The iPad and More: Help Children Improve Communication, Cognition, Literacy and Learning

Joan L. Green, M.A. CCC-SLP and
Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D

Saturday March 9th, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn in Hasbrouck Heights
          283 State Highway 17  Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
COST: $175 per person including lunch
Space is limited  Group rates available

·         Some scholarships are available- contact Joan at
·         1st 10 registrants receive free copy of Joan’s book- The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education: Resources for Education, Intervention and Rehabilitation

Joan Green is a speech-language pathologist from the Washington, DC area with many years of experience helping a wide range of children maximize progress with the help of cutting-edge affordable technologies. Dr. Friedlander is a school psychologist with expertise in the area of assistive technology. This is a great workshop for parents as well as education and rehabilitation professionals and anyone else who wants to learn more about ways to use an iPad or other iDevice to help children reach their goals faster, enjoy the process and enhance school success. Joan and Brian will be showing their top picks for speaking, reading, writing, thinking, organizing and enhancing the learning process. They will also review accessibility options, strategies for success and the nuts and bolts of using the iPad.

Participants are encouraged to bring their iPads and iPhones and to use them while shown an overview cutting-edge strategies and tools to use to help children with and without special needs.

For more information please go to

Bookshare Releases Bookshare Web Reader

Making text accessible for students with "Print Disabilities" has become one of the cornerstones of the work that I do day in and day out. By being able to provide students with accessible text, they can know with confidence that they will be able to keep up with the work load in their respective classes. Utilizing services like Bookshare has really made a significant difference in the lives of students that I have worked with, but it is still incredible when I realize just how many parents, students and educators are unaware of the service. As I continue to go out into the educational community and share this information one of the things I have learned in my years in the field of assistive technology is that: the technology has to be dead simple to use and access. If there are any kinks in the process there is a real likelihood that the technology just will not be utilized. In this respect with the release of the Bookshare Web Reader, Bookshare has taken the necessary step to make the process of accessing and reading books a simpler process for both students and teachers. Now students can log into Bookshare with their Individual account credentials-open the Google Chrome Browser and simply install the Bookshare Web Reader Extension and have immediate access to their books complete with text to speech support. Students will no longer have to download a separate application to access their books and by using the Google Chrome browser they can access their books on any computer through the browser.

I had a chance to try the Bookshare Web Reader, just today, and I am very pleased with how it worked. The installation of the Chrome extension was simple to do and by simply logging into a Demo Individual account, I could click on the Read Now link which automatically opened the Bookshare Web Reader. Bookshare Web Reader, has an easy to use tool bar at the top of the Browser which lets you navigate the book and start and stop the Text to Speech engine. By clicking on the Gear icon- it will pop up a dialog box that will allow you to change some of the reading and visual settings. Students can change the look and feel of the book and can determine just how fast they would like the text to be read. Working with the Bookshare Web Reader, I did not see a way to change the speech engine and I am guessing that the Bookshare Web Reader, uses a text to speech engine that is installed with the Web Reader Extension. If I had to make a recommendation, I would like to see a range of speech engines that students can select from in future releases of this product. Overall, Bookshare Web Reader makes accessing Bookshare books easy and straight forward and eliminates the need to have a full blown reading application installed on the computer. As we remove more and more friction from the reading experience, more students will find it second nature to utilize their Bookshare accounts with the Bookshare Web Reader to access their books- and in the end, that is what's really important.

Clicker Docs for iPad Updated

You can read my original review of Clicker Docs, which adds considerable writing supports for students that need word prediction, text to speech, and talking word wall support. Since my review, Crick Software has released an update to the app which adds some powerful new features. The latest version of Clicker Docs now supports external Bluetooth keyboards, Dropbox, as well as spell checking. While the word prediction feature was well implemented in Clicker Docs- it is now more powerful in that any word that is included in the grid automatically comes to the top of the prediction list when a student is typing. So for example if the student was writing about the rainforest and you had created a grid that included the following words: canopy, orangutan, understory, sloth, opossum, emergent layer, forest floor, etc.- these words would automatically come up to the top of list as the student was typing and could be selected from the prediction bar. You can see from the screen shot above the list of words and in the screen shot to the right-see how the word prediction engine suggested the word "orangutan" in the list. This is a very powerful feature and will allow teachers to build customized grids on specific topics so that students are better supported when they are doing writing a particular topic. Clicker Docs also added a feature called Show Touches which is great for those of us who are doing training, it adds a small yellow highlighted circle whenever you touch the screen at that location. Likewise, Clicker Docs now supports Dropbox which will be fully integrated with the desktop version of Clicker 6. If you have downloaded Clicker Docs to you iPad make sure that you update your version so that you can take advantage of these new features.