May 2002

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702

ELR Software Pty Ltd combines the skills of speech pathology and computer programming. We produce software in the fields of Internet access for people with disabilities, and specific speech pathology resource material. We have also been involved in consultancy to clinicians and research projects in the fields of literacy and accessibility issues with the Internet.

The aim of this newsletter is to inform you of developments and changes to our major products eLr (Extra Language Resources) and EIA (Enhancing Internet Access). We welcome the opportunity for feedback and questions, and will be pleased to consider including reader contributions and announcements.

This Newsletter (and previous editions) is available online at www.elr.com.au/news and an email version is sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing).

In this issue -

  1. New Products from ELR Software
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. BlackWindow - a free program
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2002 Calendar

  1. New Products from ELR Software

    ELR Software is excited to announce that 2 new products are about to be launched. Our team has been working jointly with other clinicians to develop new materials which should be available around mid-year.

    "Rude Readers", by John Fisher and ELR Software Pty Ltd, is a computer program which contains volumes (or sets) of children's "Readers". Each Reader is intended to stimulate humour and provide material targeting a range of language goals. They use naughty words and ideas to interest a child, and teach a few things about language (eg syntax, semantics, phonology, pragmatics). Within the text, everything is controlled - phrase and sentence length & complexity, syntax, vocabulary, spelling. The teaching points are listed in each Reader, and clinicians will be able to locate Readers that are relevant to specific goals using the easy retrieval method provided in the program. The program will enable clinicians to open a Rude Reader for reading on-screen as an "eBooK", and to print off copies for clients, either in colour, or with sketch drawings if the child would like to colour in the pictures.

    Titles to be included in the first 2 sets are:- Hot Snot, Goldilocks, A Boy Has A Penis, Spit Spit Spat, Zoo Dads, Where Are You?, Three Little Pigs, Party Dog, Ten Naughty Ninjas, and The Sofa Did A Fart. The titles alone should wet your appetite!

    "Word Meanings" by Words Work (Robyn Dower and Jan Mackey), and ELR Software Pty Ltd is a computerised version of Dower and Mackey's book "Building Language: Word Meanings", Helios Art and Book Co, 1996. This book is a manual of language exercises for adults and adolescents, and is based on cognitive neurological theory. It is used by many clinicians who work with adults who have dysphasia and/or cognitive-language disorders, adolescents with language and learning disorders, and adults with literacy disorders or who are learning English as a second language. As with the book, the exercises are graded for semantic relatedness. The program contains features such as scoring of responses, provision of feedback for correct/incorrect responses, and a summary of results at the completion of each task.

    We'll have more specific information about pricing and availability in the next ELR News, and will soon have links to both on our web site.

  2. New eLr Materials

    56 new tasks have been added to the eLr Directory. The Rhyming section in Phonemic Awareness has had a facelift. There are 14 new tasks in Rhyme Identification using the "MultiPic Slideshow" model. These are graded in difficulty. The vocabulary ranges from "common concrete" to "abstract" words, and there is a choice of "field of 3", or "field of 4". Ten "MemoryPics" activities have also been added. Again there is a range of difficulty level, where the clinician can choose a task with 3, 4, or 6 pairs.

    A new sub section Word Generation has been added to Phonemic Awareness - Rhyming. Three new "Slide Show" tasks, and two "SpinPic" games provide practice for the skill of generating words that rhyme with a given word.

    There are sixteen new tasks in Reading and Spelling - Prefixes and Suffixes. The "Word sound buttons" model enables the student to practise breaking words into syllables. Eleven new tasks have also been added to Reading and Spelling - Three Letter Words - Assorted Vowels. These tasks use the "Typing with words" model. There is a greater range of available words in 'assorted vowels', so these sentences reflect everyday language use. The level of difficulty increases from "subject + verb", "subject + verb + noun phrase" etc.

  3. BlackWindow - a free program

    In the course of working with some other programs we found we'd like to be able to "black out" the underlying Windows desktop to reduce distractions for some clients. This is especially handy for programs which don't occupy the full screen. So Rob has written "BlackWindow". Just run it like any other Windows program, but it will remain underneath almost everything else, covering the underlying desktop etc. BlackWindow is avaialable as a free download at http://www.elr.com.au/cgi-bin/loader.cgi?action=request&task=0401-108
  4. Free Downloads

    For other supporting materials and documents available for free download, please see www.elr.com.au/support.htm.

  5. ELR 2002 Calendar

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Copyright ©2002 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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