How Can Assistive Technology Support Dyslexia?

Despite most people being aware of the condition, there are still misconceptions about dyslexia, so this week is important to highlight the condition, bust myths and to shed light on the provisions and strategies out there to support the condition in the classroom or at home.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia can affect a person’s reading, writing and spelling but it can also affect other areas such as the working memory, sequencing, time management, orientation and much more. There are links to dyslexia being hereditary and there isn’t a cure, however there is a wide range of support available that can enable dyslexic individuals to break down barriers and overcome their own challenges.

Dyslexia and Assistive Technology 

This year’s  focus is on assistive technology, which has fast become a crucial aid to dyslexics who are at work or in the classroom. Assistive technology can be software, hardware or devices that ensure independence and productivity for the day-to-day life of the user.

Text-to-Speech Software

Text-to-Speech software has become invaluable to students and workplaces. The software can read emails, web pages, PDFs and Office documents in natural sounding voices. They also provide spell and homophone checkers and highlighting tools, which can enable independence when producing and proofreading their own work.

Speech Recognition Software

Speech recognition can quickly transfer a person’s spoken words into digital text. The software can also help the user to navigate round their computers, create and edit documents, surf the web and send an email – all through their voice.  Some speech recognition software is up to three times faster than typing.

Reader Pens

Reader pens are becoming popular products in schools as they allow the user to process sentences quicker and understand the context. The pen is a portable device that traces over a printed sentence and then reads back the words. There are also exam-approved versions available, which can aid students and create a level playing field in tests.

Dyslexia in the Workplace

Since 1 in 10 people are dyslexic, it’s not just a condition that schools should be aware of – under the 2010 Equality act, workplaces are now by law required to make workplace adjustments for their employees with disabilities and health conditions. This means that if an employee with dyslexia has asked for extra support to help them with their job role, management need to ensure that reasonable and correct provisions are put in place for their staff.

“There is apprehension amongst businesses about how to best approach workplace adjustments and an uncertainty about how much it will cost,” Janine King says, who is the Managing Director of and Iansyst. “This is where the government’s Access to Work grant can help – as this fund can help cover the cost of the training, technology, coaching amongst other support.” More information on Access to Work can be found in your local job centre.

What’s Next…

Let’s keep the conversation on dyslexia and assistive technology open and continue to spread awareness beyond this week. For more information on assistive technology, get in touch with iansyst (, who can guide you through what technology and support would be most suitable for the individual.

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