Writing

Writing

Writing

ABLE Tech Videos on Writing

Check out these videos highlighting Writing devices that are available to loan from ABLE Tech!

Large Print Wireless keyboard and mouse Evo Pen and Pen Again Video Writing Bird Video

Writing Assistive Technology – the What, When, Who and Why

What is Assistive Technology for writing support? Assistive Technology (AT) can be a big help to individuals who struggle with different types of writing challenges. There are AT tools that can make the physical act of writing easier. AT can also help individuals who have trouble with spelling and grammar, and with organizing and expressing their thoughts.

When do I need to use AT for writing? AT for writing may be needed when the motor aspect of writing is difficult.  Motor aspects of writing include: holding the writing utensil; stabilizing the paper; visually guiding the hand; moving the writing utensil along the paper; visual recall of the letter; kinesthetic memory of letter formation; and word formation and writing and re-writing as part of the editing process. Writing support may be needed for individuals who have difficulty organizing and expressing their thoughts which is known as composition.

Who needs AT to help with writing? Struggling writers may be young students who are beginning to learn to use writing utensils and struggle with the motor aspects of writing.  Individuals of all ages may continue to have difficulty with writing. Or, individuals may not struggle with the mechanics of writing, but instead, have difficulty with organizing before and while drafting or composing essays, letters, papers, or work assignments.

Why? Assistive Technology for writing mechanics and composition can provide the support to bridge the gap to the skills an individual needs. A number of learning and attention issues can cause trouble with writing. Individuals Kids who struggle with writing may have difficulty with handwriting, expressing ideas in writing, or both. Dysgraphia is a common reason that individuals struggle with writing.

When kids struggle with writing, they may be experiencing difficulty in two areas. One is the mechanics of handwriting. The other is expressing ideas in writing. Dysgraphia is a learning issue that can affect either area—or both.


Information on this page addresses Assistive Technology for people with writing disabilities in…

EDUCATION   |  EMPLOYMENT  |  COMMUNITY LIVING
(click the titles above to jump to the content area) For more information, please contact Kimberly Berry, Teacher of the Visually Impaired,
at kimberly.berry@okstate.edu or 405-744-8342.

EDUCATION

Writing

Talking Points for Writing Assistive Technology in Education

Motor Aspects of Writing

Handwriting is a complex skill involving visual perceptual, neuromuscular, and motor components. There are also cognitive and social emotional factors that influence handwriting. These all make writing one of the most complex skills acquired by students. Students must produce written material in tests, worksheets, and essays to demonstrate what they have learned. Handwriting begins prior to kindergarten through second grade. Penmanship is practiced through fourth grade. Keyboarding starts at or before the fourth grade. Technology has made alternatives to handwriting available, including keyboarding and voice recognition.

Assistive Technology for the Composition of Written Material

Writing also involves a cognitive component of organizing and composing written material. A student is required to learn a series of concepts to organize into a linear form and then to compose the ideas in a meaningful way. A common concern expressed by teachers, parents, and in some cases, the students themselves is “They have good ideas but just can’t get them down on paper.” The following tools may assist students in overcoming or adapting to the writing obstacles they face.

Credit: excerpts from Wisconsin AT Initiative project “Assistive Technology for Writing” 

For children transitioning into the public school at age 3 – To ensure successful AT transitions for children turning 3 years old, it is important for any AT the child is currently using or may need to use in school, whether written into the child’s Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or not, be incorporated into the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). You’ll find this information in the Community section below.

For students transitioning into the community or employment settings upon high school graduation – To ensure successful AT transitions for students aging out of school services, it is important for any AT the student is currently using or may need to pursue employment outcomes, whether written into the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or not, be incorporated into the student’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). IPEs are developed through collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) using a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor. You’ll find this information in the Employment section below.

