SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY IN PRACTICE
strategy by the user. Trial and error is possible in
when the instruction is simply repeatedtaking no account of the nature of the error. Inmost software, a maximum of three incorrectresponses is allowed before the target is demon-strated so, even where no informative feedback isgiven, the user knows the correct response will berevealed after three attempts.In
no information is given as to why anyattempt at placing a piece of the jigsaw might be incor-rect and the piece is simply removed again. In
SpeechSounds on Cue
the users’ attempts are not recordedtherefore no feedback on production is given.This question does not apply to the adaptedword processing software because there is no pre-determined correct answer.
7. How are the results recorded andpresented?
Ideally the number of correct responses will bepresented graphically in a form accessible to thenon reader, as in
Out and About
also gives the response time in secondsbut all feedback is in the written word which is afar less use-friendly medium for people with com-munication impairments.
Out and About
alsoreports the time taken to complete the activityand whether a prompt has been needed.The recording and presentation of results doesnot apply to the adaptive word processing softwareas the purpose of this software is simply to facilitate
3. What are the hardware/softwarerequirements of the therapy software andcost of the software/extra user licenses?i) Hardware/software
If the software uses sound output, the computer willneed a sound card and speakers. Many recently pro-duced software packages will only run on Windows95 or later and may at some point become incom-patible with future versions of Windows.
ii) Software costs
Costs vary tremendously. It is worth consideringwhether you are likely to want to install the soft-ware on a person’s home computer or just use inclinic - and examining the price structure for multi-ple user licenses. For example, the cost of
is £129 for a single user license, £449 for the5 user license, and £645 for a 35 user licence, a pricestructure clearly favouring large scale use in schoolsover home usage. By contrast, for the software
Out and About
a single user licence costs £59, addi-tional user licenses are available at £10 each andthe recently introduced single license home user of£20 has allowed cheaper access for use at home.
4. What level of ability does the user need?
This is a very gross categorisation to act as a gen-eral guide. We have used a three point scale oflow-moderate-high. We felt some of the soft-ware reviewed could be appropriate for a broadrange of ability depending on how it is used.
5. How clear is visual presentation?
, an assistive word processing package,several windows need to be open simultaneouslyand users can be confused as to which windowthey are working in. As a result they may needsupport and facilitation for longer before beingable to use the software independently. However,in
Speech Sounds on Cue
, information on screen islimited to a visual demonstration of the lip shapethat corresponds to the target sound and the letterthat corresponds to this sound. Users thereforeneed fewer demonstrations before they are ableto use the software independently. We used asimple three star rating system to indicate clarityof presentation with one star indicating poorestand three stars greatest clarity.
6. Does the software provide interventionand feedback for incorrect/correctresponses?
Out and About
the feedback given relates tothe nature of the error made. For example, theresponse “No, you need to find something towear when it’s
” is given when the user hasmistakenly selected an overcoat to wear in hotweather.
also has some exerciseswhere the feedback relates to the error made,such as, “No that’s the banana, you want theapple”. This encourages linguistic processing offeedback rather than a repeat trial and error
Figure 1 Summary of evaluations
PackageMy House seriesSmart Start Speech Sounds JigsawCo:WriterClicker 4Out & AboutEnglishon CueDescription ofTask/SoftwareAppropriateclient groupsSupplierPrice(single licence)HardwarerequirementsLevel targetedVisual interface
M K T S MMM K T SM KM K T SM K
Adapted wordprocessingsoftware designedfor all ages withlimited literacy skillsStroke, head injury,learning difficultiesCrick software£90W95, soundcard
Speech and languagetherapy softwaredesigned for the learningdisabled for work on allareas of auditorylanguage and memory
Stroke, head injury,learning difficultiesSemerc£59 (£20 homelicence)W95, soundcard
Adapted wordprocessingsoftware designedfor all ages whoneed some helpwith their writingStroke, head injury,learning difficultiesDon Johnston£149W95, soundcard
Software for doing jigsaws on thecomputer for allagesAllCrick software£30W95
Speech andlanguage therapysoftware designedfor work ondyspraxiaDyspraxiaPropellerMultimedia£90W95, soundcard
English as a foreignlanguage softwaredesigned for anylearner to work onEnglish languageskillsStroke, head injury,learning difficultiesAVP£34W95, soundcard,SVGA video card
Speech andlanguage therapysoftware designedfor children towork on auditorycomprehensionStroke, head injury,learning difficulties,developmentallanguageLaureate Learning£129W95, soundcardMod
Ratings key:0=none*=poor**=good***=excellentInput device key:M=mouseK=keyboardT=touchscreenS=switch