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Wide-range accessibility query

Link to this post 11 Sep 11

Posted on an email list by an educator:

Can anyone suggest AT (Accessible Technolgy) approach / consideration / SW (Software) to support a student with multiple LD (Learning Disorders) and sensory processing disorders?

Can anyone suggest AT approach / consideration / SW package to support a student with the following needs profile across all (most) subjects and to appropriately prepare for Middle school transition. Possibly SW package/bundle to support and minimize the number of different programs to learn and switch from subject to subject (due to cognitive flexibility deficit).
Profile: 12 y.o. 6th grade, Middle school next year.
NLD (Neurological Learning Disorder), significant Central Auditory (auditory working memory; integrating the prosodic intonation problems; difficulties listening in noisy group environments; auditory decoding) & Visual perception processing (visual discrimination, Form constancy, Figure Ground and Closure, visual memory / reasoning)/ visual-motor/spatial, fine motor/motor planning/sensory integration deficits, Receptive/expressive/pragmatic language, information retrieval issues. Executive / organization skills. No vision or hearing problems.
Current IEP: Resource room - Math, reading, writing; Inclusion RegEd: science, social study, specials. AT to support writing - netbook, WP, Inspiration (just started in spring for ideas brainstorming): (can't print, cursive not functional, difficulty acquiring keyboarding skills due to fingers strength, coordination and dexterity). AT helps but due to keyboarding issues - not very effective and not used in RegEd class. Also netbook screen is probably too small to support visual perception.

My thoughts; Speech Recognition Control and/or Breath Control, Screen Reader coupled with low mag screen magnification for visual and auditory redundancy (multiple learning modes). Educational programs coupled with Educational games, each preferably easily tailored by educator and family for incorporating and reinforcing current curriculum targets with review and testing.

Need some recommendations; What build would provide these features and work adequately on a netbook? I'll try to get some info on the netbook, brand, model, etc.

Many thanks for any replies.

Link to this post 11 Sep 11

The software you are stating is all part of the KDE Window manager (http://accessibility.kde.org/aids/), and many of the educational games are included in KDEedu (http://edu.kde.org/) suite of programs.

There is also a netbook interface that is better on smaller screens and less processing power, but the software set is large and does require a bit more memory than with other window managers.

You can search distrowatch (http://distrowatch.com/search.php) for various Linux based distros that include the KDE Desktop Environment (http://distrowatch.com/search.php) and add additional options to center your search. I recommend trying one with a LiveCD option so you can test it first.

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