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Top Free Online SEN Technology Resources

There are an increasing number of great individuals, schools, charities and other organisations that are sharing loads of free SEN information and software on the web. If you have a site that you would like to recommend then please let me know!

Site in Focus

SEN Teacher Resources Logo

SEN Teacher is a useful website that is clearly laid out, accessible and very easy to use. It is split into three main sections:

  1. 'Printout' contains 30 printable worksheet resources covering topics such as numeracy and handwriting.
  2. 'Software' consists of 15 Flash activities created by the site author; and links to another 20 similar activities and programs by other authors. All the software is free and ranges from basic hit-and-happen touchscreen animations to Switch Access to Windows and painting programs.
  3. Finally 'Weblinks' contains links to over 50 websites that should be in the 'Favourites' menu of any SEN Teacher. These include links to disability support organisations such as Downs Syndrome Association, links to commercial companies like Sensory Software and many other useful non-commercial resources.

Sites with Content

The following sites contain their own useful resources related to Special Educational Needs and technology.

The Ace Centre

The ACE Centre provides a focus for the use of technology with the communication and educational needs of young people with physical and communication difficulties. They offer a wide variety of services including in-depth individual assessments, information, and specialist training for parents and professionals. They are an enthusiastic and friendly group of people who are very experienced in their work.

CENMAC

CENMAC is a team of advisory teachers with backgrounds in special schools and mainstream inclusion. They work within the Greater London area with children aged 3 to 19 who have a physical disability that prevents them from using writing as a form of communication. The professional CENMAC staff perform assessments (after which they can loan the equipment they recommend) and staff training. CENMAC are committed to their caseload and re-evaluate pupils on an annual basis.

AbilityNet

AbilityNet is the UK's leading charity bringing the benefits of computer technology to adults and children with disabilities. AbilityNet has dozens of knowledgeable assessors who are spread across the country and keep themselves very busy helping in schools, the workplace and in homes. Their website contains lots of downloadable factsheets that cover things like ICT support for Dyslexia or Visual Impairments.

The CALL Centre

The CALL Centre is part of the University of Edinburgh. This site is stacked with useful content including downloadable books about supportive writing, and loads of information dealing with special needs and IT. It includes information on Clicker, intellikeys, wheelchairs, co:writer, and more ... they even provide access to a loan bank of specialist equipment for pupils in Scotland.

Inclusive NOF

Inclusive Technology are actually a supplier and manufacturer and their main website, including their catalogue, is set out in with my Commercial Links. However, they have also been kind enough to freely share their NOF training resources on a separate website. These resources cover loads of SEN technology scenarios and are filled with case studies and practical activities. Loads of thanks to the nice people at Inclusive for freely sharing this info!

Priory Woods School

Priory Woods' website is not only one of the best special schools websites around, I think it's one of the best sites around generally. The site contains loads of free fun online activities in the 'Kids Only' section, as well as lesson plans, worksheets, software, ICT training resources. Well done Ian Bean!

Meldreth Manor

Dig deep into this site and you'll find loads of information about how Meldreth Manor school uses ICT to help their pupils. Richard Walter, author of this material, is a highly-rated contributor to the SENIT forum and all-round imaginative expert in this field. There's especially a lot of information relating to switch access.

Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School

This award-winning Beacon school in Framlingham has a cool school website with loads of information on Clicker, PowerPoint and Paint Shop Pro and how these can be used in the classroom. It also contains lesson plans for using Art in ICT including ideas of what you can do with all those print-outs, as well as ideas for using ICT in Geography and Music and even some fun videos showing their Lego Robolab in action. I used to have a Lego robot, you know. His name was Dave and I taught him the quickstep.

Virtual SEN

This is a digital publishing website written by Will Pearson, former RNIB ICT Development Officer and Technology Officer. The site itself is very interesting; mixing photography and poetry while getting across lots of information about, amongst other things, the use of Daisy books and BuildAbility. Well worth a good look around.

SENSwitcher

Very popular (it's free!) collection of switch games that can be used to assess switch access and to develop it further. There are eight progressive stages based on the QCA ICT P levels and empirical research carried out by Priory Woods School External Link.

SEN Teacher

SEN Teacher is a useful website that is clearly laid out, accessible and very easy to use. It is split into three main sections:

  • 'Printout' contains 30 printable worksheet resources covering topics such as numeracy and handwriting.
  • 'Software' consists of 15 Flash activities created by the site author; and links to another 20 similar activities and programs by other authors. All the software is free and ranges from basic hit-and-happen touchscreen animations to Switch Access to Windows and painting programs.
  • 'Weblinks' contains links to over 50 websites that should be in the 'Favourites' menu of any SEN Teacher. These include links to disability support organisations such as Downs Syndrome Association, links to commercial companies like Sensory Software and many other useful non-commercial resources.

BECTa

The British Educational Communication and Technologies Agency (BECTa) provides practical advice on how ICT can improve educational outcomes. This includes advice for mainstream as well as special education.

British Dyslexia Association

The BDA is the campaigning voice of dyslexic people. There site contains lots of information about dyslexia and how to got about getting assessments and overcoming difficulties.

Dyslexia Institute

"The DI is the UK's leading provider of services for dyslexic people and has 27 main Centres and over 140 smaller teaching units throughout the country. It carries out assessments for children and adults who may be dyslexic, provides tuition and trains specialist teachers, as well as developing teaching materials and conducting research."

Portals

Portals tend to contain little content of their own, but bring together a categorized list of links branching out to other worthwhile sites on the Internet.

Check The Map

This popular website provides information about regional and national services for people with learning difficulties. Because it's free to advertise a service on the site this gives smaller organisations the exposure they need to be able to share their skills with a wider audience. This is a promising site to advertise a service you are running or to find out about services in your area and nationwide.

e-bility

E-bility is an Australian website run by a team of disability consultants, led by Sandra Vosollo who has over twenty years experience working within health, special education, community and disability services. The website contains brochures and links to services and companies and is well laid out and very accessible.

sensite

This website contains a comprehensive directory of links to other SEN-related websites on the Internet. Classroom subjects are listed down the left of the index, along with school management areas. This website is fairly new and a rating system is being introduced for each link.