January 2003

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702

ELR Software combines the skills of speech pathologists and software designers to create software for speech, language and literacy intervention. Our programs may be used within therapy, to increase efficiency in service delivery using the Internet and CD based materials, and to improve access to the Internet for people with special needs. We are also available as consultants to clinicians and research projects in the fields of literacy and accessibility issues associated 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).

Season's Greetings, and we wish you all a safe and happy new year. And special thanks to all to have provided us feedback - always helpful!

In this issue -

  1. Looking Back on 2002
  2. EIA Browser now being distributed by Spectronics
  3. New eLr Materials
  4. Feedback needed regarding eLr proposed User Group
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2003 Calendar

  1. Looking Back on 2002

    It's been a busy year for the ELR team. In some respects we have been frustrated that we didn't complete all the projects we'd planned. Never mind, all the more for 2003!

    A total of 1,100 new tasks were added to the eLr Directory during 2002. The "WordSearch" and "SmileyMan" models were also new this year, and they have been particularly useful in the Reading and Spelling, and Phonology Sound by Sound Sections. Clients find them a challenge (as do we!), and with "WordSearch", it is possible to generate endless puzzle variations from the same word set - allowing lots of repetition. We also added activities in the "Tool Box" which were specifically useful for clinicians. These allow you to print off game boards and scenes that you can use for your own paper based tasks, eg barrier games and dice games.

    The new programs, Rude Readers and Word Meanings are almost ready for release. We've had a lot of positive feedback when we've shown them, and have been able to incorporate suggestions we've had into the final design. Very soon now!

    The EIA Browser now has users in several overseas countries, and has recently been included in substantial Australian library installations - more on this in the next Newsletter. Browser developments are continuing, and a major version upgrade will be released in 2003. Our new distribution relationship with Spectronics (see next item) will also extend our 2003 horizons.

    Over the year, we travelled to Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Alice Springs, and or course, Melbourne, as part of conferences and ELR Software workshops. So we have met many clinicians, teachers and parents, and have benefited from the feedback. Thank you for providing suggestions about new sections and other features which would make the material more useful.

  2. EIA Browser now being distributed by Spectronics

    We are pleased to announce that arrangements have been made for Spectronics in Queensland to act as sole Australian distributor for our EIA Web Browser and the Web Tutorial and AAP plugins. Spectronics <www.spectronicsinoz.com> is an experienced and well known supplier of technologies for students with learning difficulties or disabilities, and for other assistive technologies.

    We are very much looking forward to this new phase of EIA development since Spectronics will offer marketing and sales support beyond that which we felt able to provide ourselves. And our efforts will now be more specifically directed towards further development and support for the EIA products. For further information, please contact Spectronics at:

    • PO Box 88, Rochedale Qld 4123, Australia
    • Phone: (07) 3808 6833 Fax: (07) 3808 6108
  3. New eLr Materials

    A total of 41 new tasks have been added to the eLr Directory. These are in Reading and Spelling - Syllabification. This section previously contained tasks with real words. There is now a new sub section which contains syllabification of non-words. Within the non-word classification, there are tasks for non-words with 2, 3, or 4 syllables. The tasks are graded in difficulty. For example, the first few tasks contain non-words with "closed" syllables (ie CVC). They then progress to non-words with "open" syllables, complex syllables (ie with consonant blends), and syllables with complex vowel patterns (eg igh), and prefixes and suffixes.

    We welcome any comments on these non-words. It's quite a feat to work out so many words that don't make sense. So if you feel some of them could be improved, it'd be great to hear from you.

  4. Feedback needed regarding eLr proposed User Group

    Last month we proposed the formation of an eLr User Group. This would allow a mechanism for users to interact with each other, and share ideas about different ways they have used the software. It would also provide a more organised way to let us (the developers), know about any difficulties or issues that arise, and any ideas you may have for new sections and tasks which you would like to be included in the resource.

    We are planning an initial meeting during the National Conference in Hobart (4-8 May 2003). Please feel free to email us with any comments to help in our plans for an agenda for the meeting.

  5. Free Downloads

    ELR now has a number of free or evaluation files available for downloading directly from our website. Please see www.elr.com.au/downloads.htm for specific details. For other supporting materials and documents available for free download, please see www.elr.com.au/support.htm.

  6. ELR 2003 Calendar

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Copyright ©2003 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309
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