Touch-type Read and Spell can be used individually, in a class/group setting, or under the guidance of a speech and language therapist
Benefits of multi-sensory typing
- Relearn the written and spoken form of words
- Enhance memory and facilitate language retrieval
- Take an active role in your stroke recovery
- Lower anxiety and reduce frustration
- Feel more confident communicating with friends and loved ones
- Learn to type as an alternative to speaking or handwriting
The TTRS approach
Hearing and seeing words on the screen in repetitive modules retraces the sound-letter correspondences needed for the brain to process spoken and written language. The kinesthetic element of pressing a key involves muscle memory to reinforce language in memory. Saying the words aloud as you type them, can also help with dysarthria.
How to use the course
You may find Touch-type Read and Spell is a convenient and effective way to practice language recall and production.
Individuals who have difficulties speaking and being understood after a stroke may wish to communicate using a keyboard. TTRS allows you to learn touch-typing and strengthen your language skills at the same time.
When communicative difficulties are extreme, the course can be a good way to review phonics and relearn basic words in written and spoken English.
- Adjust your settings
- Preview level content
- Decide where to start
- Explore course features
- Set usage goals
Select Settings from the top navigation menu
Color perception can vary depending on the location and severity of your stroke. Try different combinations of background, word, and copy text colors until you find something that reduces visual stress and enhances readability for you.
There is a one-handed typing option for individuals with hemiplegia. Scroll to Hands & Keyboard then choose the Right hand only or Left hand only option.
For some individuals, it may help to see a word and type it on a separate line below. For others, having two lines of text can create visual stress and it would be better to turn copy typing off.
One mistake option
When this is turned on, you will not be able to continue typing until a mistake is corrected. This can help you focus on accuracy and typing one letter at a time.
Remember and repeat
Remember and repeat can support language recall and spelling. When it is turned on, a word will disappear after you have typed it and you will need to type it again from memory.
With the Speak 1 Word option, you will have one word read aloud at a time. This can allow you to focus on the sounds inside that word and not feel overwhelmed by longer strings of language. If you'd like more of a challenge, you can try Speak 3 Words or Speak Full Sentence to strengthen auditory processing skills.
You can choose to have applause played at the end of each typing module. Some users find the audio track of the applause overwhelming and distracting. If this is the case, you can turn the Praise option off.
This option creates an auditory alert when you make a mistake. For some users, hearing this alert multiple times within a module can be demotivating and distracting. If this is the case, you can turn the Backspace option off.
2. Preview level content
Select TTRS Course from the top navigation menu
You can preview different modules by selecting a Level (1-24).
Select a module, and then select view lines to see the content covered. You can hear a word spoken aloud by selecting it.
3. Decide where to start
Previewing different modules and levels can help you get a sense of the challenge level that is right for you. Words from earlier levels tend to be shorter consonant-vowel-consonant words and may present less difficulty than in higher levels.
TTRS modules group words by language feature. You may find some sound and letter combinations are harder for you than others. If this is the case, moving around the course based on the content covered may be a more effective approach than progressing sequentially through the levels.
4. Explore course features
TTRS has a free writing interface that allows you to write your own text and then view statistics on how many words you produced and how many words from the course you spelled correctly.
You can choose a 5 min, 10 min, or 15 min session.
Your written work will be saved and can serve as a measure of the progress you are making. If you're using TTRS with a language therapist, he or she can access the admin view and leave comments on your writing.
In addition to the Main TTRS Course, you can also find a selection of modules that cover specific content areas. Depending on your personal interests and career, it may help to rehearse vocabulary from specific subjects. You can see a list of available subjects from the main navigation menu.
You can add your own custom subjects inside TTRS. This is a helpful feature if you know you struggle with particular words and would like to practice them inside a typing module.
You might create a subject of words you have difficulty remembering, spelling, or saying.
5. Set usage goals
You'll get the most out of TTRS if you decide on a regular approach to practice. You may choose to start with 5-10 minutes of practice 3-4 times a week or go with a target amount of modules per session.
Keep in mind that in the beginning, you will tire quickly. This is to be expected. Plan on lengthening your sessions gradually and only when you are ready.
Viewing module lines
If you find a particular language feature difficult, you may wish to spend some time reviewing words before beginning a typing module. From the levels screen, select a module and a word to hear it read aloud. You can view and practice saying the word without any pressure to produce it in writing.
Every fifth module in TTRS is a dictation exercise where you will be asked to produce the written from of a word from audio alone. This can help you focus on the sounds in a word and allow you to see your progress.
For some individuals, not having a visual guide can be quite challenging. If you don't feel dictation exercises will benefit your language therapy, you can turn them off by toggling the DICT icon.
You may find it easier to practice on a particular device or keyboard. You can use TTRS on your work or home computer, as well as on an iPad.
The TTRS iPad app works with both a touch-screen and a wireless keyboard.
How should I measure my progress?
You can view your results by selecting Statistics from the main navigation menu to see how many modules you've completed, as well as your accuracy and typing speed scores.
However, this may not be the best approach to measuring your progress. You can also measure progress by judging how challenging and/or tiring a session is for you, or how many words you are able to produce in free writing sessions.
How long will it take to make progress?
It all depends on the location and severity of your stroke. Some individuals make progress quickly, whereas others need to work through modules quite regularly over extended periods of time.
Best Practice Tips
- Say words aloud as you see, hear, and type them
- Adjust settings inside the program to enhance readability and comfort
- Try different devices and equipment until you find a set-up that works for you
- Move through the program sequentially or based on the content covered
- Create your own exercises with language you find hard to say or remember
- Repeat modules as many times as needed to build automaticity
- Get regular practice, find a time of day when you are most alert
- Work through material in your own home, at your own pace
- Stop when you get tired and build up your stamina gradually
- Preview module content for more practice with individual words
- Use free writing sessions to practice language production
- Study independently or with a speech and language therapist