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.

Haverhill optician helping dyslexic children

dyslexic-childrenAn optician in Haverhill is helping to raise awareness of dyslexia.

With Dyslexia Awareness Week taking placefrom November 3rd to 9th, an optician in Haverhill is partaking in a seven-day event to show support to those with the condition.

Wardale Williams optician practice on Camps Road will be providing locals with useful information and advice in a bid to raise awareness of dyslexia, the Haverhill Echo reports.

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the way people read and spell words. According to the NHS, one in every ten people in the UK have a certain degree of dyslexia.

This year, the awareness week theme is Dyslexia Matters, with a focus on encouraging and helping those who have the learning difficulty.

During the seven-day event, Wardale Williams will be offering patients a free coloured overlays assessment and showcasing the new intuitive colorimeter – both of which can determine the specific colour that will help dyslexic people to significantly improve their reading skills.

Joanna Williams, senior optometrist at Wardale Williams, said: “Many people with dyslexia find reading difficult because they experience peculiar visual symptoms when looking at a printed page – words may move, blur in and out of focus or run into each other.

“However, for some people with dyslexia these symptoms can be reduced by the use of carefully applied colour and are treated by using either coloured overlays on text, or by wearing specially tinted glasses.”

But despite colorimetry having the potential to enhance the reading skills, learning ability and future prospects of some dyslexic people, the method can be less beneficial for children.

When youngsters with dyslexia experience strange visual symptoms on a printed page, they often don’t complain because they believe that what they see is normal. Subsequently, this can lead to them performing poorly in school, which will affect their ability to progress.

Therefore, if you think your child may have dyslexia, it’s worth speaking to their school to arrange an assessment.
There are many ways schools and parents can support a dyslexic child, including using assistive technologies. For example, the Nessy Learning Programme is a digital software tool comprising a series of interactive games and activities designed to boost the reading and writing skills of children with learning difficulties.

(Credit image: Thinkstock)