Latest Assistive Technology Products: August 2016

Screenshot from CapturaTalk iOS

As we come closer to August, we here at 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.

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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 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.

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 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 >>


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.

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


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 >>

World Autism Awareness Week: Brain in Hand to support autistic people


As part of World Autism Awareness Week, we wanted to look at how assistive technology can help both adults and children with autism. The recent Au tech 2015 conference show cased a range of different technologies that are available. One of these new technologies was Brain in Hand.

What is Brain in Hand?

Brain in Hand is a revolutionary cloud-based solution which supports autistic children and adults, helping them to be more confident and independent in everyday situations. It is based on well-established therapeutic principles such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), solution focused therapy and recovery based rehabilitation allowing the learning from these approaches to be turned into a set of patient centred strategies.

Brain in Hand provides people with personalised support from an app on their smartphone. Key features include instant access to pre-planned coping strategies, a diary to help structure time and ‘recipes’ to remember difficult tasks, a monitor to track anxiety levels and a system to request support from The National Autistic Society if things don’t go to plan.

It supports those with autism by reducing stress when a routine activity changes. For example, if an employee’s train is delayed on their way to work. Due to the flexibility of adding your own activities, Brain in Hand can be used by autistic people of all ages, whether they are at work or in education.

94% said Brain in Hand is having a positive effect on their life


Diary and ‘recipes’ to remember difficult tasks: The app includes a diary to ensure vital elements of your day aren’t missed. You can enter appointments and routines for each day.

Instant access to pre-planned coping strategies: Those with autism like to stick to a routine. Problems can occur when unplanned things happen which change their routine. For example, if a lecture is cancelled for a university student they may not know what to do. Before using Brain in Hand, you will complete a work book to help identify your strengths and weaknesses and map out challenges you face,noting which solutions help. This information is instantly available on the app.

Monitor to track anxiety levels with support from The National Autistic Society: Brain in Hand incorporates a traffic light monitoring system to indicate how you are feeling (green if everything is fine, amber if you are feeling uneasy, or red if you want support). By pressing red, you will receive telephone/text/email support from The National Autistic Society who will help you in the difficult situation.

How to buy Brain inHand:

If you would like to find out more about Brain in Hand,please get in touch by emailing or calling us on 01223 420101.

Alternatively, you can find out more by following this link >>

Dyslexia Awareness Week: Speech Recognition

Speech recognition is software which allows you to transform your spoken words into digital text on your computer. It also enables you to navigate around the computer, create and edit documents, surf the web or send an email, all through the power of your voice. A good quality noise-cancelling microphone is often used with speech recognition software to obtain the best results.

Often those with dyslexia can talk about what they want to write, but when it comes to typing out their sentence it takes much longer. Speech recognition helps with this issue as not typing or spelling skills are required, so all of the individual’s attention can be focused on thinking about the content. Speech recognition is up to 3 times faster than typing.

What software is available?

Nuance’s Dragon software is very popular amongst those with dyslexia. It comes in a number of different versions, all of which are available to purchase on

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium delivers fast speech recognition to boost productivity for the user. Upon installation, the user must read out a small paragraph in order to ‘train’ the software (this takes no longer than a few minutes to set up). They can then speak into their microphone or headset and see their spoken words transformed into typed text. They can launch applications, select menu items, execute key functions, switch windows, search the web, create and send emails, and much more, all through using their voice. It gives the individual the ability to work hands-free if desired and get more of their work done faster. Dragon Premium is available as a box copy and digital download for Windows. Follow this link to find out more >>

Dragon for Mac works in the same way as Dragon Premium; however it has just been upgraded to the latest version for Mac and is 15% more accurate than its previous version. Due to the leap in Apple Mac technology, Dragon for Mac can be used without a headset or external microphone if required, and can be used with the built-in Mac microphone. Dragon for Mac is available as a box copy and digital download for Mac. Follow this link to find out more >>

Dragon Professional Individual is much more advanced than other versions and delivers fast speech recognition at work to boost productivity. Users can transcribe voice notes from their smartphone or Nuance approved digital voice recorder and convert this to digital text quickly, easily and accurately. Create customisations and personalisation features to shortcut repetitive tasks, for example, saying ‘insert signature’ and Dragon will fill in your contact details. Dictate industry specific terminology and Dragon will type every word correctly with the ability to import custom vocabularies. Dragon Professional Individual is available as a box copy and digital download for Windows. Follow this link to find out more >>

Dragon Anywhere, which will be available this autumn on iOS and Android, is a new, cloud based mobile app that offers professional dictation to users. Create and edit documents, reports and more, using customised vocabulary, voice shortcuts and auto-text commands. The app automatically synchronises auto-text commands and custom words with Dragon for Mac or Dragon Professional Individual desktop editions for seamless productivity in the office or on the go. Dragon Anywhere will be available as a subscription based application from autumn 2015. Call us on +44 (0) 1223 420101 to find out more.

