Friday, December 4, 2009

TN Association for Assistive Technology Conference

The TAAT Conference will be held December 10-11 2009. This year the conference will be held at the Nashville Airport Marriott.

Click Here to view the 2009 TAAT Schedule of Sessions.

Click Here to view the Summary of Sessions.

Hope To See You There!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Discount Purchasing Program (B.E.S.T.)

The B.E.S.T. Purchasing Program of LTVEC

1094 Mulberry Street Phone: (865) 458-8900
Loudon, TN 37774 Fax: (865) 458-8626


Buyer’s program…Evaluations…Student services…Technology trainings

The TN Cooperative Purchasing Program for
Assistive Technology Products and Programs

Join the growing ranks of school systems and disability service agencies across Tennessee who are saving money on Assistive Technology purchases with the B.E.S.T. Center Purchasing program. This program is operated by the Little Tennessee Valley Educational Cooperative (LTVEC), a non-profit agency providing Assistive Technology services to school systems in East Tennessee. This statewide discount purchasing program was created in September, 2005 to help school systems and other non-profit providers save money on Assistive Technology purchases. There are 65 school systems and agencies currently participating.

This program provides excellent discounts (and significantly reduced shipping charges on most items) on a number of commonly used A.T. devices and software programs from more than 90 vendors and manufacturers. Participation is open to public and private school systems, as well as churches and non-profit agencies serving the disabled. Simply register with our program to identify those authorized to submit purchase orders and indicate a purchasing agent for billing/invoice receipts. Assistant Commissioner Joseph Fisher has reviewed this program and determined it to be a cost-effective means of purchasing for Tennessee schools. Enrollment is FREE.

Discounts are negotiated bi-annually with more than 90 vendors and manufacturers; a price list of reduced items is then generated and mailed out to participating members.
To make a purchase:
• Refer to the price list to determine the discounted cost for each item
• Use this pricing to create an order (items from multiple vendors may be listed on a single purchase order)
• Fax or mail orders to LTVEC for processing
• The vendors ship the discounted order directly to your school or agency
• LTVEC sends the invoice to you

For more information or to request membership registration forms:
Call Janice Reese, Program Director or Melissa Ehrhardt, Office Manager

TN Association for Assistive Technology Conference

December 10 - 11, 2009 �� Airport Marriott, Nashville, TN
The Tennessee Association for Assistive Technology Conference Committee invites the submission of proposals to present at our 2009 Conference. This conference focuses on the use of assistive technology in assisting individuals with disabilities to achieve success in education and in transitioning to life within the greater community.

We invite proposals that support but are not limited to the following themes:
• AT Assessment Process
• AT and Education supporting learning and participation for all students
• Early Intervention and Use of Assistive Technology
• Universal Design for curriculum and assessment
• Communication and Interaction supports through technology
• Supporting Literacy Development through assistive technology integration
• Autism and Education: strategies for enhanced learning
• Accessibility Strategies for students with physical disabilities
• Outcomes for measuring successful use of assistive technology
The Conference Committee encourages presentations that are:
• Hands-on and interactive
• Reflective of current and exemplary AT practices
• Innovative, functional and practical
• Proposals for beginning to advanced level users are welcome

Presentation guidelines:
• Sessions will be 60 minutes in length
• Deadline for proposal submission is September 11, 2009.

Proposal Submission Procedure
1. Complete the attached Conference Proposal Form.

2. Designate lead contact person and list other presenters on the form provided. Only two presenters per session may attend for free.

3. Attach a 200-word or less full description that summarizes your presentation and technologies explored. If selected, this abstract will be included in the conference program. Include at least 3 learning objectives

4. Attach a one-page resume’ for each presenter. This must include current position, educational background, degrees received, and other skills or area of expertise as related.
(This is required for our CEU application)

Mail, fax or email to: Attn: Janice Reese
Fax: 865-458-8626
TAAT Conference Proposal
1094 Mulberry Street
Loudon, TN 3777

Questions: Janice Reese: 865-458-8900
Ann T. Bird: 865-594-1121

Airport Marriott, Nashville, TN December 10 – 11, 2009

Session Title:_______________________________________________

Workshop sessions will run 60 minutes unless other arrangements have been made on an individual basis.

