Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd
ABN 67 090 738 702
ELR Software produces a range of computer programs designed by speech pathologists for speech, language & literacy intervention. Our programs may be used interactively within therapy sessions, to increase efficiency in service delivery, 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), Rude Readers, Word Meanings 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 -
- New and Changed eLr Materials
- Downloading and Installing eLr-Offline
- Don't Hit Dad - Featured Rude Reader
- Free Downloads
- ELR 2005 Calendar
New categorization tasks
Thirty-five new tasks have been added to the Semantics-Categories section. The existing tasks in the Categories required the client to identify which items belong in certain categories. The new tasks are in a new subsection, called "Word Generation" which provides activities where the client is required to generate words within categories, so it focus on expressive language skills.
Within this new subsection there are three levels of difficulty - "common", "specific" and "higher level". The tasks in the "common" level focus on the main categories, eg foods, clothes etc. There are some game models for clients at a lower level, and also some models which are text based for clients at a higher level. "SpinPic" and "SpinWord" are games where the client clicks a spinner to get a number. They then click the "Chance" button which presents a picture or a text based prompt. After generating words within the given category they can move their marker around the game board. The "Fortune cookies" model is a text based task. Nine large buttons appear on the screen. When a button is clicked a prompt is revealed. The easier level tasks require the client to name items within broad and then more specific categories (eg "clothes", or "things that keep you warm"). The higher level tasks require the client to name items which can be described by two adjectives (eg "things that are shiny and hard").
Changes and improvements to three models
We have recently received several suggestions for improvements and modifications to some of the models. Here are some of the changes that have been made -
- Typing with words and Typing with phrases
These models provide practice at rearranging words or phrases to make a sentence, mostly in Reading and Spelling. Once the client has completed the sentence, the sentence now highlights red if the words are in the same order as the prompt. This gives obvious feedback that the response is a correct one. However, in many tasks, more than one sentence may be correct. So we would encourage discussion with the client if their response is different but still correct. Such discussion encourages use of expressive language and specific vocabulary to explain details.
This model is used is Reading and Spelling, and also in Phonology. Once the client completes a word in the puzzle from the list of target words on the left side of the screen, the word now disappears from that list and appears in a list on the right side, in the same position as it had been in the target list. This makes it easier for clients to know which words have already been found.
This model appears in Using Language. Pictures which depict a sequence of events appear on the screen - initially out of order. The client sequentially clicks pairs of pictures and they swap positions. Successive swaps should result in all pictures ending up in the correct sequence. Any picture in its correct location has a red border. We received feedback that this red highlight was not obvious enough, so now there is a solid red bar at the bottom of each correctly positioned picture. When it is in an incorrect position, the bar is black. It certainly looks more obvious, but we welcome feedback about this. We have had other discussions about this model. Some people have suggested a drag and drop approach would be good. However, this requires quite precise fine motor skills, which could be difficult for many younger clients.
Feel free to email us if you have comments about the changes, or about any other model / activity you feel could be improved.
eLr-Offline is the "compiled" version of eLr which may be run as a standalone program on a Windows style computer without requiring internet access. A new version is generated towards the end of each month as new materials are added to eLr, and subscribers are mailed the then current version on a CD every 6 months.
An installation program containing the current version is also kept on our website and anyone can download and install this. If you are a current subscriber and have previously installed eLr-Offline from one of our CDs, then this download will update your installed program. If you are not a current subscriber, then the same download will install an "unregistered" version for your evaluation.
If you'd like to try this, here is a few quick overview of the process. If you're not familiar with downloading and installing programs from the web it would probably help to have some experienced assistance the first time or two. The steps are -
- 1. Go the eLr-Offline page on our website www.elr.com.au/offline
- 2. Fill in the simple "contact details" form, click the "Next" button, and then click the "Download now" link on the next page
- 3. Select to save the program "elr-oi.exe" to a location you'll be able to find it later
- 4. Once the download is complete, locate the installation program (elr-oi.exe) and run it.
