Technology Tools for the Trade
This educational technology PowerPoint was designed as a resource tool for Deaf
and Hard of Hearing teachers, support staff members (SLPs, OTs, PTs, social
workers, psychologists) and parents. These software tools can be integrated into
the curriculum on a daily basis to support language, literacy, and writing.
Implementing these technology programs will enable students of any age to develop
and strengthen their skills in the content areas.
This program addresses the following ILLINOIS STATE GOALS:
State Goal 3: Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.
State Standard 3.B: Compose well-organized and coherent writing for specific
purposes and audiences.
Benchmark 3.B.1.a: Use prewriting strategies to generate and organize
Benchmark 3.B.1.b: Demonstrate focus, organization, elaboration and
integration in written compositions.
State Standard 3.C: Communicate ideas in writing to accomplish a variety of
Benchmark 3.C.1.a: Write for a variety of purposes including
description, information, explanation, persuasion
Benchmark 3.C.1.b: Create media compositions or productions which
convey meaning visually for a variety of purposes.
Technology Tools for the
Supports that Enhance
Language and Literacy for
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Tech Toolbox:
Boardmaker Pix Writer
Writing with Symbols Kurzweil
Intellitools Classroom Kidspiration/Inspiration
Intellipics Studio Write OutLoud
Intellitalk III Write OutLoud with
Overlay Maker with Co:writer
Intellikeys Interactive White Board
Boardmaker is an electronic collection of
color and black and white picture
communication symbols (PCS) organized
within the following categories: animals,
clothing, descriptors, food, home, health,
leisure, office/school, people, places, social
comments and actions.
The staff uses these picture symbols to create
visual supports throughout classrooms and for
activities, visual cues/prompt systems,
communication boards, picture exchange
systems, stories boards, and much more.
These PCS are also used by the staff within
other technology programs to serve as a visual
Writing with Symbols
In Writing with Symbols, the symbol processor
mode is used most; you write with symbols simply
You can: choose which symbols are shown, find
alternative symbols for a word, choose which
words have symbols, rename a symbol to have
the text you want, personalize the vocabulary, add
your own pictures.
The staff uses this program to provide students
with literacy support, to reinforce syntax/grammar
forms, and to provide sequencing opportunities for
Writing with Symbols
Intellitools Classroom Suite
Intellitools/Cambium Learning Inc.
Intellitools Classroom Suite is a multimedia program
comprised of the following software tools:
Intellitalk III is a talking word processor with auditory
feedback which allows you to read, delete or print text;
other features include a variety of voice and speech
Intellipics Studio is a program which allows you to
create multimedia activities; you can use the pictures in
the Intellipics picture library as well as scanned or digital
images, or clip art images to enable students to make the
images move, grow, or multiply.
Intellitools Classroom Suite
Intellimathics allows students to explore
mathematical concepts such as decimals,
place value, fractions, and geometry through
manipulating two dimensional objects and
interacting with graphs, geometric shapes and
numeric toolbars to name a few.
The DHH staff uses Classroom Suite to have
students access literacy extension activities; to
reinforce concepts from the across academic
areas and community based training; and to
give hands on learning experiences via
Overlay Maker allows you to design your own
keyboard overlays for an Intellikeys (an alternate
keyboard); You can create keys showing letters,
words, phrases and/or pictures. Classroom Suite
allows you to create and use a custom overlay for
each activity which is generated automatically.
The DHH staff uses overlays with the Intellikeys for
students with motoric issues to access various
computer programs and activities related to the
curriculum; overlays are also used for grammar
activities (e.g. sentence formulation) and sequencing
Intellitools Overlays with
Slater Software Inc.
Pix Writer is a talking word processing
program designed for emerging readers and
writers which allows a person to “compose
written documents even if sound symbol
relationships, spelling skills or the alphabet is
not fully developed.”
Person selects buttons consisting of words and
graphics from the bottom of the screen while
the word and the graphic are written at the top
of the screen; words are also spoken as
text/graphics are being written; various speech
and voice features are included.
Pix Writer (cont.)
The DHH staff uses Pix Writer to
provide students with writing
opportunities accompanied with
literacy support, to reinforce
syntax/grammar forms, phonetic
concepts as well as practice oral
language skills and sentence
Kurzweil Education Systems/Cambium Learning Inc.
Kurzweil is a “comprehensive reading, writing and
learning software [program] for any struggling reader,”
which reads out loud scanned documents and allow
the student to highlight, take notes and look up
vocabulary words as s/he is reading.
Our new literacy curriculum is currently being scanned
into Kurzweil; the district already has portions of the
Social Studies curriculum and a collection of picture
books and novels have been scanned into Kurzweil for
staff and student use. The DHH staff offers these
Kurzweil files as an additional auditory and visual
support to aid in reading comprehension and fluency
for their students.
Kidspiration & Inspiration
Inspiration Software, Inc.
These programs are used for creating
and modifying concept maps, webs,
diagrams, knowledge maps and other
graphic organizers. It integrates
diagrams and outlines as tools.
Kidspiration provides auditory support.
It’s a “powerful visual thinking and
learning tool” that helps you and
students brainstorm ideas, organize
information, develop concepts and plan.
Don Johnston Incorporated
SOLO is a set of four software tools that offers
support with the reading (comprehension and
fluency) and writing (planning, organization and
mechanics) process to struggling readers and writers.
The four software programs, Co:Writer, Write
OutLoud, Read Outloud and Draftbuilder are able to
interact with each other or work independently in
order to meet the student’s individual needs in skill
development and assignment completion.
All components of SOLO have auditory support and
word for word highlight tracking for all built in
assignments, student writing, its spell check feature,
and its built-in dictionary.
Co:Writer is a writing software program that incorporates
word prediction and auditory feedback to assist struggling
It is designed to work with a word processor or other text
program (e.g. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.).
Features include choosing the dictionary size, creating
your own topic dictionaries, arranging guesses, and a
varied speech menu.
The DHH staff can utilize this program to support struggling
writers with spelling difficulties which often hinder written
expression. The auditory support that Co:Writer provides
helps the student identify the target word so that s/he can
move along in the writing process. Use and reference to
topic dictionaries enable students to include more
substantial vocabulary in their writing.
SOLO: Write OutLoud
Write OutLoud is a talking word processing
Features include: Variations in text,
background, speech parameters and functions,
It works as a great partner with Co:Writer.
The DHH staff can utilize this program to
provide students with auditory feedback during
the writing process to in that they are more
readily able to monitor their writing, especially
in the area of syntax and semantics.
Write OutLoud with Co:Writer
The whiteboard is a large, wall-mounted
touch screen that students can access via a pen-
mouse. It works with many of the technology
tools already available to the students along with
its own multimedia notepad. The whiteboard is
interactive in that the students can have the
visual and the auditory modalities presented in a
Integration of the whiteboard into the curriculum
allows for increased comprehension in literacy
and language, along with supporting the writing
process. Utilizing the whiteboard enables
students to make more meaningful connections
to the text and their world.