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General Chat Thread, IT and disability in General; Hello, I have a child at my school with severe disability and I have been asked to assess and deliver ...
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    IT and disability

    Hello,
    I have a child at my school with severe disability and I have been asked to assess and deliver an IT solution to make life easier for the pupil.

    The pupil is restricted to a wheel chair and has very restricted movement of her head and arms.

    She currently uses a laptop with a very large plugin roller ball but this is not ideal as the wheelchair tray becomes cluttered and difficult for her to work on, she can also only use 1 arm at a time to type due to the restrictions on her mobility making typing more like a full body workout. I am told it can often take up to an hour for her to complete the login process never mind completing any work.

    Speech recognition software would not help as she has issues with her speech and finding the time to train the software to work with her would not be practical as she misses more days in school due to her illness than she attends.

    I was wondering if anybody out there would have any suggestions for tech resources that I can look into to help this pupil, thank you.

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    Control your PC with your eyes - Tobii PCEye

    The hardware allows you to control your computer with your eyes.

  3. Thanks to Chuckster from:

    ButterflyMoon (3rd July 2014)

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    perhaps some sort of tablet, not on the domain, but for her to have as her own. It doesn't sound like she will get much done in the way of essays etc due to all the typing so there are probably lots of apps which will have a good education base which she will be able to use easier?

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    Have a look at Tellus 4. Techcess Communications Ltd - Tellus 4
    One of our students has to use one of these, and they can apprently have normal windows 7 software installed to it. And there is a controller that allows them to control a school PC (with the plugin installed) from the tellus box.
    (havent tried this yet, as the student will be joining us in September)

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    Hi Guys thank you all for the input I am looking into the Tobii as suggested by Chuckster along with Click2Speak Home - Click2speak the two together look like a fab bit of Kit I watched this video on the BBC iplayer BBC iPlayer - Click - 28/06/2014

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    Another vote for the Tobii.

    Used very effectively by a pupil at a pervious school I worked at. She found it so liberating and after a short while could write emails and messages faster than I could type just using the eye movement software and on screen short cuts.

    Setting up is the key and I found the company really helpful.

    Just my 2 pence worth

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    In my experience, I've found that those people who have limited mobility in their hands/arms do much better with a joystick (think, flight simulator style) than a roller ball because they can grip it.
    I would definitely recommend a dedicated pc to her, rather than sharing the school pcs.

    That would be the limit of my input on this... I am far more experience with visually impaired/blind users. Dragon naturally speaking is however, great once it is trained. could be that spending the time and effort doing it now would save a lot of work later on.

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    Is there not a team at local authority who deal with this kind of thing, I know there is a blind/deaf type team here and they may know what is good kit out there? Just a thought.

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    I work at a special needs school and do this kind of thing all the time, a good literacy program to use is Clicker 6, as long as she has someone working with her she can get quite a bit done.

    Also we have OT's and Physio's that help me out when positioning equipment gets tricky... you can always ask the nhs ones she uses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HairySpider View Post
    Hello,
    I have a child at my school with severe disability and I have been asked to assess and deliver an IT solution to make life easier for the pupil.

    The pupil is restricted to a wheel chair and has very restricted movement of her head and arms.

    She currently uses a laptop with a very large plugin roller ball but this is not ideal as the wheelchair tray becomes cluttered and difficult for her to work on, she can also only use 1 arm at a time to type due to the restrictions on her mobility making typing more like a full body workout. I am told it can often take up to an hour for her to complete the login process never mind completing any work.

    Speech recognition software would not help as she has issues with her speech and finding the time to train the software to work with her would not be practical as she misses more days in school due to her illness than she attends.

    I was wondering if anybody out there would have any suggestions for tech resources that I can look into to help this pupil, thank you.
    Inclusive Technology - All the Help You Need has a lot of special equipment and software. Clicker 4 software with a combination of switch or other access devices allows student like that to write. (I think they are up to clicker 6 now?)
    Although I used to specialise in special needs access that was many years ago. I would ring up some of the special needs school that focus on that type of student and ask for advance. As my last school each student when though an assessment to work out the best way to access the environment with rusticated mobility. Fountaindale (Nottingham) used to have a demo room full of equipment but that was many years ago. Not kept in contact.,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottsey View Post
    (I think they are up to clicker 6 now?)
    Yes, we use* it. (*by use, someone decided to buy it, and no one uses it...)

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    We use EyeGaze here - seems to work well.

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    Agreed with points above, talk to your local special school, they'll also have loads of contacts for you to get hold of. Tobii is good but it takes some getting used to and can cause a sort of motion sickness when used for a too long too quickly, build it up gradually. Switch access with scanning is good on clicker 6. We've also just had a student in who has a controller on their electric wheelchair that does the wheelchair movement and then can be switched over to control, via bluetooth, the mouse as a joy stick. Very cool stuff.
    Last edited by Pyroman; 4th July 2014 at 11:18 AM.

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