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Technology to support reading for dyslexia


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Computers that read aloud text, or text-to-speech, are one of the most powerful tools to help overcome the barriers of dyslexia. They can help develop reading skills and enable independent reading and proof-reading. In this workshop Abi will demonstrate how to get your computer talking, demonstrating free and advanced solutions. The session will also look at how text-to-speech can now be accessed through phones, portable devices and e-book readers while discussing strategies to use text-to-speech as a learning tool and for support in exams.

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Technology to support reading for dyslexia

  1. 1. The low-down on using computers and portable devices for reading Dr Abi James Assistive Technology Consultant British Dyslexia Association New Technologies Committee www.bdatech.orgTalk to Cheshire Dyslexia Association 11th March 2013
  2. 2. Pupils with dyslexia benefit from using ICT : Non- Multi- judgemental sensory and teaching motivational environment feedback Adaptable and Time-saving personalised and editing working tools environment
  3. 3. Reading• Developing Reading skills• Text-to-speech for reading• Dyslexia-friendly text & accessibility online• Ebooks & eBook readers
  4. 4. Reading Skills• Seeing and hearing text together improves reading skills• Multimedia = multi-sensory = motivation• Access materials alongside peers.• Oxford Owl -
  5. 5. Text-to-speech• Enables text to be read out from the computer screen,• Synchronised highlighting provide visual and auditory cues• Helps readers who struggle due to: – Slow reading speed – Poor accuracy – Poor concentration or memory
  6. 6. ClaroRead demonstrationClaroRead SE £49 +VAT• Speech in Word, Internet & PDFS with highlighting, save-to-audio & high-quality voicesClaroRead Plus £159 + VAT• Speech plus talking spell-checker, dictionary, word prediction, homophone checker & OCR
  7. 7. Computerised Speech Quality…• Accents & Clarity…. – Free vs paid – JISC Techdis voices free for students 16+ – Accents & languages• Tricky words – Homonyms… read / read – Proper Nouns – Abbreviations, cultural references
  8. 8. How to make your computer talk…• All Windows & Mac computers have text-to- speech built-in.• See on how to add speech to Word 2010Other free tools:• Wordtalk -• Ivona Mini-Reader reader/
  9. 9. Text-to-speech programs • Write:Outloud Talking word • Clicker; WriteOnline processors • WordTalk (free ad-in to word, no voice)Tools accessible from • Texthelp Read&Write Standard other applications • ClaroRead SE e.g. MS Word, • ATBar (online tools) Ivona Reader internet (free no voice or highlighting) • Kurzweil 3000Scan-Read Software • Texthelp Read&Write Gold • ClaroRead Plus / Pro
  10. 10. Dyslexia-friendly online reading• Changing the look and fell of text: – Font size: use zoom in web browsers Ctrl + – Font colour & style: – Background colour – Text justification• Readability ; Evernote Clearly (Chrome) - free• Claro ScreenRuler• Virtual Reading Ruler
  11. 11. eBook Readers• Some can read aloud! But not all.• Depends on book publisher & device
  12. 12. eBooks tools for PCGenerally ePubs can be read aloud. ePub3supports accessibility• Project Gothenburg out of copyright books• Calibre – converts files to ePub2• Balabolka (Win) – reading window, converts files to MP3• Azardi, Stanza , Readium – free Epub reader software• Accessible materials – Bookshare, Load2Learn
  13. 13. iPad and Android apps• iPads & most Android tablets have TTS voices built-in• iPad/iOS use accessibility settings to access “speak selection”• Apps range from £1.49 to ~£20 for TTS writing support, PDF reading, colour highlighting• technology/small-portable- devices/apps/
  14. 14. Take a picture, hear the wordsCapturaTalk for Android
  15. 15. E-book device Tablet e.g. Touch, Desktop / laptop ipad and netbookPurchase ebooksSearch & downloadacademic papersRead aloud textbooksRead aloud papers &learning resourceRecord audio notesRecord text notes inlecturesResearch on theinternetCreate a mind mapMake notes fromtextDraft an assignmentProof read anassignment
  16. 16. Contact details:Abi JamesEmail: of