visitor center banner

Resource File: Early Childhood -- Tools

Annotated List of Barbara's Most Used Tools


Switches
Programmable Switches
Switch Interface Adaptations
Switch Hardware Adaptations
Communication Devices
Children's Software
Software - Other
Electronic Toys
Other



Single Switches

Big Red® 5" in diameter; has a cord storage compartment. $42

Jellybean®: 2-1/2" in diameter. $42

Specs: 1-3/8" in diameter. Comes with 3 interchangeable bases: a flange base, a space-saving flush base for mounting with adhesives, and a strap base (includes one strap). Can be used with AbleNet's Slim Armstrong® and Universal Switch Mounting Systems. $42

AbleNet
1081 Tenth Avenue, S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414-1312
(800) 322-0956

All AbleNet switches come with a six-foot cord and a 1/8" monoplug, and come in a choice of seven colors.

Back to top of page


Programmable Switches

BIGmack Single Message Communication Aid

AbleNet
1081 Tenth Avenue, S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414-1312
800-322-0956

A single message communication aid has one shot timer that prevents message repetition when user continually activates switch. Has 20 seconds of memory, volume control, external switch jack and external speaker jack for amplification with Mini-amplifier Speaker System. New features include a cable to connect the BIGmack to a toy or appliance, allowing the user to experience voice output paired with a reinforcer (includes one cable); an on/off switch; improved design decreases accidential activation; beige base with choice of five top colors. 5" diameter, 21/4" high. Uses a 9-volt battery.

Cheap Talk

Enabling Devices
Toys for Special Children
385 Warburton Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 478-0960

Cheap Talk 4: Stores up to 4 phrases up to 5 seconds each. Phrases may be re-recorded as often as you wish. Press one of 4 differently colored 2" squares to activate. Symbols, pictures and/or words can be inserted to identify the messages. Direct. $69

May be purchased with 4 external jacks that allow the use of external switches. $95

A scan option allows the use of of a single switch to scan the 4 different messages. A light illuminates sequentially under each message and when the switch is released the recording associated with that square is played. The speed of scanning is adjustable to accommodate a wide range of different abilities. $150

Optional unit with Direct or scan option. $190

All of the above (direct, scan and jacks) allows direct activation by pressing the squares, activation by separate external switches, and scan operation. $275

CheapTalk 4 Inline: Above unit in square 2x2 configuration. This product has 4 messages in a row. Same price. (No scan feature)

Cheap Talk 8: This is the same as the Cheap Talk 4 but has 8 messages instead of 4. Also available with a 2.5 second message time instead of 5 at a reduced price.

Say It Switches

Enabling Devices
Toys for Special Children
385 Warburton Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 478-0960

This is a device that combines a Talking Switch Plate (5"x8") that activates a 20 second message, in a Rocking plate that allows you to use two switch plates side by side (for example for yes/no responses). $65

Say It Play It

Enabling Devices
Toys for Special Children
385 Warburton Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 478-0960

The Say It Switch purchased with an external jack which when connected to a toy or other device will activate the device while the unit speaks. $75

Back to top of page




Switch Interfaces

Macintosh Switch Interface

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
AppleLink: DJDE
America OnLine: DJDE
CompuServe: 72350,3143
Internet: djde@aol.com

Plugs into the ADB connector on your Macintosh keyboard. Use it with any Macintosh switch-ready or "click" software. Includes disk with scanning tutorials.

Switch Latch and Timer

AbleNet
1081 Tenth Avenue, S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414-1312
(800) 322-0956

Allows for timed or latch mode of control with battery-operated devices. With the Timed Mode, the appliance remains on for one to 60 seconds with one activation of the switch. In Latch Mode, the appliance turns on with one activation of the switch and turns off with the next activation.

Back to top of page


Switch Hardware Adaptations

Slim Armstrong Mounting System

AbleNet
1081 Tenth Avenue, S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414-1312
(800) 322-0956

Can be purchased with or without knobs. System extends to 20-1/2"; comes with five mix-and-match parts that create four different mounting systems. $175

Universal Switch Mounting System

AbleNet
1081 Tenth Avenue, S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414-1312
(800) 322-0956

A system for mounting switches quickly has one lever to lock all joints in position. System extends to 20-1/2" and has a clap that anchors to a variety of surfaces, including wheelchair frames. Has a large triangular mounting plate and holds up to five pounds. $189.

