Browsing Posts in Software

Kurzweil Software

Kurzweil 3000TM is the premier reading, writing and learning software for struggling students, including individuals with dyslexia, learning difficulties, or those who are English Language Learners.

Kurzweil 3000 supports the teaching and learning of reading skills that are necessary for meeting state and federal mandates.

Because Kurzweil 3000 is also content independent, teachers in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges alike use it to help students succeed in the classroom regardless of curriculum or lesson plan.

Educators and independent research have demonstrated that Kurzweil 3000 provides not only the tools students need to improve their reading speed and comprehension, but also the features that make it possible for them to learn and study independently.

With the aid of visual and auditory feedback, the software helps students keep up with assigned reading, learn critical study skills and successfully complete writing projects and tests.

The software can access virtually any information, whether it is printed, electronic, or on the Web. It then reads the words aloud to the student in clear, humanlike, synthetic speech, while a patented dual highlighting feature adds visual reinforcement. For students who have difficulty physically accessing curriculum materials, Kurzweil 3000 provides a digital means of engaging with text and can support students who use alternative methods for accessing the computer.

In addition, the product is proving instrumental for both classroom and standardized assessments. Kurzweil 3000 not only reads questions and answers aloud, it allows students to type answers directly onto the image of a scanned test, thereby offering more independence for both the student and teacher.

Dynavox Mayer-Johnson

As the worldwide leader in augmentative alternative communication (AAC), Dynavox Technology offers state-of-the-art communication devices and software that help thousands of individuals with disabilities to express themselves more fully.

People recovering from a stroke could benefit from a new computer system developed by a University of Wolverhampton student.

Graham Ranson decided to develop a software program for his dissertation project after watching his dad’s rehabilitation following a stroke.

The system has a number of tasks which are designed to help re-build skills that can be lost following a stroke, such as hand and eye co-ordination, balance, range of motion and cognitive abilities.

The software is designed for use on computers and potentially for use on games consoles that people have at home, to enable rehabilitation to continue between visits to the hospital or doctor.

Graham is in his final year of a BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Games Development) and recently won a BAFTA as part of a team of School of Computing and Information Technology students who designed a new video game, Boro-Toro.

The 23-year-old from Oxford said: “My dad had a stroke last November and it was his idea that stimulated my work. He can walk now and his speech is better but his arm did not fully recover. The software can chart how patients progress, and can test them to see how they are improving.

“Hopefully patients using the software would gain some functional independence like they had before they had the stroke, and work on things in between hospital visits. I would like to see it being made into a real product that can be used by patients.”

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Dr Gillian Pearce, is an expert in strokes and has been actively involved in Graham’s work and previous projects involving stroke software. She said: “Stroke patients are sometimes allowed to go home a few weeks after their stroke has occurred and physiotherapy is then limited due to the constraints of available resources. They can sometimes feel that relatively little is available when they leave hospital.

“I think Graham’s software is straight forward to use, versatile and low cost and I would love to see it get to the stage where it is being used by stroke patients and in the home.”

The University is currently looking to progress the technology towards a commercial end product or service, and anyone interested in supporting the project can contact Dr Iain Alexander on 01902 323922.

University of Wolverhampton

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Gus Communications Inc.

Gus software has become the most popular augmentative communication product in the world. It is used by individuals, hospitals, schools, speech clinics and rehabilitation centres in over 38 countries. From the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City to the Handicapped Institute of Sweden.

One of their software products is called “Overboard”. Overboard is a leading tool for parents, teachers and speech language pathologists for creating printed communication boards, schedules, reading/writing activities, visual supports and speech enhanced dynamic display (AAC) solutions! Now includes speech output and page linking.

Click Here . to read more.

Words+, dedicated to “unlocking the person” by improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. From world-renowned astrophysicist Dr. Stephen Hawking, to preschool children, the success of their users is both an inspiration and a testimony to the effectiveness of their systems.
Since 1981 Words+, Inc. has been a leader in creating state-of-the-art products that truly “unlock the person” by providing the highest quality communication and computer access products available. Find out more about Words+

Moss Talk Software

MossTalk is specialized software developed for individuals with language impairments (i.e. aphasia), typically acquired through stroke or head injury. MossTalk may also be used with individuals with learning disabilities and other cognitive impairments. The software is designed to assist speech-language pathologists in effectively selecting and delivering therapy exercises and tracking results. It is also designed for independent home use by language-impaired individuals and provides hours of practice in comprehending and producing words, phrases and sentences. Moss Talk

Determining Software Needs

It is important that you review all software and products before you purchase them. You can do this either by ordering a demonstration disk (if available) or by choosing only those programs with a 30 day trial policy. Do not be fooled by the company’s “promotional” materials. Software may sound perfect but you really need to try it first to make sure that is suits your needs and learning style.

There are two main types of software programs used by individuals with aphasia.

  1. Drill and Practice - programs developed to improve many language and cognitive skills such as verbal expression, attention, reading and memory.
  2. Compensatory Programs - programs that allow you to compensate for problem areas, including-
    • Speaking Aides - specialized programs that allow the computer (or a dedicated communication device) to produce sounds, words and sentences for you.
    • Writing Aides - specialized programs that help you produce written language.
    • Memory Aides - specialized programs cue you to complete day to day tasks.

You may want to use a combination of software programs, some to help you improve areas of difficulty and others to help you compensate for skills that have been impaired. You may find that you do not want to use drill and practice software but are very motivated to use the Internet. You may think that you cannot do this because of your difficulty with reading. Remember there are programs that can read you. You may want to try these rather than spending time improving your reading.

© 2000 Ruth Bluestone

Excerpt from Expanding the Role of Technology for Individuals with Aphasia: A Whole New World of Opportunities.