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Re: [school-discuss] open source special needs and early grade applications sought

On Thu, Sep 14, 2006 at 04:27:31PM -0400, Daniel Howard wrote:
> 2. A predictive word processor (as students type words, it gives them 
> typical choices to complete the words)

Qtopia on the Sharp Zaurus has an on screen, tapable keyboard that includes
predictive word displays.

It might make sense to create something like this for Linux in general
(e.g., for X-Window, KDE and/or GNOME), rather than build it in to one
specific application.

It would act similar to handwriting recognition software available for X,
I would imagine.  Perhaps the [Tab], [PgUp/Dn] and/or [Fn] keys could be
used for selecting the word.

> 3. A talking screen reader, so that younger students can take tests like 
> those in Accelerated Reader by having the questions read to them. 
> Currently, parent volunteers come in to do this, but I know that at 
> other Atlanta Public Schools where parent volunteers are few and far 
> between, a computer-spoken version of online tests would be extremely 
> useful.

Festival is one of the more popular text-to-speech tools for Linux.
KDE provides a system-wide (well, KDE-wide) front-end for Festival (and
other text-to-speech backends) called "KTTSD" (KDE Text To Speech Daemon).

There's a GUI (kttsdmgr) which lets you configure it, including adding
regular expressions to convert words before they're spoken.
(For example, "Mac OSX" or "IRC" always sounded funny, so I trained
KTTSD to replace them with "Mac Oh Ess Ecks" and "Eye Are See", respectively.)

Some KDE applications (such as Konqueror) make KTTSD available within the
application (e.g., Konqueror's "Tools->Speak Web Page").  KTTSDMGR can actually
live in your systray (in the panel, i.e., next to your clock and taskbar)
and let you speak whatever's in the clipboard.

Good luck!