Situations where a child might need assistive technology for writing:

School Environment

  • K-12 classes
  • Notetaking is difficult
  • Hard to keep up pace with schoolwork
  • Essays are more difficult to compose
  • Post-Secondary Education

Socialization

  • Write letters, cards, email
  • Social media
  • Frustration or anxiousness

Family / Home Environment

  • Homework
  • Writing papers and Essay questions
  • Life skills, some weak fine motor skills
  • Making lists

Community

  • Employment

Commonly Asked Questions for a Student Who Has Writing Needs

Please listen to this section and/or download a transcript here:  TXT format

Solutions for Students Who Need Writing Support
(click the + sign for more information)

 

Low Tech / No Tech Solutions for Writing Loss
  • Alter the work space by adjusting desk height or arrange materials to allow ample writing space
  • Writing grips for pencils, to make holding and writing a more comfortable task pencil grip can help kids hold a pencil properly
  • Paper with wider margin lines or raised lines
  • A slant board to raise the writing surface to give more leverage for handwriting
  • Markers or dry erase markers require less pressure
  • Create a numbered word bank for assignments and tests, so that a student can write the number instead of the full word unless time permits them to do so.
  • Produce larger print copies of assignments for students to increase their work space and decrease the need for small and precise marks.
  • Preprinted letters, words, numbers attached to a magnetic or Velcro spot on a board.
  • Use a writing guide to help students to write within given parameters on the page.
    Teacher-made note templates or guided notes help students fill in important words of information they need to know (helps decrease extraneous information).
AT Available for Writing • Mid- to High-Tech (to borrow from ABLE Tech or to purchase)

Assistive technology for writing is listed below. Most links go to ABLE Tech’s Device Loan Inventory where you can borrow AT for a 6-week trial. Other links go directly to the manufacturer’s or developer’s website where you can further research, or purchase, the AT:

AT Available for Writing (to borrow or purchase)
MID-TECH SOLUTIONS
Dictionaries and thesauri can help kids who struggle with written expression to define a word or find the right one

Computer operating settings like sticky keys, magnification, auditory alarms, and other settings are enabled as needed

Permit electronically typed assignments for students who struggle to produce legible handwriting
HIGH-TECH SOLUTIONS
Alternative keyboards

Turn handouts into digital copies so students can complete the assignments digitally on a computer or tablet.

Word prediction softWord prediction softwareware can help with mechanical difficulties.

Voice recognition software/apps (ex. Dragon Dictation) helps students who have issues typing to record their thoughts and ideas electronically into a word processing software.
AT Available for Writing (to borrow or purchase)
MORE HIGH-TECH SOLUTIONS
iPad Pro

SOLO 6 Literacy Suite

TextHelp ReadWrite (app for iPad)

Speaking Dictionary and Thesaurus

Chromebook

Read & Write Chrome Extension

Speak It Chrome Extension
  Case Studies of Students with Writing Needs & Possible Recommendations

Case Study #1:

Student is in 5th grade and having difficulty drafting and writing essays.

A fifth grade elementary student was having difficulty composing ideas on paper for assignments. Students were learning how to write essays with five paragraphs.

Possible Recommendations: The student will use a notetaker or word processor, to not only work on typing skills, but to organize paragraphs.  The word processor has text-to-speech so that she can listen to what she has written to make sure it iChild typing on a laptops correct. The student will also trial a Chromebook (lightweight, portable, affordable) to type instead of write.  Chrome extensions such as a graphic organizer will help the student brainstorm the topic and build a graphic organizer of her thoughts.

Goals and Outcomes: By the end of the school year, the student will be able to independently write five paragraphs which will include a thesis statement and a main purpose for each of the five paragraphs.  See the attached SETT Framework for feature matching solutions based on the Student, Environment, Task and Tools.

See the attached SETT Framework for feature matching solutions based on the Student, Environment, Task and Tools.

Case Study Forms – SETT Framework

Case Study #1 (Pre-K)  | PDF  | Word

Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Link to FREE Graphic Organizers
on Pinterest
Link to Solo 6 Literacy Suite
in ABLE Tech Loan Inventory
Link to Chromebook Computer (loaded with
Note Taker) in ABLE Tech Loan Inventory
FREE Writing Organizer Sheets
FREE Writing Organizer Sheets
Solo 6 Literacy Suite
Solo6 Literacy Suite
Chromebook running Note Taker app
Chromebook running Note Taker app

Case Study #2:

Student is in 9th grade with limited strength due to Muscular Dystrophy.

A 9th grade student with Muscular Dystrophy had limited strength which had grown more pronounced.

Possible Recommendations: The student tried a number of pencil grips and the Writing Bird which is helpful in prolonging the student’s ability to mechanically write with less fatigue.  Additionally, the student and IEP team realized a typed written document could be the solution. The educator borrowed ABLE Tech’s Fusion notetaker and a Chromebook to determine if either one would help the student type his homework and save in a folder or a cloud storage system. The Chromebook was the best solution for this student.

