Touch Technology Conference for the Special Needs Community Brought Together App Developers, Therapists, Educators and Parents from Across the U.S. and Canada

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Touch technology is allowing children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs to engage and excel in academic work; improve social interactions; expand personal interests; and better express their personality, wants and needs. Children engaging in the use of these unique touch tablet applications are finding their voices and gaining confidence as they acquire education and life enhancement skills. At the Touch Technology Applications Conference & Exposition, attendees gained insight and invaluable life experiences not found anywhere else. The Inaugural two-day conference was received with rave reviews.

The conference, entitled Touch Technology Applications for Children with Special Needs, took place Monday and Tuesday, September 17-18 at the Renaissance Hotel at the St. Louis Airport and was created by Behavior Therapist Debra Bryant, BCaBA of St. Louis. Bryant saw the need for the conference over the past year and sought production support from St. Louis Main Events. Bryant states, “Through my own clients and practice, I have seen the profound difference that touch technology has made in the lives of children with autism. Touch tablets are wonderful tools that can enhance not only communication, but also learning and leisure for many children with a variety of special needs. The conference was a huge step in app education, and gave professionals and parents an overview of hundreds of apps with endless possibilities for their students and children." Ms. Bryant’s company ABA Consulting Services LLC served as the title sponsor, and major sponsors included Special Learning Inc. and R.J. Cooper and Associates.
More than 30 exhibitors featured their apps, and included AAC & Communication Enhancing Apps/Devices such as Dynavox, GoTalk, iClick iTalk, Panda Pal Autism Communication System, Prentke Romich Co. Devices, Proloquo2Go, So Much to Say, Sounding Board, Speak for Yourself, Communicating Basic Needs, Speech Buttons, and TouchChat. Speech, Language & Social Skills Apps/Software included Apraxia Cards, Autism Language Learning, Buddy Bear Apps, Eye Contact Trainer, Functional Conversation, Phonology Cards, See.Touch.Learn, Video Sequencing, and Vocalic R Shuffle. Other education enhancing Apps/Software featured were firefly, myHomework, Scan-A-Word, Simplex Spelling Apps, and Spell-A-Word. For Therapy Management Apps/Software, the conference highlighted developers from ABPathfinder, Little App Helpers, and Track & Share, and other apps were featured such as EASe Listening Therapy App Pro, Point-To-Pictures, RadSounds, and Scan-To-Pictures. Readers can find more information and reviews about the apps featured at the conference on the event website at http://www.specialneedstouchtechnology.com.

Attendees not only learned in a hands-on classroom with four sessions every hour, they were also able to visit the exhibit hall and speak one on one with the developers at any time during the conference. The apps were on display, and developers demonstrated the latest touch technology applications for use in therapy, school, home and social settings through live demonstration and videos illustrating the state of the art technology of apps for communication, speech, language, motor skills, social skills, academic skills, and behavioral skills. Some sessions were live-streamed and participants from all over the world took part. A webcast of those sessions is now available and can be purchased by visiting http://www.special-learning.com//Touch_Technology_2012.

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