Academic Software, Inc., (ASI) is a small Kentucky-based educational research, development, and consulting firm completing its 33rd year as a corporation headquartered in Lexington. ASI specializes in the field of assistive technology and computer access for children and adults with disabilities and for health professionals who work with people with disabilities. The company employs a permanent staff of three professionals (educational psychologists, assistive technology specialists, programmers, graphic artists, and others) as well as a part-time and temporary staff of several consultants, subcontractors, and other resource personnel. The company has been successful in the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and has received Phase I and II support from NIDDR, NIH, NSF, and the US Department of Education.
ASI designs and distributes custom software and hardware products for the educational research and assistive technology communities. ASI pioneered the development of software to automate the production of picture overlays for membrane keyboards and augmentative communications boards, producing the Unicorn Overlay Express for Unicorn Engineering (now Intellitools, Inc.) and an Apple version of the Picture Communication Symbols for the Mayer-Johnson Company. Now, however, the company is best known for its Adaptive Device Locator System, a free full-spectrum national database on the Web, listing products from almost 1000 vendors for elderly and disabled persons and the family members and professionals who assist them, and for products for single-switch access for PC computer users.
These include the new versions of SS-ACCESS for Windows, a single-function, single-switch, USB interface, and WinSCAN 3.0 CS, a powerful multi-function switch interface package, both for PCs with Windows 8 and 10. With WinSCAN, a person can turn on the computer and immediately access all the features of Windows; manage and navigate the desktop; run applications and CDs; even surf the Internet; using only a single-switch. A new version of MultiSCAN CS and new versions of DinoGAMES CS for Windows 8 and 10, individually or all on one CD, are also now available.
Past accomplishments include an adapted curriculum project supported by NSF entitled Single Switch Access to Science Software (and to scientific web sites). This project demonstrated clearly that with WinSCAN and appropriate setup files, children who use single-switches can access the same math and science education software and perform the same scientific computer-based activities as do other children in the classroom who use the keyboard and mouse. This research and two other funded projects (Beyond Cause and Effect, NIH, and MultiSCAN 2000, DepEdu) demonstrated a variety of supplemental materials for science and math education that teachers can use to help insure the accessibility of the curriculum.
In addition to its interface products, ASI produces the popular Dino-GAME series of single-switch scanning games for young children and the Multi-SCAN single-switch activity center program for classroom and home use. The company also publishes the Handbook of Adaptive Switches and Augmentative Communication Devices which contains physical descriptions, lab tests, and functional data for a wide variety of commercially available pressure switches and augcom devices. Chapters and worksheets cover physical interaction, seating and positioning, and control access issues. The Handbook has become an essential reference tool for assistive technology professionals, therapists, and others who make decisions concerning physical access.
In addition to in-house R&D activities, the company provides services in areas of research design, statistics, and educational and assistive technology and collaborates with other university and private groups to promote the development of innovative products for persons with special needs. ASI was a charter vendor member of the Alliance for Technology Access and the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) and a regular exhibitor at major assistive technology conferences throughout the country. The company can be reached by phone at 859-552-1020 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.