What hardware is available?

We recommend Andrea Electronics headsets and microphones to accompany your Speech Recognition software. Andrea headsets have the highest voice recognition industry rating and have noise-cancelling technology which means the accuracy of your software is greatly improved. If you would like to find out more about Andrea Electronics products, please follow this link >>

Nuance launch exciting new Dragon Products

This week, Nuance held a live webinar to announce the launch of an exciting portfolio of Dragon speech recognition solutions. Dragon has been helping people with their work for over 15 years and the latest additions to their range will not disappoint. These new products enable seamless synchronization of key Dragon features across PC, Mac, iOS, and Android through the cloud.

“The time-consuming nature of documentation and paperwork can place considerable productivity constraints on organisations and individual professionals alike,” said Peter Mahoney, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Dragon. “By expanding our Dragon portfolio, we are extending the benefits of robust speech recognition and transcription across the workforce. Now, organisations can better manage their speech deployments, professionals can increase their productivity in the office, and field workers can complete their documentation in a more timely and convenient manner.”

Dragon Anywhere, which will be available this autumn on iOS and Android, is a new, cloud based mobile app that offers professional dictation to users. Create and edit documents, reports and more, using customised vocabulary, voice shortcuts and auto-text commands. The app automatically synchronises auto-text commands and custom words with Dragon for Mac or Dragon Professional Individual desktop editions for seamless productivity in the office or on the go. Dragon Anywhere will be available as a subscription based application from autumn 2015.


Dragon Professional Individual is a brand new version of Dragon for PC and now includes advanced capabilities to customise words, automate repetitive tasks, and create auto-text to insert frequently used text. It makes it easy to dictate, edit and format documents, emails, forms and more, and reduces the physical strain of typing. With the integration of the new Dragon Anywhere app, professionals are able to work anywhere with seamless productivity. Dragon Professional Individual will be available from September. It will also be available as an upgrade for users with Dragon Premium or Professional, versions 12 and higher (call us on 01223 420101 to find out more).

Dragon Professional Group is the latest enterprise-ready solution and includes Dragon Professional Group speech recognition software, Dragon Anywhere for mobile employees and the Nuance User Management Centre. The Nuance User Management Centre allows administrators to monitor and manage licences, manage or share customised words, commands and auto-texts, across multiple users. It can be deployed and managed across organisations as part of a corporate licence. Dragon Professional will be available in autumn 2015.dragon-for-mac-5-boxshot-png-right-uk


Dragon for Mac is the final addition to the Dragon family and the latest version brings a huge leap in accuracy. It is 15% more accurate than its previous version and delivers much greater speed. A new user interface makes it easier to access key features, add custom words and add commands. Dragon for Mac will be available from early September. It will also be available as an upgrade for users of Dragon Dictate for Mac versions 3 and higher (call us on 01223 420101 to find out more).

CapturaTalk Junior launched on the App Store

capturatalk-junior-app-icon-itunesartwork-2xiansyst are excited to announce the launch of CapturaTalk Junior, an app designed for students who require literacy support through KS1-KS4. The app is available to download on the App Store for iOS devices.

CapturaTalk Junior helps students with reading printed text and integrates the powerful ABBYY OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature. Students are able to take a picture of text and convert it to digital text, ready to have it read aloud and then the option to edit it further. For example, the app includes its own integrated text editor with text-to-speech, assisting students with the sound of letters and words and supporting reading and comprehension. Other features include custom ‘phrase banks’ for students to create and store words and sentences, an integrated dictionary with homophone support and a range of user interface options including screen tint overlays, the ability to easy change the size of font and to choose a dyslexia friendly font.

Download CapturaTalk Junior on the App Store today.