Posts Tagged ‘Assistive Technology’

iOS apps for Early Exploration of Typing & Specialized Keyboards – compiled by Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids

iOS apps for Early Exploration of Typing & Specialized Keyboards

Here is a list of over 50 iOS apps for early exploration of typing and specialized keyboards. For kids who are just beginning to show an interest and are easily frustrated it’s important to keep it as motivating and as fun as possible. An iPad full of well designed apps can be an amazing tool in your educational & therapeutic toolbox.

In this post I am sharing a mix of paid and free apps that I have used and found helpful.

  • Free: 22 apps
  • Affordable ($.99 – $4.99 – what you might pay for an item from the Target Dollar Spot, a latte from Starbucks, an item on Teachers Pay Teachers or a Boom Card deck): 20 apps
  • Mid-priced ($5.99 -$15.99 – what you might pay for a new toy, game or picture book): 7 apps
  • Expensive ($16.99 – $24.99 – what you might pay for therapy materials or bundles of items on TPT, both are specifically designed for individuals with special needs): 2 apps
  • Very expensive (over $24.99 – is specifically designed for individuals with special needs and has lots of customization features): 1 app

Of course every app that I share will not be a good fit for every child so it’s up to you to determine the ones to use with your child or patient.

I had several patients over my career whose interest in typing and AAC was initially sparked by their high interest in letters and the predictable order of the alphabet (similar to kids with a high interest in numbers, dates, etc…). Typing can also become an important part of writing and access to the curriculum.

You can save the PDF of this post in the iBooks app on your iPad and then tap on each link to go to that app in the App Store (it’s a 5-page PDF).

App prices & availability was verified in the USA App Store at the time of this post at 3:00pm CST on 5/17/20. Prices may vary in other countries based on the exchange rate. I only have access to the USA App Store so be sure to check prices before downloading in other countries.

General App Tips:

  • Some apps have IAPs (in-app purchases) to add extra features or have unsecured links so make sure the iPad is in “airplane mode” and toggle off the ability to download IAPs in the Settings area BEFORE opening the app. Even apps with “secured links” could be hacked by some kids so it’s always wise to go ahead do these two things before using apps with kids. I avoid apps with ads (some can be blocked via “airplane mode” but others cannot). It’s also wise to use Guided Access to prevent exiting the app you are using.
  • If you like a “lite” version of an app, it is always a good idea to see if there is a full paid version of the app to purchase vs. using an IAP to upgrade within a free lite app. I’ve had enough problems with IAPs and trying to restore IAPs to avoid them as much as possible. Also most schools & public agencies have purchasing regulations that make it difficult or impossible to purchase items via IAP but can purchase a full paid app. This is the same reason that I typically avoid apps that require a subscription.
  • If you are looking for Android apps, the quickest way to see if an app has an Android version is to copy the name of an app and then paste into the search area on the Google Play app store or Amazon app store. If the app is available it may not be free on those platforms and/or may contain ads so look closely at each app description. Also look at reviews to see how well apps function since Android versions of apps may not be updated as frequently as iOS apps.

Apps that use their own in-app keyboard (instead of the iOS iPad keyboard):

  1. Tapkins by Island Pte Ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tapkins/id1317210444, FREE (The errorless learning style in this app would be a really good match for most kids with Autism.)
  2. Baby Keyboard by Ruiyi Chen, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/baby-keyboard/id1448361670, FREE (Ignore the word “baby” in the app name. It’s a fun free app, has color cue for the correct key and several categories of typing cards to choose from in the settings.)
  3. Interactive Alphabet ABC’s by Piikea St. LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/interactive-alphabet-abcs/id383967580, $2.99 (The typing activity within this app is fun and there is a subtle cue for the correct letter keys.)
  4. The Writing Machine by Hump Software, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-writing-machine/id438108325, $.99 (Explore and tap to match initial letter in a word. Has options for switches and scanning is needed.)
  5. i Can Type – Sight Words by Michael Harvey, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/i-can-type-sight-words/id1292509602 $.99 (Nice cueing for correct keys and easy sight words presented in context of color photo and word narrated in a simple sentence.)
  6. Clever Keyboard: ABC Learning Game For Kids by Absolutist Ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clever-keyboard-abc-learning-game-for-kids/id576724288, $.99
  7. Verbal Me Sampler by fishdog, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/verbal-me-sampler/id504978876, FREE (has a typing page with voice output)

