Typing skills for visually impaired students are essential for a variety of reasons. The top reasons include: a.) an alternative for handwriting, b.) skills to use with word processors to support spelling deficits, and/or c.) to allow students the opportunity to develop technological skills that will be useful post-high school.
There aren’t many adapted typing practice apps on the market like Talking Typer.
The benefits of using Talking Typer with Visually Impaired students is that it works with and without Voiceover on an ipad and allows for independent practice. It also allows teachers and instructors to create custom lessons for students.
Although there are lessons built into the app, instructors can create custom lessons for students to get more practice in areas where they might need more review. They can introduce other activities such as typing the days of the week or vocabulary.
To access custom typing lessons on the Talking Typer app
- Launch the Talking Typer app
- Touch on Lessons and Drills
- Touch Custom Lessons
- Select the lesson that you want the student to work on.
To create a custom lesson
Follow the three steps above, then:
- At the top right side of the app, touch the plus button
- Enter a title (i.e. Days of the week)
- Keep the Skill on Beginner or change skill level.
- Adjust the speed or keep it the same.
- Adjust the accuracy or keep it the same.
- Enter the instructions such as, "Type the following words."
- Then on the bottom left, touch add drills.
- Enter a word.
- Use the rolling selector to set the word to be read out as Letters only, read as the Word then the spelling, or read the Phrase only.
- You can test each setting by touching on Test to see how it will read out to the student.
- Touch save, then proceed to adding more words by touching add drill again.
- After you have added multiple words to the drill, then touch save.
- After saving, you can edit or delete words.
- To edit a word list, touch edit at the top right side of the screen, then the name of the drills list that you want to edit.
- To delete, touch edit, then touch the red circle just in front of the drill practice title.
- Touch done, when complete.
The video below is an overview of the features in the Talking Typer app.
Leave a comment below if you use the Talking Typer app and have some suggestions for custom lessons.