Goals and Outcomes: By the end of the school year, the student will be able to independently write essays and papers using a combination of mechanical writing tools and portable notetaking technology to alternate between writing and typing. See the attached SETT Framework for feature matching solutions based on the Student, Environment, Task and Tools.

See the attached SETT Framework for feature matching solutions based on the Student, Environment, Task and Tools.

Case Study Forms – SETT Framework

Case Study #2 (Elementary)  | PDF  | Word

Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Link to Writing Bird in ABLE Tech Loan InventoryLink to Dragon NaturallySpeaking in
ABLE Tech Loan Inventory
Writing Bird
Writing Bird
Dragon NaturallySpeaking software
Dragon NaturallySpeaking software

Case Study #3:

Student is in high school with difficulty taking notes during class.

A high school senior who had difficulty taking notes in class due to poor hand writing and dysgraphia needed a solution that would help when she started college classes in the fall.

Possible Recommendations: The student tried an iPad with the app Notability to record class lectures that would sync to the class handouts.  The teacher began sending out class PowerPoints several days in advance which would allow the student to upload to Notability. In class, the student could record the teacher talking.  Notability is an app that syncs the lecture with the digital handouts so that students can take abbreviated notes on the handout and later hear the synced audio with the handout.

See the attached SETT Framework for feature matching solutions based on the Student, Environment, Task and Tools.

Case Study Forms – SETT Framework

Case Study #3 (High school student transitioning to higher education)  | PDF  | Word



Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Link to Notability app, running on an iPod or iPadLink to Dragon NaturallySpeaking software
in ABLE Tech Loan Inventory
iPad or iPod with Notability
iPad or iPod with Notability
Computer running Dragon NaturallySpeaking software
Computer running Dragon NaturallySpeaking software

Oklahoma ABLE Tech logoABLE Tech loans devices at no cost for up to six weeks.
Request a device loan here (Writing category)

Helpful Links & PDF Resources
Grades K - 12 Oklahoma AT Technical Assistance Document
Dictionary.com - An online dictionary, thesaurus, reference and translation guide 
Visuwords.com
Understood.org
App/Tablet Resources
Video/Webinar/Podcast Resources
Video: Free to Low-Cost Assistive Technology Solutions
Video: Assistive Technology for Learning and Cognition (YouTube)
Video: Assistive Technology for Writing
Webinar: Learning, Cognition, and Development

Funding Sources for Students with Writing Impairment

The following resources are from ABLE Tech’s listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for writing devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma:

Public & Private Sources of Funding
PUBLIC SOURCESAges Served
Family Support Assistance Program (money can be used for any purpose)Ages 0 - 18
Oklahoma Reutilization ProgramAll Ages
SoonerStart - Early Intervention ProgramAges 0 - 3
Special Education Services Division - Local Education Agency (LEA)Ages 3 - 21
Vocational Rehabilitation Program – Visual Services (VS)Students in transition through working age
Vocational Rehabilitation Program – Vocational Services (VR)Students in transition through working age
PRIVATE SOURCESAges Served
Ability Connection of OklahomaAll Ages
ABLE Tech Financial Loan ProgramAll Ages
Donna Nigh FoundationAll Ages
WovenLife (formerly Easter Seals of Oklahoma)All Ages
Limeades for LearningFor Public School Educators
Oklahoma Educational Technology TrustFor School Districts

EMPLOYMENT

Writing Employment Matrix Talking Points for Assistive Technology Supports for Writing in Employment

The category of Employment encompasses those people of working-age who are currently employed or who are seeking employment.  “Learning Disabilities” is an umbrella term describing a number of other, more specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. People with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities”: the person looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person, yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.

A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, and in the community.

An individual with a writing disability might have difficulty with the physical process of writing making handwriting illegible and causing difficulty when filling in blanks, bubble in dots, or writing on a line. Individuals may have difficulty spelling, reverse letters or omit words and letters. Another form of writing disability is the inability to organize thoughts and write or type in a coherent, organized manner.

Dysgraphia describes a wide range of writing challenges. Dysgraphia is often used to refer to handwriting issues such as letter or word formation and other technical aspects of writing.

