July 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. Speech Pathology Australia Conference - Alice Springs
  2. New eLr Materials
  3. WordCue and the e-bility.com website
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2002 Calendar

  1. Speech Pathology Australia Conference - Alice Springs

    What a very different experience this conference proved to be. Having never been to the Red Heart, it was wonderful to experience what we could of the Alice Springs culture and geography. And the conference provided an opportunity to attend stimulating papers, and gain new insights into different areas of the growing body of knowledge in our profession. It was also an opportunity to meet with colleagues, and chat with other clinicians who are producing materials for clinical use.

    There was a lot of interest in eLr, and also in the new products under development - "Rude Readers" (John Fisher and ELR), and "Word Meanings" (Jan Mackey and Robyn Dower and ELR). Many clinicians will already be familiar with "Word Meanings" and its use within a cognitive neuropsychological approach to semantic therapy.

    However, the concept of "Rude Readers" is new, so the feedback is an important aspect in its development. All of the clinicians we spoke to appreciated the humour of the readers, and were impressed with John Fisher's ability to produce materials with such a high level of linguistic and semantic analysis. Each book contains information about the main target areas, and also the linguistic structures which are used within the book, using LARSP analysis. Anna Breakell's talent in producing illustrations which capture the concepts and feeling of the characters in each book, were appreciated by all who viewed them.

  2. New eLr Materials

    The July edition of eLr offers new materials that are of a different nature. A new subsection, called "Scene Library", has been added to the the "Activity Toolbox" (along with the "Game Generators"). These new materials are not meant for client interaction, although they generally look and behave like others in eLr. Instead, the idea of the Scene Library is to provide users with direct access to many of the game boards and scenes used elsewhere in eLr, to create their own games and speech / language related activities.

    The Scene Library contains 7 'tasks' which use the new "Scene Printer" model. To use this model, select a task, click on the game or scene of your choice, then click the VCR "forward arrows" to preview the picture. Your chosen picture may then be printed in two sizes by clicking either "normal" or "enlarged" (full page).

    The first task contains 12 game boards. These will be useful to provide clients with spinner games to practice targets which are specific to the assessed need, or simply to provide a range of 'off-computer' activities. Cards to accompany the games may be printed using those already available in the Phonology section (eg the PicCard model), or, for language based targets select from the Semantics Section. For specific needs, clinicians could generate individual vocabulary groupings by using the "PhonPic Tool" in the Game generators.

    Other tasks contain a total of 59 'scenes' which are grouped according to general themes (eg People & body parts, House, Transport etc). These may be used in barrier games, or in gluing activities. The pictures, which are available in the Phonology or Semantics sections, are useful to cut up for gluing onto the scenes.

    We hope these materials will significantly enhance your ability to extend speech, language and literacy practice beyond the computer, by providing 'hands on' materials. It will also enable you to easily provide clients who do not have ready access to computers or the Internet with practice materials. If you normally use eLr in the Offline version, you may find it worthwhile logging on to our website to access these scenes, until you receive your next update of the eLr-Offline CD.

  3. WordCue and the e-bility.com website

    Many of you have probably already found Sandra Vassallos e-bility website at www.e-bility.com. e-bility offers easy access and links to a wide range of information, resources, services and products of interest to people with disability, their families and carers, as well as health professionals and other service providers in the disability sector. Sandra has recently made the entire e-bility website "WordCue" aware and as such it is the largest such website in existence.

    WordCue is a free software program that is distributed under the GNU General Public License. It was developed by ELR Software Pty Ltd in collaboration with researchers at Information and Telecommunications Needs Research (Monash University), and the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) under two joint projects, funded by the Commonwealth through the AccessAbility Program of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts.

    WordCue provides help in reading words, links and phrases on web pages. By selecting a word or phrase which is difficult to read, a range of cues are provided directly within the Browser, for example the WordCue for "computer" includes:

    To activate WordCue for a word you will need to:
    1. Download and install the current version of the WordCue Trainer (see www.elr.com.au/wordcue)
    2. Switch the Scroll Lock key on (or click the WordCue icon found in the taskbar), then position the cursor on the word (or picture), and click the left mouse button. Note: While the WordCue feature is on you will not be able to use any of the web page links
    3. To return to the web page turn the Scroll Lock off (or click the WordCue icon found in the taskbar)

    Feedback about WordCue to the team at ELR Software is welcome, and I'm sure Sandra would be also very happy to receive feedback about the WordCue function on the e-bility website.

  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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VIC 3875, Australia
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