Assist On-line is your one-stop guide to new developments in assistive and adaptive technology.
This page will be updated on a weekly basis brining you the latest software and hardware up-dates. From keyboards, pointing devices, switches to voice recognition ...you'll find it here!
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Whether you represent a school, day centre, private practice, leisure service, NHS clinic, therapy group... anything and everything, this site has everything...including some great software downloads!
Check out the 'Downloads, Software and Hardware' link for some great resources or, if you want to play online accessible games that are age appropriate and engaging then, select the 'Free and Fun' link.
Selwyn Electronics - Digimemo (Potential tool for dyslexic users)
Digimemo provides an extremely innovative tool for a range of people whether in class, lectures, tutorials, seminars or during a meeting and for work.
DigiMemo instantly captures and stores your notes, ideas, sketches, flowcharts and anything else in digital format in the pad’s flash memory or optional CF card, without the use of computers and special papers.
Unlike other digital pens the DigiMemo does not require special papers. The DigiMemo it lets you put any ordinary paper on the pad and use the inking pen to write directly on the paper. Even if the thickness of papers laid on the pad is 12mm; your handwritten notes can still be captured and stored in the memory of DigiMemo.
Handwritten notes can then be converted into text with the MyScript Notes handwriting recognition software. MyScript notes will convert the Digimemo pages files (.DHW) into text. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology handwriting, shapes, tables and freeform drawings are transformed into text or Word files for further amendment or inclusion in other documents.
This could be a potentially useful tool to support individuals with dyslexia.
The Digimemo allows you to take notes that can then be downloaded and converted
into text. Users who have TextHELP or another reading and writing support
tool, for example, text to speech, can check for spelling errors etc, in the
Click here to find out more about DigiMemo and the Selwyn Electronics website
Developed especially for the UK market, Englishtype Junior is built around Key Stages 1-3 of the National Curriculum, and uses all related words in the National Literacy Strategy. It is quick to progress through and has a proven track record teaching children to type in a week.
Englishtype Junior has a highly structured and cumulative approach to learning that is particularly beneficial for children with learning difficulties. Unlike many other typing tutors, as well as teaching touch typing, the program is designed to maximise additional educational benefits. It facilitates learning of both reading and spelling by using language in each key stage which is directly relevant to the needs of children in that age group.
Englishtype Junior uses high frequency words and phonic content for each key stage to encourage general literacy learning. Presentation is deliberately visually simple and uncluttered, and has a strong multisensory element.
Englishtype Senior is similar in many ways to Englishtype Junior but with
a more adult feel. One of the great adavantages of touch typing programs such
as Englishtype senior is the literacy support it provides particularly for
improving reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation. A great tool for struggling
learners, particularly dyslexics.
Fonty is a fully interactive educational software course for teaching reading.
Fonty uses speech recognition technology to empower phonics to teach any child to read. Fonty gives student's a jump start - whether they are just beginning to learn to read, learning English as a second language, or facing the challenge of a learning disability.
Fonty can be used at home, in reading labs, in special education reading classes and for ESL students around the world.
Students with special needs and dyslexia will benefit greatly from the advanced approach Fonty takes in teaching children to read. Using the proven phonics method, Fonty humorously guides the student through an introductory reading course.
The Maestro Handheld PC is an accessible PDA for visually impaired users.
Maestro is a PDA made accessible by VisuAide using a text-to-speech technology adapted application and a tactile keyboard membrane over the PDA's touch screen.
Maestro offers portability and the convenience of state-of-the-art wireless technology. For example, you can take notes directly with the integrated tactile keyboard or with an external wireless Braille or Qwerty keyboard.
Maestro's flexible environment allows you to add other VisuAide applications (ex. Trekker GPS system and Victor Reader, the digital talking book player). You can also easily transfer files between your Maestro and PC.
The Maestro's main features include: PC Windows-based suite of applications,
electronic agenda and contact manager, text notetaking,
vocal notes, synchronization to PC MS Office applications, open software environment and flexible hardware & software configuration.
QualiLife is a world-leading company specialising in the development
and distribution of assistive software technologies with the purpose of improving increased accessibility to I.T. for people who find traditional methods either difficult or impossible.
