Monday, November 30, 2009

Assistive Technology, Module 3 - Software

iCommunicator ( looks like a wonderful tool for the deaf or hard of hearing. Having speech not only shown as text but also as video sign language on the computer really makes this tool valuable. Also being able to type something that is then turned into speech also helps the person communicate with someone who does not know sign language.

I was impressed with the video about the Dragon NaturallySpeaking where the software will type what the person says. My son saw a demonstration of a similiar program (not sure which program it was because I was talking with the technician while her assistant showed him the program) when we went to an Assistive Technology Evaluation for my son. Right now my son dictates to me or to an aide. Having a program such as this one would help him to be more independent.

It was interesting reading the stories of people using the Kurzweil 3000 ( I am finding that the most interesting way to learn about assistive technology is by reading about and watching videos of people who are using assistive technology and finding out how their lives have improved because of the assistive technology.

I downloaded the 30 day free trial of Inspiration. This software is a great way to create outlines or diagrams. I was able to quickly make up a simple diagram showing the ways my family can include more fruits and vegetables with their meals.

My 30 day trial of Kurzweil 3000 is still downloading so I will have to take a look at that software later.

I am having trouble seeing the videos of the accessibility features already built into my computer's operating system. Those videos sound like they will be very informative.

InfoEyes looks like a great resource for people with low-vision. They can set up a time to actually talk with a librarian through an internet chat room.

As I am learning more about assistive technology, I am realizing the importance for librarians to be aware of the different types of disabilities and challenges their patrons may have and what is available to assist them to be able to use the resources the library has to offer. I can see it being a challenge to figure out what types of assistive technology to get for the library since we may not know what types of disabilities our patrons are dealing with and we probably cannot ask them in some sort of survey due to privacy issues. If we are working in a school library, then we would have access to student IEP's. It had not occurred to me that the school librarian should also be looking at the IEP's of students until we discussed it during one of our chats for my graduate class. It makes sense that we should know about the challenges our patrons face. Maybe in the public library there would be a way for us to advertise the different assistive technologies that we have in the library and also a way for us to discreetly mention that we can work with you to help you access the library's resources.

1 comment:

  1. neat that you involved your son -- good model for librarians to do with their clientele in general