Webinar: Dragon speech recognition made easy!

There are a number of Speech Recognition Programs, Microsoft Windows Speech Recognition, Word Dictation, Voice to Text (Google Chrome) among others. But the Gold Standard is still Dragon Naturally Speaking.

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Program is offering a Webinar on the basics of using Dragon Naturally Speaking on May 19, 2020, starting at 10:00 AM Eastern Time.

Click here to register: Register Now

Free Webinars Courtesy of South Carolina Assistive Technology Program

The SCATP has announced two FREE webinars for the month of MAY. One for May 7, 2020 and the second for May 12, 2020

Practical UDL/Personalized Instruction Tools for ALL Students Webinar

Date: May 7, 2020

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET

Speaker: Tim Jones

Cost: Free!

REGISTER NOW

As many as two-thirds of students in classrooms today score below proficiency in reading, writing, and STEM.  This includes students who speak English as a second language, students with disabilities, and many other students who do not yet possess the skills needed to meet today’s rigorous standards.  While today’s digital environments provide great tools for presentation of materials, many lack STEM and literacy supports needed by these students.

In this session, attendees will see a demonstration of Read&Write for Google Chrome, EquatIO, and WriQ. These are powerful programs with over 25 million users.  These ELA and STEM-focused products work with BOTH Office 365 as well as G-Suite programs. Participants will learn more about common technology supports such as text-to-speech, word prediction, dictation, text and picture dictionaries, annotations… and more… that can help ALL students and especially those who struggle with reading and writing.  These tools can be used through the Chrome, Edge, Explorer browsers on PCs, Macs, IPads and Chromebooks.

Participants will:

  • Learn to accommodate different learning styles using tools from the Read&Write and EquatIO Toolbars
  • Create customized vocabulary lists and study guides
  • Find new resources for accessing digital text
  • Discover a great tool for grading writing with customizable rubrics
  • Learn how to access a “Free for Teachers” account

Helping Students Struggling with Executive Function Build Organization Skills for Transition Webinar

Date: May 12, 2020

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 am.

Speaker: Tammy Wallace

Cost: FREE!

REGISTER NOW!

The speaker will share tools and resources to help parents, teachers and other support staff who work with students with executive function deficits.

Objectives:​

  • Participants will be able to identify students struggling with executive functioning
  • Participants will be able to name 3 specific technology tools that may support students with their executive function skills
  • Participants will be able to name 2 strategies to help students struggling with executive functioning

Adding the AutoCorrect button to the Ribbon for Word 2016

When Microsoft created the Ribbon for Word, it was based on the concept of placing more options in the front of the user. Most of the options are now more readily available with only one click.

Unfortunately, the AutoCorrect option was buried fairly deep into the menus, requiring several clicks to bring up the Dialog box.

What we’d like to do is add a shortcut to the Quick Access Toolbar so AutoCorrect is quickly available with one click.

Start by going to the Quick Access Toolbar, clicking so the menu appears. On the menu, select More Commands.

Showing Word Document Quick Access Toolbar
Quick Access Toolbar on Ribbon

When the customize Ribbon dialog box appears, Click the Show Commands From box and select Commands Not in the Ribbon.

AutoCorrect Dialog Selection Box
AutoCorrect Dialog Selection Box

 

This will show all the command that are NOT on the Ribbon alphabetically in the left box and the command in the Quick Access Toolbar in the right box.
Scroll down to find the AutoCorrect Option – It will be the one with Lighting Bolt icon.

Click the Add button to place the AutoCorrect command in the Quick Access Toolbar. Then click OK.

AutoCorrect adding to Quick Access Toolbar List
Adding AutoCorrect Button to the Quick Access Toolbar

The AutoCorrect button with icon has been added to the Quick Access Toolbar

 

AutoCorrect is now only a click away.  You can see the steps in the video below.

Automating MS Word

I will confess that I am a lazy person.  I really should say that I’m always looking for an easier or faster way to accomplish tasks.  When I have a repetitive task that may be complex, I eventually begin investigating ways to avoid the task.  Enter Word automation or Word Macros.

Working with students, either with special needs or non-special needs, they have identified many of the tasks that they might automate.  A few simple skills can go a long way to improving a students’ writing experience. Reducing the number of keystrokes or mouse clicks can simplify life.

 

A simple form of automating Word is the Autocorrect feature to replace frequently used words or phrases. To simplify the number of keystrokes ( and errors) needed to enter phrases, titles and long strings of repeated text, Autocorrect is a simple solution.

In earlier versions of Office, Autocorrect was fairly easy to access under the Classic Menu.  It was located on the Tools drop-down list.

Starting with the Ribbon, accessing Autocorrect has become a multi-click process.  First in Word 2016, click the File Tab on the Menu bar (or Press the ALT key then F)

The menu tab with lots of choices will appear.  Select Options at the bottom of the list or if you’re selecting using the keyboard, press T.

A dialog box will appear showing the Word Options.  Select Proofing.

Select Proofing and AutoCorrect Options will be at the top of the choices.

Select AutoCorrect Options in the Window and the AutoCorrect Dialog box will appear.

Now we simply use the Replace With fields to substitute one character string for another.

In this case, if I’m writing a long piece on folk singer/songwriters who had an impact in the 60’s and 70’s.  I writing about Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (Leaving On A Jet Plane) and at some point will misspell his name.  So I will choose a few letters to type and have it replaced with his full name.  In this case, I’ll use hjd in the Replace field and Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.in the With field.

The video below shows the entire sequence including how it works in Word.

One of the keys to using this is to choose a Replace string with characters that are not normally used.

If you plan to use AutoCorrect frequently, you might consider adding it as a button to the Ribbon.  That will be the next topic.

BALABOLKA – Low Vision Aids

There is research showing that using color patterns other than the traditional black font and white background can help not only low vision readers but those with dyslexia.

Text Customization for Readers with Dyslexia

Balabolka has a very simple dialog box to change the background color, the font type and color, the selected color and the highlighted color.

The short video below, show how to use these options.

 

It has been my experience, working with students with dyslexia and those with low vision, that the color choices are best left to the person using the program.