My name is Paula Brannon and I am the Assistive Technology Resource Teacher at The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Your email was forwarded to me by our principal, Mrs. Hofmann-Sitten. I am very happy to respond that yes, we use the SAL 2 Talking Tactile Tablet (TTT) system. We have units in classrooms ranging from Elementary to High School.
Our students and teachers love the system. It provides beautiful tactile graphics ranging in subject matter from Math, Science, Social Studies to leisure games. I think Concentration is one of the favorites around here but Snakes and Ladders trail a close second.
The machine and software do a wonderful job training the user how to use the sets of overlays that come with the software. The manual is very clear and concise if you use the Authoring Tool. This program allows the user to create their own overlay. If you have a Tiger Embosser you can emboss your own overlays exactly as you created it. You can add your voice, a synthesized voice, or other sound effects as well.
The Mangold material is exactly what Sally Mangold developed, except the overlays already mimic each worksheet, sound effects have been added to indicate correct answers, and can even keep track of a student’s progress.
We have linked our TTT units to our distributed video system so that our low vision students can access the same materials as their blind friends. We distribute video output from our Smart Boards to monitors at each desk. This permits our low vision students to interact with the overlay visually using the Smart Board (which acts like a TTT, just not tactile) and our blind students use the TTT overlays. This way, the entire class benefits from the same project the teacher created, eliminating creating two separate manipulatives. It helps unit our students into one student body.
As you can tell, I am slightly enthusiastic about this product. As a matter of fact, if you would like to see one of our struggling students use the unit, we have a video on our school website.
Please note that this young man lived for the TTT, so much so that the teacher used it as a reward system for him. Imagine that! He was rewarded by doing work using the TTT! I loved it!
Assistive Technology Resource Teacher
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
Saint Augustine, Florida