“Disorder of written expression” describes individuals who struggle with the more conceptual  aspects of writing. They may freeze up or have other difficulties that make it hard to organize their thoughts and express them effectively.

For students transitioning into the community or employment settings upon high school graduation – To ensure successful AT transitions for students aging out of school services, it is important for any AT the student is currently using to be incorporated into the student’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). IPEs are developed through collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) using a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor.

Situations where an individual might need assistive technology for Writing

Work Environment

  • Interview process
  • Meetings
  • Trainings
  • Daily tasks

Socialization

  • Write letters, cards, emails
  • Social media
  • Frustration or anxiousness

Family / Home Environment

  • Writing papers and essay questions
  • Life skills, some weak fine motor skills
  • Making lists

Community

  • Bank
  • Library
  • Post office

Commonly Asked Questions for an Individual Who Has Writing Needs

Q – What types of learning disabilities are there?

A – Learning disabilities can be divided into three broad categories: developmental speech and language disorders, academic skills disorders, and other (such as coordination disorders).

Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Learning disabilities are a lifelong condition; they are not outgrown or cured, though many people develop coping techniques through special education, tutoring, medication, therapy, personal development, or adaptation of learning skills.

Approximately 15 million children, adolescents, and adults have learning disabilities in the United States.

Q – I am a qualified person with a disability under the ADA and need AT to do my job. May I ask my employer to provide it?

A – Individuals with disabilities may ask for an accommodation at any time even for an interview.


Q – What types of AT can I ask for?

A – Assistive technology that is needed to do the essential functions of the job can be requested.

Solutions for Employees Who Need Writing Support
(click the + sign for more information)

 

Low Tech / No Tech Solutions for Writing
  • Change the operating settings for the individual’s computer, so that accessibility settings like sticky keys, magnification, auditory alarms, and other settings are enabled as needed.
  • Type instead of writing in meetings
  • Use line guides and column guides
  • Supply bold line paper
  • Allow buddy, coworker, or supervisor to proofread written material
  • Reference books such as a thesaurus or dictionary
  • Consider altering the employee’s working space by altering the desk height or arrangement of materials to allow them ample writing space
  • Try a variety of pens, pencils, writing grips
  • Paper with wider margin lines or raised lines
  • Produce larger print copies of handouts for employee to increase their work space and decrease the need for small and precise marks
  • Writing guide helps employees to write within given parameters on the page
Mid tech – High Tech and AT Available from ABLE Tech for Writing

Assistive technology for writing is listed below. Most links go to ABLE Tech’s Device Loan Inventory where you can borrow AT for a 6-week trial. Other links go directly to the manufacturer’s or developer’s website where you can further research, or purchase, the AT:

AT Available for Hearing (to borrow or purchase)
Alternative or ergonomic keyboards
Using all digital documents is best; if hard copy only, scan using optical character recognition to make the file a digital document
Voice recognition software on desktop, laptop or tablet
Chrome voice recognition
ChromeBook laptop
AT Available for Hearing (to borrow or purchase)
Writing/editing Software Inspiration offers visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations
Word prediction software helps with mechanical difficulties to decrease keystrokes
Read & Write Literacy Software
Talking dictionaries, spell checking software (built into word processing or web)
Solo 6 Literacy Suite
  Case Studies of Individuals with Writing Needs & Possible Recommendations

Case Study #1:


A high school senior with quadriplegia had difficulty with the physical process of writing and typing and wanted to apply to several colleges using online applications.

Some of the online forms were inaccessible using only keyboard navigation. Other applications were inaccessible PDFs. She could complete other forms using her keyboard (the mouse is too difficult to use). She types for short periods of time but prefers to type using her voice with voice recognition software.

Possible Recommendations: Because the student navigates documents and websites with a keyboard (arrows, tabbing, etc), websites must be built as accessible HTML pages and PDFs. Voice recognition software could allow her to type using her voice. She could use her limited hand control and dexterity to tab through and navigate by keyboard. For more in depth typing needs such as answering essay questions, she could use voice recognition and a microphone headset.

Goals and Outcomes: The goal for this high school graduate and her Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor was for the student to be able to apply to colleges independently using assistive technology and to meet the application deadlines.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the employee to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HATT Model

Case Study #1 (description of person in case study) | PDF | Word



Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Dragon Naturally SpeakingChromebook and extensions for voice typing such as Dictanote Writing Bird: slip on typing aid
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Chromebook with Voice Typing Extension
Chromebook with Voice Typing Extension
Writing Bird slip on typing aid
Writing Bird

Case Study #2:


A researcher in a technology company had an expressive writing disorder.

