ClaroRead 7.1 Released

ClaroRead 7.1 Released on Dyslexic.com

This week, Claro Software are pushing out a minor update to their text-to-speech software, ClaroRead. It is a point update with some simple improvements to make servicing the software easier, to extend speech, and make a lot of small technical improvements.

ClaroRead Version 7.1

What is included in the update?

The update to version 7.1 includes a range of new features and technical changes to ClaroRead. A scan-from-screen tool has been integrated into ClaroRead Standard. This was a feature that was previously limited to Plus and Pro, and allows you to scan an inaccessible part of a webpage or document and paste the text into another application. The text can then be read aloud by pressing the play button on the toolbar. This feature can be quickly launched using the key combination Ctrl + Shift + S. The update also allows you to install up to eighty additional voices covering 30 languages via the Claro Voice Setup program.

A wide range of technical changes and fixes have been made in this update. Details of this can be found on the Version 7.1 Release Notes web page.

How do I update my current version of ClaroRead?

To update to version 7.1, you will need to login at ClaroRead Cloud. From there you will be able to update your software to the new version.

For any more information about the minor update that has been released, please comment below.

Latest Assistive Technology Products: August 2016

Screenshot from CapturaTalk iOS

As we come closer to August, we here at dyslexic.com wanted to take a look at the latest assistive technology products which have been released this month. New additions for August updates to Spellex Dictation Gold and Ghotit Real Writer & Reader software. This month’s blog is a good one as we will take a look at the newest technology which will be available for teachers and students to use in the new school term.

As always, we encourage you to sign up to our newsletter to ensure you don’t miss next month’s item. Please follow this link to sign up to the dyslexic.com newsletter. Plus, when you sign up you will receive a 10% off coupon code to use on dyslexic.com!

 

Latest Assistive Technology Software

 

·        Ghotit Real Writer & Reader

This month, Ghotit released a brand new version of Ghotit Real Writer & Reader which has some new and exciting features that have been added in. The software includes patented technology to help people with dyslexia and dysgraphia to overcome many of the common issues faced whilst writing text. New features include the integration of a context-sensitive and phonetic spell checker, speech feedback, reading assistance with dual highlighting and a screenshot reader to read aloud any text from images and inaccessible documents.

Assistive Technology to cope with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia

·        Spellex Dictation Gold

This month, Spellex released an update to their vocabulary software, Spellex Dictation Gold. The software works with speech recognition programs such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking or Microsoft, and provides specialised vocabularies for subjects such as medicine, law, veterinary medicine and bioscientific/engineering. Please contact us by emailing ecommerce@dyslexic.com if you would like to upgrade your software to the latest version.

New features include an enhanced dictionary and spellchecker which features complex terminology. This allows you to dictate your ideas without errors or disruption. It has also integrated the ‘Spellex Suite’ which gives quick definitions for over 550,000 words, human voice word pronunciations and a handy thesaurus to help improve writing. The final new feature added to Spellex Dictation Gold is the inclusion of DysLex™ font, a dyslexia friendly font, which helps to reduce jumbling letters and eases frustration when reading.

 

Latest Assistive Technology Apps

 

·Screenshot from CapturaTalk iOS        CapturaTalk

This month, iansyst have released a brand new update to the literacy support and accessibility app, CapturaTalk. This update has integrated lots of new and improved features. For current users of CapturaTalk, your app will automatically update via the App Store. If you are not a current user, you can download CapturaTalk by following this link to the App Store or Google Play.

CapturaTalk is an app for iOS and Android devices which allows you to transform your smartphone or tablet into a truly accessible device and access content independently in a way that suits you. It’s a great app for those with dyslexia or visual impairments as it includes features such as text-to-speech technology, optical character recognition technology and personalisation features such as tinted overlays.