Back to top of page


Communication Devices

Communiclock®

Crestwood
6625 N. Sidney Place
Milwaukee, WI 53209-3259
(414) 352-5678

The Communiclock@ is a freestanding, lightweight board with a pointer in the center. An overlay placed on the board provides spaces for communication symbols that are arranged around the pointer. The user activates the pointer by pressing a built-in large button. The pointer moves clockwise, around the overlay, so the user can release the button to stop the pointer when it arrives at the desired picture or word. Comes with 6 blank overlays for use in designing various situations, 246 stickers with pictures, words, numerals, the alphabets and blanks, and a jack outlet to accomodate switches. $214

Dynavox Augmentative Communication Device

Sentient Systems
2100 Wharton Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(800) 344-1778
Fax: (412) 381-5241

Speech output device uses a dynamic touch screen display. Can be operated via direct touch, joystick, auditory or visual scanning modes. Uses DECtalk technology for synthesized speech. May be purchased with a variety of memory and software packages:

Macaw

Zygo Industries, Inc.
Portland, OR 97207-1008
(503) 684-6006; Fax: (503) 684-6011

A communication system that ....

Opticommunicator®

Crestwood
6625 N. Sidney Place
Milwaukee, WI 53209-3259
(414) 352-5678

An eyegaze frame that allows users to focus their eyes on a pciture work or letter in order to communicate. Includes 246 stickers. Acrylic board is 11" x 17 1/2". $59.95

SpeakEasy Voice Output Communication Aid

AbleNet
1081 Tenth Avenue, S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414-1312
800-322-0956
(612) 379-0956

A communication aid for beginning communicators. Messages can be accessed via a keypad or external switches. Holds 12 messages totaling four minutes and 20 seconds of recording time and predetermined recording time for each key: six keys allow 10-second messages, four keys allow 20-second messages, and two keys allow 60-second messages. On/off switch preserves battery life. Weighs one pound. Size is 7-1/2 " x 5-1/2" x 1-3/4" A new cable connects SpeakEasy with one or two toys or appliances. The message plays as the toy or appliance connected to the device begins to operate, allowing the user to experience voice output paired with a reinforcer. (Includes 2 cables). Message stop feature, when turned on, causes a second activation of the key or switch to stop the message being played (useful for beginning auditory scanning). Uses 9-volt battery. Comes with a shoulder strap.

Back to top of page


Children's Software

Blocks In Motion

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
Email: djde@aol.com

A software program that features on-screen manipulatives. Build with blocks, glue them together, and animate them with motion. Students can create their own pictures, or teachers can design classroom activities. The program was designed based on Piagetian principles and develops thinking skills, encourages exploration and facilitates experiementation. Suitable for all ages and abilities. This software is Ke:nx aware for easy full switch access with Ke:nx.

System requirements: Macintosh computer, System 7, hard drive with 3 MB available plus additional space for each additional block set installed; 3.5 MB RAM, 256 color monitor.

CircleTime Tales

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
Email: djde@aol.com

Software that includes three nursery rhymes for young children, Eensy Weensy Spider, Mary Wore Her Red Dress, and Five Little Ducklings. By rhyming and repeating phrases, young children develop early literacy skills. Pre-readers use the mouse, switch or touch screen to advance the rhyme. Text appears at the bottom of the screen and highlighted as spoken. Has built-in scanning.

System requirements: Macintosh LC II or higher, System 7, 256 color monitor, 3-5 MB on hard drive, 2.5 MB RAM. For CD-ROM: CD-ROM drive, 4 MB RAM.