QualiLife’s innovative accessibility technologies are designed to help
with physical disabilities achieve greater independence in a range of environments, for example, software solutions for environmental controls in the home and easy access to writing emails and surfing the Internet.
QualiLife also provide headpointers for people who have difficulties using a physical mouse and need to navigate the desktop and access a range of applications.
The QualiLife website contains a wealth of information as well as a range of trial assistive technologies to download.
The MyKids keyboard & mini-mouse have been designed specifically for young children.
The keyboard is approximately 80% of the size of a standard adult keyboard and its smaller keys and spacing allows children to use the correct finger for each key, without having to over-stretch. With this keyboard, children can learn to touch type with the greatest of ease.
BusyFingers is a touch typing program that has been designed specifically for young children, but it can still be used by adults.
The novel user interface really does appeal to children and once they've started, they want to keep on practicing.
These misconceptions, without understanding dyslexia's effect on the person's life, lead to rejection, isolation, feelings of inferiority, discouragement, and low self-esteem.
Smart phones and PDAs offer an impressive amount of computing power. But in practical terms, they are not always easy to use. Writing long emails or other documents can frankly be a pain without a proper mobile phone keyboard or PDA keyboard.
The I.TECH Virtual Keyboard (VKB) is an infrared keyboard that uses the latest infrared & laser technology to project a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface. Users can then type as normal on this virtual infrared keyboard, enabling them to work quickly and effectively, taking the pain and frustration out of small and often inaccessible mobile phone or PDA keyboards and handwriting recognition software.
Imagine how much easier it would be if you had a proper mobile phone keyboard that fits in your pocket.
Great for encouraging students to complete those assignments!
Using a webcam and recognition software, the 'Nouse' system tracks the movement of the user's head using their nose as the reference point.
The aim is to provide an alternative for people who cannot use a mouse and those who want to avoid repetitive strain injury.
If you want to try the technology for yourself, and have a webcam, you can download it from the Nouse website.
Recommendation: If you experience difficulties using a mouse and/or a keyboard consider using the Nouse in combination with an on-screen keyboard, such as the Click N Type keyboard with word prediction.
For those users who have more complex difficulties, in particular limited mobility, the IRISCOM allows total control of a computer using eye movement.
The IRISCOM uses a feature called 'Quick Glance' which tracks eye movements to simulate mouse navigation and clicks.
The user focuses on the area that he/she wants to activate and IRISCOM will activate the appropriate commands by blinking or movement from the pupils.
This would suit users who have a range of difficulties including; multiple sclerosis, cerebral paralysis or muscular dystrophy. The only downside is that it currently costs about £5000. This may seem quite expensive but compared to Eyegaze it is considerably cheaper.
An additional advantage of IRISCOM is that used in combination with an on-screen keyboard or a software program such as The Grid, the IRISCOM provides an excellent communication device for those with communication difficulties.
To find out more about IRISCOM you can visit the web site by selecting the link below. Unless you are fluent in spanish, you will need to use Google's 'translate this page' facility.
The orbiTOUCH keyboard is unlike any keyboard you have seen before. This is a keyless non-impact keyboard which creates a keystroke by sliding two domes into their eight respective positions.
This website offers you a unique online facility - to create and download style sheets that suit your needs, in possibly the simplest way possible. This is a free accessibility tool.
The user style sheet enables you to view web pages in a format that suits you, whilst retaining the original information structure of the web page.
WiVik is an on-screen keyboard that allows you to use a pointing device or automatic or switch scanning to select keys to type into any Windows application.
On-screen keyboards can often provide an accessible means of access to a range of Windows applications for users who are unable to use a physical keyboard and mouse.
Wivik 3 offers a range of features, for example, WordQ™ word prediction allows users to write faster and with less effort, abbreviation-expansion, speech feedback for proof reading.
The new look interface is colourful and easy to use and can be used alongside switch based scanning with a USB switch box for scanning with 1-6 switches. Other settings include Point and Click, Point and Dwell selection methods.
Prentke Romich International (PRI) is a leading supplier of communication aids throughout the world, combining language expertise with technology and effective support, to create assistive tools that enable independent communication.