Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education

If I were to make an FAQ page--I can't think of questions that I get asked frequently enough to form a critical mass--one that would be there would go something like: "We just got an iPad. What do you recommend?" This is an understandable but unfortunately sort of prohibitively broad question. I usually point people in the direction of the collaborative SLP Apps List (top of my blog), but from now on I am also going to be recommending Joan Green's The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education as a great resource book for those starting out with iPads (or other technology) for clinical use.

The Ultimate Guide begins with a consideration of UDL (don't miss the discussion of this topic in the recent ASHA Leader, and in my post) but quickly gets down to its main purpose, which is to provide a wide-ranging list of technologies (free and for cost, mobile and desktop) within specific categories.  Green's resources span the domains of communication-verbal expression, auditory comprehension, reading and comprehension, written expression- as well as cognition and memory, and provide something for every platform (web-based, PC/Mac, and an impressive array of specific iPod and iPad apps).  I have generally felt that books about technology are bound to be as up to date and relevant as a newscast about that breeze you just felt, but I was really pleasantly surprised at the currency of information in this volume, published in March 2011.  SLPs who work with adults with aphasia, TBI or other diagnoses will also find many great suggestions of software, apps, websites and uses of technology that you already have at your fingertips (e.g. accessibility features available within MS Office or iWork).  There is really something here that can help all clients on your caseload, as the resources span age ranges and levels of ability, from those who require switches to those who would benefit from high-level interactive websites.

Joan Green is an SLP herself, so she brings a key perspective to her descriptions of these myriad tools.  I am sure to be mining the resources in this book for some time to come.  Check out her site and newsletter for a preview of what you will find in this great book!

Note: author was provided with a review copy of this book.


  1. I am using the orange book for my AT class. It is great!

  2. Joe, it is great!! Check out Chris' A.T.Tipscast...