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How assistive technology helps dyslexic learners




In recent years there has been a range of hardware, software and handheld devices developed that are specifically designed to make life easier for people with dyslexia.  These are all included within the heading of “Assistive Technology”. 


Examples that are often used in UK schools are:


Speech recognition software. This allows users speech to convert to text.  This is beneficial for learners that might otherwise have difficulty with spelling or written tasks.

 

Mind mapping software. This is a great study aid and is designed to allow dyslexic learners to plan their work effectively. Mind maps are very visual and can support dyslexic learners to organise their work and revision.


Text-to-speech software. This allows learners to understand the written material that they are presented with and to check their own work. Examples include speechify and TextAloud.


Reading pens. These allow the user to store and listen to the text found in books and other written material. These can be used within formal exams to support the learner without taking away the individuals independence. Older learners find reading pens particularly useful as it stops the need to rely on others to read text. This in turn helps to boost self esteem and reading pens can be used in formal exams.

 

Spell checkers that are specifically designed with dyslexia in mind to automatically make corrections to written work. These are particularly useful for all ages.

 

Tablets, Smartphones and Apps can help learners to manage their time and task list more effectively or work in conjunction with other hardware devices.

 

Computer based learning programs such as IDL can provide effective intervention. These are specifically written for dyslexic learners and can help improve their skills in reading, writing, touch-typing and numeracy.

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