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Archive for May 2012

Introducing the new Trabasack Media Mount

The Trabasack team are extremely pleased and excited to announced the launch of their product, the Media Mount

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The Media Mount is an extremely versatile and multifunctional mounting device that makes using your Trabasack play tray with your children even easier and it can even make your Trabasack an even better play tray than it was before. Despite being completely brand new, it’s already drawing in interest from Trabasaxons who have only positive things to say and it is an accessory for your Trabasack that one fan describes as ‘an excellent product, multi-functional & well thought out. It adds further functionality to the original Trabasack Connect without adding extra weight to it.’ With comments like this it’s clear to see the team can be proud of their new product and its place in the product range.

A Quick Look at the Media Mount

A young Trabasaxon using the Media Mount as an iPad support

The Media Mount holding a Skoog securely

When reading the name, you might wonder how the Media Mount can be of use to you and your child for your Trabasack Sensory Play Tray. However, as mentioned, this product is extremely versatile and flexible and can be used in a number of ways. Designed to mount any device from an iPad to a musical Skoog (both pictured) you can see how the Media Mount holds these items perfectly in place for use by your child, with or without support. The  Media Mount is made of hook and loop receptive material and is equipped with a velcro strip alongside so it fits closely to your Trabasack’s Connect Surface. What’s more the grab handles are large and make manoeuvring and positioning the new accessory even more straight forward.

The Media Mount and your Sensory Play Tray

Incorporating the Media Mount into your sensory play time is very easy and it can be a great of ensuring more enjoyment and development can be had whilst enjoying the session. For example, the Media Mount can act as a barrier at the edge of your Trabasack ensuring the hand positioning and movement is kept to the specific tray area or it can be used to held a particular object in place so it can be used more easily.

If you’re using bottles as music makers for example, you could position them securely with the Media Mount and then enjoy the play time without worrying about them going missing or being knocked over. Every day our customers are coming up with new uses for the Media Mount and as its been produced under the Design for All concept, we are sure that it can be manipulated for whatever particular needs you have in mind.

We’ve received positive feedback from Technical Specialist for SpecialEffect Charity and founder of OneSwitch.co.uk, Barrie Ellis who described it as a ‘brilliant implementation, I really love it’ and we agree completely with his comments and believe you could use your Media Mount in any number of ways to enhance and enjoy sensory play time.

At £19.95 it is a low cost way of mounting switches and special education toys, please send us your pics for a free gift!

Odds and Ends iPad Apps

This is the final post in our series about the fantastic and useful sensory and AAC apps that were collated and showcased by Ian Bean at the 2012 TES Resources show in Manchester, UK.

These last few apps are classified as “Odds and Ends” as they don’t fit into a particular category, but are definitely useful tools that are worth a mention.

Image icon for Smarty Pants iPad App Inclusive Smarty Pants The Smarty Pants app allows children to chose from four characters, which can then be animated to express a series of emotions, to help promote understanding of feelings and encourage imitation. The graphic style is simple yet bold and bright, and this iPad app also supports switch access.

 

 

Image icon for Dragon Dictation iPad App Dragon Dictation is a simple and easy to use voice-to-text iPad app, that utilises voice recognition to allow you or your child to easily dictate anything from emails or text messages to social media posts, such as Twitter tweets or Facebook status updates. This app will instantly display the spoken words in text form, and provides a fantastic communication tool.

 

 

Image icon for Dropbox iPad App Dropbox is an effective file and media organisation tool that uploads any files you save to your Dropbox to your iPhone, iPad and also to your online Dropbox account. This ensures your child’s favourite images, songs, videos or any important documents are always at hand, even without carrying any form of mobile storage (such as a memory stick), as long as you can connect to the internet, you can access your files.

 

 

Boy in wheelchair uses iPad to play sensory game app

The Trabasack lap desk bag can also be used with an iPad mount aid to ensure tablet computers remain steady whilst in use

We hope that you have enjoyed our compendium of sensory iPad app posts, and that they provide your child with fun and useful tools for self-expression, creativity and learning. The Trabasack range of lap tray bags also provide the perfect steady surface for iPad app use, with each bag featuring a built-in lap desk and beanbag cushion which allows children in wheelchairs to safely and comfortably engage in iPad play.

The Trabasack Connect Curve also features a soft, padded ergonomic shape that sits snug around your child’s waist whilst used as a lap desk, and ensures arms and small objects do not get caught underneath. The specially designed “Connect” tray surface can also be used with Velcro to attach switches and iPads securely, minimising unwanted movement.

