Tag Archives: free assistive technology

Storify: Collect media from web and create a story

Another good instructional technology tool for the differentiation of instruction: Storify

Screenshot of Storify.com home screen

Storify can help learners draw together diverse sources of information to tell a story. This requires them to:

  • identify relevant information
  • order information in  a way that fits the story they’re telling
  • draw upon multimedia sources to illustrate a story, which requires them to reflect on the messages provided by these sources
  • create text annotations to help a story flow

Learners can use Storify to:

  • explore research questions
  • identify social trends
  • create more meaningful notes for themselves
  • create digital stories (e.g., using a combination of Flickr images, their own text, and other media sources)

Start a Good Habit with Assistance from Technology

I started forging a new habit today! Thanks to my pal Keith for the HabitForge.com introduction a few days ago. The free version allows for one new habit per day, so make a list and get forging…

Exercise more. Eat Healthy. Start any new habit you can think of or break a bad habit. HabitForge is a free web app that emails you daily asking you a yes or no question about whether you followed through on a habit you want to establish.

HabitForge.com logo | Simple Accountability. Positive Change.

HabitForge.com | Simple Accountability. Positive Change.

Free Smartphone Apps That Educate, Support Veterans with PTSD and TBI

BrainLine, a national multimedia project offering information and resources about preventing, treating, and living with traumatic brain injury (TBI), recently showcased six free smartphone applicationscreated for veterans with disabilities and their families. The applications address issues ranging from stress and mood regulation to tools to help improve quality of care for people with TBI and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some of the applications, including Breathe2Relax and Tactical Breather, help veterans manage stress and anxiety through repetitive breathing exercises. Others, such as mTBI Pocket Guide and PTSD Coach, offer information to help educate and support veterans and their health providers. Another, PTSD Support for Veterans, provides a forum for veterans to post videos to share their stories and lend support to their fellow veterans. These free apps and others can be found in either the iTunes App Store or in the Android Market.

Full story: BrainLine, Six Free Military TBI Smartphone Apps, October 19, 2011, available at http://www.brainlinemilitary.org/content/2011/07/top-6-military-tbi-apps.html

MyStudyBar Benefits All Students AT=UD

Easy, free tech tool that benefits all learners… AT=UD

MyStudyBar is a tool which helps overcome problems that students commonly experience with studying, reading and writing. The tool consists of a set of portable open source and freeware applications, assembled into one convenient package. Easy to install, simple to use, handy and effective, MyStudyBar provides comprehensive learning support at the desktop, where it is needed. And if this is not already attractive enough, a further eye-catching feature of  MyStudyBar is that it is completely FREE to download and free to use.

MyStudyBar puts a whole range of individual and essential tools at your fingertips. Together, these have been designed to support the complete study cycle from research, planning and structuring to getting across a written or spoken message. MyStudyBar has 6 sections; each has a drop down menu offering personal choice, flexibility and independent learning, particularly for those learners who require additional strategies to support their learning. With over 15 apps to choose from, MyStudyBar is the perfect study aid.

You can use MyStudyBar straight from a USB stick (if, for example, you are using a machine that is not your own) or you can install it directly to the desktop. (Technical staff in colleges or universities also have the choice of installing it on the network for everyone to use).

Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 FREE download

Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 FREE download

It has a step-by-step equation solver, graphing calculator, formulas and equations library, triangle solver, and a unit conversion tool.

AT TIP: Use MsgMe.at for Simple Email Reminders

Note posted with message Don't Forget!Lacking executive functions, or just sometimes forgetful? Take advantage of this simple, free service MsgMe.at to set up email reminders to better organize your life. College students need to better utilize assistive technologies like this. Simplify life. Use Google Chrome like me? Then install MsgMe.at from the Chrome Webstore for super easy access! Tools like this help reduce stress levels. Start a new habit today.
If you need more options, try using Google’s Calendar. Input all your assignments and tests from all your syllabi at the beginning of the semester. Enter in your school’s official schedule, like holiday breaks, and other campus events. Some people even put in the class times, so the time is blocked off, and a visual reminder every time you look at the calendar. I’ve slowly added in most of my family’s birthdays. And once these dates are in, and you mark recurring, that is it. You are good for life. Never forget anything again. It’s just that we have to get in the habit of always adding events to the calendar. You can send meeting invitations, or share your calendar with others. Digital calendars are great tools, especially when used in conjunction with hand-computers (smartphones). Be organized, it reduces stress levels, and helps you better focus your attention where it needs to be focused.
Or course both these work with smartphones. I love my HTC Droid Incredible, and I had to create my habit of entering appointments and other dates/times right into the calendar on my hand-computer. Then at work or home, I see my calendar in my email. It works for me, and maybe it will work for you.

Post-Secondary Disabilities Group for Students

This is a great online resource for SWD across the country. For any young person to be a successful student, they must really be involved in their education in order to get the most out of it. This type of group / email listserve is a sounding board for thoughts, ideas, complaints SWD have regarding their post-secondary education experiences.

Although groups have existed in the past, there are currently no active national organizations specifically for students with disabilities in higher ed in the US. This is particularly troubling given the sometimes overwhelming difficulties students with disabilities face, the frequent absence of any local campus-based disability advocacy groups or services, frightening disparities in graduation rates and educational outcomes, inadequate accommodations, and a general need for collective support and action.

We have set up a preliminary Google Groups listserv in the hopes of facilitating further discussion among interested students and allies. We encourage interested parties to either join the listserv directly or email with any questions, concerns, or comments psdisabilities@googlegroups.com.

Website Accessibility and Usability

Website Tips: There are lots of bright ideas out there. These will make your website better and your job easier.
Just because a website meets the “requirements”, doesn’t mean it is truly accessible.

Free Assistive Software

ITTATC maintained a list of companies, individuals, and organizations that offer fee-based evaluation and consultation services: ITTATC list of consultants. The grant that funded ITTAC has run out, as of May 2006, and some of their listings may be out of date.