Popular Technology solutions for Students and Adults with Dyslexia
Students at college or university and people in the workplace with dyslexia can benefit greatly from access to specialist software and hardware, enabling them to perform to the best of their abilities.
Students at college or university and people in the workplace with dyslexia can benefit greatly from access to specialist software and hardware, enabling them to perform to the best of their abilities. Financial support for purchasing this equipment may be available through the Disabled Students’ Allowance or Access to Work but it is important to remember to look at the desired outcome of the equipment rather than just the difficulties being faced. Here we highlight some of the technology that has been used successfully and point you towards more information throughout our site.
Reading and writing support
There are numerous assistive software packages that can provide additional support when reading and writing. Many of them use text to speech technology to overcome difficulties. Here are some of the most popular packages, but you should also look out for the access tool icon throughout this site as it identifies programs that can help with accessing text on the computer.
Discreet toolbars such as Texthelp Read & Write provide text to speech and checking support in most applications for proof reading.
On-screen grids provide instant access to correct spellings and words; see EB WordBanks.
Dragon speech recognition packages offer an alternative approach for creating documents for those with typing and spelling difficulties.
Planning and revision skills
Planning essays, reports or presentations; revising topics and organising to-do lists; planning projects and tracking reminders: these are all tasks that can be affected by dyslexia. Here are some of the most popular approaches for overcoming these difficulties but also look out for the home study icon throughout this site that identifies others.
Concept-mapping applications provide a visual tool for planning and revising. In addition, some of these programs, such as MindGenius, offer links into Office applications providing additional support.
Handheld devices for on the move
As it is not always possible to have access to a computer, it is worth considering the wide range of portable tools that can provide support while on the move. Digital voice recorders can be used to record lectures or meetings to help with note taking, or for dictating reports to be transferred later to speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred.
PDAs running the Palm OS or PocketPC operating systems can provide a wide range of tools to support organisation away from the computer. Scanning pens like the ReadingPen TS Oxford Edition enable information such as references or quotes to be stored digitally for later transfer to a PC. Built-in text to speech software and dictionaries also provide reading support. They can also read aloud scanned in text to help you learn new words and develop your vocabulary skills.
By means of a high-quality phonetic spell checker, portable spell checkers and dictionaries, such as the Franklin Dictionaries, to provide support for those writing while on the move.
Written by Abi James, October 2005