Assistive technology is critical to the learning of children, young people, and adults with dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties. It can assist in making education and life in general, less complicated and more enjoyable. With the right use of technology, it may even help level the playing field for students with learning difficulties.
The use of assistive technology is continuing to evolve every day. SPELD Victoria is constantly looking for new solutions to match student needs.
Points to consider with Assistive Technology
If you have recently decided to take the plunge into Assistive Technology with your child it can be helpful to ask yourself some questions first. Here is a checklist of questions from understood.org to consider before purchasing a new device or tool for your child.
Below is a list of tools, software and applications for use by those with dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties.
C PEN READER PEN
Jack Churchill CPEN – SPELD VIC & SCANNING PENS – Online Event
to purchase visit: https://www.scanningpens.com.au/
or email scanning pens and say SPELD Victoria sent you David Campbell email@example.com
The C-Pen Reader pen scanner is major technological breakthrough for anyone learning English, Spanish or French and is a life-saver for those who suffer from reading difficulties such as dyslexia. The C-Pen Reader is a totally portable, pocket-sized device that reads text out aloud with an English, Spanish or French human-like digital voice.
The in-built dictionary puts the power of Collins English Dictionary (30th Anniversary Edition Tenth edition) and the Oxford Spanish and French Dictionaries in your hands. Simply pass the nib across a word and it instantly displays the definition and reads it aloud. It is also a scanner for capturing lines of text and uploading to a PC or Mac, making it ideal for students, teachers and professionals to capture essential information.
The pen is half the size of other portable pen scanners on the market and at 50g is half the weight. Importantly this means it can be used by a younger generation of English, Spanish or French learners making this learning tool suitable for children (age 6+) and adults. This is the only portable line scanner on the market that is both Mac and PC compatible. There is no software required, just connect the pen up to a computer with a USB cable and it appears as an external hard drive. Other features include a built-in voice recorder with playback:
As well as promoting Independent Reading this pen features:
• Hear words & lines of text read aloud
• A Collins 10th Edition Dictionary
• An Oxford Spanish and French Dictionary
• Scan, store & transfer to a PC or Mac (1GB of storage & downloads to a computer like using a USB key – no software required)
• Scan direct to the cursor on a computer
• A voice recorder
• Free future upgrades
• Available in a class set of ten pens
• 1-Year warranty from date of purchase
Texthelp Read and Write ($)
Read & Write literacy software has been designed as a “floating” toolbar that will assist students improve in their reading and writing. It does have a text to speech function that enables what has been written to be read back.
One Subscription lets users sign in on any device: Windows PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablets.
Suitable for: Upper Primary, Secondary, and Higher Education.
✔ Read out loud
✔ Speech feedback
✔ Phonetic spell checking
✔ Word prediction
✔ Picture dictionaries
✔ Summary highlighters
ClaroRead is an effective, multifunctional, multisensory text-to-speech software for assisting in reading and writing.
For Windows PC, Mac and Cloud (across any device)
Suitable for: Upper Primary, Secondary and Higher Education
✔ Word prediction
✔ Mind map
✔ Reading ruler
✔ Screen colour overlay support
✔ Spell check
✔ Reading out loud any text with new Nuance Vocaliser Australian English voice.
Word Shark 5 ($)
Word Shark is a comprehensive multi-sensory spelling and reading program based on the widely used literacy programme.
For Windows PC, Mac and also available as USB
Suitable For: Primary, Secondary and Higher Education
✔ 60 motivating games combined with serious learning
✔ Records of activities are kept and progress can be tracked
✔ Customisable speeds and options
✔ Your own words can be easily added and recorded
C-Pen Reader ($)
The C-Pen Reader is a totally portable, pocket sized pen device that reads text out loud with an English human-like digital voice. It has an in-built dictionary function and capacity to capture lines of text and upload to a PC or Mac, making it ideal for students, teachers or professionals.
There is also a C-Pen Exam Reader that excludes the dictionary function. With headsets on, students can now undertake their exams at the same time and in the same room as all other students. Truly a win-win situation for both student and schools.
Suitable For: From age 6 to adults
To order a C-Pen from SPELD Victoria please click HERE
Clicker 7 is a powerful yet easy-to-use writing support and multimedia tool that combines a talking word processor with on-screen grids. These enable children to write with whole words, phrases, pictures, multimedia and sound and can be used to support any area of the curriculum.
For Windows PC and Mac
Suitable For: Primary and lower Secondary School Students
✔ The definitive primary word processor
✔ Child-friendly planning tool
✔ Voice Notes
✔ Speech feedback (new children voices)
✔ Intelligent word prediction
✔ Eye gaze compatibility
✔ Touch screen friendly
2Create a Story ($)
This powerful program combines words, pictures, sounds and animation in a storybook format to support Literacy and Technology.
For Windows PC
Suitable For: Pre-School and Primary School Students
Nessy programs are designed to help students of all abilities learn to read, write, spell and type, especially those who learn differently. 100 lessons following a structured, phonic approach printable card games, activity sheets, mnemonics and computer games. Nessy Learning Programme – follows a tried and tested approach of learning that combines structured incremental phonics linked with language, writing skills and vocabulary development, combining to create highly effective multi-sensory learning.
Suitable For: Primary, Secondary and High School Students
Number Shark ($)
Number Shark will address many difficulties that students have with basic maths including short-term memory and sequencing skills. Its bright colours, animations and choice of games will motivate students and provide them with a structured but enjoyable learning experience.
For Windows PC, Mac OS X version 10.7 to 10.13, a computer with a USB port if buying the USB version
Suitable For: Primary and Secondary School Students
Word Wizard for Kids ($) – L’Escapadou
This is a comprehensive, spelling and vocabulary application. It uses sound, text and visual cues to teach and reinforce spelling and vocabulary skills including phonics, homophones, plurals, prefixes, suffixes and much more.
Suitable For: Primary and Early Secondary School Students
Available on iPad and iPhone