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Assistive Technology Support Initiative AT Training Part 2. This presentation is meant as a cost effect “train-the-trainer” model to train volunteers and others to support students who use AT. . Software Training.

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assistive technology support initiative at training part 2

Assistive Technology Support Initiative AT Training Part 2

This presentation is meant as a cost effect

“train-the-trainer” model to train volunteers and others to support students who use AT.

software training
Software Training
  • Your local college or university may be willing to train you during certain times of year. Contact Learning Technology Centres or Student Services.
  • AT software companies all offer free online training and support.
cambrian college training
Cambrian College Training
  • Cambrian College in Sudbury offers an online PD program for those interested in supporting students with Learning Disabilities. At a minimum take the Understanding Learning Disabilities course.
ministry licensed at
Ministry Licensed AT
  • School boards use a variety of assistive technology software. The two popular software programs are Kurzweil 3000 and Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
  • There are many other AT software programs in all price ranges. Please see the resources section of the website for more information.
low cost training options
Low Cost Training Options
  • Volunteer Software Training can be implemented in two parts:
    • Self paced
    • one-on-one or group workshop 
self paced
Self Paced
  • Self Paced involves downloading free trials of the software programs and working through online manuals and tutorials.
group training
Group Training
  • One-on-one or group training, can take place at the school, and should include detailed advice and instructions on how volunteers can help support students that use assistive and learning technology.
  • Please see the ATSI Volunteer Training Toolkit.
special equipment amount sea
Special Equipment Amount (SEA)
  • Get familiar with the Ontario Ministry of Education Special Equipment Funding Guidelines
learning disabilities resource guide
Learning Disabilities Resource Guide
  • Download and read this resource for educators to understand how to match assistive technology and learning strategies to the student's strengths and weaknesses.
watch at videos
Watch AT Videos
  • Review both the Student and Teacher

AT videos on website found under the Video Tabs

software training11
Software Training
  • This module covers:
    • Kurzweil 3000
    • Smart Ideas
    • Word Q
    • Dragon NaturallySpeaking
    • Check your Ministry of Education website for a full list of ministry licensed software
download software demos
Download Software Demos
  • Kurzweil 3000 text to speech software
  • Please visit
  • Download the 30 day trial, open Kurzweil 3000, go to the Help menu on the top right, and go to How To Videos.
  • Watch each video and practice on the demo copy.
set bc online training
SET BC Online Training
  • Work through the online Kurzweil 3000 training guide at:
smart ideas training
Smart Ideas Training
  • Download the 30 day trial
  • Open the software
  • Under the HELP Menu watch all the tutorial videos and practice each lesson
word q training
Word Q Training

WordQ is a powerful, extremely easy-to-use, writing software that:

  • Predicts words as you type
  • Reads predicted words to improve choice accuracy
  • Predicts the next grammatically correct word automatically
  • Re-reads sentences as they are typed for word flow and meaning
  • Re-reads and highlights completed work for editing and proofreading
  • Reads virtually any digital text on your computer
  • Effectively reduces frustration, enhances confidence and accelerates learning
  • Supports writing in English, French, German and Spanish
word q training16
Word Q Training
  • View the WordQ tutorial videos from this link:
  • To try the software, please download the 30-day trial from this link: .
landmark college resources
Landmark College Resources
  • Landmark College is a school for students with dyslexia. Their website offers a wealth of AT information, tutorials and videos.
  • Visit and review the online training resources.  
dragon naturallyspeaking
Dragon NaturallySpeaking
  • DNS voice to text software does not offer free trials.
  • Visit  and watch the DNS videos. 
  • Download the “Rainbow Passage” and the “Fastest Way to Accuracy” PDFs.
dns tips
DNS Tips
  • Plug in headset before opening DNS or the microphone will not work.
  • Remind the student of this step as part of the routine.
training a student to use dns
Training a Student to Use DNS
  • If your student is using voice to text software because they have a reading disability, explain to the student that you will whisper all text to the student and the student will then repeat it into their microphone.
dns student training
DNS Student Training
  • Explain that the student will not have to read out-loud—they only repeat what you say.
  • Tell them this is standard training procedure.
  • This is very important to relieve stress for the student and to ensure they will speak naturally during the training.
scratch that versus correct that
Scratch That versus Correct That
  • Explain the difference between “Scratch That” and “Correct That” and practice using both until the student is comfortable.
  • Scratch That is used when the student has said the wrong words.
  • Correct That is used when DNS has misunderstood what the student said.
correcting dns
Correcting DNS
  • Correcting words as you go is the fastest way to accuracy.
  • The student will need your help to correct spelling.
  • Reinforce that the extra time taken to train DNS now will pay off later in accuracy and speed.
quickest way to accuracy
Quickest Way to Accuracy
  • Read the “Rainbow Passage” with the student as the quickest way to achieve accuracy. Courtesy of Landmark College
weekly accuracy centre visits
Weekly Accuracy Centre Visits
  • Visit the DNS accuracy centre once a week with the student and choose a different training passage.
  • Make this part of your weekly routine.
  • Once you have finished all the training passages, find new material for additional training.
saving voice files
Saving Voice Files
  • SAVE the voice files only if you have taken time to correct the misrecognitions otherwise the software will learn the mistakes.
  • Remind the student to save voice files or they will constantly have to retrain DNS.
volunteer training
Volunteer Training
  • Be sure to work through the ASTI Volunteer Training Toolkit Part 1 PowerPoint for specific information on supporting students who use AT to access the curriculum.
  • Download the presentations and customize your own training program.