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.

Ghotit Version 5 Software to Support Dyslexia

Ghotit Real Writer and Reader 5

This month, we have launched Ghotit Real Writer & Reader 5 on – 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

Helping Your Student with Dyslexia Learn: 5 Strategies to Rely On

Teacher Teaching Lesson To Elementary School Pupils

The time spent in education is a significant part of a child’s development. As a teacher, aiding the growth of a dyslexic learner is a wonderful opportunity. Nonetheless,it can be a challenging task, and it’s important to remember that what makes a dyslexic learner struggle is neither a lack of intelligence nor willfulness.

Dyslexic students have a learning difference.Their brain can’t hold information as efficiently as non-dyslexics, often making their learning a slow, difficult, and at times impossible process.

However,with the guidance of a caring tutor – well-equipped with tried and tested strategies – dyslexic students are capable of learning and becoming high-achievers.

Here are 5 strategies you can apply in your classroom:

1) Multisensory Learning

Multisensory activities help dyslexic children absorb and process information in a retainable manner and involve using senses like touch and movement alongside sight and hearing.

They are not only beneficial for dyslexic learners but also the rest of the class. Engaging in something different and hands-on excites students and heightens engagement.

Examples of multi sensory activities for the classroom include:

  • Writing words and sentences with tactile materials,e.g. glitter glue, sand, pasta, LEGO, or beads.
  • Physical activities to practice spelling, e.g.hopscotch or jump-rope – the children spell out words when they jump to each square or over the rope. Students work in pairs and take turns to dictate words and spell them.
  • Scavenger hunts for letters and words – split students into teams and give them a word. Next, write letters onto notes and hide them around the classroom.The teams must find the letters to construct the assigned word and then glue them together on a poster by cutting out the letters

2) Assistive technology and tools

Pocket spell checkers

The dyslexic learner types in a word how they think it’s spelled, often phonetically, and the spell checker will return a correctly-spelled match. This helps the child strengthen their confidence in both writing and spelling and commit correct spellings to memory.

Line Readers

Aline reader magnifies and highlights the portion of text over which it is placed. This helps dyslexic readers move through a book or worksheet and keep their place easier, especially if they experience ‘swimming’ words: the surrounding sea of text will be less distracting.

Coloured keyboard

Keyboards with coloured overlays and larger letters make typing more accessible to dyslexic students. Some come with multimedia hotkeys that enable the user to play, pause, stop, or rewind audio, which is useful as dyslexic learners often use text-to-speech software when reading and writing.

When purchasing assistive technology for a dyslexic student, consider acquiring several for other students to share. This will lessen feelings of isolation or difference the dyslexic child may feel and prevents other students from feeling envious.

Image of students learning at school

3) Helpful Arrangements

Use a cloze procedure.

Give the dyslexic student a sheet containing key information that you’ll be covering throughout the lesson and blank out key words. The student can then take notes just like others without the stress of trying to copy everything before it’swiped off the board. This helps them focus and commit key information to memory.

Give them plenty of time to complete homework.

If a piece of homework takes a day to complete, distribute it on a Friday so that the dyslexic child has the whole weekend to work on it.

You could also let their parents know what the homework schedule is for the month,so they can start looking at certain topics with their child at home in advance.

Mark based on effort and ideas.

Dyslexic learners may be less skilled than their peers at spelling and grammar. However,if their thought process and creativity shine through the errors and it’s clear they’ve made an effort, this should be praised.

Highlight any major spelling errors using a green pen – nothing screams “WRONG” more than a teacher’s demotivating red pen!

4) Educational Games

The great thing about games designed for dyslexic students is that any learner can benefit from them, so you can easily incorporate them into lessons for the whole class. Nothing will excite your students more than playing games!

There are hundreds of educational apps and games for dyslexic learners available. High Speed Training and have a selection of apps which are available. Some excellent places that provide digital or physical games for the classroom include:

  • – Nessy offers a range of PC games that help learners understand the sounds that make up words – an area where dyslexics particularly struggle. Their colourful, cartoony style is appealing and engaging to kids.
  • – The workbooks available here are full of puzzles, 3D drawings, and reading activities, tailored to dyslexic learners’ strength: visual thinking.
  • Simplex Spelling – If you have iPads in your classroom,the apps in the Simplex Spelling series are an excellent choice. They help build up students’ understanding of phonics and how words are constructed. The series placed 3rd in the 2012 Best App Ever Awards – Best Elementary Student App.

