What’s the Write App?

AOTA conference 2015I was excited to be invited to participate in the Appy Hour at AOTA’s 95th Annual Convention in Nashville Tennessee. So I am enjoying the convention, the speakers and the vendors hall – I can’t believe the all the vendors present! Amazing!

Our Appy Hour presentation, “What’s the Write App” features five apps on the topic of writing for school aged students (from pre-handwriting, handwriting, customizable writing app, universal keyboard app and an annotation/ form filling app for dysgraphia and LD students). Brittany Hand MOT, OTR/L, PhD Student, Graduate Research Associate  will be co-presenting at the session.

Access to our handout can be found at this link:  “What’s the Write App” . The handout has information on the apps as well as feature matches, mobile equipment  lists and a reference list. We will also be having periodic drawings for  app codes and equipment supplied by generous developers and vendors. Come and join us!

Carol of OT’s with Apps

Posted in Accessories, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, AT for Handwriting, Dysgraphia, Early Childhood, Handwriting, iPad, Occupational Therapy, Pre-writing, Third Party Keyboards, Word Prediction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Styluses, Cases, Keyboard and Mounts – Oh My! Favorite Accessories for Mobile Devices

stylus cases mounts pic

Oh My! So many choices!

Oh My ! So many choices. Mobile device equipment can include access devices, cases, and mounts along with direct access methods such as styluses , head pointers and switches. There are many to choose from and the best, well that depends… The link below provides an equipment list of some of my favorite mobile device equipment and accessories. For switch access see the resources below.

OT’s with Apps Mobile Device Equipment List  (Stands, cases and mounts)

OT’s with Apps Stylus List for Kids and Mature Users

Switch devices, is it’s own specialty in itself , I believe,  and not included  in the above list. The link below provides a resource list of switch interfaces and apps for mobile devices:

Switch Interface and App Resources for Mobile Devices

What are your favorite mobile device accessories?



Posted in Accessibility, Accessories, Android, Assistive Technology, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Switches | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Occupational Therapy Month – Share Your Favorite OT Resources

Occupational therapy month wordle

April is National Occupational Therapy Month! As OT’s I think we have a lot to celebrate. Growth in jobs continues to expand and as an OT we have many venues that we can specialize in – and all so interesting, in my opinion. Resources are readily at our finger tips, whether in apps on a mobile device, online materials from AOTA, webinars for free or purchase from your computer, OT resources such as Pinterests  and blogs with amazing resources!  My, how times have changed!

For Occupational Therapy Month here are a few great OT website that provide you with wonderful digital resources (you probably are well aware of them already). We have so many resources that are readily available on almost anything!  Here are just a few that are geared to OT’s working in pediatrics:

Your Therapy Source – Provides free and purchase pediatric OT/PT related activities. The Your Therapy Blog is also another great resource of OT and PT information, short articles and research information. I always find some interesting blog post.

Therapy Fun Zone – has amazing resources for pediatric therapists. Activities, forms, games, equipment, recipes and much more is found in this organized, and resourceful blog. A wealth of information for pediatric therapists!

OT Plan – another fabulous site for occupational therapy resources categorized by Skill, Materials and Plan.  Great resources and ideas for therapy.

Therapy Street for Kids – Website with activities for home programming for families, teachers and occupational therapists.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy Tips – Written by Dr. Anne Zachry, this pediatric website provides a wide variety of OT activities and topics. Certainly is well worth checking out.

Mama OT – A pediatric OT blog with tips and trick for those who care for children.

Of course there are many more. Hopefully there will be time to post more!

Suggested pediatric websites you want to share? Please share in a comment.


Posted in Occupational Therapy, Pediatrics, School Based Interventions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Apps Gone Free !

freeHere are a few more apps gone free (not sure for how long) that might be useful in your OT mTool Kit. I have not had an opportunity to try them out but they look worthy, plus they are FREE…

urTalker liteurTalker Lite app (free; normally 6.99; Pro 9.99, normally 24.99) for iPhone and iPad. Affordable communication app designed with the individual and their unique needs in mind. urTalker comes with default categories and images and provides the ability to create any number of additional categories, load any type of image and most importantly record your voice for use with those images and words. The UrTalker Pro version on sale for 9.99 provides symbols in categories and the option to schedule categories to appear at a certain time.

Eureka iconEureka app (free; normally .99) provides a simple to do list. An alternative to do list.

Calendar and Reminder Alarm Helper iconCalendar & Reminder Alarm Helper app (free; normally 1.99) for iPhone and iPad provides reminders and task lists. A nagging reminder feature is available (this is my kind of reminder app!). Some people just need a persistent, repeated reminder to be effective. Sounds worth trialing .

123 Kids Fun Paper Puzzle Game icon123 Kids Fun Paper Puzzle Game app (free; normally .99) for iPhone and iPad is a puzzle game for preschooler with over 60 puzzles. Add a new puzzle app to your collection for free.

Word Search for Kids 2 iconWord Search for Kids 2 app (free; normally .99) for iPhone and iPad provides large print letter grid for word searching. Ten words to search present for a simpler visual task. Suggested for kindergarten, 1 and 2 grade, however appears content appropriate for adults with exception of the name.

iRehab Back pain iconiRehab Back Pain app (free: normally 9.99) for iPhone and iPad provides questions and suggestions for treating back pain.

Voice Keyboard Pro iconVoice Keyboard Pro app for iPhone and iPad ( free; normally 9.99) is a 3rd party keyboard with voice and translation capabilities. Uses Google translate for the voice engine. I can’t wait to test this out!

