Notes from a conversation with Karen. Always great fun.
Dec 10-13 Karen at a camp with a dozen or so AAC users in Umatilla, Fl. Kids work about 5 hours per day, rest of the time they need interesting activities. Teenagers. Similar interests to my class. What could my FYS seminar students do to help?
Ideas: Content for Route 66, maybe Nascar?
Games that are switch accessible, maybe racing?
Maybe some FYS students could go? How does that work?
Coordinate with Software Engineering and maybe a parallel ET class for CS students.
Scratch for interactive content generation?
Karen has a group at Forest View elementary, kids are using computers to make content of various kinds. For example recording themselves reading books for 1st graders. They could be a good group to get interested in content for device users. Visuals + Audio and simple text could be exciting to author and use.
Look at A to Z phonics website, content isn't that good but reading level is appropriate, see what books should look like.
Take pictures from good book, get object name and descriptors from teacher and generate really simple sentences like "Butterflies can ______" or "Pirates are ______" to make lots of content quickly. Share on a web site. Make it easy to produce and share content. Patterns like "The noun is verbing" and "The adjective noun is verbing". Generate text for beginning level reader.
Choose a topic, add descriptors, and generate sentences. Makes a "PowerPoint" or whatever for the teacher to use. Pictures from Flickr or somewhere. Teacher provides topic, gets a bunch of pictures, provides descriptors, system fills words into sentence frames. Make adding pictures easy. Site provides text to speech converted to mp3 and embedded. How about sounds for blind kids?
Something like SamiSays for recording "homework" answers from AAC devices that don't interface to computers. Teacher/parent plugs device into line-in and computer records audio to send to teacher. Kid listens to questions and answers using their device, app sends mp3 to teacher with the results. Enables kid to do homework independently. Email access too. Use a VERY small number of words as controls for the computer by recognizing them in certain contexts. Provide independent computer access. email via mp3.
Take pictures of the book during group reading (teacher is displaying it to the rest of the class using a projector say). Make it available for self selected reading later. Perhaps create PowerPoint presentation with the pictures and easily recorded audio of someone reading the text for each page. Enable typing in the text so it can be read using TTS either continuously or one word at a time. Make it easy to share these on some closed site. What about the copyright provisions related to people with disabilities?
Public Law 104-197
would allow us to do this in a "specialized format". That says to me it couldn't be PowerPoint but that is not problem, we'd just have a specialized player. Very simple to show pictures and play speech. Might even be browser based. Could the whole thing be easily made browser based? Should it be?
Links I found related to classification.
Ian Bicking's interesting and provocative blog post on
is a good read.
is a good idea. I think by this he means making it work for real users. Fred Brooks' ideas about the
computer scientist as toolsmith
seem very relevant.
Jonah sent a pointer to
, a new game that lets you "ride your music".
Koolu Works Everywhere Appliance
could make nice platforms for delivering ET applications as appliances (or toys) rather than scary computer programs.
Engadget has an article on
, a new game platform introduced at Toy Fair 2008. Its the size of a small drink cooler and comes with RFID bracelets the kids wear. It apparently has some lights and audio output. The included games encourage running around and include stories as well. The part that intrigues me is the promise of an SDK and the ability to develop and share games. Perhaps we could develop some accessible games for kids with various disabilities.
Meg pointed out the
Raw Input API
for Windows. This would allow us to distinguish among multiple mice and keyboards. It might be interesting to use multiple numeric keyboards as specialized input devices, or multiple mice to provide 2 or 3 switches per hand.
Wow! Pete sent me this pointer to
. I've wondered if this was possible but never found a student to work on it. Thanks to
for developing it and making it open source. We'll have great fun with this in accessible applications for people with impaired movement.
Neat ideas that could turned into accessible music fun.