Communicate, Navigate, Create!!

by Brooks Weaver. 0 Comments

This blog is dedicated to ALL of the teachers and volunteers around the world who give their time and effort to caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  You are truly an inspiration and a testament to the human spirit.

The Olympics is once again upon us, and even though this grand event of sport and competition is a time of setting records and (hopefully) bringing home the Gold, Silver or Bronze, it is also about something that I consider much more important to our global community – Communication.

Each race, event and ceremony is broadcast throughout the world 24 hours a day, respectively.  Not only are athletes from all nations highlighted for their efforts, Paralympics athletes are also showcased for their incredible courage, stamina and drive to compete despite their disabilities; setting records that are just as impressive, if not even more so, then athletes without disabilities.

This kind of drive inspires me to highlight Apps (for the iPhone / iPad) that assist those with and without disabilities to Communicate , Navigate and Create more effectively.

1) COMMUNICATE:

“Proloquo2Go”

  Proloquo2Go is an App specifically designed to assist those who have trouble speaking, or cannot speak at all, to have a voice anytime, anywhere.  It provides an interface that allows users to tap on pictures that correspond to words that can be combined together into meaningful sentences that communicate what they want to say.

Find out more about this App online at AssistiveWare.com or in the video below: 

“Injini”

As opposed to a communication tool, Injini is child-friendly educational App that provides 10 learning games focusing on the “no-penalty” philosophy.  The App focuses on teaching students colors, shapes, auditory processing, visual discrimination, capital / lowercase alphabetical character development, and many other subjects.

The video below highlights the 10 sections of the app and how they are used to assist with Child Development / Learning: 

2) NAVIGATE:

“Ariadne GPS”

Named after Ariadne, a Princess of ancient Crete who was associated with mazes and puzzles, this App is poetically named Ariadne GPS because of how it helps those in need to “navigate” the geographic complexity of our world.

It provides real-time, GPS ( Global Positioning System ) navigation wherever you are, as well as, wherever you are headed; i.e., if you are on a train and your stop is approaching, it lets you know how far you have to go until you can get off the train.

Primarily used by individuals that have vision / sight impairment, this App has changed the lives of numerous people who couldn’t previously navigate the world due to limited navigation information / support.

3) CREATE:

“Toca Boca”

Like Injini, the Toca Boca suite of apps are all about developing “describing skills”.  They provide a clever, interactive user environment for children (and adults) to create characters, shapes and the like in order to express what is on their creative minds.

I’ve personally watched my nieces play with these apps, and to see what they create is truly magical.  If your child enjoys good old fashion creativity (and I don’t know one who doesn’t), then the Toca Boca apps are just what they need.

For some real world examples of how Ariadne GPS and Toca Boca are being used today, check out the video below from the June 11, 2012 Apple Keynote address: 

I hope that “you” have learned something new about how the great apps mentioned in this blog can assist your loved ones or those that you teach to improve the way that they communicate to others, navigate their world and create truly imaginative things.

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have had a chance to use any of the above apps, and how they have helped your children or students.

And as always, thanks for reading.

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