 

·        Windows 10

Windows have also released an impressive accessibility update this month to celebrate Windows 10 reaching its 1st Birthday. The update aims to make Windows 10 more accessible to support the 1 billion+ disabled users across the globe. Improvements have been made to the screen reading feature, apps such as Cortana and Microsoft Edge have been made more accessible, and tools have been introduced to make accessibility easier for developers. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is scheduled to be rolled out to users on 2nd August. Please follow this link to find out more about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Ghotit Version 5 Software to Support Dyslexia

Ghotit Real Writer and Reader 5

This month, we have launched Ghotit Real Writer & Reader 5 on dyslexic.com – a brand new version of the reading and writing software which supports individuals with dyslexia, dysgraphia and other learning disabilities. If you would like to find out more about the software and how it could help you, please comment on our blog below!

 

What is Ghotit Real Writer and Reader?

Ghotit LogoGhotit Real Writer and Reader is assistive technology software that helps people overcome many of the common issues that are faced whilst writing text. It includes patented technology which provides the most appropriate corrections for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes by looking at the intended meaning of the piece of text.

 

What new features does version 5 bring?

The brand new version of Ghotit Real Writer and Reader brings a wealth of new features to help those with dyslexia to read and write:

  • Quick-spell word prediction with instant correction
  • Context-sensitive and phonetic spell checker to correct words such as ‘notest’ to ‘noticed’
  • Advanced grammar and punctuation corrector
  • Effective proof-reader
  • Speech feedback
  • Integrated English dictionary which supports US, UK, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African English
  • Reading assistance with dual highlighting
  • Screenshot reader to read aloud any text on the screen to read text from images, locked PDF files and inaccessible documents
  • Word banks for word prediction based on different topics
  • Integration with all text editing applications
  • Standalone “Dyslexia Text Editor”

 

How does the software support dyslexic people?

The software is a great tool for those with dyslexia as it tackles many of the common problems that they may face whilst writing. This includes difficulties with reading, writing, spelling, proofing and accessing documents in different formats.

 

You can purchase the new software online by following this link to Ghotit Real Writer and Reader 5 on dyslexic.com.

Jelly Bean Twist Switch

jellybtwist-1_jbt500

Switches offer an alternative way of controlling a computer. The Jelly Bean Twist offers a 65mm activation surface with tactile and auditory feedback and interchangeable red, yellow, green and blue switch tops. The Jelly Bean Twist offers the original Jelly Bean’s 6.35 cm (2.5-inch) activation surface with tactile and auditory feedback, but with a twist. Your style can change, so should your switch. Now, you can change the colour of your switch top based on visibility, mood, style, or even social setting. It’s all up to your own style, tastes, or specific vision.

The Jelly Bean Twist switches come with switch tops included.

jellybtwist-1_jbt500

 

Who uses switches?

People who find it difficult to access the keyboard and the mouse can use a single switch or a combination of switches instead. Switches can help people with a variety of different physical disabilities, from mild conditions like RSI to complete paralysis. They are also suitable for people with severe learning difficulties as they are a simple, understandable method of accessing a computer.

All AbleNet switches are designed to provide tactile and audible feedback to the user, activate no matter where they are pressed, they are also equipped with a 2m cord using 3.5mm monoplug which is all supplied with a life time warranty.  The diameter for each switch is 6.35cm and the pressure needed to activate the switch is 56.7g making it easy for a child or adult to use.

Follow this link to find out more about the Jelly Bean Twist Switch.

 

Monster 2 Keyboard

Monster 2 Keyboard

What Is Monster 2 Keyboard?

The Monster 2 Keyboard is ideal for young children and is the perfect entry into computing. Made in 2011 at a Weight of 1.0000g this device features large, oversized keys grouped in different colours, which helps alleviate the eye strain associated with using a computer keyboard. There is also a high-visibility model, with large black legends against a bright yellow background, and a high-contrast model with large black legends on a high-contrast white background.

Monster 2 Keyboard

Who can Monster 2 Keyboard help?