Individuals with this disorder can verbalize well in meetings and conversations. His thoughts were easily spoken and organized.  However, his expressive writing disorder made it difficult for him to write or type out thoughts. The employee’s tasks included gathering information and summarizing it into written reports.

Possible Recommendations: The employee searched for ways to summarize and write in a more organized manner. There are simple tools such as mind maps and other kinds of graphic organizers. He found low tech to higher tech options for organizing thoughts. A simple method is to use post it notes to organize main ideas.  All thoughts can be written down as one or two words. The notes can be moved around on a wall or desk to begin to organize. A story board document can be as simple as one page boxes or circles to help organize thoughts. Literacy suite software such as “Inspiration”, Solo Suite, and TextHelp ReadWrite can help individuals organize and prioritize information for reports.  Print copies of online versions of a thesaurus and dictionary are helpful as well.

Goals and Outcomes: The goal was for the employee to use a graphic organizer to collect important themes and pieces of information. He would write main ideas on post it notes when in meetings, use a storyboard document, or a computer with software to begin organizing important ideas. The software allows the user to export and linearize the information into a document.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the employee to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HATT Model

Case Study #2 (description of person in case study) | PDF | Word



Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Solo 6 Literacy Suite Inspiration Map App use with iPhone, iPod, iPad MindMup free Chrome App
Solo 6 Literacy Suite
Solo 6 Literacy Suite
Inspiration Map App
Inspiration Map App
MindMup
MindMup

Case Study #3:


A human resources manager had difficulty finding a pen or pencil to help her write with ease.

The individual had not received a diagnosis but for many years struggled with pain and weakness causing illegible handwriting.

Possible Recommendations: There are a variety of grips and writing tools to try that support the wrist or take pressure off various areas of the hand.  The Writing Bird is a device for anyone who has difficulty holding a pen or pencil. It is designed to rest comfortably in either the right or left hand, and slides easily along the writing surface. The steady write pen provides extra stability by adding a base, which remains in contact with the paper and holds the pen at the correct angle for writing.

The Wanchik Writer is a plastic covered aluminum hand and hand/wrist orthoses that hugs the palm and holds the index finger to give individuals with weakened hand, finger and/or wrist dexterity the support and control needed to write.

Goals and Outcomes: The individual’s goal was to find an alternative writing tool or grip to support her hand and wrist. She also wanted to try voice recognition software for projects that would involve a lot of typing.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the employee to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HATT Model

Case Study #2 (description of person in case study) | PDF | Word



Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Writing Bird Steady Write Pen Ergonomic – Ergowriter EZ Grip ResQ Pen
Writing Bird
Writing Bird
Steady Write Pen
Steady Write Pen
Ergowriter
Ergowriter
EZ Grip ResQ Pen
EZ Grip ResQ Pen

Oklahoma ABLE Tech logoABLE Tech loans devices at no cost for up to six weeks.
Request a device loan here (Writing Category)
Helpful Links & PDF Resources
"Oklahoma Works Access for All" with resources on employment law, the ADA, and fact sheets.
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Assistive Technology at Work
Job Accommodations for People with Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities Association of America
“ASK JAN” Job Accommodations Network Writing Supports
Learning to Achieve
App/Tablet Resources
Video/Podcast Resources:
Free to Low-Cost Assistive Technology Solutions
Assistive Technology Industry Association
Smart Technology in the Workplace

Funding Sources for Employees

The following resources are from ABLE Tech’s listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for hearing devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma:

Public & Private Sources of Funding
PUBLIC SOURCESAges Served
Oklahoma Reutilization ProgramAll Ages
Special Education Services Division - Local Education Agency (LEA)Ages 3 - 21
Supplemental Security Income Work Incentives (money can be used for any purpose)Working Ages
Vocational Rehabilitation Program – Visual Services (VS)Students in transition through working age
Vocational Rehabilitation Program – Vocational Services (VR)Students in transition through working age
PRIVATE SOURCESAges Served
Ability Connection OklahomaAll Ages
ABLE Tech Financial Loan ProgramAll Ages
Donna Nigh FoundationAll Ages
WovenLife (formerly Easter Seals of Oklahoma)All Ages

COMMUNITY LIVING

CommLiving Writing Matrix

Talking Points for Assistive Technology for Writing in Community Living

The category of Community Living encompasses infants and toddlers who are under the age of 3 and not yet in school, those people who were born with or have acquired an injury and are otherwise participating in community activities (not as students or employees) as well as those who are aging in the home.  The following talking points are applicable to individuals with disabilities as well as family members and others providing support and care to these individuals with disabilities.

