Has your student opened an educational application only to discover that the app is not accessible? Does your student need an application designed specifically to meet a unique need for a student with visual impairments? Would the app be better if it only had . . . ?
App developers need your input! Programmers are programmers – not TSVIs! They may (or may not!) know about accessibility. The vast majority of educational app developers do not know the unique needs of students with low vision or blindness.
In order for your student’s needs to be met, YOU have to advocate on their behalf. Contact the company that created the app. Provide a review of the app. Share the app with others – the more the app is downloaded and used, the more features and updates the developers will make. The BLV community is small, but together, we are mighty!
Here’s your chance to help the App Team Carolina add YOUR word lists to the Bubbly CVI Literacy App! Released in December 2022, overnight, Bubbly has become a huge success! Over 2,500 first-time downloads (iPads and desktop devices) and the majority of these downloads have come from Institutional Purchasing (meaning that school systems/agencies have downloaded once and then distributed through their system, which counts as one download).
When Bubbly was first released,Paths to Technology created the Bubbly: New CVI literacy app! post and shared the post on social media. TSVIs were asked to share their feedback and suggestions. Unfortunately, we were hoping for a lot of feedback, but only a handful of TSVIs provided feedback beyond “This is great!” and “Thanks!” However, those TSVIs who did provide feedback asked for a way to save the word lists and asked for the ability to create their own word lists.
Editor’s Note: App developers use the number of downloads paired with feedback/reviews to determine if their app is successful/useful. Unsuccessful apps will fall to the wayside and developers will move on to other types of apps that are more “successful”. Even with free apps like Bubbly, the app developers choose whether to move on to the next project or to continue with the app and make new features.
The App Team Carolina, which is a volunteer computer science club at the University of North Carolina, noticed the amount of downloads and heard the requests and they have chosen to work on new features! It will take a lot of man hours to create ability for educators to make make your own word lists and to save specific word lists; in the meantime, the App Team has offered to add your word lists to the app. If you have a specific word list that you would like to be included in the Bubbly app, please send that list to [email protected]. Are you interested in a first grade sight word list? CCVC, CVCC, CVCe word lists? What word lists are you using with your CVI emerging readers?
Currently, the Bubbly word lists include:
Editor’s Note: This offer is “first-come-first-served”, so send your word lists ASAP!
YES! The following email was from a TSVI to the Carolina App Team:
“I’m really enjoying using the application. I love that I can select the specific text preferences that my students need (color, font, amount of choices). I’m also enjoying the capitalization vs. lower case letter options. Minimal sound was a good idea as well. I’m thankful for the sight word selection, cvc and letter choices.
I do wish there was a way to save a word list instead of having to create one each time I open the app. I also wish we could create our own words so we could use some high-interest words.
Overall, it is such a blessing! I was taking screenshots of words on the Roman Bubbly Application and then creating Bitsboards; it was so labor intensive! This TCVI doesn’t have time for that! 🙂
Please extend my thanks to the students who developed the application. It will greatly increase literacy opportunities for my students!”
Paula’s email above was perfect! She shared what features she liked and the impact of the app. She also provided clear feedback on what new features she would like to have.
No bugs with the Bubbly app have been reported. However, if you find a bug, please provide specific information about the bug, including the steps before the bug, what happened, what you anticipated should have happened, etc. Include screen shots and information about any error messages. Be sure to include what device you were using, software version of the device, and the version of the app.
by Diane Brauner, 1/31/23
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