Apps that use the iOS iPad keyboard (this means you can combine it with one of the keyboard extension apps):

  1. Type Letters by Tin Whistle, LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/type-letters/id1498328032, iOS 13.2 or later, FREE (no frills, just types big letters on white background, nice to use for a no distraction exploring typing background)
  2. Audivision by ATeamer, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/audivision/id1141299943, iOS 8.0 or later, FREE (no frills, just types big letters on white background, can slide to adjust font size in the iPad Settings area for this app, nice to use for a no distraction exploring typing background)
  3. Statement – visual communication and large text by Todd Anderson, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/statement-visual-communication-and-large-text/id1018664801, FREE (no frills, just types big letters on dark background, nice to use for a no distraction exploring typing background)
  4. Keyboard Explore by Susan Hossack, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keyboard-explore/id608928363, FREE (may not work for iOS 11 or beyond, has option for external Bluetooth keyboard)
  5. Type and Learn HD-S by Jetmobile, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/type-and-learn-hd-s/id846561699, $.99 (uses iOS iPad keyboard but keyboard extension apps only work in the open ended typing area, has open ended typing with text to speech, option to toggle on red outline around keys as hint in the spelling activity)
  6. Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practice spelling, writing and sound-letter matching by Perception Technologies, S.L., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dic-dic-multilingual-dictation-to-practise-spelling/id643656920, FREE
  7. Animal Typing – Lite by Corentin Faucher, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/animal-typing-lite/id925341131, FREE lite app. (Has options for external Bluetooth keyboards. I don’t have the full paid version so don’t know if it’s worth $14.99 or not.)
  8. SnapType by SnapType, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/snaptype/id1124115982 , FREE with IAP to upgrade to the Pro version (a “must have” app that allows you to import any worksheet to type onto it; if you want more features look at the full paid version of the app: SnapType Pro by SnapType, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/snaptype-pro/id1124123246, $4.99.)
  9. Adobe Scan Digital PDF Scanner by Adobe Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adobe-scan-digital-pdf-scanner/id1199564834, FREE with IAPs
  10. Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF by Adobe Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adobe-acrobat-reader-for-pdf/id469337564, FREE with IAPs (these two Adobe apps can be used together to scan a worksheet to turn it into a PDF and then annotate it with typing text. I find SnapType a much easier to use but sharing this as another option.)
  11. ClaroPDF – Image to PDF Reader by Claro Software Limited, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/claropdf-image-to-pdf-reader/id666770153, FREE with IAPs (can also be used to import a picture of a worksheet and then annotate it with typing text. I find SnapType a much easier to use but sharing this as another option.)

Keyboard Extension Apps: It may be helpful to consider using a keyboard extension app that would make the iOS iPad Keyboard easier to use with features that are kid and special needs friendly.

  1. Keedogo by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keedogo/id915829477, $.99 (My favorite keyboard extension app with lots of customization options. Good for beginning typists since it doesn’t have word prediction or auto correction. If you want additional features the look at
  2. Keedogo Plus by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keedogo-plus/id918496636, $2.99 (has more features)
  3. Keeble by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keeble/id918497054, $24.99 quite a bit more expensive due to all of the customization and accessibility features)
  4. Big Keys Low Vision Keyboard by N Thorn, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/big-keys-low-vision-keyboard/id1139220959, $2.99 (specifically designed for unique needs)
  5. My First Keyboard by aacorn, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/my-first-keyboard/id924324310, $1.99 (I like the blocks keyboard with dark background, word prediction can be toggled on/off)
  6. Big Keys Keyboard by Hassan Hattab, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/big-keys-keyboard/id1187555128, $3.99 (several color and font size customization options)
  7. SuperKeys Accessible Keyboard by Crick Software, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/superkeys-accessible-keyboard/id917216287, $12.99 (A very unique keyboard that enlarges quadrants and then you select a large key within it. Nice for those with vision or fine motor needs but can also be helpful for those overwhelmed by looking through the entire field of keys. The SuperKeys keyboard is built in as an option in all of the Clicker Communicator AAC apps.
  8. Phonics Keyboard by Therapy Box Limited, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/phonics-keyboard/id1031514501, $2.99 (There are also some fun activities within the app)