Primary Presenter/Contact Person:
Name and Title: _______________________ Agency:______________________
Business Phone: ( ) _______________
Address: ______________________________
City/State/Zip: ________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________
Fax: ( ) __________________________________

Presenter #2:
Name and Title:_______________________ Agency: ______________________
Business Phone: ( ) _______________
Address: ______________________________
City/State/Zip: ________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________
Fax: ( ) __________________________________

Focus of Presentation (check as many as apply):
_____ Inclusive programs ____ Autism and Education
_____ Augmentative Communication ____Reading/Literacy Supports
_____ Accessibility Supports ____ Collaborative Strategies and Activities
_____ Behavioral Supports ____ Universal Design
_____ Differentiated Instruction ____ Assessment Process
_____ Transition (secondary students) ____ Early Intervention and Use of AT
_____ Mathematics Programs ____Community / Social Skills
_____Self-Care / ADL _____Other_________________________________________

____Beginner level session
____Intermediate level session
____Advanced level session

AUDIO-VISUAL NEEDS (*presenters must provide their own laptop)
_____LCD Projector and screen _____Easels pads/markers _____VCR/TV

Special Needs: Please make us aware of any special accommodations needed.

ATTACH A SUMMARY OF PRESENTATION to be included in the conference program (200 words or less - as you wish it to appear in the material. Include 3 learning objectives.)

Submission deadline is September 11, 2009
The full conference fee is waived for presenters.

Send to:
ATTN: Janice Reese
1094 Mulberry Street
Loudon, TN 37774

FAX: (865) 458-8626
PHONE: (865) 458-8900

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Suggested Stimulus Purchases

TO: Directors/Supervisors of Special Education Programs in Tennessee

This list was updated on May 8, 2009

The following is a list of recommendations for consideration by providers of programs for students having disabilities. It is not an exhaustive list and it should not be considered an endorsement of the product(s) by the Division of Special Education. You will notice some names mentioned herein: they are the AT Center Directors who contributed.

Intellitools keyboards: no special needs classroom is complete without the classroom suite! I'd also recommend software programs like Clicker 5 for reading and writing interventions (especially with whiteboards). MathPad and MathPad Plus are also great on those whiteboards because of the visuals and the speech options for group math instruction. Janice Reese, LTVEC

Does everyone have the latest BEST AT Catalog? If not, go to to register for the discount purchasing program.
It’s free to join and will save your program lots of money over time.
_________________________________________________ Jill Slaughter
Maury Co. Assistive Technology
Possible Stimulus Money Purchase:

Read & Write Gold

1. Can read locked & unlocked PDFs
2. Spell Checker - speaks & works phonetically, also can turn off for tests
3. On screen scientific calculator - speech enabled
4. Automatic bibliography for materials pulled from internet
5. Fact mapper - similar to inspiration
6. Text to speech - Human quality voices
7. Speech to Text
8. Translates English documents into Spanish, French & German (I think)
9. Screen Masking - highlights different parts of screen/words for focusing
10. Converts information from internet to a document format
11. Dictionary - audible dictionary, including words on internet pages
12. Audible homophone support
13. Context speech enabled word prediction
14. OCR Scanning
15. Converts text/PDFs to MP3s
16. Teacher can track student progress

These are some of the features that I remember.

1 Computer license - 645.00
Mobile (USB drive, no downloading) - 645 each
Site License - 4490.00
5 Concurrent Users (server) - 3965.00 each additional user 775

(A concurrent user is when you load to a server and there are 5 users
anywhere in the county. The users can be at one school or multiple
schools, whoever logs in first.)

Read & Write Gold has the following programs built into it:
Inspiration - single license - 53.00
Dragon Naturally SPeaking - 172.00
Wynn Reader - 375.00
Kurzeil 3000 - 375.00
Co:writer - 325.00
Write:Outloud - 99.00
You can try a webinar for more info.

From Pam Chmelic in Bento Co.
TeachSmart Learning System from Hatch. This is an interactive, hands on Smart Board technology tool which enables Early Childhood teachers to implement playful and purposeful activities for children. This product offers strategies and activities that reflect the latest scientific research for pre-literacy and mathematics concept acquisitio in younger children. To learn more about this product look at

The next product that we are having great success with in our inclusion classrooms in grades 1 and 2 is the Leaptrack system made by Leapfrog. Our teachers have done much work on pre and post testing of individual students and the class as a whole and we would be glad to share with you the results seen with the use of this system. We have been very pleased.

From Lewis Butler, AT guyin sde, dse
QWZDOM: The ‘clicker’ system that Polk Co adopted system-wide.
The Polk Co school system adopted this progam for use all over the county. There are several good clicker based programs available.

Achieve 3000: Ruth Culver (used to be Ruth Boxley) is the rep. Cell is 817-909-3583 her office is 817-573-6618 This program is interesting in that it uses a pretest to instantly differentiate the content.