The Monster 2 Keyboard from Accuratus is designed specifically for children who are just starting to use computers and keyboards and it aims to help assist learning, with having an easy to remember colour-coordination system. With large key caps the Accuratus Monster 2 is also ideal for users who suffer from MS (Multiple sclerosis) and Parkinson’s disease. The Keyboard is also spill resistant which makes is perfect for people that find they are prone to the occasional spill. Plug and Play technology means that you can simply start typing straight away without any difficult and time consuming installation process.

 

Different features of the product.

There are many different features of the Monster 2 Keyboard, for example the USB interface, Large 1 inch square keys at 24mm. The device has two port USB 2.0 in the rear, a detachable wrist pad for comfortable typing and is the same size as a normal conventional keyboard. Within the design itself the Monster 2 Keyboard has spill holes in the base of the keyboard so that any small spillages can escape without any damage to key keyboard itself. The dimensions of this product are 465 x 180 x 27mm (L x W x H) being a starter keyboard it is rather light (770g) and has a cable length of 1.5M.

 

Find out more by following this link to the Monster 2 Keyboard on Dyslexic.com.

Latest Assistive Technology July 2016

Latest Assistive Technology: Updates to Sonocent Recorder App

Assistive technology is a broad term to describe assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative software, hardware and apps to support people with disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and much more. Each month, we take a look at the latest assistive technology that has been released and sum this up in a bite size blog on dyslexic.com. We are very excited about this month’s latest assistive technology as the new Dyscalculia Screener launches, as well as updates released for the Sonocent Recorder app.

 

Latest Assistive Technology Software, Hardware and Apps

 

This summer, iansyst and Loughborough University will be launching a new and refreshed version of the Dyscalculia Screener. It was originally launched in the early 2000’s and was the first web-based screener for dyscalculia. The screener has been designed to screen both large groups and individuals who are struggling with maths. It features a series of mathematical questions that have been developed through extensive research. The screening process generally takes less than an hour to complete and gives an indication as to whether the individual is ‘at risk’ of dyscalculia.

Image of the Dyscalculia Screener logo

The Dyscalculia Screener is launching in summer 2016 and can be purchased as a single or multi-user licence. It will be available to purchase after the launch by following this link to the Dyscalculia Screener website >> www.dyscalculia-screener.co.uk

 

Latest Assistive Technology: Updates to Sonocent Recorder AppSonocent Recorder is a smart note-taking app which has been designed for use with Sonocent Audio Notetaker. The app was originally launched back in 2014 and allows you to create comprehensive recordings of lessons, meetings or interviews on your smartphone or tablet. It is primarily designed to support those with dyslexia, however the productivity benefits of the app means that it can be beneficial to anyone in a meeting environment. This month we have seen some exciting new features added to the app.  Existing users of Sonocent Recorder will receive a notification about the updates from their mobile device. If you are not a current user, Sonocent Recorder is free to download on the App Store or Google Play.

New features include noise cancellation on audio, the ability to add your own coloured keys for audio highlighting, ‘glance mode’ to record and highlight discreetly, and the ability to browse and upload photos to your file even when not recording. The app also includes an in-app upgrade which allows you to listen back to full recordings and add colour highlighting audio chunks and sections on review.

 

Texthelp Read&Write is a popular piece of literacy support software which helps those with dyslexia with reading and writing. Read&Write is a simple and easy-to-use toolbar which provides speech feedback, phonetic spellchecking and many other literacy support tools.  The software has recently moved to a new version (version 11.5) which contains brand new features which have fully optimised the software to benefit the user even further.

Read & Write Gold 11.5 has had a redesign of the product logo and toolbar icons which makes the software much easier to navigate. The Vocabulary feature has been introduced to create word lists associated with particular words, for example, volcano, lava and erupt. Other features have been enhanced within the software. The phonetic spell checker now includes the use of collocation and the word prediction tool includes over 150 topic word banks.

