Monday, September 17, 2012

Picture Symbols and two Icons

Well, I just found out that after 18 years of working to help students read and write Jim and Jean Slater, founders of Slater Software retired and closed the doors of Slater Software.  Jim was a software designer, and Jean a Speech Pathologist.  Conveniently, they are married, and so they had all the expertise they needed in-house!  Their literacy tools were easy to use, intuitive, and highly effective. So, they've retired.  That's the bad news. 
Literacy Tools

The good news, is that while the Slaters have retired (and I hope they are enjoying themselves), their incredible products are still being offered by Suncastle Technology

Also a good thing is that they continue to make available a number of terrific free resources, some specifically tied to their software, but much of it usable with any pdf viewer.  You can find the page to the right here.


For example, they have a number of free social stories such as: Drinking Fountain, Back to School, Power Outage, etc.  

See the "Getting Ready for School" check-list to the left, or download it here.  The site offers clear and practical directions for using their materials, such as here: "Print this page and cover with clear contact paper or laminate. Attach an eraseable marker with string and tape. As your child completes each task, he can mark them. Soon all his morning tasks will be completed and he can say, "I am ready for school!"  Erase the marks, and he is ready for another morning's chores!" 

PixAide Widget
One last free-bee that I really like, and use often is the PixAide Mac widget. Download it here. Any time you need a picture symbol, enter the word, click search and ta-da! You can then drag and drop the icon onto your desktop and use it how you wish.

The field of Assistive Technology and education are better for the Slater's work.  In a later blog I will look more closely at Pix Writer ($99) and Picture It ($99), the two programs from Slater Software that I use most often. In the meantime, know that they use their own picture symbols, they cost less than most of competitor's products, and offer both Mac and PC versions.


Until then, Happy Therapy!

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