Saturday, March 31, 2012

Google's New Contextual Spell Check

Google recently announce a new contextual spell check that will be built into Chrome shortly. Chrome is Google's free web browser. The spell checker will analyize the context so if you type "the meet is rotten" it will know that you were trying to say "the meat is rotten." This is a very nice addition to Google's products. Click read more  or to see more pictures of the new spell check in action.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

AppWriter is an All-In-One Assistive Technology App For Struggling Readers and Writers

AppWriter is an iPad app for people who struggle with reading or writing. The app includes text-to-speech, word prediction, OCR capabilities and the Dyslexie font. You can save your documents on email, dropbox or Google Docs.

Text-To-Speech - The app includes high quality text-to-speech voices that can be use to read back text in the app. AppWriter also highlights the words being read to help users follow along. On the first generation iPad the text-to-speech had to reload line by line which made it hard to follow. This should not be a problem on the newer iPads because they have better processors and more RAM.

OCR - AppWriter includes optical character recognition (OCR) which allows you to take a picture with the iPad's camera and then have the app convert it to digital text and read it back to you with text-to-speech. This feature will work best with the new iPad's higher resolution camera. With OCR you can take pictures of worksheets, textbooks. In my test the OCR was not as accurate or fast as Prizmo.

Word Prediction - AppWriter also comes with word prediction. AppWriter predicts words based on the context of your writing. AppWriter can also read the suggested words to you before you select them.

Dyslexie - AppWriter includes a special font called Dyslexie. This font makes it easier for dyslexics to recognize and read letter and words. To learn more about the Dyslexie font click here.

AppWriter is available for $19.99 on the App Store. Click here to view in the App Store. Click read more below to learn more.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Haptic Feedback Tablets Helps Visually Impaired Students

Haptic feedback tablets are opening new doors for students with visual impairments, especially in math class. Haptic feedback  provides a small vibration when the screen is touched allowing you to feel the screen. Haptic feedback is available on some Android phones and tablets. Some schools have begun to use tablets that vibrate went touched to allow visually impaired students to feel shapes and graphs. In order to work, a specialized app must be paired with a tablet that offers haptic (touch) feedback. When a student runs their finger along the screen they feel small vibration that tells them where a point or shape is. Then the student can feel the shape. The app could also be used as a graphing calculator in the future, allowing students to input equations and then feel the shape of the graph instantly. The app is not currently available to the public. To read more about this exciting new technology click here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The New iPad: Thoughts From an Assistive Technology Prospective

The New iPad is out with a new high-resolution display, improved rear facing camera, dictation and more, but what does it mean for people with disabilities?

Camera - The New iPad has a much improved 5 megapixel rear facing camera. The new camera will enable assistive technology users to capture documents with more clarity. With the new improved camera, apps such as Prizmo, JotNot, ZoomReader, Scanner Pro and TurboScan will work much better.

Dictation - The New iPad also includes voice dictation which allows you to to talk instead of needing to type. The dictation feature works well and is very similar to voice dictation on the iPhone 4S. The new iPad does not have Siri support so it cannot answer your questions.

The New iPad adds some nice new features and remains accessible with VoiceOver. The iPad 2 remains on sale for $399.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Khan Academy Releases iPad App

Khan Academy the website that makes free online learning videos has released a new app for the iPad. The newly released app allows you all of the video content. The Khan Academy is a great online learning resource and it is great to see it coming to the iPad. Click here to download the free app from the App Store. Khan Academy is a great resource for people who want to learn about a variety of subject or review for school assessments. In addition it is a great resource to compliment class notes. The video's include closed captions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

PaperPort Notes App for iPad: Notetaking with Dictation

Paperport Notes is a free app for the iPad. The app is made by Nuance the maker of Dragon Dictation. The app allows users to take notes by typing, writing with a stylist or by dictation. Paperport Notes also allows users to import pictures and web pages into notes as visual reminders. Another useful feature allows users to record audio notes of a class or meeting while they are typing or writing notes. The audio notes will allow you to go back and review the class or meeting if you missed an important part. Once you have completed your note you can save in as a PDF or use cloud services such as Dropbox.

Click read more below to view more images of Paperport Notes.