30 January 2015

Alternative Access Project update

Helping Students who are Non-Verbal Have a Voice

At the second session of our Alternative Access Project Special Education Teachers had the opportunity to explore a voice output device called the “Smooth Talker”.   A voice output device allows the teacher to record his or her voice into the device and then the student can press the switch to play the message(s).


During the session Teachers experienced how easy it is to record up to two minutes of a single message or sequential messages into the device. Teachers discussed ways they could use voice output devices to increase participation, engagement and independence for students in their classrooms. 


The following is a list of 10 ways to use voice output devices to support students: (But the possibilities are endless!)

1. Record repetitive parts or sound effects in a story.
2. Greet students as they arrive (eg.  “Good morning, how are you?”) or to say goodbye at the end of the day (e.g., Bye! Have a good night.”).
3. Answer questions during circle time (eg. “What day is it today?”)
4. Let the teacher know when he or she is finished or needs a break.
5. Record songs or poems.
6. Tell jokes.
7. Give steps in a recipe.
8. Recite lines in a school play or performance.
9. Send a message home to parents (e.g. “Today at school I…”)
10. Give directions to the class (e.g., “Line up” or “Time for snack”)

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