Adapting ICT for SEN Categories of Need

joinherbalistAI and Robotics

Nov 17, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Adapting ICT for SEN Categories of Need

Cognition and Learning

Categories of Need


Specific Learning Difficulties including Dyslexia; Dyscalulia;
Dyspraxia; Moderate, Severe and Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulties


Specific Learning Difficulties

Mu
lti
-
sensory learning and teaching

can be promoted by making and using ‘Talking
books’.

They can be made for any area of the curriculum e.g. re create literacy texts or
science experiments using digital cameras, PowerPoint or Clicker Grids including photos

of
props or pictures, recording sounds and commentary.

To promote
recording
, a range of keyboards and mice are available for pupils at different
stages to try.


Initially, some pupils may find it easier to word process using a smaller mouse
or modified ke
yboard.

When
learning to read and write
, spell checkers, visual

pictorial spellcheckers, word banks
ideas and sentence building links.

The use of
mind mapping/concept mapping

software can support learning, recording and
revision.


It can be particularly useful for

visual pupils and those with specific learning
difficulties
-

some programmes include text to speech feedback.

Word Banks

Word bank software arranges words and phrases into grids or lists.


The pupil can select a
word from the list/grid on screen and the

word bank software will automatically type it into the
word processor.


Word banks can be used to support a range of SEN:



Word banks can help pupils who may require literacy support by removing anxieties
about spelling



A word bank can also help pupils wi
th physical difficulties as it can reduce the need to
type individual letters



Most word banks have speech output; speech output allows users to hear the word
before selecting it from the grid/list.


Therefore, word bank software can also support
pupils wh
o may require support reading on screen information due cognitive or visual
difficulties.



It is important that word banks:



Are easy to use



Can be quickly and easily personalised



Have a variety of access options (mouse, keyboard or switch)



Have a range

of accessibility features (such as variable font and colour)



Have

visual support.

It is also recommended that schools choose wordbank software that includes access to
additional
-

and regularly updated
-

resources that can be used to support a pupil.


W
ord banks can help to develop a pupil's vocabulary and generate ideas


however, it is
important to be careful that a pupil is not consistently selecting from a limited list/grid
-

and
therefore not using their own imagination!

The following programs conta
in word bank features:



Clicker 5, ClozePro and Wordbar



Writeonline



Communicate: Symwriter



The Grid 2



Co
-
Writer



Penfriend



Textease



Crick Software
-

Definitions

Title

Summary

Clicker 5

Clicker 5 is cross curricular and can be used in a variety of
way
s.


Clicker supports writing as the user can select words or phrases
and pictures from a word bank, they can listen to the words and then
insert them into a document or book. The user can also use the speech
feedback to listen to what they have written. Th
e word banks can be set
up to support pupils struggling with language and literacy.

Clicker 5 has multimedia functions that enable the use of sound, video
and photos.


In addition, Clicker 5 can be used with Widgit Literacy
symbols or PCS s
ymbols if purcha
sed separately.

Clicker Paint

Clicker Paint is a drawing package that works within Clicker.


Pupils can
use Clicker Paint to illustrate their writing or to create pictures as part of
a learning activity.


It is very helpful
to support conceptual thinking.

Clicker 5
Oxford
Reading Tree

Available as stage 1 to 5 with on
-
screen stories and activities that
develop reading and writing skills.

This needs to be used with Clicker 5.

Clicker
Phonics

Clicker Phonics programme can be used alongside other phonics
sc
hemes
-

including ‘Jolly Phonics'. Clicker Phonics starts by working
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within the jigsaw.

WriteOnline

Access your files from anywhere;

edit and create new
documents.


View pages exactly as they will print.


WriteOnline includes

speech s
upport

-

listen to your writing and listen to the words before
you use them.


Word prediction

to help develop independence
-

view
and hear the most likely next words and personalise t
he prediction
options/wordbars.

Teachers’ tool

to analyse pupils’ writing
:




View document statistics and history




Check use of pasted text




Analyse spelling corrections.

All of the above software

is switch accessible.


For further details, visit the
Crick Software

website or call 01604 67169.

The
www.learninggrids.com

has access to all of the free
downloadable Clicker Grid files available.

It is im
portant that word banks:



Are easy to use



Can be quickly and easily personalised



Have a variety of access options (mouse, keyboard or switch)



Have a range of accessibility features (such as variable font and colour)



Have

visual support.

