NEW from Sonokids: Ballyland Rotor app!
“Ballyland Rotor” is the sequel to the popular and acclaimed “Ballyland Magic” app. It is a fun iPad game specifically designed for children who are blind or have low vision. With a variety of stories, sounds and songs, it is both highly entertaining and educational, teaching the concept and gestures for the ‘Rotor’ in VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader for iOS Devices. In the app, Ballicopter, the little red helicopter, embarks on an amazing flight through Ballyland, and the Rotor gesture is used to change the unfolding of his engaging adventure. Ballyland Rotor not only supports children’s understanding of the concept of selecting options and settings by way of the Rotor: it also offers them a safe platform to explore and practice the different ways the Rotor gesture can be performed (short tutorial video included).
The Rotor is a relatively advanced concept and gesture, and it is recommended to first play Ballyland Magic, which has demonstrated great value in supporting the development of blind children’s foundation touch gesture skills and conceptual understanding of VoiceOver. Sonokids was able to develop the app after a successful crowd funding campaign.
This app’s fun sound effects, songs, and variable audio-plays will delight all children who set out to learn, or have just mastered the VoiceOver Rotor gesture.
The app is suitable for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Recommended for children aged 6+ years.
Available from the AppStore for 2.99 USD.
The Ballyland software series was a Finalist for ‘Excellence in Accessible Technology’ in the 2016 National Australian Disability Awards. More information on the complete series of Ballyland Early Learning Technology software can be found on the Ballyland website.
From the Ballyland website, you can download a 3D printed model of Ballicopter. This model can be used as a tactile learning tool to help a blind student understand the concept of a spinning propeller, which is very similar to the VoiceOver rotor gesture. The student can place his/her left index finger on one propeller and his/her right index finger on another propeller. Then, move the propeller in a circular motion. If you do not have access to a 3D printer, no problem! Try teaching the rotor concept using a game spinner! Have the student place his/her left finger on the stationery brad (center of the spinner). Place the right index finger on the arrow/end of the spinner and move the arrow in a half circle.
Want to learn more about Ballyland Magic app? Here are two Paths to Technology posts about Ballyland Magic:
Ballyland Magic App: Learn VoiceOver Getures and iPad Accessibility (general information about the app)
Ballyland App for the iPad: Teaching Finger Gestures for VoiceOver (personal experience using the app)