Saturday, January 23, 2021

Hey Tek-ninjas! Here’s a friendly reminder to assume competency and potential!
Happy therapy!


Friday, January 22, 2021

Youtube Recommendation for you!

Hey Tek-ninjas! today I want to share with you a Youtube Channel made my one of my colleagues, Anya Slinde, MS CCC SLP. She has a ton of really great short tutorials for all things Tobii Dynavox. And, as a SLP rather than an OT (me) she brings a subtly different approach. I am consistently impressed by her content - it's concise and easy to follow. 

Here's a video titled Virtual Setup, Getting Started : Quick Assist Tutorial. It really terrific, and worth a watch. Be sure to subscribe to her channel to get updates when she posts something new!

Happy Therapy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Update for Sensory Eye-FX

 Hey Tek-ninjas! If you are working with an eye-gaze user who benefits from the amazing Magic Eye FX access games on the Tobii Dynavox i-13 and i-16 from Sensory Guru, you may have noticed lately that it stopped working. I mentioned these games awhile back in this post

This was a result of Adobe Flash retirement. The folks at Sensory Guru are aware of the issue, and they are working hard on a fix. 

On their blog they write: "In the very short term this is no immediate fix for this issue but we are working on it now and exploring a variety of options. Rest assured that we will have an update and we will endeavor to make it available to all Sensory Eye FX customers as soon as possible.

Please bear with us and keep an eye on our social channels for pending updates:

Facebook: @sensorygurultd

Twitter: @sensoryguru"

I will be watching, and when an update comes forth, I'll let you know!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Switching it up

 Hey Tek-ninjas! Today I want to talk about a recent find that has me excited. 

Warfighter Engaged is "a 501(C)3, volunteer charitable non-profit with a mission to improve the lives of severely wounded and disabled warfighters through custom adapted devices. They modify video game controllers, make prosthetic enhancements, recreational and other novel devices for greater independence". For access to communication systems or computers and the population many of us work with, this means switches! 

A friend mentioned them on Facebook, and when I went to check them out, I was impressed by their mission AND their low prices. Today, my order arrived, and I'm equally  impressed by their build quality. 

I purchased a single switch, called the Solo. This switch has a nice heft to it. It appears to be made with a 3D printer, and the action on the button feels good. Additionally, it has non skid rubber feet, and sticks nicely to my wooden dinning room table. The Solo retailed for the unbelievably low price of $28. Competition, if you don't know, retails for $60 and up. If this was the only product they offer, I'd be impressed, but it's not! 

I also purchased a double switch, called the Duo-T. This switch has the same build quality, button action, and rubber feet on the bottom. It retails for only $55. I paired it with Snap Core First on an iSeries. I setup a scanning page with 2-step scanning and was very pleased to see it work with no other editing. 

In my eagerness I purchased the Mouse-X, a joystick and mouse interface. It retails for $30. This is 100% my fault, but in my eagerness, and because I didn't read the decription, I was thinking it was simply a switch to PC interface. It's not - it's much more. I reached out to Warfighter Engaged, they heard my issue, and responded to me within a few hours. Ken offered to customize it to what I need. He was so accommodating. I opted to keep it, and order another one, getting it customized to my needs. I'll report back when I've tried it. 

Finally, this is out of stock, but they offer a Proximity switch called the SOLOProx for only $45. If you don't know, a proximity switch is a non-contact sensor switch device. It will act like a switch when you place your hand or finger within 1.5cm (3/4”) of the top surface.  As soon as it comes into stock, you bet, I'll order one.  A leading producing of proximity switches retails theirs for $225. I'll report back after I get one! 

So. If you are in need of switches to facilitate communication or computer access, consider checking out Warfighter Engaged. Their products are top notch. They are super affordable. They are working hard to facilitate and provide access to meaningful occupations for our wounded and disabled veterans. And if you don't find what you need, it's very likely they can and will be willing to fabricate it for you! 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Do you know about Pageset Central?

 Hey Tek-ninjas!!! Happy New Year! Wow... what a start to 2021. Not a dull moment. Annnd that's all I'm gonna say on that note. 😊

Today I want to look at another really terrific, but imo under-utilized resource from Tobii Dynavox. Let's take a look at Pageset Central.

Per the home page: "Pageset Central provides inspiration and ideas for use with the Tobii Dynavox communication software. Easily search for and download pagesets that have been created by other users, or upload and share the content that you’ve created. This is the central idea of Pageset Central - to give and take!"

The beauty of these pagesets is that once you download them, like all pagesets, they are fully customizable. So, even if they are not a perfect fit for your user, they can provide a framework, and much of the elbow grease to make a personalized pageset. 

The video below demonstrates how to search, navigate, and save pagesets. It also shows a "Circle Time Activity" pageset that I made awhile back and often share with classroom teachers. 

If you've made a pageset that you think is cool, or that other's might appreciate, consider sharing your creation with the Tobii Dynavox community! Simply upload the pageset to your account, click the "Share" link that appears below the pageset and follow the steps to share to Pageset Central. Obviously, make sure you have no identifying information in the pageset you are sharing!

While anyone can peruse Pageset Central, and even download pagesets to their computer, to reap all the benefits, I recommend making a free mytobiidynavox account. 

This next video shows a more complicated and very creative way to use Snap Core First to make a "check list". In this case, for bedtime.

Happy exploring, and happy therapy!!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

PODD is here on Snap Core First!

 Hey Tek-ninjas, so it seems that Snap Core First just continues to get better and better. 

Not too long ago, Tobii Dynavox added the Text-literate and Aphasia pagesets. Now, they have rolled out the long anticipated Snap PODD pagesets. For some of you, this is going to be huge!! 

Access to PODD with the super user-friendly and intuitive nature of Snap Core First - that's a pretty compelling combination. Remember, with the Snap engine, your PODD users will have easy access to the built in Boardmaker Player and all the integrated Smart Assistants including Hey Google

Snap PODD will retail for $350, and is available on the Tobii Dynavox website in mid-November. Snap PODD for Windows includes:
  • All PODD pages sets
  • One Windows Snap PODD license
  • One additional Snap PODD license for either iOS or Windows.
  • Free syncing between iOS and Windows versions of the app
  • Free backups and cloud storage
If you are a professional (SLP, OT, SpED, etc) you can access a Professional License which includes PODD AND Gateway Pagesets for free. Learn more about that in this post

Happy therapy!