Thursday, 27 November 2008

26 Nov: Engage TV and LD Parl project

First day of an 8-week documentary and drama project for members of the Learning Disabilities Parliament with Engage TV. I'll write about it sometime after tomorrow's session.

25 Nov: Micro-Enterprises

Guy Turnbull from Rapid Enterprise Developments, RED, did a 2-day workshop for people with learning disabilities to learn how to start up their own business enterprises. Me and Robert went together and the other people their we knew from the 29 Days Festival, the Stay Up Late campaign, the Learning Disabilities Parliament and Innovations.

24 Nov: PowerPoint VOCA: Success!

PowerPoint Voice Output Communication Aids for 20, 30, 50, 77 and 112 high frequency words. Some squares have 2 or more words on them so really there are 26, 36, 60, 93 and 143 words.

Terry edited graphics of Gail Van Tatenhove's Pixon series of communication boards by splitting any square with two or more words to look like 2 or more buttons. We used my Pathfinder to add sound for each word to the slide with 143 words AND POWERPOINT DIDN'T SLOW DOWN THIS TIME!!! As soon as you click on a word PowerPoint speaks it!

In Gail's 1 year Pixon Project using these boards with 24 people with severe cognitive disabilities 2/24 learned over 100 core words, 8/24 learned 76 to 100 core words, 10/24 learned 51 to 75 core words, 3/24 learned 26 to 50 core words, and 1/24 learned 1 to 25 core words.

See my album 'Pixon Boards' on FaceBook. Here is a shot of the 143 board before we swapped the speaker icons for transparent gifs.

19: Nov: C Passports

After the movie project we went for Gemma and we worked on our Communication Passports at my house. We are making PowerPoints about ourselves that will print out at 6 x 4 and help people to communicate with us directly instead of talking about us to our carers.

19 Nov: Campaign Me

Me and Robert and Andrew and about 20 others had our first day on the Engage TV project 'campaign me' at Percy Hedley Day Centre. Over 10 weeks we will plot and plan, make leaflets and posters and a movie, and get an Arts Award for it.

Steve Carolan from Shoot Yer Mouth Off is working with us.

Monday, 17 November 2008

14 Nov: LD Parl: UNCRPD

Today I gave a presentation about the United Nations Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities at the Learning Disabilities Service User Parliament.

We copied and pasted parts of the Rehabilitation International presentation on the Convention into a text-to-speech programme, and parts of Articles 21 & 24. I used the same programme to read out the petition letter before Members signed it, ready to send to Gordon Brown and David Miliband.

About the Convention excerpts are in one movie and reading and signing the letter is in the other on YouTube: and

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Children in Need

Last night we used the free programme Text-to-Wav to make MP3 files for all the words on our communication board and inserted them into the PowerPoint. We aren't going to swap the little yellow speakers for transparent gifs this time. there's no point. PowerPoint really slows down with this number of sound files on a slide, even tho each one is only 10 kb and the overall file size is only 1.94 MB.

Back to the drawing board!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

7 Nov: 11 Million Takeover Day

We took over our favourite corner of Clayport Library and used the big screen to share a problem we are having with PowerPoint's response time in one of our voice output communication aid slideshows. the video is on youtube:

quality of picture and sound is naff. how to get the best out of youtube? another lesson.