Other unique keyboard extension apps (not necessarily for kids or beginning typists…. but sharing just so folks will be inspired to think outside the box and search the App Store. Apps are often updated with new features and new apps are released frequently:

  1. AlphaBoard – Simple Keyboard by QZero Labs, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/alphaboard-simple-keyboard/id1199298996, FREE (super simple scrollable alphabetic keyboard, keys are very small)
  2. HERO One-handed Keyboard by Corey Stone LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hero-one-handed-keyboard/id921879642, FREE with IAPs
  3. Fleksy- GIF, Web & Yelp Search by Fleksy, Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fleksy-gif-web-yelp-search/id520337246, FREE with IAPs
  4. Pro Keyboard with PC Layout by Raul Monterroso Cabello, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pro-keyboard-with-pc-layout/id1106280090, $5.99 (for more advanced typists who want a full PC style keyboard with the ability to customize the color for sensory needs)
  5. SwiftKey Keyboard by SwiftKey, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/swiftkey-keyboard/id911813648, FREE (for more advanced typists who want a full PC style keyboard with the ability to customize the color for sensory needs, customization options, ability to swipe to type, has a nice “real keyboard” feel, the description shows IAPs for additional keyboard styles but as far as I can tell everything is included now. I’m currently using the “Nickel Classic Dark” theme as a nice alternative to the iOS iPad keyboard.)
  6. WordBoard – Phrase Keyboard by Bytesize, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wordboard-phrase-keyboard/id960167417, FREE with IAPs (would use as a secondary keyboard, allows you to make and use customized phrase buttons)

FYI… There are a few AAC apps that use the iOS iPad Keyboard and therefore would allow for a keyboard extension app to be used. Examples include: Speak for Yourself, Proloquo2Go, Mighty AAC, ChatAble, Proloquo4Text, Predictable, Voice4u TTS, QuickType, Flip Writer, HandySpeech and several other text-to-speech (TTS) AAC apps. Exploring alternative keyboards can be a game changer for making typing as a means of AAC accessible. You may also want to explore accessibility features in the iPad settings (https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/get-started-with-accessibility-features-ipad9a2465f9/ipados), styluses, adapted styluses, keyguards, external Bluetooth keyboards, etc. Take a look at Lauren S. Enders’ well organized Pinterest boards for ideas: https://pin.it/TWn9w6P (styluses: https://pin.it/t4cy8XV; keyboards & keyboard cases: https://pin.it/NydPTE8). I highly encourage you to collaborate with an Occupational Therapist and/or Assistive Technology Specialist when exploring AT options for the iPad. Some of that equipment is pricey so you want to make good decisions that fit that individual child’s needs. You may want to try things out in order to make those decisions. How to find the AT Lending Library in your state: https://www.at3center.net/stateprogram. Many have iPads, specialized apps and AT equipment available for short term loan to try out before making purchasing recommendations.

Other specialized apps to consider:

  1. Ghost Type – a typing tutor to master your iPad typing skills by demografix pty ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ghost-type-a-typing-tutor-to-master-your-ipad-typing-skills/id495081717, $4.99
  2. inku – tool for dyslexia by Therapy Box Limited, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/inku-tool-for-dyslexia/id1042258087, $14.99
  3. Abilipad by Cheryl Bregman, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/abilipad/id435865000, $9.99
  4. Clicker Sentences by Crick Software, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clicker-sentences/id575603433, $64.99 (I love the Clicker apps but the description in the App Store mentions they are being replaced by the Clicker Writer system. See their website for information: https://www.cricksoft.com/us/clicker/apps)
  5. Pictello by AssistiveWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pictello/id397858008, $18.99 (uses the iOS iPad keyboard, many kids are motivated to type as they create their own books)
  6. Easy Dyslexia Aid: Dyslexic & Dysgraphia Support by Nuapp Productions Pty Ltd, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/easy-dyslexia-aid-dyslexic-dysgraphia-support/id1088194043, $2.99
  7. Word Wizard for Kids School Ed by L’Escapadou, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/word-wizard-for-kids-school-ed/id447312716, $7.99 (Not a “typing” app but a really fun way to introduce kids to letter exploration and putting together letters to make words.). Their letter tracing app is also great: Writing Wizard for Kids by L’Escapadou, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/writing-wizard-for-kids/id631446426, $4.99
  8. Endless Alphabet by Originator Inc., https://apps.apple.com/us/app/endless-alphabet/id591626572, $8.99 (Not a “typing” app but a really fun way to introduce kids to letter sounds as you drag letters back in place to make words to match funny illustrated animations.)

Double the fun: If you have access to two iPads it is fun to have these apps on one iPad and then have the keyboard based apps (or AAC app with a keyboard) on a separate iPad. After the child types the letter they get to complete the activity for that letter on the other iPad as a reward/reinforcer for typing. And of course all of these apps are fun for early literacy play & exploration.

  1. Alpha Fun by KrakenEight LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/alpha-fun/id1071728452, FREE
  2. Avokiddo ABC Ride by AVOKIDDO, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/avokiddo-abc-ride/id827657068, $2.99
  3. Seuss’s ABC – Read & Learn by Oceanhouse Media, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dr-seusss-abc-read-learn/id1011479119, $5.99 (It’s so much more than just the book. This app is full of lots of fun letter activities.)
  4. Elastic Alphabets® for kids : Educator recommended learning game for preschoolers by VYAAP TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/elastic-alphabets-for-kids-educator-recommended-learning/id977077498, $3.99
  5. Goodnight ABC by Quasar Alliance, Inc, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/goodnight-abc/id539568451, $1.99 (includes a fun interactive scene for each letter and a swipe to add color area)
  6. My ABC Train HD by LoeschWare, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/my-abc-train-hd/id707630889, $1.99 (can be customized with your own pics, labels & voice recordings so it can be adapted to specific high interest areas)
  7. Starfall ABCs by Starfall Education, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/starfall-abcs/id395623983, FREE
  8. Khan Academy Kids by Khan Academy, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/khan-academy-kids/id1378467217, FREE (lots of great activities organized by type of activity and age/grade)
  9. ABC Actions by Peapod Labs LLC, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/abc-actions/id715396289, $2.99
  10. abc WOW! Alphabet Letters Full by Bologna Games, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/abc-wow-alphabet-letters-full/id533054130, FREE

Want to suggest an iOS iPad app to be added to this list? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page. I’m pretty picky so they need to be well designed apps and be transparent/honest about any IAPs or subscriptions. If it’s a free app, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can download and try it out. If it’s a paid app and you are the app developer, please send the link from the USA App Store so I can look at the info before you send a promo code. I want to make sure that one of my iPads is compatible in order to try it out. I only post about apps that I own and have tried out.


It took me quite a bit of time to compile this list so please “tag” OMazing Kids when sharing it on social media and do not copy/paste it onto other blogs or documents or upload it to servers. I have it available here on my blog and plan on keeping my blog up for the foreseeable future.

Thanks,

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2Si6k7Y

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amoorad1/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/amoorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com


Please ignore any ads that may appear. I have no control over them since this is a free blog and I don’t make anything off it.

What’s in your AAC toolbox?

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What’s the best AAC app? What’s the best dedicated speech generating device? What’s the best case? What’s the best ______…..

Several times a week I am either asked this question or I see it posted in one of the many AAC Facebook groups I follow.

Occasionally it seems to end up in a rather heated debate of ______ vs. ________.

This is counterproductive. Although there are key best practices when considering AAC options, there is not any one best AAC option (or one best therapy approach, or one best anything) when it comes to best meeting individual needs.