Note: We thorougly test for viruses etc before we place each version onto the website, but it is always advisable to use a current virus scanner with any downloaded program
- 5. Follow the usual installation prompts. The new version should overwrite your current installed version,and it should automatically recognize your registered subscriber status
- 6. Once successfull, you don't neeed to keep the downloaded installer.
It's usually not necessary to uninstall each old version, but if you find that you are treated as an "Unregistered User" try an "uninstall" followed by a "re-install". If your need more information or help troubleshooting, please feel free to cantact us.
This is a social story about managing the urge to hit people or animals. The vocabulary is small - 23 words - and the syntax is simple. The same structures recur. This Rude Reader in Volume 5 begins with "I want to hit my dad" = putting the urge into print. The next page has a high teaching load - "Don't hit your dad" = the social rule; "He will be hurt" = the consequence; "That's not OK" = the judgement; "So don't hit you dad" = the approved behaviour. The main teaching points are that people and animals can be hurt; it is not OK to cause hurt; it is OK to hit inanimate things - quite a philosophic stretch for such a small story. Animate nouns - dad, mum, dog, baby are alternated with inanimate nouns - pillow, ball, bag, bed. There's something very satisfying about the structural symmetry of Don't Hit Dad.
ELR 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.
- Products: The current ELR Software - Product Brochure, in PDF format.
- eLr-Offline: Compiled, "mirror" version of the eLr (Extra Language Resources) website which you may download and run on your own PC. Allows access to the eLr Directory and all tasks from locations where regular access to the Internet is not possible.
- Word Meanings: Volume One. Trialware, Interactive Language Program designed to build understanding and recall of words by strengthening semantic processing, based on the therapy manual Building Language: Word Meanings by Robyn Dower and Jan Mackey's, Helios Art and Book Co, 1996.
- Rude Readers: Volumes One to Five. Trialware, eBook type programs each containing 5 "Readers" intended primarily for children with speech, language and reading disorders. They are intended to stimulate humour and provide material targeting a range of language goals.
- Rude Readers Library: A single "Table of Contents" program for all published volumes of Rude Readers containing brief descriptions and the full, cross-referenced Speech Pathology Targets for each published Reader.
- eLr Directory (Summary): Summary of eLr Directory in print-ready PDF format. Contains all the classification information but no listing of actual tasks and task numbers. (The full version is available only to eLr subscribers.)
- EIA Browser: A specialised Browser for Internet training and access for people with disabilities and other special needs.
- EIA Demonstration: Demonstration of EIA Browser, AAP and Web Tutorial modules to let you see, or show others, how the EIA Browser and its Plugin modules (the AAP and the Web Tutorial) "look and feel".
- EIA Flyer: MS Publisher format flyer and some original graphics. Prepared for an EIA "See me - Feel me- Touch me" promotion. May be freely used/modified as required.
- Black Window: Enhance visibility and reduce distractibility of other programs. Fills the screen with a black background which remains underneath other programs. Mininmize or close the program to restore normal Windows appearance.
- APAR-C: Allows delivery of the APAR (Assessment of Phonological Awareness and Reading) from a computer using either a scan-switch (such as the Discover Switch), or conventional mouse/keyboard, or touchscreen. Also contains all the score sheets and stimulus cards.
- APAR/PDF (zipped): APAR (Assessment of Phonological Awareness and Reading) in print-ready PDF format (zipped). Contains all the score sheets and stimulus cards.
- WordCue Trainer: Installs WordCue and the WordCue Trainer on your computer. WordCue provides assistance 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 MS Internet Explorer Browser
- Literacy Online: Mirror of Literacy Online web site. This is the full (except for external links) set of files (.htm/.js/.css/.gif/.jpg) that constitute the Literacy Online web site.
- Jul - December 2005
- Melbourne workshops
Currently in planning stage - please contact us if you have an interest
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Copyright ©2005 ELR Software Pty Ltd
ELR Software Pty Ltd|
PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309|
1800 018 309
+61 3 5156 8309
(03) 5156 8609|
+61 3 5156 8609