ICT and special needs

I am very grateful to Rob, Network Manager at my son’s school, for sending me this informayive entry on some of the ICT software and hardware is use at the Ridgeway Community School.

My name is Rob Anderson, I’m the network manager at the Ridgeway Community School in Farnham. I’ve been running the ICT there for over a year and have installed and used a wide range of software and hardware with the students to help them get the most out of ICT.

ICT with special needs

I thought it might be helpful to parents if I listed some of the software we use at the school and where best to go if you want to purchase software for your child at home.

Communicate in Print 2

We use this a lot at school, it is the first genuine colour desktop publisher software (like Microsoft Word but with colour symbols). CiP2 can be used to create books, worksheets, newsletters, posters and much more. I have found that the students find reading work a lot easier with the symbols there to help, you can also change the size or colour of the symbols so that as the students progress you can reduce their dependancy on having the symbols there. Take a look at the Widgit website for more information.

A single user license for this programme is £89.00

Clicker 5

We have recently purchased and installed Clicker 5 on the school system, Clicker 5 is a writing support and multimedia tool – which enables you to write with whole words, phrases or pictures using word/picture grids. Once you have purchased the software you get access to a really wide range of free resources which can be found on their website Resources Page. This can save a lot of time and also gives you a library of work for different subjects right from the start.

We’ve also purchased the add-on programs that are available for Clicker 5: Clicker Paint, Clicker Wordbar, Clicker Animations and Clicker Jigworks. More information on these products can also be found at the Cricksoft Website.

Single user license for this programme is £120

Another set of software that’s built into Clicker 5 that we use a lot is Oxford Reading Tree. It’s extremely popular with the students and moves through stages 1+ to 5 with a wide range of activities built into each stage.

Inclusive Technology

We purchase a lot of software and switches/keyboards from Inclusive Technology. They offer an extremely wide range of programs for people of all ages with special needs, they also offer a fantastic variety of switches, keyboards, mice, literacy aids, touch monitors and more so that you can really get your child/students interacting and enjoying ICT.

Instead of going into every program I’ve listed below the programs we use in school and some of the switches/keyboards that we have. If you take a look through the Inclusive Technology website you will get a better idea of what they have to offer.

Inclusive Technology – software

Lets go to the seaside
ChooiseIT! Ready-mades: Numeracy 0 to 100
ChooiseIT! Ready-mades: Numeracy Key Stage 1 (shape, space and measure)
ChooiseIT! Ready-mades: Numeracy 0 to 5
ChooiseIT! Ready-mades: Foundation Stage (shape, space and measure)
ChooiseIT! Ready-mades: 5 to 10
Big Bang
Choose + Tell: Nursery Rhymes
Mouse skills
Touch it Balloons
Touch It Gardens
Podd
The Dums: International
The Dums

Inclusive Technology – Hardware

IntelliKeys USB Keyboard

Jumbo XL Keyboard

Big Keys LX

Big Track – Mouse alternative

Jelly Beamer Wireless Switch

ELO Touch Screen LCD Monitors

AbleNet Switches

Adapt-It Technologies Mouse

That’s just a quick summary of the ICT we use at school, we also have Smart Boards and a brand new Smart plasma screen with interactive access.

If you would like any further information about the above or have any questions regarding ICT and special needs then please don’t hesitate to email me. I can’t promise that I will be able to help but I’ll definitely try my best.

Rob Anderson

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