iFaraday Styluses

Caduceus stylus 2

The Faraday Website and Caduceus Stylus is Back!

I had a number of contacts from readers about the links to the Faraday Caduceus Stylus not working, and searches for its existence leading to a disappearing website. Good news, contact with the developer and creator of the Faraday styluses found that a change to a new domain and website was the cause of the temporary disappearance.

The Faraday Stylus website is back up and running with the styluses available for purchase!

If you are not familiar with what the Faraday styluses are they are handmade styluses with mesh tips for capacitive devices such as the iPad, or iPhone. One of the most unique features of the Faraday Caduceus stylus is its incredibly light weight, flexible shaft and connectivity, allowing it to be adaptable for a wide range of client needs.  The Caduceus Stylus is one of few of its kind.

Caduceus stylus

Different tips can be interchanged for the Faraday styluses. My favorite tip is the SALT tip, a very sensitive mesh tip that can make contact at different angles.

caduceus pic2

The Caduceus is one of a kind stylus, resulting in a bit of a panic when the website disappeared. What I learned from contact with the maker, is each stylus is  hand made. The maker/developers website also mentions he will work directly with anyone who needs to try and customize or design a new stylus to fit their needs!

The new Faraday website can be found at: Faraday Stylus (http://fd-stylus.com/wordpress/). Contact information is also available on the website if you have a special need.

So welcome back Faraday Styluses! For OT’s looking for adaptable tools for access, we are happy you are back! Updates to links on the device lists will be forth coming!

Carol –  OT’s with Apps!

Posted in Accessibility, Accessories, Assistive Technology, iPad, Stylus | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ghotit RealWriter App and Ghotit Real Writer Software

Ghotit brand pic

How often are spelling and grammar skills identified as “terrible” or “non-existent”  when evaluating struggling writers for AT tools?

In my experience spelling and grammar challenges are frequently mentioned during AT evaluations when writing is a challenge, whether  secondary or post secondary students or adults in the work place. Although a perfect tech solution for grammar and spelling challenges isn’t available (unless you have immediate access to an English teacher), there are a variety of electronic solutions that help identify spelling and grammar challenges.

Ghotit Real Writer and Reader  is one such solution for spelling and grammar checking. Available as stand alone software for Windows and Mac computers, it also can be purchased as a mobile app for Real Writer – Reader for iOS ,  Android tablets and phones. Developed by and for individuals with dyslexia, Ghotit provides both reading and writing supports for a wide variety of needs for individuals (not limited to) with ADHD, LD, and ELL in education or work related tasks.

Here are the supports Ghotit software provides in both software and apps:

  • Text to speech with customizable highlighting options
  • Word prediction
  • Customizable word prediction topics
  • Word Definitions
  • Homophone descriptions
  • Context based grammar supports
  • Spell checking tool with text to speech
  • Customizable background and text options
  • Ability to transfer text to different formats  both on mobile and computer based devices

I have been trying out both the Ghotit Windows software and Ghotit Real Writer iOS App for familiarity with the features and what sets this software or app apart from other similar apps and software. My experience with the applications finds the following:

Word prediction tool

Word prediction tool right out of the box supports higher language needs for secondary and post secondary students. It provides phonetic spelling supports and also appears to offer words by context. Unlike many other word prediction tools, it provides many features with the predicted word: the definition, text to speech and clarification of homophones and homophone word choice by context.

Spell checking tool

Aberrant spelling errors were identified with correct word typically offered in the spelling or word prediction choices.

Grammar tools

Trial use of homophones such as there, their and they’re using Ghotit identified and corrected usage error within a sentence. Grammar correction is also provided within the context of the sentences typed.

Other software options:

Settings provides a variety of options such as speech rate, word and phrase highlighting colors and choice, as well as text size, font, and word prediction options. Words can be added to the users personal dictionary as well as availability to edit (delete words) the personal dictionary. Word prediction has options to learn words, add/select a new or existing topic dictionary.

Documents can be shared as text, opened in another app, printed, text emailed or attached to an email.

Here is a video on the use and features of Ghotit software in action:

Ghotit Real Writer icon iosThe Ghotit Writer app for iPad, provides the same features as the software.  Here are a few images of the iOS Ghotit app workspace and tools:IMG_1428 IMG_1432

Software Costs: Software and apps are  available as single license software for PC and Mac computers (199.00) and apps on mobile devices (iOS, Windows tablets and Android for 99.00). As single license software for an advanced spelling and grammar checker the cost is competitive. As an app the cost is somewhat high in my experience.

Summary: Ghotit RealWriter software and app provides advanced spelling and grammar checking for individuals with dyslexia or learning disability. It provides good support for those needing phonetic and grammar supports during the writing process.  As an advanced spelling and grammar checker, I would recommend the software an AT tool for individuals needing additional support.  Cost of the software is competitive when comparing it to like applications.  As an app, although it provided advanced features it appears to be quite expensive when compared to other similar iOS apps.

