- Oklahoma Equipment Exchange
- DME Reuse
- Special Education Resolution Center
Audio books can be used as the primary format for students with a print disability or to supplement standard print, large print, digital format or braille. Students using audio books may spend less time struggling to read and comprehend written words. When used in conjunction with text, listening to audio books can increase word recognition, build vocabulary, and improve understanding.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech can help schools obtain textbooks and other reading materials needed for school in audio format from Learning Ally. With more than 75,000 audio textbooks and literature titles, Learning Ally has what your students need to learn plus the books that make great leisure reading too. The Learning Ally library includes textbooks from top U.S. publishers as well as Language Arts classics, popular fiction, test prep, personal growth and more. The speech is recorded with natural human voices, providing the advantage of natural pronunciation and pacing. Audio books can be read on PCs and tablet computers such as iPads, and on DAISY players such as the Book Port Plus and the Classmate Reader.
Students whose print disability is due to low vision or blindness may qualify for a school-term loan of assistive technology to access audio and or/digital text. Liberty Braille loans iPads, and the AIM Center at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind loans DAISY players and refreshable braille devices in addition to many other devices and learning aids. In some cases, a trial loan through ABLE Tech may be required before equipment is issued for a school term loan.
It is time to begin trial loans for students with visual impairment wishing to borrow an iPad from Liberty Braille for the next school year. To qualify, the student must first complete an iPad trial loan from Oklahoma ABLE Tech to determine the suitability of the iPad and the Read2Go app as an assistive technology solution for the particular student. There is just enough time to do the trial loan before the end of this school year and request an iPad from liberty braille in order to have the iPad ready and loaded with books when school begins in the fall. Learn more about the program at http://libertybraille.com/ipad-program-2/. The application for a short-term device loan from ABLE Tech can be found at http://oec.okstate.edu/loan/docs/ABT-LoanRequestForm11-12.pdf.
Braille readers can use iPads to access digital text by listening to the synthesized voice or by using a refreshable braille display. The Refreshabraille 18 is now available for short-term loan from ABLE Tech. If you determine through a trial loan that the Refreshabraille 18 is right for your student, you can request to borrow one for the entire school year from the AIM Center at the Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Find out more about their loan services at http://www.library.state.ok.us/aim/. Together, a Refreshabraille 18 and an iPad can provide a portable and compact accessible reading solution.
Now is also the time is for teachers of students with print disabilities to submit orders for large print and braille textbooks from Liberty Braille. For students who will be using digital text, you should now begin searching the repositories at www.bookshare.org, and www.nimac.us to make sure the books your students need will be available for download. ABLE Tech can help you with setting up Bookshare accounts and obtaining accessible instructional materials (AIM) for your students. For more information, visit http://www.ok.gov/abletech/AIM/ or call 1-800-257-1705.
The first step in the process is making sure the publisher submits the textbook files to the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). If your school chooses from the state approved textbook list, the State Department of Education will have already done this step. If you are ordering off-list, it is the school’s responsibility to include in the purchase contract the requirement that the publisher submit NIMAS file sets to the NIMAC. Follow this link to the ABLE Tech website for suggested contract language: http://www.ok.gov/abletech/AIM/samplecontract.html.
Once textbook files are in the NIMAC, schools can download the books from Bookshare or contact ABLE Tech to assist with providing accessible textbooks for the student. Oklahoma schools can obtain accessible books for students through the following service providers:
· Oklahoma ABLE Tech www.okabletech.okstate.edu: digital books, assistive technology loans, iPads, computers, software
· Liberty Braille http://libertybraille.com/: large print and braille, digital books, iPads
· AIM Center www.library.state.ok.us/aim/: large print and braille, assistive technology
· Bookshare www.bookshare.org: digital accessible books with synthesized speech or braille ready format
· Learning Ally: www.learningally.org: audio books recorded with human voices
· OATC www.theoatc.org: assistance with Bookshare, assistive technology loans, iPads
ABLE Tech can assist you with accessible instructional materials. For more information, call 1-800-257-1705 and ask for the AIM staff, or visit www.okabletech.okstate.edu/AIM.html.
Did you know the #1 educational support tool used on higher education campuses is text–to-speech (TTS)?