The ZAC Browser for students with autism SD is working well in Bedford County. The browser is free and was designed by the father of a ASD child.

MORE information from Jill Slaughter
Maury County Assistive Technology Center (Jill Slaughter, 931-380-2081)
Any type of interactive Whiteboards:
Smartboard, Mimio, Interwrite Pad, Interwrite Board.

Equipment to support the use of whiteboards:
Projectors, mounting equipment, cables, laptops

Graphing Calculators for students to use in Algebra/Inclusion classes

Communication Devices:
Go Talk 4, 9, 20 & Step By Steps, Big Macks

Sensory Items:
Noise Canceling Headphones,

Time Timers – Software, 8”, 12” and timer watches

Touch Monitors – we like them better than touch screens!

Boardmaker, Writing with Symbols, Pix Writer

To help with AT Evaluations:
Test of Aided Communication Symbol Performance (TASP)
Stages by Cambium Learning

Portable Word Processors:
We use old AlphaSmarts, Writers, Fusion (my favorite)

RFBD Membership WHEN USED has been a real boon to the SPED subgroup: We’re talking scores here people!

Wilson County Assistive Technology Center (Betsy Woods, 615-443-6195)

Social/Behavioral Software:
Nickel Stories: A clickable social story

Any type switches, switch interfaces
Hip Talkers
Communication Builders

Auditory Needs
FM Systems

Any type of Low & Mid Tech needs such as Slant Boards, Spell Checkers, Recorders

Mouse Alternatives:
Big Track, switch mouse, touchpads

Sensory/Cause & Effect:
Switch Adaptable Toys & battery interrupters

Software: Earobics

Linda Archer from the new virtual AT Center in the Upper Cumberland:
Just a couple of thoughts. Arne Duncan, the new Secretary of Education, was testifying before the House Education committee recently. One of his suggestions for the use of stimulus money was training of gen-ed teachers to work with SWD. Our Overton County folks are so impressed with how our inclusion students are doing and so committed to improving the technology in these classrooms - it just seems like a logical fit.

Our technology enriched demonstration classroom is almost ready for an "open house". Here's what our spec ed / gen-ed teacher team suggests:
• Turning Point response system with Testing Point by Turning Technologies - teachers can make interactive Power Points which allow for both polling and test scoring
• Sound field system by Front Row - They have the Pro Digital with built in voice modulation (no manual adjustments needed) and two speakers cover the room
• LOTS AND LOTS of low-tech, hands-on, kinesthetic activities.
• SUB DAYS! Let stimulus money pay for substitutes to cover classrooms while teachers get technology training. We had a technology inservice last year that was very well attended. Lots of teachers have asked us for training, training and more training. We put a bunch of "tech stuff" in a room and had a teacher training and play day for inservice credit. Gonna do it again this spring with more "stuff". Teachers really liked the hands-on opportunity. Our inclusion classroom teachers are getting two substitute days paid by the AT grant. Again - great use of stimulus money! Title I can cover gen-ed teachers or the training can come under Sped for inclusion.
ALSO - our Speech Therapists and Preschool Teachers are really, really, really happy with the results using the Laureate Software Speech Language Package. That's a lot of software in the 9 months to 6 years language development range. Used with a laptop with added touch screen (or laptop with built-in touch) this software has rocked the little kids. We have had kids with little or no language interacting with the software and demonstrating knowledge we never knew they had. It's GREAT technology!

Julie Burnett AT Center Director in Bedford Co. Shelbyville
931-684-5159 Julie is “up” on tons of AT.
Suggestions from Bedford County AT Center:

Lexia Licenses for all special ed classrooms
More mid-tech and high tech communication devices for trials prior to purchase.

More state wide training for AT for all special ed staff (I will be glad to host this or help)
Monthly trainings to be offered by each AT Center on a rotating basis--available to all systems...with nationally recognized speakers
More administration instruction trainings in AT
NIMAC textbooks---in html format---Pearson is now offering, but we as a state need to pursue more publisher issues.
More assessment training to all districts state wide
CDC curriculum---such as Ablenet (Star Reporter) that requires the use of AT

The Assistive Technology Center at LTVEC

1094 Mulberry Street Phone: (865) 458-8900
Loudon, TN 37774 Fax: (865) 458-8626 email:

May 07, 2009

Lewis Butler, state AT Consultant, has created a list of suggested Assistive Technology items that systems might give consideration when looking to upgrade their special education inventories with stimulus funding. We hope the following list may be a helpful supplement to that one, as it is one we have created for our own (8) school systems to guide them through the selection process, as well.

