AbleNet to Showcase New Products and Product Enhancements at the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference March 10-15, 2008 in Los Angeles

Share Article

The buzz is on. AbleNet will showcase its new line of adapted computer access tools, a new version of its popular wireless Jelly Beamer switch, an extremely versatile mounting solution, a brand new handheld communication device, exciting new transition skills software, new literacy learning software, an enhanced version of the company's scientifically-proven literacy curriculum… and its award-winning adapted student periodicals developed in partnership with Weekly Reader.

Now in its 23rd year, the annual California State University, Northridge Center on Disabilities' International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, is always a much-anticipated event. Because the conference is open to industry professionals and the general public, it represents an opportunity for everyone, including persons with disabilities and their families, to go one-on-one with representatives from a variety of organizations specializing in assistive technology products and services for persons with cognitive and/or physical disabilities.

At this year's conference, AbleNet will showcase its new line of computer access tools, including "Wireless Wave" and "Wave," two versions of an oversized trackball device specifically designed for persons with limited hand control, motor skill difficulties and hand-eye coordination challenges. The company will also introduce "Rock," a mouse alternative that comes with three interchangeable joystick handles, including a straight stem, a t-bar and a large soft ball, and "Cruise," a new breed of mouse that requires no hand or wrist movement.

Also new from AbleNet is an enhanced version of its popular Jelly Beamer wireless switch - now available with a wireless switch latch and timer for three modes of control; and an extremely versatile mounting system developed with AbleNet input by Minneapolis-based BlueSky Designs. Dubbed the Mount'n Mover, this unique system can be customized to lock in over 1,700 possible user-specific positions. In addition, it offers low effort repositioning and universal attachment plate for use with laptops, switches and more.

After it's unveiling in 2007, everybody's been talking about "Lingo," AbleNet's new eight-message communication aid that is small and lightweight enough to be worn comfortably around the neck or shoulder, or at the waist. It too will be available for a try-before-you-buy test run.

Since its inception, AbleNet has been a respected partner and provider of products and services that support school district administrators, special education professionals and students with disabilities. This year, the company is proud to introduce Next™ Transition Skills System, a district-wide solution that simplifies the process of identifying, teaching and tracking essential transition skills over multiple years, while meeting state standards and federal guidelines for providing transition education to students with autism spectrum disorders, mild, moderate and severe disabilities.

In keeping with the company's long-standing reputation as an advocate for literacy, AbleNet is also proud to introduce three new literacy learning products, including "Read, Write, Grow," an exclusive software offering that carries AbleNet's new "Powered by SoftTouch" label - the direct result of a unique partnership between AbleNet and Omaha-based SoftTouch.

Also new on the literacy learning front, AbleNet will showcase its brand new MEville to WEville with Literacy Starters Program, a research-proven multi-year literacy curriculum for beginning readers with significant disabilities in grades k-5. Conceived by Dr. Karen Erickson, AbleNet, Inc., and Don Johnston, Inc., this enhanced edition of AbleNet's original MEville to WEville Program leverages the strength of Don Johnston's research-based Start-to-Finish® Literacy Starters content to help special education teachers accelerate student outcomes by building generalizable literacy skills.

And last, but certainly not least, AbleNet will put the spotlight on an exciting new literacy product introduced at the start of the '07 - '08 school year. Already named a "Teachers' Pick" by Scholastic's "Instructor" magazine, "Weekly Reader AbleNet Editions" provide scientifically proven content in the form of monthly periodicals specifically designed for elementary and secondary students.

"This is an important conference, and we are truly looking forward to receiving feedback on our latest products and our newly enhanced products. Listening to what people want and then responding by bringing new ideas to the people who need them is a big part of AbleNet's culture, and something we're very proud of. This year we are particularly honored to have worked collaboratively with so many talented people and well-known organizations to bring new products to the market." said Jen Thalhuber, AbleNet CEO.

About AbleNet:
AbleNet offers a complete line of assistive technology products, including communication aids for non-verbal students; access aids, such as switches and wheelchair mounting devices for students who require physical supports; and classroom tools that can be used by any individual student or during group activities. The company is also recognized for developing research-based special education curricula that meet state and federal mandates.

Located in Roseville, Minnesota, AbleNet is an ESOP company that employs 35 people and sells its products through a network of distributors in 49 countries. AbleNet's products and programs have been used in tens of thousands of classrooms nationally for more than 20 years. For more information visit

About BlueSky Designs:
BlueSky Designs applies ergonomics and universal design to develop products that address the needs of people with and without disabilities -- at work, at play, and at home. The resulting products make activities easier for and more accessible to everyone. For more information, visit

About SoftTouch
SoftTouch develops software for individuals with special needs. The company's various software product categories include: autism, speech and language, severe disabilities, accessible software, activity books, teens, and testing. To learn more about SoftTouch and its products visit

About Dr. Karen Erickson, Ph.D.
Dr. Erickson is the current director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She holds a Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy Studies from UNC and is a former teacher of children with significant disabilities. Knowledgeable in literacy, assistive and instructional technologies, augmentative communication, and the learning characteristics of children with significant disabilities, she is in great demand as a presenter, consultant, and program developer. Her assessment and intervention strategies are described in numerous journal articles and book chapters.

For more information about Dr. Karen Erickson, Ph.D. and the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, visit

About Don Johnston
Don Johnston Inc. empowers educators with supplemental instruction and intervention solutions to help struggling learners build core literacy skills with confidence. Don Johnston has partnered with literacy experts, psychologists, teachers, researchers and scientists since 1980 to develop over a dozen educational technology products. The company also publishes Start-to-Finish™, a collection of paperback, audio and computer books to engage struggling readers.

For more information about Don Johnston Incorporated visit or call

About Weekly Reader:
Weekly Reader Periodicals is part of the Weekly Reader Publishing Group (WRPG), a leader in educational publishing. Founded in 1902, Weekly Reader publishes 15 magazines for students in every grade from preschool through high school, in both print and electronic formats. Weekly Reader magazines have been recognized for their engaging content and proven effectiveness in improving student performance. Every one of the magazines has won awards for excellence in educational journalism. Weekly Reader magazines currently serve over five million students and 240,000 teachers nationwide. Weekly Reader Publishing Group is part of the Reader's Digest Association, Inc.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Mary Kay Walch
Email >