Friday, April 29, 2011

Freedom Scientific releases JAWS 12 Update 1

Freedom Scientific, the company who develops, manufactures, and markets technology-based products that provide equal access to information and computing for those with vision impairments or learning disabilities, has released the March/April issue of their newsletter. This issue offers news about their redesigned line of TOPAZ® desktop video magnifiers, a JAWS® 12 update, a new lower price for the RUBY® handheld video magnifier, and the new JAWS Certification Program.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New workshop topics in early childhood

Looking for workshop opportunities in early childhood education? The Early Childhood Center at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is offering a new series of learning opportunities for Indiana's early educators working in public school prekindergartens, Head Start classrooms, and child care centers. Three topics are being offered:
  • Changing Expectations: Implications for Preschool
  • Promoting School Readiness by Reexamining the Classroom Day
  • Crafting Effective Instructional Routines
The first is an online presentation available at no cost to participants. The other two are face-to-face workshops being offered at different locations around the state. For more information and to register, go to:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teaching music

Looking for a resource to help teach music to everyone? Teaching music to students with special needs may be the answer for you. In the broadest possible sense, this manual discusses adaptations, performances, assessments and more to help the music teacher include all students at all levels of learning in the classroom and beyond.

Interested? Send us an email at to check out this title. Or try to find it in a library near you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mobile App Monday - MeeGenius!

Got a child who needs help with literacy skills? Looking for an eReader app? Try, MeeGenius! This fun app narrates children’s books that are already in the public domain. It comes with 12 books pre-loaded, but you can download free or purchase others. All books are narrated by a human voice. Highlights the words as it reads to help children with visual and auditory learning skills.

For more information, go to:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Understanding a down syndrome diagnosis

Looking for a quick overview of Down syndrome in both English and Spanish? Want to see resources to help with raising a child who has Down syndrome? Understanding a Down syndrome diagnosis may be just what you're looking for. Among the lovely photographs of kids with Down syndrome living, studying and playing with their peers can be found information on families of children with Down syndrome, development and healthcare, educational opportunities and more.

Interested? Send us an email at

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs

Looking for some ideas for teaching students who have multiple disabilities? Check out the Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs blog. A host of ideas and tools are highlighted to help make learning easier; from off-the-shelf adaptable assistive tools to specific software and from to high tech to low tech solutions. It also has lists of other specialized blogs, too, such as AAC blogs, AT blogs, Special Ed blogs, and even Art for kids blogs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Imagine Cup USA Winner is a Low-Vision Tool

Microsoft's 2011 USA Imagine Cup winners were revealed last week, with the top prize going to students from Arizona State University. David Hayden and Team Note-Taker won with their invention for helping students with low vision take their own notes in class. Note-Taker is a unique laptop- or tablet-ready camera with special software that magnifies and displays on screen what is being written on the blackboard. Students can then either write or type their own notes on their computer, which helps them retain the information being taught. Team Note-Taker will go on to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Imagine Cup's World Finals in July.

For a closer look at the Note-Taker, go to:

For more information about Microsoft's Imagine Cup, go to:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Financial Stability for People with Disabilities

The folks at the IIDC's Center on Community Living and Careers have developed a series of webpages answering questions about financial stability and bringing awareness of the need for building financial assets for people with disabilities and achieving goals such as saving money to purchase a house or to start a business. Some of the pages developed are devoted to learning financial literacy such as money management and understanding terms and concepts. They also have a series of pages developed specifically for family members.

Take a look at CCLC's Financial Stability pages at:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mobile App Monday - Visules

Looking for an app that aids in visual communication? Created by a father of a child with autism, this app stores a large assortment of visual cues that parents can use with their children or people with disabilities can use independently. This app is designed with people with ASD in mind, but can be used by anyone who thinks visually and would benefit from visual cues for daily tasks, decision-making, and other activities.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Public Health Insurance Programs in Indiana

Got questions about public health insurance for children with special healthcare needs? The folks at About Special Kids (ASK) will provide a training in Bloomington on May 20, 2011, to help answer those questions. This training will provide parents and professionals with information about public health insurance programs that can be accessed by families caring for children with special needs. It will also include information on Medicaid (Part A, B, C, D & E), Medicaid Disability, Medicaid Waivers, Children’s Special Healthcare Services, Hoosier Healthwise and SSI (Supplemental Security Income).

