March 2014

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. Word Meanings for iPad Released
  2. A Few Technical Issues
  3. New eLr Materials
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2014 Calendar

  1. Word Meanings for iPad Released

    We are pleased to announce that an iPad App version of Word Meanings is now in the Apple App Store.

    It is a joint development between ELR Software and Words Work, and is based on the therapy manual, many of you will know, called Building Language: Word Meanings by Robyn Dower and Jan Mackey, Helios Art and Book Co, 1996. This App covers Picture Meanings, Spoken Word - Picture Links, and Written Word - Picture Links and provides a personal iPad version of the computerized Windows program which has been available for some years.

    Word Meanings for iPad is an interactive language therapy program targeted particularly at adult aphasia and grounded in the theory of cognitive neuropsychology and the neuroscience of neuroplasticity. The App uses natural voice instructions and responses, and is designed to build understanding and recall of words by strengthening semantic processing. It enables repeated practice and the opportunity for reinforcement of word meanings at an error-free level.

    You can find this App by searching the App Store for "Word Meanings". If you'd like to publish a professional review of the App we can provide a "promo code" for free access. Please contact us for further details, or for the book, Windows CD and related products, view the Words Work website at www.buildinglanguage.com.au.

  2. A Few Technical Issues

    Firstly, our eLr-Offline for iPad App has had a small make-over this month to to give it a slightly more "iOS7" look. Basically a white status bar and simpler icons - the overall function and operation is unchanged.

    And on the topic of the eLr-Offline for iPad App, some have asked why it doesn't "zoom and pinch" like some others do. We had early feedback that, when working with children especially, a stable screen that couldn't be made to "jump around" was important. But we acknowledge that some controls are a little too small for easy touch access. That will be addressed in future upgrades, but for the present a simple and often useful workaround is to activate the iOS7 "General-Accessibility-Zoom" function. This allows any App to be predictably zoomed in/out with a simple "three finger" tap. We find this to be a widely useful function for many Apps and especially when using an iPad-mini.

    Lastly, apologies to those who've had problems printing the images in eLr tasks. Since the around the start of 2014 a number of users have reported that pages were printing without the included images! People were blaming new computer, new printers and so on. This bug proved one of the more intractable we've had to deal with and was finally traced to a server issue following a change in our website hosting provider. So, should now be fixed for all users, but please let us know if you still have issues.

  3. New eLr Materials

    Twenty-three new tasks have been added to "Phonology - Skills & Early Sounds" in a new subsection in "Vowel sounds" called "Diphthong vowel sounds". The aim of these tasks is to provide material targeting production of the diphthong vowel sounds in English. These include the /ay/ sound as in "day", /ow/ as in "boat", /i/ as in "pie", /ou/ as in "house", /oy/ as in "boy", /eer/ as in "deer", and /air/ as in "bear". Two models have been used. The PicCards model displays "cards" on the screen, which when clicked (or touched on the iPad) turn over to reveal the target image/word. The Slide show model presents the target image/word one at a time, thus presenting an activity with minimal distraction.

    Once an image is revealed the client may be encouraged to produce the single words containing the target vowel sound, or use the word in a phrase or sentence to encourage generalisation of skill to conversational speech. In these tasks, the role of a speech pathologist is central in providing initial assessment and guiding practice where a support person may provide prompts and feedback about accurate production of these vowel sounds in words. This section may be useful for children or adults who have difficulty in the verbal production of speech sounds.

  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 2014 Calendar

    ELR Software is also able to offer free 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 ©2014 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309
1800 018 309
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