Read&Write literacy support software can be downloaded by following this link to Texthelp Read&Write products.

 

Please comment below to let us know what latest assistive technology products you are excited about this month.

Dyscalculia Screener Launching Summer 2016

dyscalculia-screener_1

At dyslexic.com, we are always bringing you news of the latest assistive technology to support adults and children with disabilities. This month, we wanted to give you information about dyscalculia and the launch of the new Dyscalculia Screener from iansyst – built in partnership with Loughborough University.

Image of the Dyscalculia Logo

What is Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty which makes it hard for individuals to make sense of numbers and other math concepts. It is often referred to as ‘dyslexia for numbers’, however not so much is known about dyscalculia. It is estimated that between 4% and 6% of the population suffer with dyscalculia. However, this research is based on data from children, and figures relating specifically to the adult population are non-existent. For this reason many people go undiagnosed.

Symptoms of dyscalculia include difficulties with:

  • Counting, especially navigating back and forth in a number sequence.
  • Calculating and recalling number facts. They may also fail when using rule to build on known facts, for example, they may understand that 2+7=9, but may not understand that 7+2=9 or 2+8=10.
  • Relationship between words and numbers. For example, they may struggle with numbers with zeros and not understand that ten, one hundred and one thousand have the same relationship as 10, 100, and 1000.
  • Measures such as handling money, temperatures, telling the time and more.
  • Direction and orientation.

What is the Dyscalculia Screener?

The Dyscalculia Screener was originally launched back in the early 2000’s, being the first web-based screening solution for dyscalculia. This summer, we will launch a new and refreshed version of the Dyscalculia Screener to make the screening process even easier. The screener is designed to screen individuals or large groups and can be used by those struggling with maths in further education, higher education and in the workplace. It generally takes less than an hour to complete and comprises of a series of mathematical questions to indicate factors that suggest the individual is ‘at risk’ of having dyscalculia.

This is a screenshot from the Dyscalculia Screenshot

The Dyscalculia Screener has been built by iansyst in partnership with Loughborough University. It is based on a model which is built on two principal objectives: firstly, to establish the learner’s understanding of number and, secondly, their understanding of the application of number to other systems. Clare Trott, Maths Support Tutor at Loughborough University, will be speaking at the upcoming Learning Works Dyscalculia and Maths Learning Difficulties Conference on 29th June. Her talk will explore the issues surrounding both dyscalculia and dyslexia through case studies. iansyst will also be exhibiting at the conference, providing demonstrations of the new and exciting screening tool. To find out more about the conference, please follow this link to Learning Works: Dyscalculia Conference 2016.

How can I order the Dyscalculia Screener?

The Dyscalculia Screener is launching in summer 2016. You can find out more about the screener by following this link to the Dyscalculia Screener on dyslexic.com.

Latest Assistive Technology: Top 5 products in June 2016

Scanning Pens

It can sometimes be difficult to keep up to date with the latest assistive technology products for disabled people. This is why we have created a handy update on the dyslexic.com blog at the beginning of each month to give you the latest news. In this month’s update, I look at the top 5 latest assistive technology products you should look out for in June 2016.

 

Top 5 latest assistive technology products

Many of you have been enquiring about the Exam Reader scanning pen in the past month – we’re not surprised as it really is a great tool for dyslexic students. Like the C-Pen Reader scanning pens, the Exam Reader allows the student to scan over printed text from the exam paper and hear the text read aloud. It features a natural sounding text-to-speech voice and uses impressive optical character recognition (OCR) technology to read aloud printed text.

The latest assistive technology C-Pen scanning pen being used on an exam paper

The digital highlighter has been approved by The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) for use in exams. It comes complete with a headphone jack so other students are not disturbed during the exam. You can find out more about using assistive technology in exams by following this link to the Joint Council for Qualifications Examination Instructions.