Each Trabasack iPad bag also comes with a selection of straps and multi D rings attached, meaning the lap desk can be installed on wheelchairs, buggies, car seats and more with speed and ease. Pictured here with our stabilising low -cost  Media Mount accessory for holding toys or ipads securely on the tray surface.

 

Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Cognition iPad Apps

Shape, Word and Number Recognition iPad Apps for Children

Here we have a fantastic collection of innovative iPad apps that will help your child to further their understanding of speech and word recognition, whilst at the same time developing their fine motor skills and ultimately, having fun! Each app is an interactive mix of games and puzzles, perfect for keeping little minds busy and happy.

Image icon for Five Sharks Swimming iPad App Five Sharks Swimming is a classic nursery rhyme transformed into a fun, interactive story that promotes numeric comprehension, attention and participation. This simple to use, brightly illustrated app also supports switch access.

 

 

Image icon for Splingo iPad app Splingo’s Language Universe This educational app has been specially designed by Speech and Language therapists to promote listening and language skills. Splingo is a language-loving alien whose simple-to-understand directions will guide your child through a wondrous world of word puzzles and more. With several language development levels on offer, this app offers your child games and puzzles tailored to their ability; learning and understanding verbs, nouns and adjectives has never been so much fun!

 

Image icon for Alien Buddies iPad App Alien Buddies combines simple recognition puzzles with an out-of-this-world alien theme guaranteed to delight and engage. The “Match” feature of this fun app aids children with shape, colour, letter and number recognition by both sight and sound, whilst the “Puzzle” and “Dot to Dot” sections encourage problem solving, sequential counting and fine motor skills. A lovely addition to this app is the “Sticker” section; as children successfully complete tasks, they are rewarded with special interactive stickers that can be used to create unusual and exciting alien artworks.

 

Image icon for Hairy Letters iPad app Hairy Letters is a lively interactive app for promoting understanding of letter shapes and sounds. Using the iPad touch screen, children can trace letters using their fingers and each letter is accompanied by a fun animation and audio phonics, including upper and lower class letter names and sounds.

 

 

Young boy in wheelchair plays games on an iPad

The built-in lap desk of the Trabasack along with its soft, ergonomic shape provides a perfect space for iPad play

These iPad cognition apps are the perfect way to keep your little one entertained and occupied, and when teamed with a Trabasack iPad bag your child has the freedom to learn no matter what the location. Each Trabasack bag has a built-in lap desk, and the Curve Connect model also features an ergonomically designed curved shape to fit snugly around the waist and a soft tray area – where tablet computers, toys, books and more can be secured easily using hooktape. The Trabasack iPad bag offers the ultimate in usability, with large ring pull zips and grab handles for those with limited dexterity, and multi D rings and strap options for fitting the lap tray to all models of wheelchair, buggy and car seat.

We have a new accessory called the Media Mount that helps to keep the iPad and any other switches or tablets in place with velcro. A very low cost alternative to expensive clamps and other mounting systems at under £20!

The iPad apps featured in this blog post were demonstrated at the TES Resources Show by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Stories and Books ~ Apps for the ipad

Promote Empathy and Inspire Creativity Through Storytelling

Engaging your child’s imagination through story telling is a wonderful way of helping them to empathise and understand the feelings of others, whilst also inspiring their creativity. These iPad apps add a whole new digital dimension to the traditional book, offering an interactive and fun learning experience.

Image icon for Peter Pan iPad app AvatarBook PeterPan This iPad app recounts the classic fairy tale of Peter Pan; a story filled with fascinating twists and turns, and now, with the option of adding your child to the story! The Peter Pan app enables children to upload their own photographs of themselves to be used as the face of the main character. This is a fantastic way of personalising an exciting and gripping story, and will help your child to empathise with the events that occur throughout the story.

 

Image icon for Into the Snow iPad app Into the Snow: A Stella and Sam Adventure Into the Snow is a delightfully illustrated interactive story set in a pretty, frosty setting. Children will be immediately taken by the bright and contemporary style of the artwork, and what’s more, the story is made-up of three fun games that prompt the child to interact with the characters and scenery. From drawing pictures in the snow to decorating a snowman; this snowy adventure will truly capture your child’s imagination.

 

Image icon for Toy Story iPad app Toy Story Read-Along The Toy Story films have understandably garnered millions of fans, adult and child alike, and this Readalong iPad app offers your child the chance to relive all the excitement of the films whilst brushing-up on their reading skills. Your child must help the toys in their voyage back to the safety of Andy’s bedroom, with plenty of wonderful interactive games and videos to enjoy along the way. This Toy Story app concentrates on a wonderful tale of friendship that your child will immediately a feel part of.

