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  • ISAAC (the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) held its biannual conference in Toronto last month. More than 1,200 visitors from over 40 countries made for a magnificent melting pot of AAC expertise and experience! We were there to showcase our AAC app, Clicker Communicator. Many delegates were new to Clicker Communicator, and we were delighted to receive so much praise for our first dedicated AAC offering.

    I wanted to share three of the features that our booth visitors liked best:

    1. Uniquely Accessible

    Clicker Communicator incorporates a revolutionary new accessibility feature called SuperKeys – designed to speed up access to the communication grids by grouping cells into clusters. It can be enabled at any time, and also used in conjunction with iOS Switch Control if required:

     

    In addition to working with the cells in communication grids, SuperKeys also offers support with keyboard access, giving rapid access to clustered letters which work in tandem with a symbol supported word predictor. Delegates working with higher functioning users identified huge time saving benefits when typing:

     

    2. Superfast Editing

    Although new to Clicker Communicator, many of our visitors were seasoned users of the Clicker Apps family, and they were delighted to find a very familiar user interface in Clicker Communicator. From a facilitator perspective, the speed and ease of creation and editing is a critical consideration – whether editing grids on the fly to enable real time communication, or when preparing resources for curriculum support, time is always of the essence. With Clicker Communicator, you can:

    Edit individual cells, including personalization of symbols, pictures, and photographs:

     

    Bulk populate a grid with a multiple selection of symbols in seconds:

     

    Select multiple cells as a group and apply instant formatting to all (background, text and border color, hide, pin, etc.):

     

    3. Free Content

    Alongside the functionality and support that Clicker Communicator provides as a creation tool, users have direct access to free content for the app through our LearningGrids resource bank. The selected resource opens instantly for immediate use, and our visitors praised this feature not only for its huge time saving benefit, but also for opening up a vast range of ideas and applications of the app.  

    Clicker Communicator is now available with three different symbol sets – SymbolStix, PCS (BoardMaker), and Widget, and it can be purchased through the App Store or via the Volume Purchase Program.

  • Did you know? – Clicker 7 Tips


    Did you know you can see what spellings were corrected in a Document?

    To analyze the current Document, open the View ribbon tab and click Analysis.

    The Statistics tab shows data about words, characters, and sentences in the Document.

    The Spelling Corrections tab shows an alphabetical list of misspelled words that were corrected by the Spell Checker. Click a misspelling to see the context in which it was made.

    Did you know you can add a Document to your favorites?

    You can add a Document to a list of favorites for easy access.

    To do this, open the Document ribbon tab, click the Favorites (star) icon and then click Add current Document to favorites.

    From then on, you can easily open that Document by clicking the Favorites (star) icon, or using the Favorites section of the Quick Start window that appears when Clicker 7 starts.

    All users have their own favorites list.

    Did you know you can save Clicker 7 Documents as Word Documents and PDFs?

    You can save a Clicker 7 Document as a Microsoft Word Document or a PDF file.

    To do this:

    1. Open the Document ribbon tab.
    2. Click the V next to the Save icon and choose Save Document As.
    3. In the Save Document window, click the Save as type box and choose Microsoft Word Document (*.docx) or Portable Document Format (*.pdf).
    4. Choose where to save your file and then click Save.

    To change how Clicker 7 Documents are saved by default, open the Options ribbon tab and click Preferences. On the Document tab, click the Default filetype box, choose a filetype and then click OK.


  • Struggling spellers are found in every year group, and it can often be hard to encourage them to work independently. Clicker is a valuable tool to support these children and unlock their writing, so here are 6 ways to steer them to writing success!

    Spell check the document

    Spell checking work is not a new idea, but the valuable addition of Clicker’s speech engine means that children can simply right-click on any word in the spell checker to hear it spoken aloud! This truly gives them the ability to independently investigate the options presented and select the one they wish to use.

     

    Use the word predictor

    The word predictor speeds up the writing process for struggling spellers, predicting both the current word and offering a choice of next words that might be useful. As it also uses the speech engine to read any word aloud with a right-click, it is perfect for independent work.

     

    Add words to the Word Pool

    Clicker 7 lets you add any word to the spell checker and predictor by using Word Pool. In the example here the child is trying to write, "I walk through the park," but the spell checker does not offer through as an alternative.

     

    To support children who make misspellings like this simply add the words to the Word Pool with their misspellings. The next time the spell checker is used here it offers through as an option. Targeted spelling intervention in one easy step!

     

    Turn on Instant Pictures

    When Instant Pictures in the document is turned on, an image will appear above a word or phrase when it is spelled correctly. This is an easy way for children to find out for themselves if they are right.

     

    Provide a Word Bank

    Offering banks of topic vocabulary or frequently used words will help children with the more difficult words they need to use. They can check the word by listening to it with a right-click and send it to their document with a left-click, removing the frustration of trying to spell it correctly.

     

    Use a Picture Bank

    For some children the addition of a picture above a word will help them to recognize the one they want to include in their writing. The picture does not have to be sent to the document with the word, it can simply stay in the grid to help with word recognition.

  • Clicker Board and Word Banks


    Clicker Board can be used as a classroom tool to collect and organize vocabulary, with the added advantage that the board can be turned into a word bank for children to use when writing.

    While working on a topic, have Clicker Board open on the whiteboard and use it as the place to add important words. To make it more useful you might have a number of pages within your board. For example if your topic is plants, you might have a Clicker Board that looks something like this:

     

    If you are developing vocabulary to use when describing characters, Clicker Board might look something like this:

     

    Add words to each tab, and go back and add more over the course of the lesson or lessons as the children come across them.

    When you create your word bank, the words will appear on the same tabs.

    Another way of using this idea is to create a board with alphabetic tabs. This might be useful when you want to create a general word bank, for example about the Romans or Vikings, about rivers, or about interesting adjectives. 

    The children then have their bank of words whenever they need it.