Brain in Hand is a cloud-based solution and app which supports autistic children and adults to cope with day-to-day situations. The assistive technology app works on a subscription basis (please contact us for more information and pricing) and provides personalised support for people with autism. The key features include instant access to coping strategies, a diary to help structure time and plans to remember difficult tasks.

Brain in Hand also has a traffic light monitoring system which tracks anxiety levels. If an autistic person taps the red traffic light they will be able to request support from The National Autistic Society. This helps reduce stress and helps to increase confidence in everyday situations.

The Livescribe pens have always been a great tool for dyslexic students. The latest addition to the range is the Livescribe 3 Smartpen which is compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices. The pen works in conjunction with the Livescribe+ app and instantly syncs everything you write on paper directly to your mobile device via Bluetooth. Using the app, your notes become more useful and can be organised, tagged, searched and converted to text. From there you can do almost anything with your notes, for example, simply tap on the text and you can copy this into an email or message.

Typing tutors helps dyslexic children and adults to type quickly and accurately. Nessy Fingers Touch Typing incorporates 9 fun games to practice typing skills. It is the only typing tutor software which introduces keys alphabetically. In five short lessons, you will learn the alphabet.  Each game uses the National Curriculum word lists to practice with and allows the user to win trophies as a reward for accurate typing.

A dyslexic user typing with the latest assistive technology on their computer

Changing paper colour or using reading overlays for dyslexia can be a great reading aid. Irlen® Overlays are backed by over 30 years of research and are 9” x 12” coloured acetate overlays. The overlays are placed over printed materials to help reading and each sheet has a glare and non-glare side for increasing comfort.

The overlays are available in 10 colours and each colour has been carefully determined by Irlen® research. On dyslexic.com, we sell 10 Irlen® Coloured Overlays at a sale price of just £19.99 (RRP: £29.99) which allows you to try out all colours and see which colour makes reading more comfortable for you.

 

Please comment below to let us know what latest assistive technology you are excited about this month.

Reading overlays for dyslexia and Irlen® Syndrome

Irlen

Reading overlays for dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome are a cost-effective tool to help with reading difficulties. In this blog post, we look at what dyslexia and Irlen® Syndrome is and how assistive technology such as Irlen Institute Overlays or reading software can help.

 

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that affects approximately 1 in 10 people of all ages and abilities. Dyslexic children and adults will often experience difficulties in their reading and writing. You can find out more about dyslexia by following this link to our previous blog post: What is dyslexia and where can I find support?

 

What is Irlen® Syndrome?

Irlen logoIrlen® Syndrome is a perceptual dysfunction which affects both children and adults of all ages and abilities. 12% of the general population are affected by Irlen® Syndrome, and up to 47% of these also have disabilities such as dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia and much more. Symptoms can include:

  • Light sensitivity – may experience discomfort in fluorescent light, sunlight and lights at night.
  • Difficulty judging distance – problems with special awareness and may find it difficult to cope with stairs, sport and driving.
  • Eye strain and headaches – may experience headaches and fatigue.
  • Contrast and colour sensitivity – problems with black print on a white background, bright colours and using a computer or tablet.
  • Inefficient reading – inability to develop reading skills due to skipping words and lines, slow reading rate and problems with tracking.
  • Distortions of print – problems with printed text moving, fading or blur.

More symptoms can be found by following this link to the Irlen East website. It is important to remember that Irlen® Syndrome is not caused by a problem with the eyes, but by the way the brain interprets the visual information sent from the eyes.

 

What assistive technology can help with reading for people with dyslexia or Irlen® Syndrome?

There is a variety of assistive technology software and hardware available which can support reading difficulties experienced by dyslexic people or those with Irlen® Syndrome. Many websites, including dyslexic.com, also have built in accessibility features on their website. This means that you can easily adjust font size and background colours to view the website in a way that suits you. (To change the accessibility settings on dyslexic.com, please follow the ‘Accessibility’ button in the main navigation bar).

