Tactile images

5th March 2004 at 00:00
Yolanda Brooks on Special Needs at the Education Show

There will be more than 30 exhibitors offering resources, information, advice and strategies for teachers and carers with an interest in inclusion and special needs. There's also a full seminar programme and a dedicated information point.

One of the most intriguing stands for teachers in search of resources for the visually impaired is Jungle Electronics. The company produces "swell" paper and fusers that allow teachers to produce their own tactile resourcesthat include raised images.

OAASIS provides an information service focused on learning disabilities. As well as a telephone helpline and website, the organisation produces a number of booklets and leaflets that explain a range of learning disabilities including Asperger's, Tourette's, Prader-Willi and Down's syndromes, dyspraxia, and dyslexia.

Speechmark, which produces resources for teachers and speech and language specialists, will be introducing the latest titles from its ColorCards range. These are laminated photographic language cards that promote talking and social skills. New this year are the Pocket ColourCards. How's Teddy provides a visual guide to 18 emotions and Heads amp; Tails can be used for matching exercises. Shape amp; Size and How Many are also part of this range.

For the first time StoryCards Verbs is also available. Each pack features four stories together with a set of A5 cards with photocopiable line drawings on the reverse, and finger puppets.

With eight BETT Awards to its name, Crick Software is well known. The company has just expanded its Clicker Book fiction range with the introduction of the Archie series. His adventures feature in The Dragon School, Bouncing Breakfast and The King's Visit. Like other Clicker Books, the CD-Roms provide spelling, sentence building and punctuation activities, comprehension exercises and engaging stories. Book versions are also available.

Another software company with an inclusive reputation is Texthelp. Visitors will be able to try out version 7 of Read and Write for Mac, a software package supporting those with difficulties in same. Features include word predication, phonetic spellcheck, speech feedback and a 180,000-word dictionary. It also provides literacy support for other applications such as spreadsheets, word processors, internet browsers and email.

The National Association for Special Educational Needs (Nasen) has a strong influence on the seminar programme with six Nasen seminars taking place over three days of the show. At 11.45am in B2 on Thursday, Fintan O'Regan, a former headteacher nowan associate SEN adviser in Surrey, will be looking at ways to help ADHD students to fulfil their potential. At 1pm in B2 on Friday, Chris Singleton will be discussing ways of using electronic assessment to identify specific learning difficulties and formulate classroom solutions.

There are further Nasen seminars on resources, the Disability Act and creating inclusive schools.

Non-Nasen seminars include sessions on dyslexia, music technology and the curriculum for 14 to 19-year-old students with learning difficulties. For the full seminar programme, visit www.education-show.co.uk.

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