It is also reco
mmended that schools choose wordbank software that includes access to
additional
-

and regularly updated
-

resources that can be used to support a pupil.


Word banks can help to develop a pupil's vocabulary and generate ideas


however, it is
important to
be careful that a pupil is not consistently selecting from a limited list/grid
-

and
therefore not using their own imagination!


Screen Readers

Screen readers provide speech output for computer programmes.


Through the use of a
synthetic voice and using ke
y strokes rather than the mouse they allow control of the
computer, its menus, dialogue boxes and text areas.


Choice of voice quality can be personal
-

so it is important the pupil listens to a variety before a particular one is bought

Screen reader softw
are and suppliers

Screen
Reader

Supplier

Thunder

Free download for use by individuals with a visual impairment.


Available from:
www.screenreader.net

Telepho
ne: 01733 234441

Hal

Dolphin Computer Access Ltd.


www.dolphinuk.co.uk


Telephone: 0845 130
5353

Humanware,
www.humanware.com


Telephone: 01933 415800

Optelec,
www.optelec.co.uk


Telephone: 01923 231313

Jaw
s

Freedom Scientific through:

Blazie Engineering, Ltd.
www.blazie.co.uk


Telephone: 020 8582 0450

Sight and Sound Technology.


For pupils requiring personalised and small group short term
interventions

There are many
alternatives t
o written recording
:



A portable sound recorder or video camera can be used to record work.





The Microsoft sound recorder can be used to record ideas instead of writing
notes.


The sound files can be saved and attached to pictures, diagrams and
photographs
.


This is most successful where there is the opportunity to develop
dictating skills.




Additional support for access and written recording may include using:



Word processors with




Personal profiles can be set on computers.



Individual preferences for the computer screen settings can be found by using the
Windows Access
ibility Wizard.



Using accessibility options can improve access e.g. changing the background screen
colour.


Please see
AbilityNet
-

Adapting Technology Changing Lives
.



The use of Microsoft
keyboard

shortcuts

can speed up the process of using the computer.

Top 20 Keyboard Shortcuts


Below are sugge
stions of how keyboard shortcuts can support pupils with different needs:



A pupil with hemiplegia may have very limited use of one hand.


The weaker
hand can be used to hold down the shift key whilst the stronger hand activates
the relevant keys.



Pupils w
ho have the use of one hand may press the shift key and the activating
key simultaneously; the number of key strokes is reduced.



If a pupil has poor fine motor control, keyboard shortcuts can reduce the
amount of mouse control needed.



Learning keyboard s
hortcuts allows control of the desktop and its functions
without the need to navigate using a mouse.


Text Formatting: (toggle these on and
off)

Ctrl and B
=


bold selection/tu
rn on
bold


Ctrl and I


=


italicise selection or turn on
italic

Ct
rl a
nd U

=


underline selection/turn on
underline

Ctrl and L


=


justify text left

Ctrl and E


=


justify text centrally


Ctrl and R


=


justify text right

Ctrl and [


=


make text larger


Ctrl and ]


=


make text smaller

F7

=


sp
e
ll check.





File Management:

Ctrl and P


=


print


Ctrl and S


=


save document


Ctrl and O


=


open document


Ctrl and N


=


open a new document.




Copy & Paste options

Ctrl and C

=


copy selection/object


Ctrl and X


=


cut selection
/object

Ctrl and V


=


paste selection/object


Ctrl and Z


=


undo last action

Ctrl and Y


=


redo last action

Ctrl and F


=


find and/or replace text/file
or folder


Ctrl and A


=


select all.


Portable spellcheckers and thesauri can support wr
itten recording.

For pupils who find it difficult to locate letters on keyboards, simplified keyboards can be
tried. To aid letter recognition use keyboard stickers to change upper case to lower case and
improve visibility by using colour contrasted sticke
rs e.g. yellow and black.

Predictive Software

What is predictive software?

Predictive software attempts to guess the word that a user is typing by analysing either the
first letter or first few letters of a word.


From the first few letters, the software w
ill offer a list
of suggestions.


The user

can then

scan the suggestions (through reading or speech
software) and if the correct word is present, select it.


If the correct word is not present in the
first list the user types the next letter and repeats th
e process.

The software contains different dictionaries or lexicons from which words are predicte
d.


