Friday, February 6, 2009

Load Up Free Assistive Technology Tools with Access Apps

Load up Your Flash Drive with Incredible Free Access Apps

Access Apps from RSC in Scotland - (Regional Support Centers, UK,) have some great open-source assistive technology software. I bought a 2 gb flash drive the other day and downloaded "The Works" from the site. It was a compressed version that I unzipped and then I dragged the folders onto the jump. A small icon on your system tray tells you it is plugged in. Click it and you get a small launch window with all the apps - nothing is ever loaded on the computer - it all runs from the jump drive so you can take it wherever you go.

Great Tools:
The applications are listed under headings like planning and organization, Reading and writing support, Visual support, Accessible browsers, keyboard/mouse alternatives, Multimedia tools, Presentation tools and the whole Open Office Suite (the open source answer to MS Office). There are even some fun games like sudoku and Jooleem - kind of a Jewelquest game finding sets.

The Apps include:
Open Office - word processing, spreadsheet, data base, slide presentations, etc.
Free Mind - mind mapping
Sticky Notes - on-screen notes
Sunbird Calendar
Amis - DAISY Reader
Click-n-type Keyboard
Audacity - sound recording
Dspeech - text to speech and speech to text, plus Mp3 conversion
Type Faster - typing tutor
Wink - screen capture
Art Weaver - art tools
Virtual Magnifying Glass
Camstudio - on-screen video tutorial maker
The Sage - dictionary and thesaurus
Power Reader - Dyslexic Reading Support
And the list goes on... I will be highlighting some of them in the weeks to come in-between other news. I would call this a one-stop-shop for many helpful tools all on one little flash drive. Life will be easier for anyone who uses a computer once they discover all the cool things you can do with these tools.

Also: If you have some ideas for great pairings of AT, don't forget the call for submissions to the February AT Blog Carnival (see sidebar) AND thank you for all of you who come here to read - January was our biggest month yet - I have had almost 2,500 vistors with 3,500 pages read since January 5 - a great way to launch 2009!

All the best to you!


Lon Thornburg is an assistive technology specialist and professional development trainer who lives in Oregon and serves 12 districts in 7 counties. He hosts the No Limits 2 Learning Blog and The No Limits 2 Learning Live Talk Show on Blog Talk Radio. He is sharing as a contributing writer on LD LIVE!

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