ClaroView and ScreenRuler Suite software allows you to add a digital coloured overlay to your screen. This means that you can quickly adjust the coloured tint on all of your applications on your computer, which can help those who experience contrast and colour sensitivity. ClaroView also has the ability to add in a ruler across the screen which can have the contrast changed and the background coloured or greyed out. This helps if the individual struggles to track lines when reading.

Image of Irlen OverlaysChanging the paper colour or using reading overlays for dyslexia and those with Irlen® Syndrome can be a great help. The colour that works for you is on an individual basis – at dyslexic.com we stock a wide range of colours and brands, including Irlen® Institute Overlays and Pukka Pads. To find out which colour you need you can be screened at an Irlen Centre which will determine the severity of your situation. To find your nearest centre, please take a look at the Irlen® Centre website. Alternatively, you can purchase a pack of 10 Irlen® Institute Overlays for our sale price of just £19.99 (RRP: £29.99). This is a low-cost option and lets you try out all 10 colours from the Irlen® Institute.

 

Do you have dyslexia or Irlen® Syndrome? Comment below to let us know if changing colours has helped you!

Audio Notetaker: Top 5 benefits of using the note taking software

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Sonocent Audio Notetaker is a popular software to support note taking for students in lectures and group meetings. It can also be helpful for employees to use whilst at work during meetings or brainstorming sessions. It is available on PC and Mac,with an accompanying iOS and Android app, Sonocent Recorder.

Put simply, Audio Notetaker breaks the note taking process into steps so that individuals with dyslexia can take accurate and comprehensive notes. Recorded or imported audio is uploaded to the software and displayed as coloured chunks for each phrase. Slides, images and text notes can also be added alongside the relevant parts of the recording to create handy resources.

There are many different types of note taking software for students and employees; however Audio Notetaker is always a popular choice because it works so well and has so many great features packed in. Here are my top 5 benefits of using Audio Notetaker to help you take notes…

This is a screenshot taken from Sonocent Audio Notetaker version 4

5 key benefits of using Audio Notetaker

1. Use colour highlighting to add meaning to your notes Using the coloured highlighter tool, you can add additional meaning to your notes by highlighting audio chunks that are important, audio that you didn’t quite understand, or audio that is a change of topic. Using this colour, you can extract your audio into new projects to create clear and concise notes.

2. Integrated with Dragon Naturally Speaking Using Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium or Professional (version 11 or above) voice recognition software, you can dictate summaries of your notes, write additional notes, or transcribe your recording straight into Audio Notetaker.

3. Import images, slides and PDF documents To create truly comprehensive notes, Audio Notetaker allows you to import audio, text, images, slides and PDF documents to your project. This is extremely helpful for students who are using the software to help them take notes within a lecture. Simply record audio using a digital recorder, use index marks when the slide changes and import the PowerPoint presentation from your lecture. When you upload your audio recording and PowerPoint presentation to your project, your audio and slides will match up together.

4. Record and annotate with your smartphone app Using the accompanying free app, Sonocent Recorder, you can take high-quality recordings using your smartphone or tablet. Just like the software, you can highlight key points in your audio using colour highlighting tools. You can also add images from your camera or photo library alongside your audio. Once you’ve finished recording, simply transfer your file to Audio Notetaker via Wi-Fi.

5. Use audio from different devices and locations Using Audio Notetaker version 4, there has been a huge jump in audio quality and you are now able to import audio from a variety of sources. Alongside your smartphone app, you can import audio from a digital recorder, videos, Skype, a podcast and much more. With the audio clean-up tool, you can instantly remove unwanted noises such as hisses or keyboard taps.It’s quite hard to narrow down the benefits of using Audio Notetaker software to just 5 as there are so many great features. To find out more, please follow this link where you can read more and purchase Audio Notetaker >> http://ian.lt/19ni1Ri