Communication and Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities Newsletter

Communication and Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities Newsletter
Communication and Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities
Newsletter issue Number 25, March 2015
In this issue:

  • ICT & Inclusion 2015
  • From the CALL Blog
  • … and MORE from the Blog
  • Professional Learning
  • Forthcoming Webinars
  • Bright Red Publishing and the Books for All Database
  • In brief…Books for All, CALL Professional Learning
ICT & Inclusion 2015
ICT and Inclusion is Scotland’s leading FREE exhibition with a focus on the use of ICT to support learners with additional support needs. It’s aimed at staff from schools and colleges, but equipment and software on display may be of interest to adults with disabilities and the people who support them.

This year’s exhibitions are being held at:

– CALL Scotland, Edinburgh, 10th June

– Beardmore Hotel, Clydebank, 11th June

As well as supplier presentations, there will also be short talks by staff from CALL, local schools, colleges and services, illustrating the use of technology to support learning. There’s also plenty of opportunity to come and chat to us about technology and accessibility.

The days are free to attend and run from 9.00 until 4.00 pm. Lunch is provided for people who book in advance.

Drop in for a bit or stay all day!

More information and booking available here:

From the CALL Blog More from the CALL Blog
In case you missed them, here are a few items from the past month’s CALL Blogs…


New Books on the Books for All Database – Rebecca has uploaded some more books from VTSS in Edinburgh to the Books for All Database. Some are scanned copies and some are Large Print. The new books are:.. Read More…

​Emergency SMS Service to call 999 – great for non-speakers! Police Scotland are offering a new Emergency SMS service which could be very valuable for people with speech, language or communication impairment, or deafness (who cannot easily use a voice based phone service)… Read More…

Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2015 Winners Announced! Congratulations to the Winners of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2015!​… Read More…

New French Books on the Books for All Database from VTSS in Edinburgh: Just before Christmas Mary Matson from Edinburgh and Lothians VTSS transcription team kindly gave us over 15,000 files to add to the database.​.. Read more…

tha e air beagan Gàidhlig? We are pleased to report that we have received funding to work with CereProc to develop and license a Scottish Gaelic computer voice for the Scottish public sector… Read More…

Free Online course, iPads for Sensory Level Education: Did you know that there is now an online training course on using iPads in education for learners with additional support needs? Read more…

How Accessible are your School Computers?: On 31 October the Scottish Government published Guidance on “Planning improvements for disabled pupils’ access to education”… Read more…

Professional Learning Forthcoming Webinars
Lots of courses available until the end of the school year, only £120 for a whole day.

Thurs 30 April:

Using Symbols in Schools: Supporting Language, Learning and Communication

​​Friday 8 May:

ICT for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Thursday 14 May:

Dyslexia and the Use of iPads

Our training courses for 2015-16 have just been finalised. Our prices will remain the same for full day courses, and we will also be running a handful of half day courses for £60 per participant.

Booking for next term will be open during the summer, and details of all courses are available on the CALL web site.

Professional Learning ‘on site’

We can bring our courses to YOU. Full day, half day or twilight courses can be offered in your school or authority for lots of staff, meaning huge savings for your budget.

We can provide sets of up to 24 laptops or 12 iPads for such courses. Details are available on the CALL web site.

Our programme of webinars for the next few months is now available online. We have lots of different subjects available, and all Webinars are FREE. Sign up online and you’ll be sent a link to access the webinar. We also have an archive of our past webinars available, should you be unable to tune in at the time. These are viewable on our website.

Wed 22nd April:
2Build a Profile – Mark Burrows, 2Simple

Wed 29th April:
Matrix Maker – Joanna Courtney, CALL Scotland

Wed 6th May:
Animate It! – Roger Young, Kudlian Software

Wed 13th May:
Penfriend – Craig Mill, CALL Scotland

Wed 20th May:
OneNote – Paul Nisbet, CALL Scotland

Wed 27th May:
Basic Maths Apps – Sandra O’Neill & Craig Mill, CALL Scotland

Wed 3rd June: Using Accessible Oxford Reading Tree (ORT) Books
Gillian McNeill, CALL Scotland

The free webinars start at 4pm and usually last from 20 to 30 minutes, with time at the end for questions. Grab yourself a coffee, turn on your computer and put your feet up as you learn about a new subject. Book your place online.

Bright Red Publishing In brief…
We are excited to announce that Bright Red Publishing are the latest Scottish textbook publisher to agree to provide digital copies of their books for the Books for All Database. Bright Red publish Study and Revision Guides for Intermediate, National 5 and Highers and also SQA Past Papers. Over the next few weeks we will be adding their books to the database and we’ll list the books on the blog and on the Database News pages as they become available.

This is particularly good timing since the 2015 exams are looming ever closer!

Staff and learners should also check out the free Bright Red Digital Zone.

This “is a fully interactive online resource where teachers can find useful information and students can put in that extra effort to help them get the best possible grades”. The website has been developed in collaboration with Professor Bill Buchanan at Edinburgh Napier University.

Scottish Children’s Book Award Winners

The winners of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards were announced on the 4th of March. The winners of each category were: Robot Rumpus (Bookbug); Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens (Younger Readers) and Mosi’s War (Older Readers). Congratulations all!

Accessible digital version of the books are still available from the Books for All Scotland Database.

More VTSS Edinburgh Books

We’ve uploaded LOADS of books from VTSS Edinburgh onto the Books for All Scotland Database. There are Large Print, scanned, PDF and Word files. All available to download for your print disabled pupils. Browse at the Books for All Scotland Database.

CALL Scotland Professional Learning

CALL’s 2015-16 program of Professional Learning is now confirmed, and bookings for courses will be available from July. We’ll be keeping our prices the same as this year (£120) for full day courses, and will also be running a few half-day courses for £60 per place.

Keep an eye on the website for updates.


Tony Rafferty

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