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Sample Software for Fun and Learning

A number of computerized books have been created or specifically adapted for students with disabilities. A number of the software programs described in the chapter, Emergent Literacy Success, "Developing Independent Readers" (pp. 113-115) (1997, Musselewhite & Kind-DeBaun) are based on Books For Learning in print format. The two computerized books described below are appropriate for students who are at the emergent literacy stage.

Shark Activity, Hands-On Concepts (Macintosh-IntelliTools)

The Shark Activity is one of many included in the software set Hands On Concepts. That IntelliPics activity presents a simple storybook with slot fillers (five / four / three etc., bumpy / long / spiny fish swimming in the sea), and repetition ("Along came Mr. Shark and ate the fish with glee"). Simple graphics and bold animation are other features. Adaptions: Adapted access includes IntelliKeys with overlay plus single-switches attached through IntelliKeys. Go to the IntelliTools Web site for more information.

Storytime Songbooks 1 & 2 (Macintosh, PC/Windows available 97-Creative Communicating)

This storyware is based on the book Storytime and the Storytime Supplement by Pati King-DeBaun. Each songbook includes five titles from that book. Highlights of the software include: simple, colorful grahics, bold animation, enlarged and highlighted text, music, and digitized singing. Adaptations: Multiple access methods are available including: IntelliKeys expanded keyboard (via overlay), single switch cause and effect, single switch auditory scanning, TouchWindow cause and effect, and TouchWindow. Go to Creative Communicating's Web site for a free demo.

Many excellent, interactive computerized storybooks are available on Apple, Macintosh, and PC Platforms. These programs offer fun opportunities for enjoyment as well as vocabulary expansion. A sample series is described below, along with ideas of how programs may be accessed by students with disabilities (from: Emergent Literacy Success, Chapter 3, pp. 88-89)

Living Books (Macintosh, CD-ROM-Broderbund)

These CD-ROM storybooks are highly interactive, allowing students to read the story and explore by pointing and clicking to items on the screen. Many stories are available including, "The Tortoise and the Hare", "The New Kid on the Block", "Arthur's Teacher Trouble", and "Just Grandma and Me." Most titles are available in Spanish as well as English. Adaptations: While these programs are not designed for students with disabilities, ready-made adaptations have been developed for selected titles, including Easy Overlays from Don Johnston (used with Discover:Board or Ke:nx + Key Largo), Easy Scans from Don Johnston (for Discover:Switch or Ke:nx + single switch), and Instant Access Sets from IntellitTools (for IntelliKeys).


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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  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 NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998.

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