May 2006

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) as well as a "print-ready" PDF version of the current edition is available online at www.elr.com.au/news. An email version is also sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing).

In this issue -

  1. ELR at the Speech Pathology Australia Conference
  2. Build-a-Sentence - more Information
  3. New eLr Materials
  4. Queensland Workshops - June 2006
  5. Other Independent Developers
  6. Free Downloads
  7. ELR 2006 Calendar

  1. ELR at the Speech Pathology Australia Conference

    ELR Software has an exhibitor stand at the National Speech Pathology Conference in Fremantle (May 21st - 25th 2006) - table 44. We look forward to meeting you, and showing you our programs. If you a subscriber to eLr, please feel free to come up and say hello. Many current subscribers find it very useful to have a look at the new materials and chat about the ways they have been using the various activities. Frequently they discover new areas that are applicable to their caseload, and discover a range of other ways to use tasks they have already been using.

  2. Build-a-Sentence - more Information

    We are excited to be launching our new product Build-a-Sentence at the conference. This program is a joint development between 2 clinicians in Sydney - Virginia Long and Helen Goltzoff, and ELR Software. Virginia and Helen had developed the concept as card game. Over the past few years we have been working with Virginia and Helen to produce Build-a-Sentence as a computer program. So people at the conference will be the first to see the program, and can give us feedback. As with all of our programs, we invite suggestions for modifications and changes.

    Build-a-Sentence aims to strengthen the client's ability to produce an increasing length of utterance. The program enables the client to practice single word utterances (naming people, actions, and items). It then provides an interactive activity which encourages the client to produce 2 and 3 part sentences. These may be subject - verb, verb - object, and subject - verb - object. Pictures are displayed as on-screen cards grouped according to their role in a sentence ie subject/verb/object. The client selects one or more cards (depending on the complexity level desired) and once the selections are completed a picture illustrating the completed sentence is displayed. All cards and sentences may spoken by the computer as they appear.

    The complexity and presentation of the task can be varied to suit the needs of the client. The vocabulary available for selection may be selected to suit client needs and the sentence length can be changed from one, two or three parts. The speech reinforcement and text can also be switched on or off

    The program also contains games which are designed to reinforce knowledge of the vocabulary, to enable spontaneous use of phrases and sentences..... and to have fun.The games include:

    1. slide show - a simple "movie show" that displays the subject, verb or object pictures one at a time, enabling spontaneous naming and description
    2. memory - has sets of paired cards (again subject, verb or object) "upside down" on the screen which flip over when clicked. Matching pairs stay up. The vocabulary and the number of cards displayed can be selected to suit client needs
    3. magic paint - this game focuses on the completed scenes depicting the subject - verb - object scenes. The client uses the mouse as a "scratch and reveal" brush. The shape of the brush can be selected (star, square, triangle, circle), and the size of the brush can be modified. You can also select to do the task using continuous brush strokes, or click to reveal the scene in single steps.

  3. New eLr Materials

    This month there are 20 new tasks in "Sentence Processing - Multiclause sentences". They all use the model, Typing with phrases, and provide material to practice three conjunctions - "when", "but" and "even though". This model had new functions added a couple of months ago which increases its flexibility and enables your clients to do each task at different levels of difficulty. These tasks provides support to decode words and comprehend the meaning of sentences.

    When the task loads the client is presented with a sentence that is broken into phrases. The task is to rearrange the phrases so that the sentence makes sense. If this level is too challenging, the prompt (the target sentence) can be revealed, by clicking the prompt button. The client can then complete the sentence by matching the words, or s/he can read the sentence, remove the prompt and rearrange the phrases by recalling the sentence s/he had just read. These variations in level of difficulty enable the client to attempt a challenge, but if it proves to be too difficult, a prompt is available.

    A further level of difficulty may then be attempted. By clicking "word", the sentence is presented as a 'rearrange the word' activity, which is more challenging. Some clients may wish to use this mode on the first try, but for those clients with reduced skill, the rearrange word activity may be attempted after they have rearranged the phrases. As an extension to the tasks, the clients may be encouraged to rearrange the phrases or words in as many different ways as possible. This strengthens flexibility in sentence production, and increases the understanding that by changing word order, the meaning of the sentence is changed. As each new sentence is made, the client may be encouraged to write the sentence. This is especially useful if spelling skills need to be reinforced.

  4. Queensland Workshops - June 2006

    We plan to be in the Brisbane area between Monday 19th June and Friday 23rd June. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a free workshop. These workshops are usually 1.5 hours long, and provide an overview of our software. It is a good opportunity for people who have not seen the software, and also for current users to find out more about how to use and modify activities.

  5. Other Independent Developers

    As an occasional feature of this Newsletter, we include simple, unpaid announcements of products developed by other small, independent developers, who, like ourselves, are practising clinicians who have put their ideas and experience into resource materials for general distribution. Links and brief information about these sites may be found at www.elr.com.au/links/developers.htm. To date we have listed -

    If you would like your materials listed on this page (at no charge), please contact us.

  6. Free Downloads

    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.

  7. ELR 2006 Calendar

Subscribing/Unsubscribing to this Newsletter

You are receiving ELR-News because you are an eLr subscriber, or have expressed an interest in either eLr, Rude Readers, Word Meanings or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2006 ELR Software Pty Ltd

Postal 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