It includes a general list of Assistive Technologies that we use when creating a CDC classroom or modifying one to make it a universally designed setting. The CDC lists are divided by age/grade range. It also includes a separate listing of tools and software programs that would be appropriate for the inclusion or resource classroom. The bulk of it is a grouping of these items by category with manufacturer websites listed for further review.

Obviously, not all classrooms will need all of the suggested items, depending upon their student’s abilities. Some classes may already have similar versions of the recommended tools or programs and this list certainly does not contain all of the available items currently on the market. This was simply designed to provide special education staff with a resource list and offer ‘food for thought’ when considering technology purchases with the planned stimulus funds.

Inclusion and resource staff may want to look at the specific educational software programs and general classroom tools since each student’s AT physical access needs will be different and should be addressed on an individual basis by the team.

Many of the programs and devices are available at significant discounts through the BEST Purchasing Cooperative Program operated by LTVEC. Purchasing through this program is free and open only to Tennessee school systems and non-profit agencies serving the disabled. If an item is offered by a participating vendor with a discount to Tennessee schools enrolled in this program, their price or percentage discount will be noted as “BEST price”.

Call (865) 458-8900 to enroll your system with this state-wide program.


Developmental Pre-school Classroom
Recommendations list

Boardmaker version 6.0 and assorted Add-on templates

Rolls of Velcro for adapting items and securing picture symbols

Tasks Galore Book for creating hands-on learning activities
A series of books featuring digital images of simple, interactive learning activities you can create to teach skills for each subject. Designed for serving the needs of Autistic children, but generalizes well to any classroom providing instruction at a basic ‘object focused’ level for learning.

Array of simple reading materials for adaptation
*the ‘fluency’ series is excellent

Indoor/outdoor carpet squares 12” x 18” : these are Velcro sensitive for games and communication activities *one yard at Home Depot provides a 36” x 12’ stretch that cuts up to make 24 pieces

Toolbox of 'materials'......buttons, straws, strings, textures, scented, playdough, fabrics, double sided tape, gluesticks, rubber bands, one-inch key rings for adapting books, etc

An array of switches
Pal Pad switch -for students with extremely light touch or low strength
Pillow switch -for those who use their chin or head for switch control
Gooshey switch -for those who need added sensory support to use switch
Big Red switch (2) - the basic switch
Partner Plus switches (2) -for using objects in choice making process
Wobbly switch - for control by foot, chin, etc
Cordless Airlink switch -if you have students who pull or self-stim with the cords

Switch Latch Timer

All-Turn-It Spinner

Mounting arm for switches

Cause and Effect software

Early Learning level software

Adapted toys (battery powered, as well as plug-ins like a bubble blower or fiber optic light-up toys)

Battery adapters (at least 3 each AA/AAA and C/D)

PowerLink 3

Touchscreen Add-on for computer monitor

Developmental Pre-school Classroom
Recommendations List

Single button mouse (no more accidental ‘right click’ access!)

Intellikeys adaptive keyboard
Intellitools Keyguards
Number and Alphabet Keyguards only

Intellitools Classroom Suite 4

Assorted low-tech communication supports (see
Cube (insert songs or friends pictures to allow child to select by just dropping cube)
Communication apron (Velcro sensitive)
Tri-fold communication board
Velcro sensitive schedule boards

Big (or Little) Mack single communicators (2)

Grooved Platform Communicator

GoTalk Ones single message communicators (6 pack)

Step-by-Step with levels

Super Talker communication device

CDC Kindergarten – 5th grade
Recommendations List

Boardmaker version 6.0 and assorted Add-on templates

Rolls of Velcro for adapting items and securing picture symbols

Tasks Galore Book for creating hands-on learning activities
A series of books featuring digital images of simple, interactive learning activities you can create to teach skills for each subject. Designed for serving the needs of Autistic children, but generalizes well to any classroom providing instruction at a basic ‘object focused’ level for learning.

Array of simple reading materials for adaptation

An array of switches
Pal Pad switch
Pillow switch
Big Red switch
Partner Plus switch
Big (or Little) Mack switch

Switch Latch Timer

Mounting arm for switches

Specialized instructional software

Adapted toys (dependent upon ages)

All-Turn-It Spinner

Battery adapters (at least 2 each AA/AAA and C/D)

PowerLink 3

Promethean (Smart) Board

Touchscreen Add-on for computer monitor

Single button mouse or joystick mouse control (no more accidental ‘right click’ access!)

