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January 2020 Issue 18
Supporting staff and students to achieve their full potential
(Est. 1968)

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Dear CENMAC Community,

Happy New Year!

We thought we would start the new year with a focus on new technology and most excitingly Clicker 8 is here! We will be upgrading all our Clicker 7 users over the coming months so you can make the most of the new features on offer. If you are a school who already has Clicker 7 and would like to learn more then please just ask your link teacher and we will be very happy to demonstrate. Crick have also offered any CENMAC schools with Clicker 7  upgrading to Clicker 8 a free place on one of their regional training days in London. 


SAVE THE DATE
Please do add the 14 May into your diaries for Communication Works 2020 as it will be a day packed with lots of opportunity to learn about assistive technology for all. 
 

Kathryn Stowell
Team Leader


 

New Year, New Technology and New Apps

 

Screen Grab of Clicker 8

Image (c) Crick Software

A very exciting software launch is taking place this month at BETT 2020 ...
Crick Software have announced two major updates to their child-friendly word processor Clicker, of which the CENMAC team had a sneak preview before Christmas.  

  • Clicker 8 is a complete literacy solution for the primary classroom, providing every pupil with just the right level of support and challenge.  In addition to enhancing the core Clicker features that teachers know and love, Crick has added exciting new tools including Clicker Cloze (create topic-specific Cloze activities in seconds) Clicker Analytics (access rich data about each child’s writing journey) and a range of professionally-made resources for developing readers and EAL pupils. 

  • For schools using Chromebooks or iPads, Crick’s new Clicker Writer app provides step-by-step support throughout the writing process and includes access to a growing bank of sentence building activities, word banks and writing frames aligned to the primary curriculum. 
     


If you would like to find out more about the changes to Clicker, you can sign up to one of their free webinars. Click on the button below:  

Sign up to Clicker 8 Webinars

Hear Mail appHear Mail

Leading mobile and web app company Appetiser App Development and digital start-up Hear Me Talk proudly present Hear Mail, a powerful new app for getting through emails efficiently regardless of any reading difficulties.

Hear Mail reads text aloud, enabling users to check their inboxes hands-free. The app also allows users to skip from a current email to the next, or delete spam at any point along the way. 

This email reader works with Google and Microsoft applications, including G Suite and Office 365. Hear Mail is the brainchild of Shane Kerr, Hear Me Talk’s founder. Initially, Kerr wanted a solution for email backlog to help users get on to other business matters quickly and instantaneously. Eventually, he recognised that the app has huge potential to support the visually impaired and disabled community as well as anyone facing reading challenges.
 

To find out more about Hear or to download the app


man in wheelchair looking at mobile phone
Image (c) Sesame Enable Touch Free Control

Sesame Enable Touch Free Control  

While not brand new for 2020, (having been initially launched in 2017), CENMAC are excited to learn that each of the Sesame Enable apps are now being made available for free download from www.sesame-enable.com including Open Sesame for Windows which enables users to have full control of their PC through subtle head movements.

Open Sesame! Touch Free Control is also available, allowing full head control for Android smartphones and tablets. Both these apps work immediately without the need for any kind of additional hardware. 

 

Download Open Sesame


Accessible Apps in Grid


The latest software update for Grid introduces some great new features to help users do even more with Grid, using any access method. 

Just update to the latest version of Grid 3 to try these new accessible apps. There are some handy guides below to help you get started. 
 

facebook app
Facebook 

Create posts with emojis, tag friends, add reactions and much more!

Download Grid's Getting started guide here.   

Spotify appSpotify 

Discover millions of songs, search for a new podcast and browse your favourite artists.

Download Grid's Getting started guide here.   

Smartphone appSmartphione

Connect Grid 3 to your Android or Apple smartphone through Bluetooth.

Download Grid's Getting started guide here.  


SAVE THE DATES
14 & 21 May 2020

We are really excited to be collaborating with the Ace Centre and New Bridge Academy for Communication Works 2020, North and South. More exciting details to come and a link to sign up for your FREE tickets.
 
Communication works logo

Levelling the Playing Field for all Learners
Save the dates! Communication Works 2020 South (London) Thursday 14 May and North (Oldham) Thursday 21 May.

cenmac.com/communication-works-2020


 
New Year, New team Member
 

Head shot of man with  beardFollowing the departure of our previous Advisory Teacher Georgina Bull at the end of last term, we are pleased to welcome Ben Annett to the team, who has a wealth of expertise in the area of SEND. Ben had these words to say on his first day with CENMAC …  

 

"I’ve been working in special needs education for over 13 years, most recently as head of a small unit for high-needs learners in Haringey. Over the years I’ve worked with SEND students across the spectrum, from PMLD to MLD, ASD and SEMH. I’ve been constantly impressed at the impact that new technologies, applied creatively and with the right support, can have in enhancing students’ experience, engagement and progress. 

I’m looking forward to working with the CENMAC team to support students and practitioners to make the most of existing technologies as well as harnessing new technologies in a rapidly changing technological landscape. Exciting times!" 

 

New Year, New Training Dates
 

As many of you are aware, the CENMAC team provide centralised training at least three times a year, which is bookable via our website cenmac.com/training-and-events/training  

If you haven't been able to attend one of these sessions, we can also offer bespoke training for groups of staff at your setting. Please ask your CENMAC team member for more details if you would like to arrange something for the New Year. 

Symbol for training
Call Scotland have a range of webinars coming up, including a Word Q Speak Q webinar at the end of January. They are FREE to sign up for and each one lasts 20 minutes. www.callscotland.org.uk/professional-learning/webinars 

 

New Year, New Referrals

 

CENMAC accepts new referrals to the service at all times throughout the school year. If you feel that a student would benefit from CENMAC assessment, please visit our website here: cenmac.com/referrals/referral-form-2 and complete the online referral form. Remember that the information given here helps the Local Authority to decide whether or not to agree to funding, so be as detailed as you can about the student's needs and what support is already in place. 


Southwark Council logo


If you are based in Southwark, the referral process is slightly different – please email directly to sen@southwark.gov.uk requesting CENMAC support, and they will provide you with a referral form. 
 


Karmzah book New Year, New Super Hero!

There is a new super hero in town to fight crime and help the world – Morowa is an archaeologist with cerebral palsy, who is bestowed with superpowers after breaking an ancient jar on an excavation. Morowa is transformed into her alter-ego Karmzah, and her crutches become powerful tools to help her defeat villains. The Kindle edition was published in February last year, and is a strong graphic novel with a positive representation of a lead character with a disability. A recommended addition to any comic lover's library. 

 

… and finally

Don't forget to share this newsletter with colleagues and friends. If there is any information or themes you would like to see in our newsletter, then please drop us a line at mail@cenmac.com

Useful CENMAC links:
CENMAC and Charlton Park Academy Vimeo Channel
CENMAC - based at Charlton Park Academy (est.1968)

 
www.charltonparkacademy.com | @charltonsch  
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