Sara and Hiyah Software for Children with Disabilities
Author: Wendy Taormina-Weiss
Published: 2012-01-07 : (Rev. 2013-06-01)
The programs Sara has created are based on high interest topics that include holidays nursery rhymes and birthday themes.
Main DigestThere are entire categories of games at Hiyah, and every single one of these games is educational, fun, and beneficial for children with disabilities.
Game Accessibility - Defined as the ability to play a game even when functioning under limiting conditions. Limiting conditions can be functional limitations, or disabilities - such as blindness, deafness, or mobility limitations - IGDA Game Accessibility White Paper.
Sara is the mother of two boys, both of whom have an interest in computers, yet did not know how to use either a keyboard or a mouse. There was nothing on the market that suited their needs, so Sara started creating educational computer software programs her sons could use on their own just by pressing the space bar on the keyboard. Sara also decided to make the software she has created (and there is plenty of it!), available to any parent or teacher who wants to use them.
The programs Sara has created are based on high interest topics that include, among many other things, holidays, nursery rhymes, and birthday themes. For children who have limited language skills, Sara's programs provide them meaning in association with concepts and words. Everything from getting a haircut and going to a dentist or doctor, to birthdays and holidays is broken down into sequential steps with the intention of completely explaining the event.
The programs are based on high interest subjects, such as nursery rhymes, holidays, and birthday themes. The software keeps children engaged and actively learning. And for children with limited language skills, my programs can help give meaning to words and concepts. Holidays, birthdays, going to the doctor, dentist, or getting a haircut, are all broken down into sequential steps to thoroughly explain the event. Sara's software is designed for children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years old, or higher for children who are struggling with language delays because of autism or other forms of disabilities.
Sara's programs are completely free for you to use and are easy to install or un-install. The versions that are available for download are designed to run on computers that use Microsoft Windows. Children can also play her games online and they work on Macintosh or PC's.
If you have a PC with Microsoft Windows, the download versions of the games that Sara has created have a higher resolution, with better speed and animation. The programs will also be there on your computer for your children to use whenever they want. However, if schools don't allow downloads onto their computers, the online versions are the best option. No matter which option you choose, there is an incredible variety of games for children with disabilities to play available through Sara's website, "Hiyah Free Software Listing ." Just look at a few of these games...
Colors - A fun look at the spectrum of colors
Shapes - This program teaches about triangles, circles, squares, spheres, etc. through the use of animation, video clips and music.
Opposites - Some of the most common opposites
Telling Time - one o'clock, two o'clock...
Sign Language - Common words signed and illustrated
Nouns and Verbs - sorted alphabetically...
Pre-Primary Words - "And" "Go" "Help", etc
Primary Words - "Good" "Must" "Pretty", etc
First Grade Words - "Again" "Every" "Open", etc
Second Grade Words and Third Grade Words - Printable practice sheets
Still more of Sara's games involve numbers and counting. For example:
Counting Machine - The Counting Machine game is a program that allows children to count in a visual manner. It does have the ability to be played without using a mouse, although if a child has basic mouse skills they can pick quantities, shapes, and sounds out on their own.
Adding Machine - The Adding Machine game is one that gives children the ability to add and subtract visually. Like others of Sara's programs, this one can be played without a mouse, although with basic mouse skills, children can pick numbers themselves.
Number Rows - Number Rows is a game where children can add, subtract and multiply, as well as divide rows of numbers giving them the opportunity to see patterns. Number Rows can also be used without a mouse, but is enhanced through basic mouse skills.
Numbers Volume 1 - In Numbers Volume 1, the numbers from 0 through 20 are shown in a way that is fun for children and should keep their interest. The volume includes both animated clipart and photographs that are set to music.
Numbers Volume 2 ; Movies - In this Numbers Volume, the program has around 20 short video clips that present numbers in ways that are both creative and interesting to children. The program is more appealing to children than skills teaching, and particularly good for children who respond to visual stimulation well.
There are entire categories of games at Hiyah, so many games that this article cannot possibly mention them all, and every single one of these games is educational, fun, and beneficial for children with disabilities. Additional categories at Hiyah include Behavior, Upcoming Holidays and Seasons, Classic Stories, Original Stories, Traditional Songs and Nursery Rhymes, Going Places, Occupations and Transportation, Emotions, Nature, and Printable Flash Cards. The site is well worth visiting if you have a child with disabilities. Sara has done an exceptional job of creating fun, educational, and entertaining software that children can benefit from!
Hiyah Free Software Listing - www.hiyah.net/software.html
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