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Educational Software Thread, Free Special Needs Software anywhere? in Technical; Does any one know to any free/open source Speacial Needs Software for all ages? Or could you recommend anything that ...
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    tosca925's Avatar
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    Free Special Needs Software anywhere?

    Does any one know to any free/open source Speacial Needs Software for all ages?

    Or could you recommend anything that is good?

    This is a personnal favour as i have a God Son with Learning Difficulties and his current primary school do not have any LSA or SEN staff, so no software in their ICT suite.

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    Re: Free Special Needs Software anywhere?

    The School I work at is Special Needs and to be honest, I've not seen any free / open source stuff at all.
    In fact, software for special needs tends to be even more expensive than normal!

    The main stuff we use for kids with learning difficulties is from Crick Soft (Clicker etc.) http://www.cricksoft.com/uk/, but it's not free.

    Let me know if I can be of any more help.

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    Re: Free Special Needs Software anywhere?

    I work with the ICT advisor who deals with this for Lancashire. I shall ask her tomorrow.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Free Special Needs Software anywhere?

    Our county SEN advisor visited our Tech meting recently.

    She spoke with us about accessibility. Web sites conforming to standards and the possibility of user customisation of thier workspace. It was deemed unsatisfactory to make settings for students as it would single them out rather than be a positive thing.

    here's her last email to me:
    Hi Mark
    Thanks for the interest, I know its difficult covering all the requirements,
    and that some requests make an already difficult job somewhat impossible. I
    really am grateful for the help I receive from yourself and colleagues in
    high schools. I'm not at all technically minded so need all the help I can
    get. The web sites I mentioned all relate to screen readers.

    All the following could be useful in enabling greater independence to a
    number of students. Students are often able to navigate the web quite easily
    but are unable to read some of the more complex texts.

    Being able to access any text can have wider implications; documents staff
    have created in Word can be read by Read Please or Natural Reader, students
    would then be able to access worksheets etc without needing to rely on an
    LSA.

    I also mentioned the Deaf/Blind website which includes a free to download
    talking word processor and EdwEB a talking web browser. Bangor is developing
    a speech engine for Welsh, i have seen/heard it demonstrated using the above
    software and it had a few glitches but at least there is progress.


    Read Please Free is a a piece of software which lets you paste text from
    anywhere into its own window. Then you can select from a number of voices
    and more importantly enlarge the text. Read Please is therefore really
    useful for those pupils and adults who need text enlarged ad spoken.
    http://www.readplease.com/


    Browsealoud free user reads some web sites. Once downloaded it places an
    icon on the taskbar enabling a shortcut to setup options. If a web site is
    Browsealoud enabled the the pointer will have a the Browsealoud blue circle
    attached to it. To read a page simply point at the text.

    http://www.browsealoud.com/

    Natural Reader is the latest product, this is a screen reader and will read
    text from any source.
    http://www.naturalreaders.com/download.htm

    Basically all the above enable greater independence, moving away from the
    LSA at the hip model.
    We have a lot of other SEN software on the system but none of it free as i'm aware.

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