Intellikeys adaptive keyboard

Simplified keyboard

Intellitools Keyguards
Set of all 5 plexi-glass keyguards

Intellitools Classroom Suite-4

Reading/writing/math software (see lists)

CDC Kindergarten – 5th grade
Recommendations List

Assorted low-tech communication supports (see
Cube (insert songs or friends pictures to allow child to select by just dropping cube)
Communication apron (Velcro sensitive)
Tri-fold communication board

Big (or Little) Mack single communicators (2)

Step-by-Step with levels (1)

At least one low-tech communication device with more choice options such as:
GoTalk 4+ GoTalk 9+ GoTalk 20+ or 32 Message Communicator

CDC Classrooms for 6th – 12th grade
Recommendations List

Boardmaker version 6.0 and assorted Add-on templates

Rolls of Velcro for adapting items and securing picture symbols

Tasks Galore Book(s) for creating hands-on learning activities
A series of books featuring digital images of simple, interactive learning activities you can create to teach skills for each subject. Designed for serving the needs of Autistic children, but generalizes well to any classroom providing instruction at a basic ‘object focused’ level for learning.

An array of switches
Pal Pad switch
Pillow switch
Little Mack switch (2)
TASH Switch Click USB
Randomizer switch

Switch Latch Timer

Mounting arm for switches (for severely physically challenged)

Specialized instructional software (see lists for age appropriate options)

All-Turn-It Spinner (for creating adapted, customized games)

Battery adapters (at least 1 each AA/AAA and C/D)

PowerLink 3 (for severely challenged / switch users)

Promethean (Smart) Board

Touchscreen Add-on for computer monitor

Joystick mouse control (for severely challenged users)

Intellikeys adaptive keyboard

Simplified keyboard (QWERTY arrangement, but reduced number of keys)

Intellitools Keyguards
Set of all 5 plexi-glass keyguards

Intellitools Classroom Suite-4 (for downloading and creating customized software programs)

Reading/writing/math software (see lists)

CDC for 6th – 12th grade
Recommendations List

Assorted low-tech communication supports (see
Cube (insert songs or friends pictures to allow child to select by just dropping cube)
Communication apron (Velcro sensitive)
Tri-fold communication board

Little Mack single message communicator (1)

Step-by-step with levels (1)

Talkable II

At least one low-tech communication device with more choice options such as:
GoTalk 9+ or 32 Message Communicator

Pre-vocational / transition activities as appropriate for older students


Boardmaker® v6 Retail $ 329 BEST Price $ 280
Create amazing symbol-based communication and educational materials! Boardmaker software is the premier software among educators for creating printed symbol-based communication and educational materials. Boardmaker features more than 4,500 Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) in both color and black-and-white, all in 44 languages. Boardmaker is the ideal tool for creating symbol-based materials such as communication displays for AAC users, worksheets and flash cards for English language learners, visual schedules and social skills stories for children with autism spectrum disorders, books and symbol-supported literacy activities for beginning and pre-readers, song and story boards for preschoolers, and general educational and functional living skills materials for special education students.
Addendum Bundle 2000 -2008 Retail $ 125 BEST $ 108
Add more than 4,000 new symbols into your basic Boardmaker library with these addendums.
Beyond Boardmaker Vol. I, II, and III Retail $25 ea BEST $22.50 ea
Creative templates ready to customize and print! If you're new to Boardmaker, Beyond Boardmaker will get you up and running quickly- and if you're a Boardmaker pro, you'll find fresh ideas in these templates. Quickly create worksheets, flip books, games, recipes, notes to parents, cards, reports and more with 25 templates in each version. Completed sample activities are also included. Just customize as needed, print and use!
Print 'n Learn Thematic Units Retail $ 39 each BEST $ 35
Promote literacy and fine-motor skills with these printable activities! Each of 25 thematic units contains a progress log, I Spy scene, a puzzle, match-ups and other student-driven activities.

Boardmaker has so many addendums and add-on programs can help teachers get quick access to ready-made classroom materials. They have an “Idea Book” catalog that you should call and ask for (or visit their site for new ideas)

Tasks Galore Book
A series of simple books with digital images for creating simple, interactive learning tools for each subject. Designed for serving the needs of Autistic children, but generalizes well to any student functioning at a basic ‘object focused’ level for learning.

Alternative and Augmentative Communication
(AAC) Devices

GoTalk One (6 pack) Retail $59 BEST $47.20
An inexpensive, high-quality single message talker with a large picture display and a big, colorful PLAY button! These are super slim and light, weighing less than 2 oz. Available in singles or a 6 pack for multiple single message placements about the room.
GoTalk 4+ Retail $179 BEST $143.20
Great place to start AAC: GoTalk 4+ is lightweight and rugged and now has a 20 message capacity
(4 large keys, each 3” square, and five recording levels). PLUS two “core messages” that remain constant when you change levels. Great for essentials, like “Hello” or “All done.” Provides superior sound with volume control.

