Q. I am looking for a word processing program that can be used with a diverse
group of students with disabilities. Some are learning
disabled, but I also have student with hemiplegia and one with limited hand
You could be in luck, I recently discovered a program that may meet your needs.
Instant Text, from Textware Solutions (781-272-3200) is a word processing software that uses word abbreviation to cut down on the amount of keystrokes for fast text entry. It was designed for the workplace where workers need to enter information quickly and accurately such as order information or inventory.
Using word abbreviation can assist persons with disabilities with written
language as well. Instead of typing out whole words or phrases, the user can
type a sequence of initials and the program will enter it in the text. For
example, rom will appear as range of motion.
In cases where the same initials are used for different words or phrases, markers (using back slash, forward slash, semi colon etc.) can be used to distinguish them from one another.
Up to eight glossaries for particular subjects being written about
The program has up to eight glossaries that can be used for particular subjects being written about. The glossaries can also be customized. The Importer feature also allows the possibility of importing abbreviation lists, while keeping the old ones.
Instant Text can be customized to be used as a stand alone text entry program or with a wordprocessing program. Instant Text also can be used on a pen computer in combination with the FITALY One-Finger Keyboard program that is included in the package. FITALY provides an on-screen keyboard designed for one finger or pen data entry.
The keyboard layout is designed for limited range of motion. Mouse movement and click can also be used for data entry. The keyboard can interact with 32 bit applications such as Word 7 and WordPerfect 7. The manufacturer recently informed me that some users are now using the product with graphic tablets.
This program is appropriate for students in the middle and high-school levels and for adults with good cognitive skills in reading, memory, motivation, interest, and attention. Trainers will need to allow adequate time for the user to customize abbreviations and to gain familiarity with it. This is a program that can grow with the user.
Instant Text is IBM and Windows compatible.
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