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Assistive Technology

 

Assistive Technology is an umbrella term describing hardware or software which can support people with disabilities, including dyslexia. 

Technology can be used in the workplace, on a university campus, or at home. Free software includes mind-mapping software, spelling predictors, talking dictionaries, screen glare protection and more. Check www.eduapps.org for free downloads and ideas.

We know technology is continually being developed and improved, so we do not make specific brand recommendations here. However, have a look at the catalogue produced by IANSYST Ltd of Cambridge for more details. Tel 01223 420101 or visit the website.

  • Screenruler: software providing a moveable magnified strip feature to track text across the screen. Background outside the strip can be reduced or greyed out.

  • Reading Pen: a handheld device to scan and store up to 100 pages of text and download to a computer.

  • Text to Speech Software: convert words onscreen into speech. Features may include spellchecking, word prediction, and dictionaries. More advanced software can scan, read aloud, reformat and edit documents as well as convert text to audio files.

  • Speech Recognition Software: the flip side of Text to Speech, where speech is converted to text. This software is designed to speed up the user’s ability to get words onto the page. Some software can convert speech from digital recorders.

  • Personal Digital Recorders: recorders to allow the user to dictate notes, record lectures or seminars and transfer the audio recordings direct to text via a computer using compatible speech recognition software.

  • PDA (Personal Digital Assistant): handheld device offering many of the functions of a laptop but much cheaper and more portable. Functions include note-taking, time management and organisational tools as well as word-processing facilities.

  • Portable Word Processors: these machines give access to word processing, spreadsheets, and organisational tools. Some models use an external voice card allow the typed text to be read out loud.

  • Concept Mapping: software packages for forming ideas in a graphic and text format. Combining words and images to present ideas is helpful for dyslexics to get down their ideas.


  • Some software and hardware may be available to dyslexics at a subsidised or fully funded rate. These include Disabled Student Allowance and Access to Work. For information on Disabled Student Allowance, you should approach the Student Support Services on campus or the Local Education Authority. Further information on Access to Work can be found at your local Job Centre. 

     

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