Read & Write Gold (RWG) is an educational tool available at no cost to OSU students, faculty, and staff. TTS is software that provides speech or audio output of any text on the computer. Individuals can hear a textbook read aloud, a website, or a research article with RWG. Studies indicate that pairing audio as the text is highlighted increases comprehension and retention of information. RWG is a floating toolbar that reads aloud text as it highlights. Color, font, and voice options are changeable. The RWG tool bar is like a Swiss army knife – it has many easy to use “tools” that can help you read, organize your thoughts, research more effectively, write papers, and create study guides. RWG provides support for English Language Learners and translates into a variety of languages. Text can be saved into an mp3 and downloaded on a mobile device. Students can highlight important points in multiple research papers and collect all into one document with a click. OSU offers RWG as a free support to all students, faculty, and staff. Oklahoma ABLE Tech staff at the OSU Wellness Center are available to provide training sessions for anyone on campus. We are flexible in location and duration. Call Brenda, Kim, or Allyson at ABLE Tech 744-9748. You can also access RWG in the OSU computer labs. RWG is available on each of the lab computers ready to use. In addition, the OSU IT Software distribution site provides a ready download for use off campus on your personal computer. http://app.it.okstate.edu/sdc. Click here to download the informational pdf.
it’s something most of us do every day. We read for pleasure, to get information, to do our assignments, and we read at work to do our jobs. Text is all around us, and we use it every day to navigate around the world. But when a disability makes it difficult to access text, we may need a little help. Fortunately, help is available. To succeed in school, many students need materials in a format that works for them. Accessible Instructional Materials or AIM provide text formats for students with print disabilities such as dyslexia, low vision, blindness, or a physical disability where holding or accessing a hard print book is difficult.
How do you know which students need AIM? And, where do you go from there? Call Oklahoma ABLE Tech for assistance (800.257.1705 or 405.744.9748). Or, visit our website at www.ok.gov/abletech/AIM/.
Another great resource is the National AIM Center and the “AIM Navigator” which guides schools, IEP teams, and families at www.aim.cast.org.
As youngsters around the world are carefully crafting letters to Santa Claus this holiday season, braille reading kids will be opening letters from the jolly fellow. Volunteer elves with The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute will be producing the braille letters.If you know of a blind child under age 10 who would appreciate a braille letter from the North Pole, you can fill out a Santa Braille Letter request form online at https://nfb.org/santa-letters.The deadline is December 17.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech provides Accessible Instructional Materials services and loans Assistive Technology including iPads, book readers and refreshable braille displays.For more information, contact ABLE Tech at 800-257-1705 and ask for the AIM staff, or visit www.ok.gov/abletech/AIM/.
Have you heard...Braille is changing...
Have you heard that Braille is changing? The Braille Authority of North America (BANA) recently adopted Unified English Braille (UEB).English Braille American Edition is to be phased out, but the U.S. will continue to use the Nemeth Code for Mathematics, Music Braille Code and the IPA Braille Code for phonetics.
UEB is based on the current literary braille code but is flexible and is designed for more accuracy in back translation.According to BANA, letters and numbers will stay the same, but there will be some changes to punctuation and contractions.You can learn more about the changes at http://www.brailleauthority.org/.
Planning Ahead ...
for Students with Print Disabilities: Spring is almost here which is the time of the year you are thinking ahead to next year's curriculum materials and ordering new textbooks. Spring is also the time to plan for specialized formats for students with print disabilities. Students who cannot read or process printed materials due to visual impairments such as low vision or blindness, a physical disability that impedes the use of traditional print curriculum, or a specific learning disability such dyslexia, need specialized curriculum formats at the same time their peers receive all textbooks and workbooks, as required under IDEA 2004. These specialized formats are called AIM or Accessible Instructional Materials.
Depending on the format needed and whether the publisher has provided a source file, obtaining accessible instructional materials can be time consuming. Digital text is typically free, but there may be a cost involved with Braille, large print and audio formats. As an Authorized User of the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) and an Accessible Media Producer, Oklahoma ABLE Tech can download the specialized textbook formats and help schools understand how to navigate the AIM process. ABLE Tech provides assistance in identifying assistive technology (AT) that is needed to read AIM. Through our short-term loan program, students can access their textbooks using AT and determine what works best for their needs. For more information visit our website at http://okabletech.okstate.edu/AIM/ or call Kimberly, Brenda or Allyson at 800-257-1705 or 405-744-9748.
ABLE Tech AIM Specialized Staff: Kimberly Berry, Brenda Dawes, Shelby Sanders, and Allyson Robinson.