Free Tools for Specific Learning Disabilities

There are many commercial programs which can help overcome Specific Learning Disabilities (SDL). But they can be expensive and students may not use them resulting in very expensive shelf ware. There are also a number of free and some open source programs which can meet the needs of the person with specific learning disabilities. Often, the person with a specific learning disability may not need all the bells and whistles of the commercial programs. These programs might be all they need to begin their leaning process. It also gives the instructor an idea if a particular feature might help with a specific problem without having to invest in an expensive program. While it might be “Try Before You Buy”, the free software program might also be the solution to the student's specific problem. These programs are meant for the secondary, post-secondary and adult population. All of the programs are Windows-based.

Frank Sapp

Frank Sapp

MBA, MS

Mr. Sapp is the Training and Technology Specialist for Touch The Future, a non-profit located in Georgia and South Carolina. Touch The Future is a community based ATRC providing assessments, assistive technology and training for seniors, veterans and the disabled. Touch The Future’s Reboot™ Division refurbishes computers and adds assistive technology as necessary. Mr. Sapp has been an instructor for Computers and Microsoft Office since the early days of computers. He retired from the federal government as a statistician. He currently works with a full range of disabilities from low vision, mobility and learning disabilities. He has presented at ATIA, LDA and numerous parent and teacher groups.

Beginner

Windows | Software

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AAC Treatment and Data Collection

Many of the applications and software programs currently utilized for communication highlight and/or combine numerous linguistic features. But, what works optimally for your student/client/patient: common or core vocabulary (icons and/or text); spelling (letter-by-letter and/or with abbreviations); OR combinations of character/word/phrase and/or grammar prediction, which is static or dynamic and can be based on factors such as frequency or recency?

Patricia R. Ourand

Patricia R. Ourand

MS, CCC-SLP

Pat holds a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD, and a Master’s degree in Technology for Special Education & Rehabilitation from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is currently the President of Associated Speech & Language Services, Inc., a speech-language pathology practice, serving the Baltimore/Washington area, and specializing in assistive technology (AT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Pat has presented locally & nationally on various topics associated with assistive technology & AAC. She has extensive experience working with individuals with significant cognitive, linguistic, sensory and/or motor disabilities necessitating technology access. Pat has written on these topics as well. She is licensed as a speech-language pathologist in the state of Maryland, and is a certified member of the American Speech-Language & Hearing Association and Past-President of the US Society for Augmentative & Alternative Comm.

Beginner

SGDs | AAC | Software

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