Elina’s Tango Demonstration

Today I went to the Claremont assistive technology (AT) conference to see Elina and her classmates from Danbury elementary school. They demonstrated assistive technology for computer access. Conference attendees were allowed to observe the students individually, or view the students’ work collectively on a pull-down screen via Apple remote desktop. Elina was using AssistiveWare’s KeyStrokes to type vocabulary words, and Proloquo to speak them. After the students demonstrated their AT, then Ginny McKee demonstrated a Clicker 5 lesson with the students. As she discussed the science lesson, the students answered questions using their AT. After that, Ginny and the conductive education specialist, Borbala Goda, answered questions. Several questions were asked regarding conductive education, which originated in Hungary. One thing I learned about it was that the kids sit on seats (as opposed to their wheelchairs) for sensory input to encourage alertness.

After lunch, I attended Elina’s Tango demonstration with Patrick Brune and Josh Witt. Patrick Brune began by providing information about the Tango device. Among other features, Patrick described talk topics and stories. Then, Elina told a story about Wijits. Her mom, who morphed the voice to sound like Elina’s, had recorded the story. After that, Elina and Patrick interacted with topics for school talk. The topics involved subject matter that Elina could use to produce a variety of expressions during class lessons. Finally, Elina told me some jokes. I really liked the joke, “Why was ten afraid of seven?” “Because seven ate nine!”

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