Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ZAC Browser...A Web Browser for Children with Autism

I just downloaded the ZAC Browser. This browser has been designed with children with autism in mind. Quoting some from their website:

ZAC is the first web browser developed specifically for children with autism, and autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), and PDD-NOS. We have made this browser for the children - for their enjoyment, enrichment, and freedom. Children touch it, use it, play it, interact with it, and experience independence through ZAC.

ZAC is the zone that will permit your child to interact directly with games (a LOT of games) and activities (focused on MANY interests) that cater specifically to kids who display the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders, like impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, restricted interests and repetitive behavior. ZAC has been an effective tool for kids with low, medium and high functioning autism.

ZAC focuses on the children and their interaction - But we also provide an excellent forum for parents, caretakers, teachers, and others to share their experiences, tools and resources and to unite as a caring, compassionate, and extremely knowledgeable community. It is said that "it takes a village to raise a child", and that is exponentially true for raising a child with autistic spectrum disorders. The power of your experience yesterday is going to be instrumental in helping someone successfully tackle the circumstances of today.

The user interface is very visual and very interactive. It provides links to a number of different places on the web related to videos, stories, games, and music. The interface makes a great browser for many young children. I did some further investigation with the browser and noticed that it would be fairly easy to configure the browser for switch access as well. Check out the preview below:

So....what do you think?


Karen Janowski said...

Wow! Thanks for the heads up. I downloaded it and unfortunately ran into some problems. When I clicked on a link, I couldn't get back to home. I had to repeatedly use the Ctl + L keys to exit the program. Did you run into any problems?
(I'm running it on Windows XP)

Brian Wojcik said...

There is one area that is not necessarily transparent. When one clicks on a link, the browser actually takes you to the website. However, it leaves a bar across the top of the screen. Clicking on the star takes you back into whatever browser choice page you were on before you clicked on the link. Does that help?

Karen Janowski said...

Ok, I had a chance to play with it today and it seems like an excellent choice for all children, not just those on the spectrum. So much to explore in a safe environment.
Thanks for pointing it out.
(BTW, have you seen boolify or searchme (very cool interface) - two newer search engines?)

Lon said...

I think this will be a great way to get not only autistic, but our early childhood sped kids on a browser. I am planning to spend some time with it this summer and see where we can try it out next fall.

Lon said...

Brian, I have put your blog in "My Blog Family" list of links. It will be nice to have you linked there. I love the Firefox list and will explore some of those tools that I have missed!

Brian Wojcik said...

Lon...thanks for adding me!

Anonymous said...

Will they make this available for Mac opperating systems.