Sometimes an individual will make it to adulthood and have the necessary assistive technology to participate in the community and at home.  When that is the case, these pages will show other considerations regarding accessibility and accommodations.  When the person requires additional tools to participate, the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) model will be used to show how an individual might best match up with a piece of AT to be used in the community and at home

For those children transitioning into the public school at age 3 – To ensure successful AT transitions for children turning 3 years old, it is important for any AT the child is currently using or may need to use in school, whether written into the child’s Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or not, be incorporated into the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Link to Education section

Situations where an individual might need assistive technology for Writing

Socialization

  • Lunches
  • Telecommunication

Community

  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Work
  • Shopping
  • Various Appointments
  • Transportation to, and from, events
  • Restaurants
  • Post office
  • Volunteer activities
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Library
  • Friends’ houses

Family/Home Environment

  • Paying bills
  • Games
  • Computer tasks/games

Commonly Asked Questions for a Person Who Has Writing Loss – Impairment – Needs

Q – What types of learning disabilities are there?

A – Learning disabilities (LD), sometimes referred to as “specific learning disorders,” are life-long, but adults who have LD can experience great success in all aspects of life when using their strengths together with the strategies, accommodations and technology that are most appropriate and effective for their individual needs.

Learning disabilities can be divided into three broad categories: developmental speech and language disorders, academic skills disorders, and other (such as coordination disorders). Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Learning disabilities are a lifelong condition; they are not outgrown or cured, though many people develop coping techniques through special education, tutoring, medication, therapy, personal development, or adaptation of learning skills. Approximately 15 million children, adolescents, and adults have learning disabilities in the United States.

 

Q – What is Assistive Technology?

A – AT is anything that helps a person do a task easier, better, or more efficiently, that otherwise would be difficult or impossible to do.

 

Solutions for Individuals with Writing Loss – Impairment – Needs
(click the + sign for more information)

 

Low Tech / No Tech Solutions for Writing AT Available for Writing (to borrow from ABLE Tech or to purchase)

Assistive technology for writing is listed below. Most links go to ABLE Tech’s Device Loan Inventory where you can borrow AT for a 6-week trial. Other links go directly to the manufacturer’s or developer’s website where you can further research, or purchase, the AT:

AT Available for Writing (to borrow or purchase)
Word Processing Software to organize ideas, use correct spelling or grammar, compare lists, create documents, make signs, or otherwise communicate through written words.
Alternative or ergonomic keyboards
Voice recognition computer or table software
Writing/editing Software Inspiration offers visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations
Word prediction software helps with mechanical difficulties to decrease keystrokes
AT Available for Writing (to borrow or purchase)
Talking dictionaries, spell checking software (built into word processing or web)
Solo 6 Literacy Suite
Chrome voice recognition
Chrome Book laptop
Read & Write Chrome Ext.
10 apps that help with notetaking
  Case Studies of Individuals with Writing Needs in Community Living

Case Study #1:

Sara’s two year old was diagnosed with developmental delay.

toddler painting with handsThe pediatrician said that by starting early with pre-reading and pre-writing activities, he would gain a lot of ground before the age of 4 when he could start pre-kindergarten. Sara read about the importance of pre-writing activities that may not seem like writing skills, but they are actually necessary to becoming a writer. Encourage random scribbling and access to art supplies. Provide writing prompts with pens, pencils, chunky crayons, art supplies, paint, and utensils to write letters (Easy-to-grip crayons and thick pencils can help toddlers with weak grips). Cut paper bags up to draw on. Tape down paper on a table or slant board so it does not move as they draw. Try using Q-tips dipped in washable paints to let the child scribble.

Toddlers will develop writing through various stages such as random scribbling, controlled scribbling, drawing lines, repeating characters, and learning the alphabet. Especially for children with disabilities, practicing pre-writing and pre-reading skills will help prepare him/her for the classroom.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match this person with needed AT.



Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Link to Slant Board in ABLE Tech Loan InventoryLink to Trace 'N Glow Shapes App in iTunes
Slant Board
Slant Board
Trace 'N Glow Shapes App
Trace 'N Glow Shapes App

Case Study #2:


Lanie, a retiree and prolific letter writer, began having difficulty with the physical process of writing.

Her hands began to shake, and her grip weakened. Soon her handwriting became illegible. She tried several types of AT to support her hand and fingers when writing, such as the “writing bird” which holds a pen or pencil, or the “pen again”. She also heard that she could try speech recognition programs to type her correspondence, as well as apps for her smartphone.Using steady write pen

  • Go to AskJan.org and search “writing” for many, many resources
  • Line guides and column guides
  • Bold line paper
  • Type responses instead of hand written responses
  • Laptop or tablet with onscreen keyboard or add a keyboard
  • Speech recognition software to use to type with voice

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match this person with needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HATT Model

Case Study #2 (Adult Needing AT) | PDF | Word



Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Link to Writing Bird in ABLE Tech Loan InventoryLink to Steady Write Pen on Garegiver Products WebsiteLink to Dictanote for Chrome Browser on the Dictanote Website
Writing Bird
Writing Bird
Steady Write Pen
Steady Write Pen
Chromebook with Voice Typing Extension
Dictanote for Chrome Browser

Case Study #3:


Ryan, a father of two middle school children, had never been great at composing or writing paragraphs.

He had difficulty organizing and expressing thoughts clearly in writing. As his children began to bring home difficult homework, they would often need his help. He wanted to be able to give advice andFather helping son with homework help with writing assignments, but he would remember his writing struggles.  Then he realized that he could compose thoughts very well by using his voice on his smartphone to type notes, reminders, and text messages. Typing with his voice made his life simpler.

He searched online for computer programs that would do the same thing and discovered many options.  He began using the Chrome browser and added a speech recognition free extension called Dictanote.  He would talk into a microphone headset and write paragraphs with his thoughts and voice. He could easily show his children how to write a main point and supporting ideas in each paragraph by just talking into a document.  He also discovered electronic graphic organizers, like Mindmeister and Inspiration software, that help organize main thoughts and secondary ideas.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match this person with needed AT.



Sample solutions available in the ABLE Tech Short-Term Loan Inventory:

Link to Inspiration Software WebsiteLink Mindmeister WebsiteLink to Dictanote for Chrome Browser
on the Dictanote Website
Inspiration Map App
Inspiration Map App
MindMeister
MindMeister
Chromebook with Voice Typing Extension
Chromebook with Voice Typing Extension

Oklahoma ABLE Tech logoABLE Tech loans devices at no cost for up to six weeks.
Request a device loan here (Writing)
Helpful Links & PDF Resources
National Center for Learning Disabilities
Go to AskJan.org and search "writing" for many, many resources
Writing Limitations
Literacy Information and Communication System - Learning to Achieve
Tools for Living with Learning Disabilities
Managing Social-Emotional Issues of Adults with Learning Disabilities
What Kids Say About Living with Learning Disabilities
Kids Matters.com
Learning Disabilities of America
App/Tablet Resources
Video Resources
Free to Low-Cost Assistive Technology Solutions
ABLE Tech Speech Recognition for Google
Using Google's Voice Recognition to Voice to Text for Gmails and Google Documents

Funding Sources for Persons with Writing Needs

The following resources are from ABLE Tech’s listing of OK Funding for AT and specifically give guidance on providing assistive technology for hearing devices to those with disabilities in Oklahoma:

Public & Private Sources of Funding
PUBLIC SOURCESAges Served
Family Support Assistance Program (money can be used for any purpose)Ages 0 - 18
Oklahoma Reutilization ProgramAll Ages
SoonerStart - Early Intervention ProgramAges 0 - 3
Supplemental Security Income Work Incentives (money can be used for any purpose)Working Ages
Veterans BenefitsMust be a veteran
PRIVATE SOURCESAges Served
Ability Connection OklahomaAll Ages
ABLE Tech Financial Loan ProgramAll Ages
Donna Nigh FoundationAll Ages
WovenLife (formerly Easter Seals of Oklahoma)All Ages