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Unlocking Human Potential
January, 2017

It was great seeing many of you these past two weeks at t he Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference (ATIA) and the Future Education Technology Conference (FETC) in our hands-on learning lab, exploring some of the latest products from the loan library. Be sure to add new resources that you discovered in the Digital Assistive Technology Resource Library. 


Digital Assistive Technology Resource Library

Be part of Florida's comprehensive database of Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning resources. The Digital Assistive Technology Resource Library can be found at

This digital library is filled with information and resources on assistive technology, accessible instructional materials, augmentative communication, educational technologies, and Universal Design for Learning implementation ideas and tools. Searching, downloading and adding new resources couldn't be easier!  This is a great place to upload forms or learning materials you created to share with others.

Bookmark the Digital Assistive Technology Resource Library  today  so that your AT & UDL resources are just one click away. 

Contact information for the regional AT-UDL Technology Centers:

Region 1 - 850-995-0999  or 1-844-317-7784 (toll free)
Region 2 - 352-419-6556 or 1-844-365-3045 (toll free)
Region 3 - 386-761-9909 or 1-844-848-8936 (toll free)
Region 4 - 813-632-2080 or 1-844-873-2127 (toll free)
Region 5 -  954-925-6195 or  1-844-705-4385 (toll free)

Loan Library Highlights
Universal Design for Learning is a scientific-based framework that involves proactive planning of curricula (goals, assessments, methods, and materials) to reduce barriers in instruction, and provide  appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, while maintaining high achievement expectations for all students  (http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udldefined).  Such planning involves looking closely at options on how information can be presented in flexible ways so that students can participate in the learning process and better understand the learning goal and content.  

This issue of the newsletter highlights technology supports that can provide options to students for written expression and note taking. For many of our students the daily challenges of taking notes and/or writing sentences can be quite daunting and as a result students become disengaged in the learning process. Writing supports that provide flexibility and customization allow the student to focus on content while completing the writing task.

Write Online
Software and APP
Designed for upper elementary school to adults; Write Online provides age - appropriate, customizable writing supports that enable independence. Write Online workspace consists of the following built-in features: 
Graphic Organizer-   The graphic organizer is an easy to use visual mind mapping tool where students can create and organize their ideas to gain better understanding of how concepts are related. 
Word Prediction-  Wordflow    technology 
predicts words as the student types and provides support for accurate spelling and grammatically  correct sentences. 
Clear Speech- Text-to speech enables students to review their work independently. Using the Clear Speech feature, students can have their writing read aloud, listening carefully to correct any errors. 

Wordbar- Students often lack essential content vocabulary for note taking. The Wordbar  allows students to point and click to access subject-specific words and phrases customized to meet specific student needs. Font size, color, background are also customizable.
Analysis Tool - reveals a complete history of the time spent on writing a document, mistakes corrected by the spell checker, and what text has been copied and pasted into the document. Both the student and teacher can gain insight to this data to continually improve the writing experience. 

Prodigi Connect 12

Prodigi Connect 12 is a powerful light weight (< 2 pounds) digital magnifier that provides both desktop and distance viewing for students to see what is being displayed on the whiteboard, bulletin  board or other curriculum support displays around the room. Features include: 

Magnification  - A powerful, wireless camera provides up to 40x magnification in full high definition. Live 1-24x magnification in half page view allows the student to see the instructional material the teacher is displaying in the front of the room and their own notes or textbook at their desk.

Reads Aloud- Captured images are supported with a Text-to-Speech feature that reads aloud the text on the image. 
Long Battery Life - Long lasting  battery supply allows up to a full 12 hours of use.  Camera battery for distance viewing last up to 4 hours.
Interactive Whiteboards-  Activity and notes on the interactive whiteboard can be capture through the Prodigi camera  by taking a photo or  through an web-based connection that provides a live view of the activity as it is occurring.

Mobile Devices/Apps/Cases

Abilipad is an iPad app (that provides a  customizable keyboard and adaptive notepad to support in students in areas of writing, reading and math. The creation of custom keyboards, using words, pictures, or both provide needed supports for students to take notes, create story starters, provide choices when completing a group activity. The notepad is similar to a blank page that is customizable for student learning preferences and learning needs with font size, color, and page background.  Other features include:

Text- to- Speech - As the student is typing, individual words are read aloud by  pressing the space bar.  Entire text passages can be read aloud by selecting  the "Speak" button. 

Word Prediction- A list of predicted words is activate as the student begins to type a word in a sentence. The word list can be read aloud for students to select the desired word. 

Spell Check- A spell check function is available as the student types to work on spelling and grammar.  

VoiceOver compatible- Abilipad allows VoiceOver accessibility feature on the iPad to read aloud what is written on the screen allowing the student to access and select items by hearing the spoken text. 

Switch Scanning-  Switch scanning is avialable through a VoiceOver compatible switch interface such as the  Tecla Shield or the  Switch2Scan.  Switch access allow  students with limited mobility to allow interaction with the touch screen.

MegaBee Writing Tablet
Switch Systems

MegaBee is a light weight portable electronic hand held writing tablet that is used with a communication partner. Eye movement and blinking are used to select letters, phrases or picture communication symbols and displayed on the screen of the device. 

Custom abbreviations of up to 260 phrases can be uploaded to provide short cut typing specifically tailored to meet individual student needs and make note taking and writing  easier.


This easy-to-use reading and writing App runs directly on the iPad with no Wi-Fi or 3G access necessary. It includes powerful support features that benefit struggling readers and writers.  Support features in iReadWrite include: 

Text-to-speech with Dual-Color Highlighting- Read text aloud with dual-color highlighting. Highlighting the sentence in one color and the word being read in another color helps with focus and reading comprehension. Highlighting colors can also be customized to suit student preferences. By having writing read aloud, students can ensure that what they typed is what you actually meant to write. 

Word Prediction- Contextual Word Prediction allows the student to complete a word being typed or suggest the next word. Suggestions are displayed on the left as a user is typing. Students simply tap the word they wish to use. Word prediction uses context and the phonetic spell checker to help predict the best suggestions. Develops writing skills and helps construct sentences with ease. 

Phonetic Spell Checker- The phonetic spell checker allows students to identify and correct spelling mistakes including phonetic and flexible spelling errors (e.g. no vowels). The spell checker, which has been tuned for common dyslexic spelling errors, also uses co-location to look at the words around the error and make better suggestions.

Homophone and Confusables Checker- Words that sound the same as well as those that are easily confused are identified along with alternate choices and definitions to help students to easily choose which word to use.

Text and Picture Dictionary-  Provides text definitions as well as images for selected words to help expand vocabulary and improve comprehension. These dictionaries are customizable  to include vocabulary that is used with the class lesson so that note taking and technical writing can easier. 

Customizable Background and Text Colors- Students can customize the background and text colors based on their learning needs or preferences. 

Choice of Voices and Fonts- Choose from a variety of natural-sounding text-to-speech male and female voices and easily-readable fonts including OpenDyslexic. Speech rate for voices can be set to Slow, Medium, or Fast via the Preferences menu.

image contains information about the development of this newsletter was a product of the technology and learning connections team who is a part of the multi-tiered system of supports and problem solving response to intervention partnership at the university of south florida in Tampa_ Florida. The project is funded by the Florida Department of Education Bureau of the Exceptional Children Student Services with funding assistance under IDEA  Part B
This newsletter was developed by the Technology & Learning Connections Team, a part of the Problem Solving/Response to Intervention Project, and funded by the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Part B funds. The information included does not reflect any specific endorsement by any parties involved. Please em ail Tara Jeffs  for further information.