Interested in additional information on Ghotit software? A 2012 CALL Scotland.org article “Advanced Spell Checkers Compared:  Ghotit, Ginger and Oribi Verispell , provided good information on comparable software.  Ghotit software was found to be an effective writing tool for individuals with learning challenges. Ghotit software has been around for quite a few years indicating the developers have supported and continue to upgrade the software to current operating systems to make it work. For more information on Ghotit, visit their website: http://www.ghotit.com/.

Thank you to Ghotit.com for providing the software for review.

More for your OT eTool Kit!


Posted in Adults with LD, Apps for OT's, AT for Handwriting, Grammar, Word Prediction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Handwriting Without Tears Research Review Articles

Handwriting without Tears pic

Wet Dry Try Suite app iconThe Wet Dry Try App, provides explicit instruction for letter formation based on the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) curriculum. Below is a link to research review articles  related to the  HWT curriculum :

Handwriting Without Tears Reference Review

Additional supporting research articles:

Case-Smith, J., Holland, T., Lane, A., & White, S. (2012). Effect of a coteaching handwriting program for first graders: One-group pretest-postest design. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 396-405. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.004333

Denton, P.L., Cope, S. & Moser, C. (2006). The effects of sensorimotor-based intervention versus therapeutic practice on improving handwriting performance in 6- to11-year old children. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60, 16-27. http:dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.60.1.16

Dowrick, P. W. (1991). Practical Guide to Using Video in the Behavioral Sciences. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Weintraub, N., Yinon, M, Hirsch, I.B. & Parush, S. (2009). Effectiveness of sensorimotor and task-oriented handwriting intervention in elementary school-aged students with handwriting difficulties. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 29, 125-134.

Young, S., Laxman, K. (2014). Teacher perspectives on the use of mobile devices to improve learner engagement and motivation. International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation. 8, 112-129.

What other research supports methods of handwriting instruction?


Posted in Education, Elementary School, Handwriting, iPad, Letter Formation, Occupational Therapy, Pediatrics, Primary Grades, School Based Interventions, Special education | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Keyboard Accessibility for Individuals with Motor Impairment for Computers and Mobile Devices

web_access keyboard pic

Among the updates in the new iOS 9 operating system, offered late October 2015, are additional features for touch accommodations. These setting are wonderful additions to students with motor impairments but also highly relevant when working with adults with motor impairment. Recent evaluations of adults with motor impairments who are interested in access to computers, whether tablets or standard computers, brought about questions of what is available currently for keyboard access  for individuals with motor challenges.

As a therapist working with students inaccuracy with motor planning, in coordination, weakness or tonal challenges may be some of the difficulties presented when accessing keyboards or touch devices. Similar challenges present themselves with adults, whether aging in place, Parkinson’s or tremors, or other mobility challenges (arthritis, sensory impairments, injuries) when considering methods of access  to a keyboard or touch screen for typing or access. A client recently evaluated demonstrated significant tremors, greater in the right (preferred) hand than left, significantly interfering with his ability to type. Challenges with low vision also potentially contributed to the challenge.

So what solutions are available? Here are a few solutions, not exhaustive, of direct select accessibility features of computer and mobile devices.

Windows Computer Solution:

Windows OS offers setting for repeat and rate/speed  for keyboard and mouse. Ease of Access in Windows also offers Sticky keys, Filter Keys and Toggle Keys. Bounce Keys is also available in Windows OS.  With one of my clients, using Windows accessibility with a high contrast keyboard with large print labels and applying Bounce keys set at the highest setting of 2.0 seconds allowed the client to type his name with two hands without errors. Initial trial without Bounce keys, resulted in little to no recognition of his name due to repeating keys and strike errors. Bounce keys did the trick! These settings can be found by searching your system for  Ease of Access to trial and apply accessibility options.

MAC Computer Solutions:

Accessibility options for MAC computer key input can be customized in System Perferences for key repeat rate and delay until repeat.

Other computer based software for mouse and onscreen keyboard input rates are offered as shareware and for purchase ( a possible topic for another post!).

iOS Devices:

In iOS 8 assistive touch features were available with customization of touch gestures. New features in iOS 9 currently offers more touch accommodation settings for individuals with motor coordination problems. Here are a few of the new features and a video overview  on “Touch Accommodations in iOS 9” by Luis Perez, an expert when it comes to iOS features for individuals with disabilities:

iOS 9 Keyboard Accessibility Options:

Hardware keyboards now have options for key repeat, sticky keys and slow keys. Rates can be adjusted to individual needs. Touch accommodations are also available for length of time or repeat with direct touch of the screen.

iOS touch accommodations iOS 9 pic

Here is Luis Perez’ YouTube (3 min.) specifically on the iOS 9 touch accommodations:

His video can also be found on his YouTube channel : Luis Perez YouTube channel

Android Accessibility Options

Android OS has accessibility features for touch input called Touch & Delay. Offered in Settings >accessibility > touch and hold delay,  this accessibility option offers settings of short, medium or long for input into the Android touch screen.