 

Image icon for Story Maker iPad app Story Maker HD If your child is raring to create their own unique characters to be included in their favourite stories, then the Story Maker app provides the perfect tool for setting their ideas free. This app includes 100s of special items for character creation, with a range of interesting and diverse scenes for your little one to base their story. Once the characters have been carefully created, they will be incorporated into an animation based on one of several classic stories (such as 3 Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood), helping your child to really feel involved in the story telling process.

 

Image of toddler girl playing with iPad on Trabasack Lap Desk bag

The Trabasack Connect Curve lap desk provides a flat and steady surface for iPad play

If your little digital bookworm is looking for a steady and equally modern lectern for their iPad, the Trabasack range of lightweight iPad lap desk bags provide a safe and secure surface for story time, with the iPad mount aid ensuring tablet computers remain in place whilst in use. Ideal for use indoors or on the go, the black PVC leather-look tray can be easily wiped clean, and the bag is both shower proof and machine washable, for extra cleanliness and peace of mind.

These wonderful storytelling apps were recently featured at the TES resources show by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Communication iPad Apps

Useful iPad Apps for Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Child in wheelchair plays with iPad on Trabasack lap desk

The Trabasack iPad mount aid ensures tablet computers remain steady and secure

The art of speech and communication is one of the most difficult tasks for young children to master, and whether your child is struggling with verbal or non-verbal communication; these apps will ease them into expressing themselves whilst still having lots of fun!

To provide a steady work space for your child’s iPad whilst using these great communication apps, the Trabasack iPad lap desk bag and iPad mount aid can be attached to wheelchairs with ease and speed, to allow your child comfort whilst communicating. The Trabasack Curve range of bags are soft, padded and ergonomically designed to hug the natural contours of the waist to ensure your child’s arms do not get caught beneath the bag and no small objects can become trapped between the body and tray. The new product the Media Mount, allows the iPad to be tilted in a good position for child to use, whist keeping it securely held to the trabasack surface

 

 

 

Image icon for Talking Ben the Dog iPad App Talking Ben the Dog Ben the Dog is no ordinary hound; he’s a retired chemistry professor looking for a little bit of peace and quiet, and the only way to rouse him from his newspaper reading is to interact with him! Children will love the reactions that Ben provides; using touch screen gestures, he can be tickled, poked and slapped, and if he’s spoken to, he will repeat. Once Ben has been interacted with he will whisk you away to his laboratory, where there are lots of exciting chemistry experiments to have fun with.

 

Image icon for Scene&Heard iPad App Scene&Heard is an in-depth communication tool that allows parents, caregivers and teachers a platform for creating their own bespoke communication games using personal photographs, audio and video. As each child needs help in different areas of communication, this iPad app is perfect for providing interesting, interactive entertainment specific to your child.

 

 

Image icon for Sounding Board iPad App SoundingBoard offers a “flash card”-like customisable game, pre-installed with lots of AbleNet symbols where audio messages can be “attached” to each image. The Sounding Board iPhone and iPad app also lets the user create cards or boards using their own images; great for communicating items familiar to your child.

 

 

Image icon for Proloquo2Go iPad App Proloquo2Go is another sound board iPad app that also offers a natural-sounding text-to-speech function, automatic conjugations, word prediction and high-resolution up-to-date symbols, providing a useful and easy to use tool for augmentative and alternative communication.

 

 

 

Image icon for Grid Player iPad App Grid Player provides the user with over 12,000 Widgit symbols to allow expansive communication, and the text-to-speech function along with “TouchType” word prediction and symbol prediction help with word recognition and faster communication. Grid Player also includes a “Text Talker” function, that features a high-contrast keyboard, word completion, next word prediction and over 100 instant phrases.

 

 

Communication iPad apps specially chosen by an expert in special education, Ian Bean, author of Big Bang series of computer games for children. Ian Bean is a  former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

This is the fourth in our series of apps for children with special educational needs. The others include Touch skills apps , Video and photo apps, and  apps to help your child make music.

Photo, Video and Animation iPad Apps

Lights! Camera! Action! Video and Art Editing Apps to Encourage Self-Expression.

Due to such fantastic advancements in technology over the past decade, children can utilise media such as video and photography with relative ease, and this collection of quirky art apps will help promote your child’s eye for creativity and nurture their desire for self-expression. Apps and other activities that can encourage children to be creative and express themselves are essential for children with special educational needs or disabilities as they can often experience difficulty expressing their feelings or needs.

This is the third post in our series about apps recommended by ICT special education maestro Ian Bean. Previously we looked at apps to encourage touch skills and apps for making music.

