George Couros's List: Why Firefox?
that our responsibilities as educators includes helping our students learn how to use, adapt, invent, and choose the information and communications tools which will give them the greatest level of independent access to whatever and whomever they want and need to know, discover, enjoy, interact with across their lifespans.
First, Firefox. Mozilla's Firefox remains the only internet browser easily made fully accessible for free. To make it fully accessible you need to just go to the following Add-On collections which "someone" has created for you in the interest of "one stop shopping."Access Firefox Add-Ons (Windows/Linux) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collections/ira-socol/mits2009/ add them all.
Access Firefox Add-Ons (Mac OSX) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collections/ira-socol/32ffaa9b-8a8d-20cf-f764-4ee358/ add them all.
Language Pack Add-Ons for Firefox https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collections/ira-socol/c36d9e30-520c-cb87-9a0f-534c03/ additional language supports - this list was crafted for Michigan's student population, but may help your students as well.
Then, there are additional Add-Ons for Firefox which offer other supports.
CLiCk-Speak (alternative TTS) http://clickspeak.clcworld.net/ CLiCk-Speak is another choice for Windows Text-To-Speech (the collection above utilizes FoxVox).
AnyDaisy (DAISY book reader) https://launchpad.net/daisyextension
builds a DAISY book reader (from Bookshare) into your browser.
Mouseless Browsing (for limited dexterity) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/879/
FireVox (Blind Browser) http://www.firevox.clcworld.net/
Next, you need to add WordTalk to any Windows machine running Microsoft Office.
install with wtconfigure from: http://ideal-group.org/wordtalk/wordtalk_download_instructions.htm
Free text-to-speech plugin that works with all versions of Microsoft Word (from Word 97 and up). It speaks and highlights the text of the document when it is used. It also contains a talking dictionary to help determine which word spelling is most appropriate. New version allows text to be converted to speech and saved as an MP3 for portability.
Note: In Windows Vista and Windows 7 both WordTalk and wtconfigure (WordTalkStarter) may install under “Programs(x86)” on your C-drive. Copy these two folders and paste them into the “Programs” folder. Then run WordTalkStarter.
and you will want to add PowerTalk as well.
Reader for PowerPoint presentations.
Then, there is simply no excuse for not utilizing the free Ghotit app for Microsoft Word. It is free for your school network and gives both dyslexic students, and English Language Learners, fabulous spelling and grammar support. Ghotit's web app should also be a bookmark in Firefox. As should vozMe - a web-based Text-To-MP3 system.
Both your Windows or Mac computers should also have desktop direct links to the "accessibility settings" - and Macs need the Text-To-Speech system turned on, while Windows machines need Speech Recognition linked on the desktop.
Remember, all of this is free, and if you do this your school will finally begin to meet the federal rules about equal access to information and communication .
Nov 02, 10
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