I have added a lot of tools to my toolbox over my 24+ year career as a speech-language pathologist. There have been pivotal moments where new tools were added that forever changed my perspective. Although shiny new tools may be exciting they did not replace the old tried & true tools. The exciting thing about tools is that you can use them together to build & repair. Would it make sense to ask “What’s better…. a hammer or a drill? a saw or a tape measure? a wrench or a flashlight? Of course not. Each tool has it’s specific purpose.  You select the tool based on what job you need to accomplish.

The show Handy Manny comes to mind. The tools don’t compete with each other. They work together.

Handy Manny: We Work Together

Okay Tools we’ve got a job to do
Let’s get going and fix it right
Twist and turn, make it tight
Trabajamos juntos
We work together now
Cut it
Measure it
Tap it flat
Bend and twist
Just like that
Each of us has a special job
We work together
Todos juntos
We can fix it right

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All states in the USA are supposed to have an Assistive Technology Lending Library program where parents & professionals can borrow AAC devices, iPads with AAC apps & other AT for short-term trial. It’s a great way to try various options out before making purchasing decisions. There are lots of great AAC devices & lots of great AAC apps…. but like anything there is no magical solution that meets every child’s specific needs. That’s why doing a good feature-match and trial of options is critical.

Find the AT Lending Library in your state: http://www.ataporg.org/states.html

Happy AAC Awareness Month!

 

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

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OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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Cute & Trendy AAC ~ think like MacGyver

Vera Bradley AAC strap

Thanks to Ability Connection Oklahoma one of my sweet 12 year old patients received an iPad Mini with the Speak for Yourself AAC app in a ChatWrap case by Saltillo Corporation!

Several of my coworkers commented “How cute!” as they saw me assembling it on Friday…. first time I’ve ever heard AAC described as “cute”. Love it! There is no reason why AAC can’t be cute & trendy. The white case with the light purple edge definitely adds a cute feminine look to a white iPad Mini. But the strap that comes with it is black and not dainty enough for this girlie girl.

So I put on my MacGyver thinking cap. Ever since attending a Linda Burkhart workshop back in 1993 I have built quite a stash of items with the intent of someday using them for another purpose. {If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Linda Burkhart workshop sign up as quickly as you can. She’s been doing Assistive Technology & AAC before the internet, cell phones or iPads were invented. She’s a guru of low-tech solutions & the original MacGyver in the special needs world}

After rummaging through my closets & drawers I found everything I needed to make a stylish lightweight shoulder strap worthy of this sweet 12 year old patient’s new AAC device.

I decided to repurpose an old Vera Bradley Pedal Pink belt (circa 2006) into a carrying strap. My mom had used it as a belt then passed it on to me. I used it as a belt but hadn’t worn it in several years. It almost made it into the donation pile a couple of times…. but my MacGyver/Linda Burkhart mindset said “No that would make the perfect strap for a PECS book or AAC device some day”.

I forgot to take a pic of the belt before I started deconstructing it so here’s one I found on e-Bay:

VB belt

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Here’s my kitchen table with all my MacGyver supplies:

 

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It took less than an hour to transform the old belt & parts from an old duffel bag strap into a new carrying strap and cost $0.00 since these were all things I’ve had laying around my house for years.  I don’t own a sewing machine so it’s assembled with heavy duty iron-on stitch witchery fusible tape and then hand sewn. I’m pretty sure this sweet patient will be the only owner of this combo of a white iPad Mini + Speak For Yourself + ChatWrap Case w/ purple “boot” edging + a custom-made Vera Bradley carrying strap 🙂

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If you were a 12 year old girl, which carrying strap would you like? Which one would help your AAC device look cute & fashionable? Which one would promote attachment to the device and confidence in carrying it? The Vera Bradley one of course! Since many AAC devices are abandoned these are important things to consider. Hmmm…. I wonder if developing AAC fashion accessories could be a retirement career?

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FYI…. the  Speak for Yourself  AAC app will be 50% off ($99.99 USD) on October 15th, 2014. It’s likely that other AAC apps may go on sale this month so be watching the OMazing Kids Facebook Page for info.

