February 2012

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), Build-a-Sentence, Word Meanings, Rude Readers 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. Remembering Robyn Dower
  2. Looking back on 2011
  3. New eLr Materials
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2012 Calendar

  1. Remembering Robyn Dower

    We were saddened to learn of the passing of Robyn Dower, co-author with Jan Mackey of the therapy manual Building Language: Word Meanings. The ELR team worked with them to produce our computerised version of this material. Robyn, her skills and her professionalism will be much missed.

  2. Looking back on 2011

    It's always a useful thing to review progress, and each year we provide you with a brief reflection on the developments that have occurred in eLr. During 2011 we added 475 new tasks focusing on:

    In 2011 we celebrated our 10 year eLr anniversary, passed 11,000 activities, and achieved full browser access for Mac and iPad. To celebrate these landmarks we ran an Apple iPad draw in July at the Darwin Speech Pathology Australia Conference. To enter the draw we asked you to provide us with feedback about what you have found useful in eLr and some ideas about your wish list. The feedback was fantastic. It's obvious that eLr is working well for many people, and your generous entries have provided us with ideas about how to continue to develop this resource. Congratulations once again to the winner, DECS in South Australia.

    In response to your feedback we developed a new User Guide called "Where Is?". The eLr "Directory" is organised according to language areas such as Semantics, Phonology, Reading and Spelling etc. But it is often the case that one activity can be used for a number of different goals. So "Where Is?" provides an alternative method for locating tasks that can be used for specific goals. Some examples of the current "Where Is" guides are "Word Finding", "Basic Concepts", "Similarities and Differences" and "Non-words for Literacy".

    Although we've made progress on an iPad "app" version of eLr-Offline, it's not yet quite ready for release. We'll announce further progress in future Newsletters. The other major enhancement for eLr-Offline has been an automatic update mechanism. This allow user to collect a current version of the program and their registered access "key" via an internet connection.

    As always, we welcome feedback about any eLr feature, and we wish you all the best for 2012.

  3. New eLr Materials

    42 new tasks have been added to "Phonology - Later Sounds - Phonemic awareness for this sound" in the /s/ blend, /l/ blend and /r/ blend subsections.

    This continues the work we have been doing to develop activities targeting phonemic awareness for children who have difficulty producing specific sounds (articulation or speech production problems). With these additions there are now pictorial and word based phonemic awareness activities for /k, g, f, v, s, sh, zh, ch, dge, l, r, th, y/, s blends, l blends and r blends.

    The new tasks are word based using the Word sound buttons model which strengthens the ability to break words into sounds. A word appears on the screen. The helper reads out the word, or, if the child is developing literacy skills, the helper supports the child to read the word. The child is then encouraged to verbally "sound out" the word, and then click buttons to confirm how that word is broken into sounds. By clicking the buttons the spelling for each sound is revealed. For example the word "skin" is shown as "s-k-i-n", and the word "speech" as "s-p-ee-ch". This activity reinforces letter sound relationships, an important skill in literacy development.

    The role of the clinician or helper is critical in all of these tasks to deliver the verbal stimuli, provide feedback, and encourage strategies to increase auditory processing skills.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. ELR 2012 Calendar

    ELR Software is now able to offer eLr support and short tutorials over the web. We can provide this sort of support to individuals, or to groups who would like to have an overview of eLr. Please contact us for details.

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, Build-a-Sentence or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2012 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
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