GoTalk 9+ Retail $199 BEST $159.20 GoTalk 9+ is lightweight and now has a 45 message capacity (9 keys, each 1 3/4ÿ x 2 1/4ÿ, and five recording levels), PLUS three “core messages” which stay the same on each level so you don’t need to re-record essential messages for each level

GoTalk 20+ Retail $ 249 BEST $199.20
Lightweight and rugged, GoTalk 20+, has a 100 message capacity (20 keys, each 1-inch square, and five recording levels). PLUS five “core messages” which stay the same on each level so you don’t need to re-record essential messages for each level. Features easier sequential recording, an option for whole level erasing and built-in overlay storage.

Cheap Talk 4 In-Line Direct, Say It-Play It Retail $132.95 BEST $123.64 Activated by pressing one of the four message squares or by plugging external switches into the four input jacks on the side, 5 seconds per message. Additionally, two output jacks allow unit to activate two devices.

Talkable II with Icon Holders Retail $119.95 BEST $111.55These compact message communicators allow for simple communication and come with built-in icon holders. The Talkable II allows the user to record two messages. Choose between two activities such as asking and answering questions (e.g. yes, no). It has 10 seconds of recording time on each side and has output jacks to simultaneously activate two devices.
32 Message Communicator Retail $296.95 BEST $276.16
Two versions to choose from! Both have 6 Levels with 192 three-second messages. Frame allows for easy changing of overlays. Lightweight and portable this communicator has adjustable legs for tilting the unit, is shock resistant and has a carrying handle.

Grooved Platform Communicator Retail $163.95 BEST $152.47
Place objects, words, or pictures onto the platform and press the appropriate switch plate to hear a 5-second recorded message.

Pre-vocational and Transition Materials

Pre-vocational Training Kits (3 different versions)
Pre-Voc One
Ten basic work activities to teach basic work skills from reach and grasp to attending over time. Specific basic skills are introduced, but even more important (and easier to generalize) are basic work knowledge behaviors. Each task is broken down into small steps, so nearly everyone can start with success! Ten basic work activities use recognizable materials.
Pre-Voc Two
Ten intermediate work activities teach specific work skills and important work habits and behaviors.
Pre-Voc Three
Ten sophisticated work tasks use recognizable materials to teach multi-step activities. Specific skills are practiced, and important work skills and habits are developed and reinforced. Many tasks require uses of multiple parts over extended work periods.
Aligning Life Skills to Academics Program
This life skill program provides 650 lesson plans and 650 corresponding student worksheets aligned directly to the general education curricula of math, science/health, social studies and language arts. The life skill lessons can be taught in as little as five minutes and the worksheets completed in class or assigned as homework.

Life Skill Curricula Package
The Life Skill Curricula Package includes our six most popular life skill curricula in one money-saving set.
Looking Good Curriculum: The personal care curriculum
Keeping House Curriculum: The domestic or vocational housekeeping curriculum
Shopping Smart Curriculum: The shopping curriculum for grocery and department stores
Home Cooking: Conventional and microwave illustrated recipes are presented in Home Cooking
Select-A-Meal Curriculum: Fast food, table service, cafeteria dining are presented in Select-A-Meal.
Miscellaneous Classroom Tools

Time Timers provide the ability to judge how much time is left without having to know how to tell time. A great addition to individual and group activities. Users see how much time is left in red on the clock face.

The 3-inch and 8-inch Timers have an optional audible signal when time has expired; the 12-inch Timer does not. Time Timers operate with high color resolution, large dial numbers, and ultra-quiet quartz movement.
(BEST pricing) 12 ” Timer $34 8” Timer $26 3” Personal Timer $21

General Inclusion Tools and Software Programs

All teachers should visit the Upper Cumberland AT site to see their terrific work. Their site has images and information that are excellent, along with links to the individual product and program vendors. Their site link is listed here:

Promethean (Smart) Board (one of the best things out there!)

With Qwizdom, every student in the room is given a remote which allows them to actively participate. The dynamics of your classroom will be changed forever. Using a remote control and infrared receiver system which registers live feedback, you can create presentations, quizzes, games and surveys all usingQwizdom Interact Software.

Portable Word Processors

Fusion or The Writer *BEST discounts available
(Also available with Text to Speech function)

Neo2 or Dana
(Also available with Text to Speech function)
We have found the NEO to be the lightest and sharpest of the portable processors. These are a very inexpensive alternative to issuing a laptop when the student doesn’t need the internet, but does need keyboarding made available.