Happy AAC Awareness Month!

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

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OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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Embarking on an AAC Voyage ~ Keep Sailing

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“To reach a port, we must sail – sail, not tie at anchor – sail not drift.”

How does this quote relate to ‪Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) & AAC Awareness‬? I’m glad you asked!

  • It is not okay to get stuck in the whirlpool of “proving” a child has met some outdated “prerequisites” before implementing meaningful communication.
  • It is not okay to set anchor at the “Cape of No Hope”… where assumptions are made on the child’s diagnosis and expectations set low.
  • It is not okay to drift at sea with no clear goals to get meaningful communication options in place.

We must ‪presume competence & work together to sail the ship to port. All aboard…. the ‪AAC ship is setting sail  🙂

Happy AAC Awareness Month! Follow the journey under the hashtags #AACfamily  #AACawareness #BecauseOfAAC & #PresumeCompetence.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

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OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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Review w/ video: ChatWrap Case for iPad Mini

Watch this video for a quick overview of the features, size & weight of the ChatWrap for iPad Mini by Saltillo. If you have any difficulty watching the embedded video, go directly to YouTube by clicking the pic below or using this link: http://youtu.be/Diq8NuFnN6c

Chatwrap youtube video

This case is incredibly lightweight, slim & has awesome amplification quality through the attached Bluetooth speaker!

I’ve been a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist for 24 years and have seen LOTS of AAC devices and cases and this one is quite unique. Definitely worth considering if you are looking for voice amplification to turn your iPad Mini into a speech-generating device while not adding excess bulk or weight.

  • case weight = .7 lb
  • total weight with iPad Mini in it = 1.4 lbs
  • thickness at the tallest portion is only about 1.5 inch (about 2/3 the height of a dollar bill)
  • an extra kickstand is available (3.5 inches tall, holds device at 45 degree angle)
  • extra colored “boots” are available to personalize the case
  • the volume can get very loud. At full volume, the ChatWrap attached Bluetooth speaker gets as loud as 95dB. This is based on a trial with the phrase “AAC should be cute” with the following three options set at the maximum volume in the same office environment and measured with the Decibel 10th app at 2 feet away: iPad Mini speaker (72dB), ion Clipster (85dB), ChatWrap for iPad Mini (95db). [This test was inspired by this post on the Uncommon Sense blog: http://niederfamily.blogspot.com/2014/09/comparison-of-volume-intensity-in-ipad.html%5D

See more details & ordering info online at www.chatwrap.com.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review and do not have any affiliation with any AAC company or app developer. Please consult with your child’s SLP or AAC team when deciding on the best case for their needs. I am providing this overview solely as a means to get more details out there for folks to make informed purchasing decisions.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

.

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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Assistive Technology Consultation & Supports to Schools Eliminated by the Oklahoma State Department of Education ~ call to action!

Assistive Technology consultation & supports to public schools have essentially been eliminated by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

What?! How? A long-standing contract with the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center (OATC) was quietly allowed to lapse at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2013. Interesting that this happened during the summer when schools & parent advocacy groups would be less likely to notice.

Until this issue is resolved, OATC is unable to accept requests for Assistive Technology Consultations, Assistive Technology Evaluations,  Assistive Technology Technical Assistance or Trainings, or Assistive  Technology Equipment Loans.  OATC has been a valuable gem of a resource in our state for over 20 years. It will be a huge loss for individuals with special needs in our state if these or similar services are not resumed.

Contact info for OSDE to express concern about the lapse in Assistive Technology consultation & support for schools in our state: (405) 521-3301; sdeservicedesk@sde.ok.gov .

I wonder what influence a social media, blog, e-mail & phone call blitz might have?! I can’t just sit on the sidelines and watch these services quietly disappear in our state. Who’s with me?

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Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in any contracts with OSDE or OATC. My only “interest” in this situation is in advocating in services for individuals with special needs in Oklahoma. I am engaging in this social media campaign on my personal time. It is in no way related to my place of employment.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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