Assitive tech   writing
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  • Example with Michal – Struggled to know how to write his ideas in sentences but once he was able to verbalize them, then he could start by writing the sentences that he just said.
  • Freedom from making mistakes – not a big deal!
  • Co:Writer – highlight over word and it is spoken aloud – helps students who can’t identify the correct spelling of the word.
  • Can be complicated because students are expected to do these things all at the same time: 1 – Think about what they are going to say, 2 – Speak the thought aloud, 3 – Speak any punctuation and capitalization, 4 – Read on the monitor what the program understood them to say, 5 – Decide if that was actually said, 6 – Correct the program if it is misunderstood, 7 –Go back to picking up the train of thought.


  • 1. Assistive Technology to Support Writing
  • 2. What is Writing? HANDWRITING - Holding a pen and moving your hand from left to right, leaving marks on paper. But there’s more!
  • 3. Major Elements of Writing Task Environment – problem/assignment Writer’s Long Term Memory – stored knowledge of topic, audience, and writing plans Writing Process Itself – Planning (stages of writing), Translating, and Reviewing
  • 4. Writing Problems that Students with Disabilities FacePlanning – they don’t know howSpelling – problems spelling words, identifyingerrorsTranscription processes – Spelling andHandwriting Lack knowledge about what makes good writing and specific writing strategies
  • 5. Specific StrugglesStudents who are deaf and communicate mostlyusing Sign Language – Low literacy levels becauseEnglish is a Second language for them.Students with Physical Disabilities (CP, MD, etc.) –forming letters correctly and quickly and wordalignment on paper.Some Students with Autism, Down Syndrome orvisual-motor LDs - dysgraphia due to poor finemotor coordination.
  • 6. Specific Struggles...cont’dNote-Taking – Complicated for many students withLDs. Skills needed: Read and Write at the same time Organize ideas that are presented Distinguish what is important from what is not Do everything above at the same time
  • 7. Low-Tech Tools forHandwriting DifficultiesPencil GripSlanted desk/table topAnchor paper on a clipboardPaper with raised or bold lines – helps studentswith LD and/or visual impairmentsRubber stamps –Math, Writing, Pictures,Namesetc.
  • 8. Pre-Writing Tools Graphic Organizers & Concept Maps – paper and computer software – i.e. Inspiration &Mindview 3 Templates
  • 9. Drafting Tools Word Processing Applications – MS Word, Google Docs Benefits: Legibility of Text Publish in different formats Easy to change/revise Supporting applications for Spelling, grammar, concept mapping
  • 10. Changes without Rewriting Allow For…No stress about Spelling duringCompositionLess stress about organization /sequencingMore emphasis on content
  • 11. Word Prediction ApplicationsThese programs make an educated guess aboutwhat word the writer wants to type and gives alist of choices. Co:Writer by Don Johnston WordQ by goQ Software WriteOnline by Crick Software (web-based, talking) Google Scribe by Google
  • 12. Speech Recognition Speaker says the word into a microphone and the software recognizes words and writes them on the screen. Dragon NaturallySpeakingby Nuance SpeakQ by goQ Software MacSpeech Dictate by Nuance
  • 13. Reviewing Text-to-Speech applications – Write:OutLoud Helps students with poor reading skills Text is read aloud by “chunks” Speed & Voice can be adjusted Text being read can be highlighted
  • 14. Editing Spell-Checks – Standard vs. Phonetic dictionaries Talking Spell-Checks Thesauruses Grammar Checkers
  • 15. Sharing/Publishing Newsletters Story-writing programs – graphics, video, sound with text PowerPoint Presentations provides engaging environment for pre-writing (organization) provides an alternative to writing a paper but still is able to show knowledge.
  • 16. Sharing/Publishing …cont. Internet Discussion boards Blogs – “Web Log” or Journal – w/ student comments Kidblog Wikis- Students can add and edit info on the site
  • 17. Note-Taking Mid-High Level TechPortable Note-takers – Neo (2), CalcuScribeSmartpen – Pulse Pen and Echo Pen by LiveScribeBraille Note Takers – Braille Lite M40 and BrailleNote byHuman WareCapturing Devices – Mimio, SmartBoard, and PrometheanActivBoardCART $$$– Communicative Access Realtime Translation forDeaf/Hard of Hearing students – word by word translation C-Print $ - produces paraphrased records of class lectures.
  • 18. Assistive Tech Plus… “Assistive technology will succeed in helping students improve their writing skills only if it is paired with good teaching strategies.” (Dell, 2012, p49). Training needed in: The Writing Process – Specific Tech tools How to use these tech tools to enhance the writing process