Keyboarding Programs

FirstKeys 2
We LOVE this simple program for introducing keyboarding to the young student who also needs assistance with spelling. The program is whiteboard friendly and provides a very useful tool to support the literacy strategy. Teachers may also build their own lists of spelling words for the student to practice ‘writing’ on the computer. Also offers picture support for early learners.

Roller Typing
This fun, interactive program offers a creative approach to fast and accurate typing. Designed by a group of elementary school teachers, Roller Typing teaches and reinforces typing skills.

Word Prediction Software Programs


Talking Word Processor Programs


Reading/Writing Software designed to scaffold learning

There are several programs that ‘bundle’ an array of tools into one package to allow the user to select the reading or writing software supports they need. Most of the features within are also available in stand-alone programs as noted throughout. Examples of the bundled programs include:
Read & Write Gold

A combination package of reading and writing tools.

WordQ Retail $199 BEST $184
(Our favorite predictor program!)

ClozePro and Clicker 5
ClozePro actually allows teachers to scan, create or import any type of file in, then click and drop selected words into word banks. They can be printed as cloze activities or completed live on the PC with full audio support.
Clicker 5 is an interactive reading and writing program that is awesome on a whiteboard!
Purchase of either also allows staff to

Kidspiration Retail $69 BEST $53
Created for K-5 learners, Kidspiration® develops thinking, literacy and numeracy skills using proven visual learning principles. In reading and writing, Kidspiration strengthens word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension and written expression. With new visual math tools, students build reasoning and problem solving skills.

Earobics Retail $329 BEST $280
This is by far one of the most popular programs for teaching phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and auditory discrimination skills. This is available in school and home versions.

Other Software Programs

Choose and Tell Nursery Rhymes (you’ll love this one!)

Switch-IT Series: Diggers People Extra Farm Extra Weather Extra
At Home Hygiene Gadgets Opposites

Switch-It Bundle: Opposites, Patterns, Pictures & Scenes
Switch Skills 1
Choose It Ready-Made: Number 0 to 5
Number 5 to 10 Click-It!
Making Sense with Letters
Choose It Ready-Made: Foundation Shape Space & Measure Number 0 to 100

Simtech/Marblesoft Software BEST 15% discount
They make a terrific line of cause and effect software programs

BabyWow $14.95
Created by parents to reward a child's natural curiosity about the computer with an interactive experience based on early development research. Children may touch any key to participate with the 10 cause and effect activities.

Our SoftTouch Favorites:
Everybody Has Feet
Wheels On The Bus
Songs I Sing At Preschool
Five Green Frogs
Old McDonald’s Farm

My Own Bookshelf
‘Teach Me About’ Series
‘Switching On’ Series of curriculum materials
Concepts on The Move I and II
‘Teach Me to Talk’ Series
Teen Tunes Plus

They sell a Language Development Package that the folks at the Upper Cumberland AT Center have really liked.

Interactive Math/Money/Time Skills Programs

TimeWheels: Hands-on model clocks teach time telling skills, available in two sizes. Hour and minute hands turn independently showing both analog and digital times simultaneously. TimeWheels are durable, easy-to-read and appropriate for students of any age. Made with laminated card stock and transparent plastic. TimeWheel is designed for hands-on training and is not a functioning clock. Sold individually or as a set with one
7 1/2" wheel and five 4 5/8" smaller wheels.

MatchTime: features a programmed learning approach for students who struggle with time concepts. Four progressively difficult levels each provide a pre-set sequence of multiple choice matching exercises. Students simply find the clock that matches the large sample clock in Levels 1 through 3. Level 4 introduces the concepts of “earlier” and “later.” Extensive record keeping tracks student progress.

Dollars & Cents Software: Three beautifully illustrated interactive money programs on one CD! Includes the intro level First Money, which identifies money names and values, Spending Money, where the user goes from store to store to buy things on a shopping list, and Making Change, our most advanced money program where the user is a store clerk.

Number Concepts I $79.95
Students join Oshi the sea otter and his seashore friends as they practicing counting 1 -20 sea creatures at the beach, adding and subtracting at the tide pool, and learning “greater than” and “less than” at the coral reef.

Number Concepts II (grades 1 – 5) $79.95
Students travel to the land of ice and snow where polar friends Penn and Gwen help them master skip counting, place value and factoring to 100.

