports Evernote app. A text-to-speech app, Voice Dream (http://www.voicedream.com/), uses Dropbox.
Dropbox vs Evernote – The Differences Explained, and How to Use Them Both Effectively
Evernote and Dropbox Why
I Use (and Love) Both
I attended a Webinar sponsored by RESNA the other day. In this webinar, Tony Gentry, PhD OTR/L presented how apps and strategies can be used with smart phones, PDAs, or tablet computers to help veterans with cognitive-behavioral challenge related Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Here are a few of apps introduced during the webinar and plus additional reminder apps. I am planning to add more information about productivity apps in my next post.
Due ($4.99): This app is simple to use, no account to create, no start or end date to set, no need to prioritize, tag nor categorize. http://www.dueapp.com/
TellMeLater (99c): This app allows you to create quick and simple reminders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNf_rLJ56fI
BugMe! Stickies ($1.99):Notepad with Alarms: This app replace those paper sticky notes with handwritten or text notes on your iPhone and iPad.
Stick-it iPhone Sticky Notes (free or a Pro version for 99c): Sticky Notes isn’t just a note taking and organizing app but also you can add alarms to the note reminders. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETgvjG7d8cM
Windows Phones offer many ways for you to personalize your phone like iPhone and Android phones. It seems that over 130,000 apps including Live apps are available for Windows phones. You can access the built-in accessibility features called “Ease of Access” from Settings. The features include magnification by tapping, enlarge text on apps, high contrast, listen to text messages hands-free, voice recognition, and read-out-loud your received text message. You can also use your Windows phone with a TTY/TDD to make a phone call by using the appropriate cable and connector for the headset jack. I have not heard much about people using these Windows phones yet, but I would like to see more developers come up with unique features such as interfacing with mice, switches, and Eye Gaze systems.