5) Working together with parents

Meet with dyslexic students’ parents regularly to discuss how their child is doing and the strategies you’ve applied in the classroom. The child’s parents can also update you on what methods they’ve been using at home and what’s been successful.

Thisis important because, ultimately, no two dyslexic children are alike and thereis no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. By sharing knowledge about ongoing progress, both you and the parents can work together to find learning methods thats uccessfully aid the dyslexic student’s learning.

Image of the Author: Liz Burton, High Speed Training

Author Bio: Liz Burton works as Content Author at High Speed Training, a UK based online learning provider that offer business-related training courses. Liz has authored many courses, including the Dyslexia Awareness course designed to provide learners with the knowledge needed to offer their support to dyslexic children.

Ghotit is now available from

We are pleased to announce that the popular reading and writing assistive technology software, Ghotit, is now available to purchase from

Assistive Technology to cope with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia

The software includes advanced reading and writing features which have been tailor-made for individuals with dyslexia and dysgraphia. These features include:

  • Context and phonetic spell checker
  • Grammar and punctuation checker
  • Proofreader
  • Reader that can read aloud any document
  • Word prediction (contextual and phonetic prediction)
  • Integrated word dictionary
  • US, UK, Canadian, New Zealand and South African dictionaries

To find out more about Ghotit, please follow 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 >>

​Brand New: ClaroRead Version 7

claroYesterday Claro Software announced the release of a brand new version of their popular literacy support software, ClaroRead Version 7. ClaroRead is a hugely popular text-to-speech program that helps users of all ages and abilities to read and write. Version 7 has bought lots of new and improved features to the assistive technology software, making this version the best yet. It has been developed in line with Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge and is fully compatible with the new operating system.

ClaroRead Version 7 includes new features to enhance reading and proofing for users. You are now able to adjust text widths and add in one or two narrow columns, which can make long pieces of text easier to read. There is also a new option to remove highlighting which helps users to proofread without distraction. By using the ‘change text width’ and ‘highlight none’ options, your word processor transforms into a scrolling text reader.

Version 7 includes a number of bundled programmes, including Claro Voice Setup. This allows you to download up to 80 high-quality voices. The voices available include different accents and genders of English, plus French, German, Spanish and many other voices. This is extremely helpful for users where English is a second language (ESL). Claro AudioNote is also bundled into ClaroRead Version 7. This software helps users who struggle with notetaking and enables them to record meeting and lecture audio notes directly into their Microsoft Word documents or PowerPoint presentations. Recordings can be sent to Dragon NaturallySpeaking to be converted into editable text. Claro AudioNote helps users with dyslexia, where information is often difficult to take in. Other small programs are bundled into ClaroRead Version 7: ClaroIdeas (mind mapping tool), ScreenRuler (reading ruler and screen colour tinting tool) and ClaroCapture (study tool).

ClaroRead Cloud is a new and exciting feature that allows you to install your copy of ClaroRead onto multiple machines. This is very handy for those who need to use ClaroRead in the office or at school and at home. ClaroRead Cloud also enables those who have purchased ClaroRead for Windows to download ClaroRead for Mac (and vice versa).

The new version of ClaroRead also includes numerous improvements such as an updated phonetic and dyslexic spelling list – there are now 50,000 custom spelling corrections! A full list of new features and technical changes can be viewed on Claro Software’s Technical Support page.

Purchase ClaroRead Version 7 on

VeritySpell now available on PC and Mac as a digital download



We are pleased to announce that the powerful spellchecking and language support software, VeritySpell, is now available to purchase from as a digital download!

Digital downloads are useful as you receive the software instantly via your email address. It also enables us to be able to offer the latest software at the best possible price!

VeritySpell provides spelling, homophone and dictionary support for those who find a standard spell-checker insufficient. It can be used in virtually any application, whether composing text in Microsoft Word, writing and instant message or filling in a form on a web page.

The software helps distinguish similar sounding words, like which or witch, by showing them in an every-day language context. It also comes with a built-in dictionary and thesaurus which provides definitions, similar words and related words.