Image icon for the I Look Funny iPad app iLookFunny This photographic iPod app will provide endless fun and laughter, as I Look Funny overlays unusual accessories over the top of a normal snapshot – add funky sunglasses to the family pet, a silly wig and hat to dad or let your child transform themselves into everything from a bunny to a clown; I Look Funny is a fun way to play virtual dress-up.

 

 


jpeg-3 Face Time with Mage Nuttimugs is a fun and interactive iPad app that places your child at the heart of the story! This simple, rhyme-filled interactive book takes a photo of your child’s face and places it on the head of the lead character – and using touch-screen technology, their photo is altered throughout the story to present them with happy, silly and sad faces. There’s also a lovely moral to the story, in that you are perfect just the way you are.

 

 

Image icon for the I Look Funny iPad app Toontastic If your child is particularly taken by cartoons and the art of comic books, then Toontastic is the perfect iPad tool for helping them to create their very own comic-book style art and cartoon animations. This multi-award winning app includes a vast cast of characters (as well as a “draw your own character” feature) and a selection fantastical settings, giving your child an easy and exciting introduction to independent story telling.

 

Image icon for the iMovie iPad App iMovie has become a highly acclaimed industry standard video editor due to its simplicity and straight forward usability, and in turn lends itself perfectly for use by young children. Create short films or movies with just a few multi-touch gestures, and soundtrack each masterpiece with your child’s favourite MP3 or voice over.

Child in wheelchair uses the Trabasack iPad mount aid

The Trabasack iPad mount aid keeps iPads safe and steady

 

 

There’s no doubt that these exciting and creative apps will bring out the artist in your child, and as every artist needs an easel, the Trabasack range of iPad lap desks provide a stable and sturdy play tray with a specially designed iPad mount aid for wheelchair users; the lap desk bags attach to the wheelchair with ease, and the ergonomic shape of the Connect Curve fits snugly around the child’s waist, ensuring comfort whilst in use.

These iPad apps were recently featured at the Manchester TES Resources Show 2012 by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

Making Music iPad Apps

Creativity Comes Forth with Musical Sensory iPad Apps

After your child has explored the apps that encourage touch skills, musical ipad apps are a smooth progression. Little ones love to make music; whether it’s a keyboard concerto or simply a percussive performance using your pots and pans, these fantastic iPad apps provide the perfect sensory stimuli whilst allowing your child to sharpen their skills as a mini maestro!
image icon for the Glow Tunes iPad app GlowTunes This unique app combines art and music, by allowing your child to draw a picture using brightly coloured pixels, which is then transformed into an extraordinary tune, using 1 of the 12 high quality instruments on offer. The compositions can then be save and shared amongst friends and family to enjoy.

 

 

image icon for the Virtuoso iPad app Virtuoso Piano Pro Classic This musical app is modern take on the traditional piano, offering 7 octaves of sampled concert piano and a choice of effects, offering a truly authentic piano sound. The Virtuoso also features an adjustable keyboard size, perfect for little or large fingers alike.

 

 

 

image icon for the Songify iPad app Songify Songify is a rather novel yet endlessly entertaining way of producing unique musical tracks; this iPod app records sections of speech and via autotune, and then transforms the recorded words into a bespoke song. There’s many different styles of song included with the basic Songify app, with plenty of others available at an extra cost, so no matter what sort of rhythm rocks the boat of your child, there’s a song style to suit.

 

 

Icon image for Garage Band iPad app GarageBand – Apple If your child is looking to create a full-on and layered musical masterpiece, then Garage Band is the perfect iPad app. The simplicity of on-screen gestures can be used to create magnificent instrumental audio that might be difficult via an ordinary instrument, and the multi-touch keyboard makes tapping out drum beats or melodies as easy as can be. This app can also be used via WiFi or Bluetooth with up to 3 other mobile devices (such as iPad, iPod or iPhone) which is perfect for group musical sessions.

 

Child in wheelchair uses Trabasack lap tray to play with iPad

The Trabasack Curve Connect provides the perfect iPad play space for children in wheelchairs

iPads are a fantastic way for providing your child with a creative outlet, and the Trabasack range of sensory iPad tray bags are the perfect addition to your child’s playtime – each iPad bag features a built-in lap tray with ‘connect’ surface, which allows you to attach electronic devices such as iPads with ease – offering safety and security whilst in use. The Trabasack iPad lap tray bags also fit comfortably on wheelchairs and buggies, providing the ultimate practical play-space on the go.

This creative collection of iPad apps were showcased at the TES Resources show in Manchester by Ian Bean, former teacher and ICT coordinator at Priory Woods School, Inclusive Technology’s Consultancy and Training Manager now Independent Special Needs ICT consultant and trainer specialising in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.