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 -
One hundred and eight tasks which use MouthSounds model have been modified to include adult faces (man and woman) as well as the existing child faces (girl and boy) for more appropriate use with a wider range of clients. This model uses images drawn to specifically indicate the oro-facial features for the production of consonant and vowel sounds. It is designed to be used within interventions for people who have delays or impairments in use of sounds - articulation or expressive phonology disorders, and it appears in both Phonology sections ("Phonology - Later Sounds", and "Phonology - Skills and Early Sounds") in the initial consonant+vowel (CV) and final vowel+consonant (VC) positions of all subsections.
The aim of this model is to assist in the development of the learner's ability to produce a target sound in short CV or VC syllables. The default presentation displays two faces on the screen: one face depicts the target sound which may be a consonant (eg the /k/ sound) or a vowel (eg the /ee/ vowel); and the other face depicts the second sound in the short syllable. If the target is a consonant, the second face depicts a vowel, and vice versa if the target sound is a vowel. The learner is encouraged to observe the faces and say the first sound and blend this sound with the second sound (eg /k-ee/). Following feedback from the clinician or support person about accuracy of production, the learner may be encouraged to blend the target sound with a series of sounds (eg /k-oo/, /k-ah/) which are displayed using the "Go" button.
This activity may be modified to suit the needs of the learner. For example, by selecting "single" (on the top of the screen), only one face appears at a time encouraging a slower blending rate if required. By selecting "random" there is a random presentation of the second sound. The letters representing each sound (eg "k" for the /k/ sound, "ee" for the /ee/ sound) may be disabled by selecting "images" (ie only images appear on the screen).
While this model has been very useful for children with speech sound disorders, the addition of adult faces means that it may now be be useful when working with adults who have severe impairments in speech production (eg people who have verbal dyspraxia following a stroke). Or it may provide additional fun for children - for example, the child may be encouraged to "teach mum how to say this sound".
The lowercase "a" character has been changed to a "single-story" version in all eLr tasks for which letters or words containing "a" are used. This change is in response to periodic subscriber feedback that our use of the "double-story" version can be difficult for children to read because reading and spelling instruction usually teaches the "single-story" style. As there are a wide variety of fonts used in different school districts, it's not really feasible to change to one which would satisfy all eLr users. Instead, we've retained, but modified, the existing arial font as this is a reasonably neutral font.
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.
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.
- Speech Pathology Australia - VIC Private Practice Seminar:
We will have trade stand at this seminar. Please contact us for further details
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.
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