Circletime CD-ROM: $59

May be purchased with Learning Materials: On and off computer ideas are included with worksheets, crossword puzzles, story cards, and line drawings of each story page: $85; Learning Materials purchased separately: $29

Lab packs (5 users): $235

Circletime Tales diskette: $59

Lab packs (5 users): $207

KidDesk

Edmark
P.O. Box 97021
Redmond, WA 98073-9721
(800) 362-2890
(206) 556-8400
Fax: (206) 556-8430

A hard disk security and menuing program that protects hard disk data while letting students use the computer independently. From personalized desktops, students can launch their favorite programs, and only the ones the teacher has selected. With KidDesk a teacher can:

System Requirements:

Macintosh: Macintosh Plus or later; hard disk; mouse; system 6.0.7 or higher; for system 6.0.x, 1 MB RAM for monochrome, 2 MB RAM for color; for system 7.0 or higher, 2 MB RAM for monochrome, 4 MB RAM for color. Optional: TouchWindow, printer, microphone.

MS-DOS: IBM or compatible: hard disk; MS-DOS 3.1 or higher; 604K; VGA or EGA; mouse; sound card recommended. Optional: TouchWindow; printer, Sound Blaster and microphone for speech input. Windows: IBM or compatible (386 or better); hard disk; Windows 3.1; VGA; mouse; 4 MB RAM. Sound: Windows compatible sound device recommended; microphone required for voice mail. Optional: 256 color SVGA, TouchWindow, printer.

Disk Version

Lab Packs (for 5 computers)

KC & Clyde in Fly Ball

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
Email: djde@aol.com

Designed for the elementary classroom, this is an interactive adventure story that focuses on literacy, reading and language development. Students create the story by making choices as how it will progress. Easy to read and specifically designed for students with learning disabilities. Also includes built-in scanning. Depending on the level of interaction set by the teacher, students may be asked questions to help them learn about words and concepts in the story. Learning Materials may be purchased separately. These are specifically designed for students with learning disabilities with reading and writing curriculum integration ideas that address different learning environments and alternative learning styles. On-and off-the computer ideas including worksheets, crossword puzzles, story cards, and chapter art and line drawings.

System Requirements: Macintosh computer, System 7, 256 color monitor, CD-ROM, 3-5 MB on hard drive, 3 MB RAM

CD-ROM: $79

CD-ROM with Learning Materials: $99

Learning Materials separately: $29

Lab pack (5 users): $305

UKanDu Little Books

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
Email: djde@aol.com

Early literacy software with simple short animated stories. Each Little Book story has 4 pages. Every page features a picture and text with words left out, and word choices for filling in the blank. The reader chooses the word to complete the sentence and the story. There are 16 variations for each story. Has built-in scanning. Each story can be printed out and folded into little paper books.

A Day At Play: 2nd grade reading level, includes three stories.

Out and About: 1st grade reading level.

System requirements: Macintosh LC, System 7, 256 color monitor, 3 MB on hard drive, 2.5 MB RAM

Windows: 386 DX 33mHz PC, Windows 3.1, 256 color monitor, 4 MB hard drive, 4 MB RAM, Sound Blaster or compatible.

UKanDu Switches, Too!

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
Email: djde@aol.com

Programs in this series are simple stories with graphics, sound, animation, and auditory cues. Three levels of interaction include cause and effect, opposites, and story completion. These programs serve as a stepping stone to the UKanDu Little Books, UKanDu Interactive Series, and other literacy software.

Eensy & Friends: This program contains 3 humorous cause and effect activities featuring characters from the Circletime Tales and introduces other learning concepts as well, including left/right, up/down, counting and numbers, and colors.

Forgetful & Friends: This program contains 3 cause and effect stories with characters from the Storytime Tales.

System requirements: Macintosh: LC, system 7, 256 color monitor, 5 MB on hard drive, 2.5 MB RAM

Windows: 386 DX 33mHz PC, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, 256 color monitor, hard drive, 4 MB RAM, Sound Blaster or compatible.

Diskettes: $45

Lab packs for 5: $157.50

Jokus Workshop CD

By AheadMedia A.B. Sold by Don Johnston

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
Email: djde@aol.com

Children learn cause and effect, choice-making and timing as they enjoy discovery, story-telling, arcade-style games. Can run with mouse, keyboard or switch.