Training Cost: $40 for family members or $75 for professionals
Location: St. Mark’s United Methodist Church,
100 N. State Road 46 Bypass
(Just north of East 3rd Street on the Bypass)

For more information, email:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Technology and Disability

Interested in technology and how it relates to people with disabilities? The Family Center on Technology and Disability has an online monthly newsletter, Technology Voices, full of news, tips, reviews, and resources. The March 2011 edition details events at January's ATIA conference in Orlando and looks at the future "morphing" of assistive technology on the horizon.

Last month's 16 page newsletter, entitled "Glancing Backward, Gazing Forward: AT Trends in an Era of Flux," can be read at:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Voting Accessibility

The May 3rd primary is fast approaching! While Monroe County officials are aware that not all of its polling places are HAVA (Help America Vote Act of 2002) compliant, new machines designed for people with vision impairments have been purchased and one is already in use at the county's early voting center. The early voting center is located at the Curry Building at Seventh and Morton streets and is open from 10 am to 6 pm Tuesdays through Fridays (except Good Friday) and from 9 am to 4 pm Saturdays, as well as from 8 am to noon on May 2.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My sister, Alicia May

Looking for a beautiful picture book to help kids understand that people with Down syndrome are not so different from everyone else? Check out My sister, Alicia May. Told from an older sibling's point of view, this lovely book describes Alicia May's daily activities in honest, positive terms from counting the number of steps at the library to her first school bus ride to her nighttime routine. Learn about Alicia May's likes and dislikes and her older sister's love for Alicia May.

Want to check it out? Send us a message at You can also try using to find this title in a library near you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mobile App Monday - Rewards

It's Mobile App Monday here at CeDIR, and today's post is about iReward--a fun little app that can help motivate a child's positive behavior with the incentive of rewards. Rewarding positive behavior can help parents of typically developing children, children with autism, developmental delays, ADHD, and anxiety disorders. You choose what behavior you want to see and the number of times the behavior must be repeated before being rewarded. You also get to set the reward that will be offered when the behavior has been repeated often enough. The screen shot above shows the reward of watching television after 5 stars have been earned for cleaning up a child's room.

Want to know more? Check out this app at:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sensory Processing Disorder

Learn to have fun with your senses: The sensory avoider's survival guide introduces kids to the human senses. It also explains what happens when the brain magnifies the senses to the point of having kids avoid sensory experiences. This therapeutic guide suggests many different activities that can help kids begin to enjoy experiencing sensory input slowly, gradually increasing the level of input over time so that they can overcome the avoidance behaviors.

Send us an email at to check out this title. Or try to find it in a library near you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coaching in early childhood

Interesting in learning how to coach in early childhood settings? The early childhood coaching handbook may be the answer for you. This book is a follow-up to the 2004 book Coaching Families and Colleagues in Early Childhood. The handbook contains the foundation and process for the coaching model which can be used to support families of children with disabilities as well as practitioners in early childhood programs.

Interested? Email us at to check out this title or try to find it in a library near you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Family and professional partnerships

Looking for a book to help educators understand more about families who have children with special needs? From families' diverse cultural backgrounds to ethical and legal considerations, the book Working with families of children with special needs: Family and professional partnerships and roles can help prepare the reader to work with families. The book has an emphasis on special education legislation, includes a chapter on ethics and ethical practices, and provides material on diversity and cultural competence. There is even a chapter called, "A family's voice," which highlights different families' experiences with special education.

To check out this title, send us an email at Or you can try to find it in a library near you.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mobile App Monday - Productivity

Working with someone who needs help scheduling work times and rest periods? Productivity Helper may be the answer. It aims to help manage time "with an effective productivity technique to significantly boost your work output performance." The app can help
  • Break the procrastination habit.
  • Stay alert by timing your working period in bursts.
  • Work/rest cycles help you to stay on the job.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Signs of the Times

Looking for a textbook on American Sign Language? Signs of the times, 2nd edition offers 44 lessons with more than 1,300 signs representing 3,500 English glosses (English words that convey the same meaning as a sign). This book uses a spiral approach to learning signs, repeating them and building upon them from lesson to lesson. This second edition also includes new class activities for teachers and new student activities that can be done in class, as homework, or as quizzes.

Send us an email at to check out this title.