To purchase VeritySpell, please follow this link >>

Should spelling be made simpler?

should-spelling-be-made-simplerA new initiative aims to make the traditional English spelling system easier.

For any child, learning to spell can be a daunting task – and even more so for pupils with learning difficulties like dyslexia. That’s why a new initiative proposed by the English Spelling Society (ESS) sets out to make it easier to learn to spell.

At a recent conference, the ESS spoke about plans to host the first International Spelling Congress later this year, where delegates will be able to vote on the revised English spelling system.

The idea behind the new move was sparked after a study published last year revealed that 40 per cent of people in the UK rely on the autocorrect function on their computers and smartphones to monitor their spelling.

Working alongside the American Literacy Council, the ESS’s proposed spelling system would make words with silent letters, like those in ‘knee’ and ‘dumb’, a thing of the past.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Stephen Linstead – chairman of the ESS – said: “The intention is that the preferred new system should run alongside traditional spelling as an informal alternative and, if it gains sufficient support among English speakers, would eventually replace it.”

It is thought that changing the way certain difficult words are spelt will enable children to learn to read quickly.

The new initiative is sure to cause some objections, with many parents in favour of the traditional English spelling system that stands today.
However, parents of children with dyslexia may be concerned about the difficulty of certain words in the current system. In this case, a number of supportive teaching methods – such as assistive technologies – are available. These are specially designed to make reading and spelling a fun, easy process through a series of educational games and activities.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/iStock)

New computer game could boost reading skills of dyslexic pupils

A new computer game could help dyslexic pupils to improve their reading skills.

A new computer program developed to tackle dyslexia could help children from poor backgrounds – as well as those who are dyslexic – improve their reading skills, new research has claimed.

The implementation of assistive technologies for children with special educational needs has served as an effective method of learning for some time. It involves using digital software tools comprising a series of games and activities that centre around a range of topics – such as reading, spelling, comprehension and numeracy – to enhance a child’s skills in each area.

Boy with a notebook in park

This month, researchers at the University of Cambridge announced that the techniques designed for dyslexic children could also be a useful way of learning for children from poor homes, TES reports.

In order to explore this further, Usha Goswami – director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education at the university – was granted £365,000 to conduct a trial using a computer game that considers the difficulties some children have in distinguishing individual sounds.

The programme, GraphoGame Rime, was created by a university in Finland and works to improve a child’s reading skills by testing their awareness of longer sounds within words.

Funding was awarded to Professor Goswami by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, and will be put to use in a randomised controlled trial with 400 children aged six and seven.

The participants will be required to match the sounds they hear through headphones to groups of letters they see on the screen for ten minutes each day. The level of sound between phonemes and syllables, called onset and rime, is the game’s main area of focus.

Once an activity is completed, the programme analyses the child’s answers, which will enable the researchers to assess whether playing significantly improves their reading skills.

According to Professor Goswami, focusing on onset and rime makes spelling more consistent when using longer sounds. For example, breaking up a word by the level of sound between phonemes and syllables would turn ‘cat’ into ‘c-at’.

She adds: “The computer game was developed for dyslexic children but [its use] suggests it should also be helpful for disadvantaged children generally, who typically have impaired language and reading skills.

“And indeed, the game should be helpful for all children in terms of teaching English phonics.”

The government and Ofsted have backed the use of synthetic phonics in primary schools: the former has introduced a phonics check for pupils aged six, as well as funding relevant resources and training; the latter has performed routine inspections to ensure phonics teaching is being implemented correctly.

Dr John Rack, director of education and research at Dyslexia Action, said: “From our point of view, we’ve always recognised that some kids don’t … hear all the small sound segments clearly, so for them it is better sometimes to use bigger chunks.

“We agree it may not be the best way to teach all children – using phonemes may be better. But for those who don’t get it we need to be more flexible, and units which are more consistent and easier to distinguish do play a part. We have an intervention programme, and onset and rime work is in that.”

More established computer games that target children with learning disabilities – and could also help those from poor homes – include the Nessy Learning Programme and Wordshark.

The former works to improve reading, spelling and writing and is a huge resource of strategies, worksheets and phonics, while the latter supports various aspects of reading and spelling that are designed to make literacy fun.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/iStock)