MathPad (grades 2 – 8) $79.95
MathPad enables students to do arithmetic directly on the computer. The program is ideal for students who need help organizing or navigating through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division math problems or who have difficulty doing math with pencil or paper.
MathPad Plus (grades 5 – 8) $99.95
MathPad Plus: Fractions and Decimals offer the same functionality as MathPad—then adds an exciting array of new features! Students can do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using fractions and decimals. Users can alternate using visual manipulatives and placing answers on the ‘worksheet’ page. Teachers can enter problems from worksheets or textbooks so students with learning disabilities can work on the same problems as their peers.

Switches, Toys and Accessories

Switch Latch Timer Retail $75 BEST $67.50
Use AbleNet SLATs whenever you need to add Modes of Control to any switch accessible toy or appliance. Use with any pre-adapted device, or use our Battery Device Adapter to create you own adapted toy or appliance. All Switch Latch and Timers include three modes of control that determine the amount of time the appliance operates once the switch is activated:
Big Red Switch Retail $45 BEST $40.50
The Big Red Switch has a large, colorful surface, tough enough to stand up to years of vigorous use. It is easy to mount with standard flange base. Audible click signals student a cause-effect link has been made. Available in a variety of colors.
Jumbo Switch (like a Big Red switch) $43.95

Great Features! This Jumbo switch is a greatly improved version of similar round switches. Mounting plate is removable. Comes with free clear plastic cover.
Size: 5 1/8"Diameter x 1"H.

Petite Pillow Switch $39.95
Decorative patterns! Our soft, pliable Petite Pillow Switch is ideal for people with limited head and limb movements. The unique switch is encased in foam and covered with a soft bag which can be easily removed and washed. Size: 3" x 2". Requires 1 N Cell (Included).
PowerLink 3 Retail $198 BEST $ 178.20
The PowerLink® 3 control unit gives students the ability to control most electric appliances, tools and toys with single switches. Students can take turns operating devices, activate two devices in sequence or experience the freedom of choice making when deciding between two activities. Four modes of control, including Direct, Latch, Timed Seconds and Timed Minutes let you choose the amount of time the activity requires to ensure student success. PowerLink 3 delivers 1700 watts of power - enough to run most electrical appliances, tools and toys.

Adapted Toys

Bubble Mania Toy $46.95
Flood your world with bubbles! We found a bubble machine which will provide hours of enjoyment. Activate the machine with your switch and love the streams of bubbles. Please Note: AC adapter has been removed for safety reasons. This unit will work on battery power only.

Starlight Fiber Optic Light Spray $69.95
Bring your room to life! Activate your capability switch and the Starlight fiber optic light will amaze you with 29 different lighting effects and 6 sounds of nature and new age. There is a volume control and the Starlight can stand 4 feet tall on its legs or sit on a tabletop at 16 inches high.

Assorted Computer Access Tools
TASH Switch Click USB Retail $130 BEST $117
This is the simplest "plug & go" interface for access to most switch-accessible software! Simply plug it in to the computer and press Switch Click while having full access to the standard keyboard and mouse. (TASH is now owned by Ablenet)

Intellikeys Keyboard $375
A versatile keyboard with a touch sensitive face and interchangeable overlays. This keyboard can act as a switch plate or serve as the interface for 2 plug-in switches, as well. Features can be programmed for each student. ALL classrooms with special needs students should have an Intellikeys keyboard.

Roller II Joystick Retail $295 BEST $273
The TRAXSYS' Roller II joystick is a sturdy three button switch adaptable pointing device. They come in either a large 2.5" trackball or a 3" joystick. They have separate buttons for left click, right click and drag lock with color corresponding switch ports on the back of the units. A flashing light indicates the drag button has been activated. The Roller II products include a keyguard to help users isolate on the buttons. The Joystick comes with two alternative handles to accommodate different input needs, T-Bar and Soft Sponge Ball.
Touch-screen Monitors or Add-Ons
The monitors are more durable and experience fewer problems, but obviously cost more. There are discounts available through BEST purchasing.

Chester Mouse (Single button) Retail $22.95 BEST $18
The Chester Mouse is about half the size of a standard computer mouse, and just right for smaller hands. With single-button clicking, children of all ages can learn with greater comfort and control.

Crayola 11071 Keyboard: Kmart had them on sale at the beginning of the year for $19. Also found them on line at different prices.

HINT: Tuesday Morning stores often have some of the greatest keyboards in stock!


Eschool news has an excellent article on the stimulus funding. You can find it at you may have to ‘subscribe’ but it is well worth the fee (there is no fee!) LB

We hope the list of programs and stuff helps you decide what to buy. Remember, we are not recommending one product over another. We are listing stuff that has proved helpful in meeting the educational needs of SWD’s.

Bye for now, LB