Thursday, August 2, 2012

Journal #8: Adaptive Technology

Augmentative and alternative communication is a type of communication device that those with disabilities/speech impairments use to communicate. After searching on Diigo, I found a low-tech AAC device called "talk time cards." Each card has a spot to slot a picture into, as well as a device to record on. "Talk time cards" can be used just like regular flashcards, only they have a recorded voice/sound that will assist the student in their learning needs. Teachers can work with their students individually or in small groups while using these flashcards. One way teachers can utilize this in the classroom is by showing the student the card and only using the recording as a hint if they get stuck. 

A high-tech AAC device I found was called "Allora." "Allora" looks like a miniature hand-held computer. To use this device, you type your message into the system, which is then read aloud by an automated voice. "Allora" also has a word-prediction feature that is used to predict the next word in a sentence.This tool can be very useful to use in the classroom, especially for students who cannot speak. It provides them with a voice, which opens up so many educational opportunities. For instance, it gives them the opportunity to participate in class discussions. It also lets them express their knowledge in such a way that was limited/nonexistent in the past.

Input devices for people with special needs are devices that help physically or mentally handicapped people use the computer or a computer-related device. An example of a software input device is an on-screen keyboard, which is essentially a virtual keyboard. This can be very useful to use in the class with students who have limited mobility and may not be able to use a keyboard. It may also as an alternative keyboard to increase the speed at which a student types. 

                                                                            An example of a hardware input device is the TetraMouse TM05. This is a device that has dual joysticks that can be manipulated by the mouth or tongue. The TetraMouse can be used as an alternative to the traditional mouse in the classroom. It can be used for students who have little to no hand and/or head movement. The TetraMouse gives students a way to use a computer, even when their bodies may not be physically able to do so.

 Follow my other classmates blogs about AAC advices!
Mike I.
Melanie H.


  1. Kristin, I really loved looking over your devices and explanation of things. I can tell you hold compassion for those who are in need of these devices. Wouldn't it be great to see some of these kinds of devices in real classrooms?!

  2. I really like the TM05 Device I have often wondered how Individuals with limited head and hand mobility could interact with a computer. It seems like a really simple device but it must open a world of capabilities for those in need.

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  3. I like the Tetra Mouse, as it seems like its an update on the device that I chose. With the amount of things you can do with a computer these days, devices like these can really change the way we communicate with people that have disabilities.

  4. The Tetra Mouse is pretty cool. I've learned about those in some of my Kinesiology classes for special populations. Seems like updates are being made as well.

  5. Hi Kristin!
    I like how you explained the Allora. What a cool device that is hand held and helpful in many ways. Giving students a chance to participate in class makes all the difference in their learning.