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There is a great deal of functional software for student who are visually impaired to learn, including JAWS and Zoomtext. However, even children that are ready for JAWS need a break in their day to do something that is interesting to them. A variety of software is available that makes sounds and may increase a child's interest in using the computer.

Below are some programs that have sound, speech, etc. and can be beneficial as well as fun.


 

IntelliTools

Try software by IntelliTools, and the TACK-TILES KEYPAD for IntelliKeys. IntelliTools software creation tools such as IntelliPics, IntelliTalk II, etc. provide a lot of flexibility in the approach to enjoying the computer. IntelliTools has software that will run on PCs or Macintosh computers. Their web site http://www.intellitools.com/ has an activity exchange with scores of programs free to download. New programs are added frequently. Only a few are specifically focused on the visually impaired. The KEYPAD is very new to the market. I've played around with modifying programs I've downloaded from that site written for use by the sighted. It's not very difficult in many cases. Get TACK-TILES Keypad at http://www.tack-tiles.com.

Math Flash

I hope you will try Math Flash from APH (The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.). It has sounds, speech, animated characters, helps improve math skills, and is actually fun! (A child could work the problems mentally and/or on his abacus.) Math Flash runs on a PC with Windows 95 or later. It is recommended for ages 6 years and up. It is easily modified from super easy to increasingly difficult - very user friendly. You have to promise to let your student or child use it most of the time; don't worry he'll let you have a turn so you too can have a little fun!

The cost is $24. You can even download a demo version before you spend the money. Check it out at:
http://www.aph.org/
http://www.aph.org/tech/mf_info.htm 

Magic Match

We have the game Magic Match by MindsEye2. It is a matching game with various themes. It can be played alone or with a second player who is blind or sighted. My son likes this game; he is in the second grade. Magic Match has really helped him with keyboarding skills! I would highly recommend this product. 

 

The above information was gleaned from the AER listserv and edited by Information Resources at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.