The
person who supports the user can create new lexicons.
The software

can be set to ‘predict
ahead';
this means that once the first word is selected the p
redictive software can predict the
next word based on grammatical and common word use.


Types of predictive software include:



Penfriend



Co:Writer



Write OnLine

Who would find prediction software helpful?

Word prediction is especially useful for pupils with

slow typing or keyboard skills.


Word
prediction can reduce a user’s number of keystrokes by up to 45%.


This provides the
potential to produce a greater volume of work and to reduce fatigue levels.

Word prediction is also effective for pupils with litera
cy difficulties.


Research indicates that
pupils' literacy levels improve after just six weeks of using word prediction.

For pupils who have literacy difficulties it is important to ensure that pupils have some
awareness of initial sounds
-

and that the so
ftware is set with a ‘phonetic’ or ‘flexible spelling’
option.


If the pupil struggles with spelling (for example

might spell ‘circle’ as ‘sircal’) some
predictive software would be able to identify the correct word.


For pupils with difficulties in
langua
ge and sentence construction the ‘predict ahead’ function can help

them to form
sentences.

If a pupil can type more than one keystroke per second, predictive software can slow down
typing (especially those with good literacy skills).

Using the ‘predict ahe
ad’ function
-

where the software guesses the next word
-

can slow
down a pupil's thought process by interrupting the flow of ideas.

Setting up and supporting word prediction

It is important that pupils have the opportunity, time and support to learn how t
o use word
prediction software efficiently.


Whilst learning, it is best to provide exercises that have a low
cognitive load.


Initially, copy

typing or short exercises can be useful targeted interventions.

Teachers need to be aware of key subject
-
specific

vocabulary that a pupil will need.


This
can then be entered into the lexicon prior to the pupil needing it.


To ensure that pupils have
the opportunity to be successful with word prediction it is important to ensure the software
has been set up in the m
ost appropriate way.


Considerations for setting up predictive text software

Function

Consideration



Lexicons



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ahead



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ppeech



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from a ‘sentence window'.

pos
ition

Phonetic or
flexible
spelling

For pupils with good literacy skills turn off phonetic spelling.


This will reduce the
number of options for
a pupil and make the process faster.



Personalised and individualised long term interventions

Pupils can work more independently if they have their own copies (or photocopied/printed
copies) of resources such as worksheets, PowerPoint presentations and

screen shots of
interactive whiteboards.This can reduce the need to draw or copy from books or the board
maps, diagrams and tables.

Mathematical drawing and recording software is available that is also accessible using a
keyboard, mouse, trackerball, swit
ches or overlay keyboard and recording software.


For
further information visit STET website.


Pupils may find it easier to use a computer with a simplified screen or alternative input or
access devices.

Individual preferences for the computer screen sett
ings can be found by using the Windows
Accessibility Wizard.


This can be used to reset the background, display settings and
toolbars.


The screen and menu bars can also be configured to remove unneeded icons.

Some pupils may find it easier to try using in
put devices such as Switch, tracker ball or an
overlay keyboard instead of a mouse (to allow maximum attention to the task) or to use
alternative access devices such as concept keyboards and Intellikeys.

The speed and process of typing can be improved by p
key vocabulary, either on screen or on an overlay keyboard and also by using a word

Reading, writing and word processing can be supported with text with symbols, text to
speech and
will not distract others and pupils will still be able to hear class instruction
s.


For pupils who

Voice Recognition Software

Voice recognition software translates voice into text onto the computer and offers full hands
-
free control to the user.

The basi
c requirements are:



A consistent voice



A recent computer



A microphone that cancels noise.

Most previous technical problems with the software have been resolved; therefore the
success depends on the person using it.


Voice recognition has been shown to w
ork better
for more mature pupils and be unsuitable within primary schools.

Requirements of person using voice recognition:




Highly motivated



Patience to: learn the software (and possibly retrain every 6 months),
correct errors and learn all of the verbal

commands



Good intellect (shown to work for top 5


10% of people)



Good dictation and word retrieving skills



Large vocabulary



Knowledge of punctuation



Understanding of how the technology works.



Voice Activation Software
-

definitions and prices

Ti
tle

Definition

Price

Dragon Naturally
Speaking

Use your voice to dictate to the computer to
create text and documents.

£149.99 (single user
license)

For further details visit
Nuance.