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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Natural Reader - Free Software

What: Natural Reader is an electronic reader with several versions. The free version that can read from the internet and read .txt or .doc files. It comes with one voice, and highlights speech.

The upgraded version can do the following:
1) read .pdf files
2) read scanned documents
3) read text from digital photos (e.g., taken with your iPhone)
4) translate text into .mp3 files, for listening

Why? This software is not as robust as programs such as Read: OutLoud or Kurzweil 3000. However, it would be great for trying out text reading, and documenting the need. It would also be a good transition tool, while trying to get funding for the more specialized software.


LA Dept of ED: Literacy Access Guide

The Significant Disabilities team in the Literacy Division at the Louisiana Department of Education has been busy!

That website is a repository for literacy supports for students with disabilities including:
• Tipsheets
• Documents such as assessment tools
• Videos of literacy best practices
• Webinars on topics including:
- Alternate Pencils
- Literacy Assessment
- Including Literacy in the IEP

Go to the literacy section, and be sure to click on the link on the top right, if you're a Mac Foxfire user.

Here's the link:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Follow the CAR:Learn It / See It

The CAR strategy (NotariSyverson, Maddox, and Cole, 1999) encourages adults to support students during shared reading by ‘following the car’:

• Comment on what the student is doing (then wait 5 seconds)

• Ask questions (then wait 5 seconds)

• Respond by adding more

That strategy is equally successful for older students who are building their interactive language, to support communication and literacy.

For more information about the CAR strategy, follow this link:


A video set, Language is the Key is available from Washington Learning Systems, to support training for parents, parapros, teachers, and therapists. This set includes two videos, available in Mandarin, Vietnamese, English, and Spanish. The videos are

Talking & Play and Talking & Books (which includes demonstration of the CAR strategy).


Washington Learning Systems, LLC
2212 Queen Anne Ave. North #726
Seattle , WA 98109

Phone 206-310-7401 Fax 206-283-9243 Email info@walearning.com