Saturday, January 28, 2012

Melted Crayon Art with Switches

Melted crayon projects have been all over Pinterest and would work great as a switch based project for learners with intensive special needs.

Most versions of the project on Pinterest call for using hot glue to attach the crayons to canvas and then using a hair dryer to melt the crayons.  For a less expensive version, mount on rectangles of some fore core board and use black masking tape covers the cut edges.   Use some left over silk ribbon attached with more hot glue to hand

The project can adapted for the students, of course.  Students can spend time choosing crayons and creating their pattern of colors.  They also can choose their silhouette or image to add.  Staff should hot glue the crayons on the fore core board, of course students can use AAC to shout, "Ready, set, glue!" and "stop now!" Next up is fun with switches!  Hair dryers can be attached to an environmental control box (a Powerlink) and switches can be used for the students to control turning on and off the hot air.

Variations on the melted crayon project include different silhouettes (hand cut or from a Cricut, arranging the crayons in shapes like hearts, having the crayons melt "up" and turning them into flowers, using stick on vinyl letters to write a name or word and then carefully removing to leave a print behind and more!  A quick Google or Bing images search for melted crayon art should show you lots of choices!

Share your pictures of this project and I will post here!

Switch Access to iPods/iPads Expands

iPortal Accessibility
Several companies have announced new ways for those with physical or multiple disabilities to access the iPod and iPad.  Here is the list of what is currently on the market.

Control the iOS Device with Switch(es)
  • iPortal Accessibility allows users with certain brands of power wheelchairs to use their driving mechanism (joystick, switches) to control all aspects of an iPhone 

Control Music on iOS with Switch(es)
  • iScan MP3 single switch (visual based) scanning of the music on your iPod (the picture is deceiving - it does work with current versions of the iPod)
    Ablenet Hook
  • Ablenet Hook auditory scanning of music with one or two switches designed to be adjustable in terms of cognitive load
  • Adapted 2 Switch iHome a two switch controller of an iHome dock for iPods
  • Adapted 6 Switch iHome an adapted iPod dock system with switches for every function
  • Big Button iPod Remote is a console of large switches that access music on the iOS devices
  • Scan 5 is a console of switches that control iOS and include scanning, Select 5 is the same thing without scanning
  • iPod Switcher is another remote console, it has 3 built in switches to control music
Control an App with Switch(es)
Use the iOS Device as a Switch(es) to Control Other Things
  • Switchamajig turns your iPad into an adaptive remote control for adapted toys
  • Attainment SWITCH is an app that turns your iPad into one or two switches to access any program on a Mac or PC and some apps on another iOS device wirelessly

A Request to App Developers:
  • please make your apps switch accessible 
  • please demand that the makers of switch interfaces add non-proprietary switch settings to their interfaces (i.e. make all iOS switches/interfaces compatiable with all accessible apps and let customers choose your switch or interface based on the quality of construction and the design of the product not which one gets more bang for the buck in terms of which apps it controls)
  • when choosing non-proprietary switch setting to run your app consider using standard keystrokes that can be sent via a bluetooth keyboard (i.e. arrow keys, tab/enter), switch interface makers will eventually have to add these if you insist on them in your apps
  • please be sure to make your apps auditory scanning as well as visual scanning

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Denies Lifesaving Transplants to Girl with Developmental Disabilities

    CHOP has denied this little girl, who has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome a lifesaving kidney transplant because she has developmental delay.  Read her story.  Sign a petition. Sign another petition.  Write on CHOP's Facebook Page.

    CHOP has issued the following statement justifying their actions:
    "We have watched with great concern the comments regarding criteria used in making transplant eligibility decisions. We understand your concerns and reactions to the Facebook postings.

    We strive to provide the safest possible care for our patients and we make transplant eligibility decisions based on widely-accepted, medically valid methods, with many factors considered. We want you to know that CHOP does not have any criteria which exclude patients from being considered for transplant solely on the basis of their cognitive status. Transplant programs at CHOP have never declined a patient for transplant based solely on their cognitive status and we have performed transplants on many children with disabilities and impairments.

    CHOP’s transplant programs continue to evaluate and perform transplants on some of the most complex cases in the country. We use an established framework for consistent evaluation and transplantation. Each child is evaluated on an individual basis, taking multiple medical, surgical, and psychosocial aspects into consideration. In each evaluation, we consider the possible risk and outcome of the recipient, potential donor options, as well as alternative therapies.

    In order to determine eligibility for transplantation, a multidisciplinary evaluation is completed by several members of the transplant team, which would include careful assessment of a patient by surgical and transplant specialists, as well as, psychosocial, and neurologic specialists. Parents and family members are very much a part of the discussion.

    We wish to emphasize that all determinations of eligibility for transplantation are treated on an individual basis. We make all decisions regarding eligibility using a non-discriminatory approach, after a multidisciplinary assessment and discussion, which is the standard of practice throughout the country.

    These communications are very important to us and provide us with an opportunity to always re-examine and reassess our approach and process. We hope that we can continue to improve and continue to provide exceptional care for children with organ failure."

    Contact Me at:

    Contact Me at:

    Visit our advertisers:

    Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation, LLC Try Nick Jr. Boost FREE for 7 Days ... Label the things you love !! Build-A-Bear HearthSong - Toys Outlet