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Ira Socol's feature on Special Education Advisor brilliantly reviews The Updated "Freedom Stick", a FREE collection of software compiled by Michigan's Integrated Technology Supports (MITS) that is ideal for individuals who have special learning or communication needs.
This fabulous archive of software is simple to download and install and contains 14 FREE software titles that enable its users to accomplish a multitude of tasks including:
- word processing;
- screen magnification;
- screen recording;
- browsing the Internet;
- text-to-speech conversion;
- and the list goes on...
One of its most noteworthy items is Balabolka, one of the most sophisticated Text-To-Speech systems available which can convert whole digital books to audio files, read anything with word-by-word highlighting, and which allows students to write and hear their own reading read back to them.
A handy step-by-step video tutorial illustrates how to download the software package and install it. Elaborates Socol of the software package, "The Freedom Stick is a system, it can be downloaded and installed on a 4gb Flash Drive and carried everywhere by the student, plugged into and used on school computers or public library computers, or even employer computers – anywhere any version of Microsoft Windows is installed (including on Apple Macintosh computers which can have Windows installed as a second operating system). Or it can be installed directly onto your own computer. It is safe in all computing environments, tested globally since development began in Scotland"
Continues Socol, "The new and improved “Freedom Stick” (v.2.3.2) offers students and schools the ability to arrive at this ‘technological present’ at essentially zero cost."
FREE Download: The Updated Freedom Stick