Sunday, May 6, 2007

Rj Cooper, keyboard stickers and Adamlab

So, both Jessie and S. show some interest in typing, but have trouble finding keys on the keyboard. I can't afford an adaptive keyboard right now.

For less then $20, I got stickers to cover an existing keyboard. It's working -- not great, but well enough for both users to have success.

I'm using Spell-A-Word by R.J. Cooper. It's awesome because it's errorless -- the word pops up on the screen and if a users hits the wrong key, nothing happens. It's a great typing tutor program.

I will someday buy his big keys keyboard. I saw it in action at a Road Trip and it was awesome.

S. has been waiting for two years for his Magic Dynavox. I imagine it will be awesome. But meanwhile, he needs to communicate. I got him a Blackhawk off of Ebay for $10 a year and 1/2 ago. He loved it. (the folks from Adamlab were great to help me get it up and running!) Somehow it was lost. He was devastated and would not go back to using his PECS -- he even destroyed them. He's been using PECS since he was a toddler.

While waiting for the dynavox funding, in desperation, I bought a pocket pc off of ebay and then purchased R.J.'s Point To Pictures Mobile for it. The result is that he has a functional communication device that he loves at an out-of-pocket price. I've had to buy a new Pocket PC and honestly, if I had to do it again, I wouldn't mess with the used pocket PC's and just buy the Auggie straight from R.J. When you add it all up, there is virtually _no_ markup on the hardware. But I could convince someone to reimburse me for a few hundred at a time (first the program, then the pocket pc, then the case, then Remind Me, another awesome program). So I frankenstiened it.

Meanwhile, S. still waits for his dynavox. I am excited about it mostly because the others in his life will be more familiar with it and more comfortable. That;'s the benefit of a monopoly, I guess. I also know that the keys will big enough that he can work on typing. But honestly, I don't think he'll do much with it that he can't already do on his mini-auggie.

Another hint -- what made him love his mini-auggie is putting songs on it. S. is addicted to music

I need to take his device some weekend and totally reorganize it. I've realized that the way I have it set up makes sense to me, but not to him.

Will explain more when hands stop hurting. :)

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