More for your OT mTool Kit.





Posted in Accessibility, Apps for OT's, Apps for PT's, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, Augmentative Communication, Early Childhood, Free apps, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Memory, Third Party Keyboards | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Autism Month Free Apps

Apps freeAutism Awareness Month always brings a host of free apps in addition to other apps gone free! Here are a few apps gone free on 4/3/2015 that you might want to consider for your teaching, parent or OT mTool Kit:

This for That Visual Schedule iconThis for That: Visual Schedule app (iOS; free) is a simple visual schedule app developed by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Create step by step visual schedules using pictures from you photo album or camera. No audio recording options are available. Very easy to use.

This for That Token Store iconThis for That: Token Store (iOS; free) is a simple token, reward system app developed by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Earn token and purchase rewards from the store. Simple and easy to use.

Word Flex Touch Dictionary iconWord Flex Touch Dictionary (iOS free; normally 11.99) is a visual dictionary that mind maps synonyms, antonyms, slang usage and definitions to a word. Appropriate for secondary and post secondary students.

Recorder pro iconRecorder Pro app (iOS free; normally 1.99) recording app with file management, saving/renaming, emailing and more capabilities.


Thinking Time Pro iconThinking Time Pro – Cognitive Skills for Early Learning (iOS free; normally 4.99) provides concentration, memory and reasoning activities in a game based app.

Quick Math Jr iconQuick Math app by Shiny Things (iOS free; normally 2.99) provides math concepts for 3-7 year olds including counting addition and  subtraction requiring visual motor skills.

Know of any other apps gone free? Share!



Posted in Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autism Awareness Month 2015

Autism awareness month 2

April is Autism Awareness Month and there are always many initiatives occurring to raise awareness. Along with the initiative amazing resources are available on the topic of Autism. Autism Speaks.org is one organization that provides information on ASD including free Tool Kits for families and stakeholders.  Among their free Tool Kits are several guides on  self-care skills and strategies. The kits provide practical information, visual communication materials, step by step visuals of the self care task, resources and video modeling of the task. Here are just a few of their Tool Kits that feature self-care tasks:

Tips for Successful Hair Cuts Training Guide


Parents Guide to Toilet Training in Autism


ATN/AIR-P Sleep Tool Kit for Teens and Young Children



Dental Tool Kit – Offers suggestions for dental care and dentist office visits including visual communication checklists. Information is also provided for Dental Professionals to help understand the unique needs of individuals with ASD. Numerous other resources are also available at this link on the subject.

Dental guide
My Healthy Smile iconMy Healthy Smile (iOS; 1.99) is an app that teaches oral health and eases anxiety recommended on the website. Recommendations of electronic books on the subject of dental care,  such as Sam the Sugar Bug (Android free; iOS free ) are also available.

Same and the Sugar Bug pic1 Android

Autism Speaks.org provides many other Tool Kit topics that are well worth checking out as resources to share with families and others supporting individuals with ASD.

More for your OT Tool Kit and Autism Awareness Month.


Posted in Activities of Daily Living, Android, Autism, iOS, Self Care | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Caduceus with a SALT Tip – a Highly Adaptable Stylus

caduceus 8

iFaraday Caduceus Stylus with SALT Tip

I was very excited to receive my order of the SALT stylus tip, a new interchangeable tip for the Caduceus Stylus , made by iFaraday.  The Caduceus Stylus is an appealing stylus featuring a bendable shaft and very light making it well suited for individuals with grasp and motor control challenges. Made with a flexible core (but yet rigid enough to maintain positioning when used) and plastic coating, this stylus can be bent to almost any configuration. Total length of the Caduceus is 15″. It  weighs 20 grams, so light you can hardly feel this stylus when applied.

Caduceus stylus

Prior trials of the Caduceus stylus with its original flat, found activation was very challenging for the clients I trialed.  The tip  of the Caduceus had to be vertical to the surface and directly on the target for activation. Although a great concept, use was frustrating and effortful with the clients trialed due to the difficulty with the specific contact required for activation on a capacitive screen.

iFaraday now offers an alternative tip, the SALT tip, which offers a highly sensitive tip resulting in easy activation from many angles with minimal pressure. After purchasing the SALT tip it was easily exchanged with unscrewing and screwing the original and new SALT tips (SALT tip below has the rounded tip).

iFaraday replaceable tips

caduceus 5

Here is a video of the SALT tip showing use when held in a variety of angles:

Trials of the Caduceus stylus with SALT tip with iOS visual motor apps found the stylus   sensitive, accurate and easy to use. With recent interest in a finger stylus,  I added a Velcro strap to secure the stylus to my index finger which allowed me to see the screens contents when drawing. Repositioning the stylus can easily be done for ease of viewing contents or placement on a finger.

caduceus pic2

Other modifications that might be necessary if tone interferes with positioning of fingers might include using a magic glove with the index finger cut out to reduce accidental touches of the hand or fingers. Positioning of the tablet also may be helpful.

Here is a quick video of the Caduceus stylus with SALT tip in action:

With the addition of the SALT tip, the Caduceus stylus can be adapted for many clients with motor challenges. Just using the SALT tip as a finger stylus might work!

More for your OT mTool Kit.






Posted in iPad, iPod, Occupational Therapy, Accessibility, Stylus, Physical Disability Tool, iPhone, Accessories, Rehabilitation, Assistive Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments