Freedom Scientific Learning Systems Group Presents
The WYNNing Word
Working with Partners to Support Reading and Writing
Freedom Scientific, LSG is always looking for better ways to find and serve people who require support for reading and writing. Schools and universities are obvious places, but individuals in transition or in the workplace are more difficult to identify. As such, we are always looking for partners and dedicated organizations who serve this need. State Offices of Rehabilitation, the Wounded Warriors programs, medical facilities, and independent organizations are just some of the wonderful groups that support those with reading challenges.
Our Best Feedback – People Who Use WYNN
True partners are our WYNN users. We recently had the opportunity to hear some feedback from them about how schools are benefiting from the new features in WYNN. Teachers especially like the notecards, writing templates, and PREPARE process.
“Students feel good using the PREPARE process because there are more supports.”
“We tried other programs that guide students through the reading, notetaking, and writing process, but this is better because it is easier for students to follow and understand.”
Another teacher remarked, “Another great feature of the WYNN program is the ability to design notecards for studying purposes. This is a great way to engage the students in learning new concepts and terminology.”
One such organization is Capabilities, Inc. in Ohio. Capabilities is a provider of services for people with disabilities in Ohio. They are a vendor for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, and multiple county boards of developmental disabilities. To qualify for Capabilities services, an individual must have a documented disability and/or have a Medicaid waiver. Capabilities has a total of five offices that serve the western side of Ohio. Initially, Capabilities was only vocationally based, but now have branched out into quality day habilitation programming to help people work on expanded goals. In their vocational rehabilitation program, they do extensive job development, job coaching, and retention services.
“We work one-on-one with our clients to help improve their life. We always strive to serve our consumers in the best way possible. I think we are able to accomplish that by customizing our services to best fit the individual,” says Tiffany Blumhorst, Day Habilitation Manager.
Tiffany explained to us that Capabilities is always looking for new opportunities to achieve their goal of customizing an individual’s plan. Their plan is to empower a consumer to reach his goals. While she was familiar with Freedom Scientific’s products for their low vision and blind clients, until recently she was unaware of WYNN from the Learning Systems Group. Capabilities learned of WYNN from Ohio Rehabilitation Services counselors who were pleased with the benefits WYNN’s extensive tools were providing their consumers.
With the Ohio RSC recommendation, Capabilities representatives met with Freedom Scientific, LSG’s Regional Manager, to learn more about WYNN’s reading and writing support features. They were impressed with WYNN’s robust interface.
“Reading and writing tools are always useful no matter what training a client may be involved with. I felt that WYNN would be of value to our consumers as it has a lot of functionality in one program.”
One of Capabilities’ consumers, James, attends the Capabilities Social Club. He has a developmental disability, making it difficult for him to read and write. Spelling is particularly problematic for James. Since being introduced to WYNN, James has been able to accomplish tasks similar to other members of his group.
"It is extremely helpful for James to have what he wrote spoken back to him. The Read feature allows him to edit his writing and his spelling independently. This is a huge confidence builder!"
In addition, WYNN's ability to allow a user to change the reading settings to customize the pace of reading has encouraged James to read more material. Word Prediction has made it possible for him to be more independent with his writing. James was so happy with Freedom Scientific's new scanning product, the PEARL, a portable scanning and reading camera, that he made the suggestion that the Members Handbook be scanned so that it could be read by WYNN. He is now able to understand the rules and policies of the club without having someone read them to him.
James reported, “WYNN helps me out a whole lot. It helps me spell words, write e-mails, write my book, and help me read. I like that I can make my own toolbar, change the settings so they work for me, and how I can surf the Internet. I am more successful because it helps me learn to do things better.”
After having the opportunity to use the PEARL camera he continued, “I like to scan documents and have them read to me so that I can understand.”
The staff at Capabilities, Inc. does wonderful work offering opportunities for people with disabilities to enhance their life situation whether it be socially or in the workforce. We applaud their dedication to service!
Michigan State University
As we look toward the future, we are very excited to report that Dr. Cindy Okolo, Michigan State University researcher and co- Principal Investigator on the Steppingstone’s grant awarded to MSU and Freedom Scientific, is initiating research with Woodlynde School in Wayne/Strafford, PA.
The objective of the study is to better understand how WYNN, accompanied by the PAL process, is being implemented in the classroom. The study, which will continue through the 2013-2014 school year, will focus on grades 6 through 8. Working with middle school students will enable Dr. Okolo to focus on how WYNN impacts student outcomes and teaching practices as students face challenging demands for strategic learning in content areas.
We will keep you informed as to the results of the study and how WYNN, the PAL features, and the PREPARE process are used.
Also, as an update, you may remember reading about Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, in a past WYNNing Word. It was the first college that purchased WYNN for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in their 1:1 laptop program. Today, as a new technology day dawns, Meredith students are bringing their own devices to school. As such, Meredith will install WYNN on any student’s computer as required.
These are just a few examples of how Freedom Scientific, LSG is working with customers and organizations to continually find new and innovative ways to ensure the success of people with disabilities. We strive to provide beneficial tools to the people dedicated to educating those individuals with disabilities, whether it is in school or the workplace. We thank you for your support and feedback. We are always happy to hear from our users.
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments about how you are using WYNN. Who knows – you might be reading about yourself in these pages some day!
For more information about customizing WYNN to meet the needs of each individual user, please explore our Web site. We offer many tools and resources, including how-to videos, that will help you to understand how easy it is to use WYNN's wonderful features.
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About Freedom Scientific LSG
Freedom Scientific, Learning Systems Group provides products that are acclaimed for their easy-to-use interface, innovative technology, and flexible but powerful features. Designed by educational experts to enhance the learning process for struggling students, WYNN provides reading and writing solutions. Freedom Scientific also is the leading worldwide provider of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. To find out more about our products, please visit us at www.freedomscientific.com/lsg.
WYNN™ is a trademark of Freedom Scientific, Inc.
PEARL® is a registered trademark of Freedom Scientific, Inc.