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 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, 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.

C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen Review


Scanning pens, such as the C-Pen Reader, are a popular form of assistive technology which help those with literacy difficulties access printed text. They are especially handy for those with dyslexia as they can read aloud text from books, labels and documents. This tackles literacy difficulties surrounding reading that many dyslexic children and adults face on a day to day basis.

There are many scanner pens which are also approved by The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) for use in exams. This means that students with literacy difficulties can independently take their exam knowing that they can read and understand each question. Other portable scanner pens include the Exam Pen Reader from C-PenIRIS Pen and the Wizcom Reading Pens. To find out more about any of these assistive technology products, please visit the Scanning Pens page on

Image of the C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen

How does the C-Pen Reader work?

The C-Pen Reader is the latest scanner pen which was released by C-Pen in November 2015. C-Pen also created the 3.5 Bluetooth Portable Scanning Pen and the TS1 Digital Highlighter Pen. These products have now been discontinued, but the new C-Pen Reader is a great replacement.

It uses impressive optical character recognition (OCR)technology to read aloud printed text. With the integrated Collins 10th Edition English Dictionary, individual words can be highlighted and the definition read aloud. This is particularly helpful for dyslexic children and adults who struggle understanding complex words but prefer to hear words read aloud to them. The C-Pen Reader comes complete with a headphone jack so the handy tool can be made more discrete if you are listening to text in public places.

How does it differ from other scanning pens and digital highlighters on the market?

There are lots of different digital highlighters and scanner pens on the market, so what makes the C-Pen Reader any different? Well, it features a much clearer and more natural text-to-speech voice than most reading pens. This makes it a lot easier to understand the words and hear pronunciations. It is also much more accurate when scanning over a line of text. Some pens that read can struggle when moving at a faster pace; however the C-Pen Reader worked quite well.

The size of the C-Pen Reader scanning pen is fantastic. It is half the size of other reading pens and weighs just 50g. Measuring just 13.5cm long, it can be used by younger children from aged 6+ as well as younger children. Plus, its ergonomic design means that it’s very easy to hold and move along a page of text.

The C-Pen Reader is the first portable line scanner on the market that is both Mac and PC compatible. With no software needed, you simply need to connect the pen to your computer via the USB cable and it will appearas an external hard drive. You can scan pieces of text, store to the pens memory and transfer to your computer. This is an extremely useful feature if you are a university student or researcher. The C-Pen Reader also doubles up as a USB drive with 3GB of data space available.

A feature that is very useful is the Voice memo tool. The reading pen doubles up as a dictaphone and allows you to record audio and voice memos. These files are saved to the device and can be listened to or uploaded to your computer at any time.

How can I buy the C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen?

Simply follow this link to purchase the C-Pen Reader on >>