Other Input Supports:

I have had success using some of the following equipment to assist with improving input methods for individuals with motor in coordination. Combined with keyboard rate or accessibility options may assist with input accuracy:

  • Use of a wrist rest for stability of the forearm or hand
  • Use of a stylus  with a larger grip or as a pointing device for greater accuracy when targeting a key or icon
  • Large key keyboards, for mobile devices or computers:
    • MoreKeyboard – offers larger keys and key labels for individuals with motor control challenges. The keyboard touch feels solid and is easy to see.
    • Chester Creek Vision Board has extra-large keys for significant motor impairments
  • keyguards are also available for standard keyboards or for mobile devices. Lasered Pics offers a wide variety of keyguards and also offers customized keyguards.
  • Positioning  and positioning devices can also be helpful depending on range of motion and motor impairment.


This is a quick overview of ways to customize direct input for individuals with motor challenges for computers or tablets. Certainly there are many other tools that can be applied for mouse emulation or indirect access using switch control

If you are interested in more accessibility resources, I highly suggest subscribing to Luiz Perez’ YouTube channel. He always delivers highly relevant and informative AT info!

What did I miss that you have found helpful with your clients for individuals with motor impairment?


Posted in Accessibility, Adults, Aging in Place, Android, Android Management, Assistive Technology, Computer Utilities, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod/iPad Accessory, Keyboard, Mobility Impairment, Occupational Therapy | Leave a comment

sComm – Freedom Through CommunicationD

The UbiDuo 2 Wireless, and UbiDuo 2 Wired – the solution for face-to-face communication for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.scomm.com

Do you work with deaf clients or co-workers? If your work setting is a hospital or governmental agency, you may have a UbiDuo 2 available to you as an accommodation for employees or clients who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). No, they do not replace interpreters, but they do offer a method of communication for individuals who are hard of hearing, literate and can type.

The UbiDuo 2 has two keyboards with word processing capabilities, its own wireless capabilities, long battery life, fast boot-up,  and large text options for low vision. It does not offer word prediction or spell checking at this time (so you do need to have reasonable spelling and writing skills).

So if you are working with clients with hearing impairment, this might be available at your medical facility. Of course there are other options available, such as a portable word processor,  use of an Android tablet or iPad to type messages using a native note taking app (i.e. iOS Notes, or Galaxy S Notes or dedicated apps such as the  FlipWriter app offering dual writing environments.

As an assistive technology practitioner at Adaptive Technology Resources, we have recently received a number of inquiries for the UbiDuo 2 as an option for DHH. Exploring device features, indicates it has great options as an on demand device for individuals who are DHH and can type.

See on Scoop.itOT @ Work


Posted in Accessibility, Adults, Communicaton, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MOVER technology: Home-Based, Outpatient Physical Rehabilitation Programs – The Assistive Technology Daily

For war fighters recovering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the benefits of home-based, outpatient physical rehabilitation programs are numerous—they can exercise at home on their own schedules, be among family and friends and spend less time in treatment facilities.

Sourced through Scoop.it from:  attraining.org

I will admit that I am in love with Assistive Technology Daily’s ability to curate new AT advances that will aid individuals now or in the near future. The potentials are awesome and often applicable to many patients we work with.

Assistive Technology Daily’s recent post on Mover technology  – Home -based Outpatient Physical Rehabilitation Program shares a physical rehab tool for home programming. Check out the post and consider the possibilities for PT, OT home programming for a wide variety of patients.

Time to embrace technology and consider the possibilities (sometimes easier said than done, I will admit!).

Hat tip to Assistive Technology Daily for providing AT visions for the future.


See on Scoop.itOT mTool Kit

Posted in Adults, Home Programming, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #120: Why Use Airplane Mode?

Source: Tech Tip #120: Why Use Airplane Mode?

Jacqui Murray, on her Ask a Tech Teacher website, shares a quick tech tip on using Airplane Mode to save battery life on your mobile device. Managing battery life seems to be a daily struggle, so using Airplane Mode to save the battery is extremely helpful as explained by  Ms. Murray.

In addition to her use of Airplane Mode tech tip – consider putting your device in airplane mode when you are on the last bar of juice and in need of a quick charge. Your device will charge faster when in Airplane Mode when all the services are turned off.

Hat tip to Jacqui Murray for her useful tech tips. You can find more helpful tips from Jacqui at her Ask a Tech Teacher website.


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