System requirements: Macintosh LC, System 7, may run off CD, 256 color monitor, 4 MB RAM, CD-ROM player

CD-ROM: $80

Storytime Tales

Don Johnston
P.O. Box 639
Wauconda, IL 60084-0639
(800) 526-2682
(847) 526-2682
Email: djde@aol.com

A collection of three stories for young children ages 3-5--Forgetful's Secret, Dirty Duds, and Bobby, Bobby, What did you do?--based on the book Storytime by speech pathologist Pati King-DeBaun. Encourages building literacy and communication skills. Words are highlighted as spoken. Text is repetitive and simple predictable storylines. Has built-in scanning.

System Requirements: Macintosh LC, System 7, 256 color monitor, 3-10 MB on hard drive, 2.5 MB RAM

Diskette: $65

Back to top of page


Software-Other

Boardmaker

Mayer-Johnson
P.O. Box 1579
Solana Beach, CA 92075-1579
(619) 550-0084
Fax: (619) 550-0449

A graphics database of over 3000 Picture Communication symbols in clip art form that you can select to make color overlays for your communicaton aid. With Boardmaker you can:

Boardmaker comes with:

Requires:

For Macintosh: System 7 Mac Plus or greater, and 4 megs of RAM. Using black and white symbols only requires 6 megs. of space on your hard disk. The color set will require another 16 megs. Loading the full set of color and black and white symbols requires about 22 megs.

For PC with Windows: 4 megs of RAM, the ability to run Windows 3.1 and a hard disk with 6 megs available space for black and white symbols only, 8 additional megs for color symbols, or a total of 14 megs. when using a full set of black and white and color symbols.

Mac or IBM $399
Site license for 5 users: $1,000

Click It

IntelliTools
55 Leveroni Court, Suite 9
Novato, CA 94949
(800) 899-6687
Fax: (415) 382-5950
http://www.intellitools.com

A collection of Macintosh utilities that work with any Mac program to enhance the capabilities of IntelliKeys, switches, or a regular or alternative keyboard to provide instant mouseless access to menus, dialog boxes and scroll bars. For example, to pull down the File menu, the ClickIt! user can type in a control key to access the commands on the menu. Auditory feedback can be added. ClickIt! can be used to scan Hot Spots. Hot Spots are highlighted as they scan and auditory prompting and feedback can be added.

Intellipics

IntelliTools
55 Leveroni Court, Suite 9
Novato, CA 94949
(800) 899-6687
Fax: (415) 382-5950
http://www.intellitools.com

Allows teachers or parents to create early learning activities on the computer for exploratory learning or interactive quizzes. Uses digitized speech, graphics, and multimedia creativity tools. Choose pictures or sound from a built-in library or use your own. Text may be typed in for the computer to pronouce. Comes with 6 activites. $99.95

Overlay Maker®

IntelliTools
55 Leveroni Court, Suite 9
Novato, CA 94949
(800) 899-6687
Fax: (415) 382-5950
http://www.intellitools.com

Creates overlays for IntelliKeys. For the Macintosh: Works like a drawing program. Draw keys on the computer screen, add letters, phrases, mouse movements, or special IntelliKeys settings, and background colors and patterns. A variety of font sizes and styles available. Overlay Maker can customize switch settings for switch programs. Comes with the IntelliTools Picture Library of 300 images. You can also add pictures from clip art, digitized images, Boardmaker or other drawing program. Includes owner's manual and Quick Reference Card

$69.95. Runs on all Macs SE or later, including PowerMacs; requires System 6.0.7 or higher, and 2 MB RAM.

For Apple II: Follow menus to create overlays. Choose from 20 pre-defined overlay layouts or create your own. Runs on Apple IIgs and IIe with 128K RAM. Comes with two 5.25 disks, owner's manual, Quick Reference Card. $69.95

Speaking Dynamically

Mayer-Johnson
P.O. Box 1579
Solana Beach, CA 92075-1579
(619) 550-0084
Fax: (619) 550-0449

A program for making talking, multilevel communication boards which run on the Macintosh. By selecting a symbol or text, the reader can make the computer talk, type, play a message, change screens. Selections can be made by using a mouse, joystick, touchscreen, head pointer, keyboard, or single switch. Program has multiple scanning modes: auditory, linear, row/column, inverse, and step scanning. You design the communication boards and determine what actions will happen when a symbol is selected. Pictures, photographs and sound effects may be imported. Has word prediction, abbreviation expansion, onscreen or external keyboards, shadows words as it reads, adjustable fonts, font sizes, and color text, save and print files.

May be used as:

System Requirements:

Price: $299
Site license for 5 users: $1,000

Back to top of page


Electronic Toys

Fireman Ladder Climber

Activate the switch to watch the firefighter climb to the top of the ladder and return back down. Can be used for visual tracking and demonstrating spatial relationships, or as a scanning communicator by placing pictures or words on ladder rungs. Additional sections can be added to create a 4 foot ladder. $32

Bead Chain

The bead chain is a curtain of beads mounted on a sturdy base with rubber suction cups. $37.00. Bead Chain with Mirror: Similar to the Bead Chain, but when curtain of beads is pushed aside, it reveals a mirror. $50.00. Bead Chain with Music Switch: Music is activated when beads are moved. Bead chain can also be used as an external capability switch without music when connected to a toy or device. $55

Motorized Glitter Roll

A clear roller contains sparkling shapes which, when activated, tumble while the playing music. $70

Dome Alone and Dome Alone with Switch

Activate by switch to watch bright confetti-like objects spin inside the dome. $50. Dome Alone with Switch has large switch on top of dome. $60

Pouring Cup

When activated, the top cup pours liquid into the botton cup, and returns to upright position when switch is closed. $71

Enabling Devices
Toys for Special Children
385 Warburton Avenu
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
(914) 478-0960

Back to top of page


 

Other

Apple QuickTake camera

Apple Computer, Inc.
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 996-1010

A digital camera for Macintosh computers that enables you to add images to documents, print them out or save them to your hard drive. Stores 32 standard-quality images, 16 high-quality images or a combination in internal memory. Comes with software to control the camera from the computer, including image-enhancement tools, Apple Script automation, and support for Drag and Drop. You can mount the camera on the Macintosh desktop just like a disk. Includes a battery with a battery life of more than 200 pictures, including download time and flash use for more than 100 pictures.

System requirements: A Macintosh computer with a 68020 or later processor, with 5 MB of RAM and 10 MB of available space on the hard drive; or a Power Macintosh computer with 8 MB of RAM and 10 MB of available space on the hard drive. System software version 7.1 or later.

IntelliKeys

IntelliTools
55 Leveroni Court, Suite 9
Novato, CA 94949
(800) 899-6687
Fax: (415) 382-5950
http://www.intellitools.com

This keyboard is designed to provide access to the Macintosh computer for students with physical, visual, or cognitive disabilities. Comes with seven overlays to help students access standard learning software. Four of the overlays are especially designed for young users. Use the Setup Overlay to adjust IntelliKeys for keyboard response, repeat rate and more. $395.

System requirements: Works on all Macs except Mac 512K and Mac Plus, including PowerBooks and Power Macs. Also works with IBM and compatibles, and Apple IIgs. Apple IIe requires IntelliKeys IIe card.

Touch Window

Edmark
P.O. Box 97021
Redmond, WA 98073-9721
(800) 362-2890
(206) 556-8400
Fax: (206) 556-8430

An input device that performs as a touch screen, graphics tablet, or keyboard substitute. Users can touch a picture, word, or object on the monitor's screen to control the computer and interact with software programs.

Macintosh: $335
Apple II series $275
IBM/compatible $335

System Requirements:

TouchWindow works on any 9" to 15" monitor

Macintosh: Apple Desktop Bus port (any Macintosh except for the Mac Plus or Mac 512; system software 6.0.5 or higher.

IBM/Compatible: unused serial port

Apple System IIe, IIGS or Apple II Emulation Card. (When using the Apple IIe Emulation Card on the Macintosh OC, you will need to use the Touch Window for Apple II Series with Macintosh Adapter Rails--available separately from Edmark.)

Back to top of page

 


books of resources Back to Resources

visitor center signBack to the Visitor's Center

school busBack to the Bus Route

[ NCIP Home | Library | Videos | Tour | Spotlight | Workshops | Links ]

This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP)  in collaboration with the Center for Literacy and Disabilities (CLD)  at Duke University.   NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by CLD, NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

© Education Development Center, Inc.