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Presented by Malcolm Litten at the BDA International Conference, March 2014
Despite the existence of a variety of tools designed to assist individuals who experience difficulties in reading and writing, research reveals that only a minority of schools actually employ them with their pupils. Even where there exist good quality freeware tools, few schools have a policy of systematically making these available on their network. Research has demonstrated the positive value of such assistive technology and a recent change in exam access arrangements at GCSE argues that its use to assist print-impaired candidates read text is acceptable as proof of independent reading. This paper describes the present failure to enable dyslexic pupils to engage independently in their education and explores the factors that prevented even the best-intentioned schools from offering their pupils the chance to use text-to-speech in the 2013 English GCSE exams.