Assistive technology

Assistive Technology

There are a number of business who can assist in this area including:

www.iansyst.co.uk

www.dyslexic.com

For more information on Disabled Student Allowance for students age 18 + wishing to access university level education look at:

www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEducation/DG_10034898

Dyslexia was recognised as a disability in the Disability Discrimination Act 2004

Useful Software and ICT based tools

The following are reviews for items that have tried by myself or members of my family.

Quickscan Pen by wizcom (American but available from UK sellers above)

Costly,  but like some of the software mentioned, older versions can be found on Ebay and do the job just as well. This pen works like a barcode reader and will identify individual words for a struggling reader. It allows them to work on their own.  The pen comes with an earpiece so the word can be heard discreetly. Children love using this device, but it does require a resonably steady hand. My daughter managed it age 8 and it took some of the scary out of finding out she had dyslexia.  There are versions for foreign languages, and as these subjects can sometimes be difficult for those with dyslexia our French to English translating version came in very handy.

TextHELP  - Predictive text software  www.texthelp.com

This is a predictive text package which has a talking spell checker and read back facility that is ideal for encouraging children with dyslexia to be independent learners. One student I know with severe dyslexia has used this for 8 years and prefers the older version (5?) to the later versions she has tried. These seem to want to own the computer and butt in too much rather than letting the student do as much as they can unaided. Whatever the issues, without this package she would not have managed to gain 11 GCSE’s in 2009.  Without the computer much of her essay writing remains what is called ‘grammatically incomprehensible’ i.e. the sentances change tense, have ideas that trail off mid though, lack punctuation with spellingtoo difficult to decipher and the overall impression is one of nonsense and nothing like the student had running through their heads. Brilliant product if you can get it to work.

FullMarks Software -  www.idigicon.com/fullmarks_software.asp

General software for all learners which offers an engaging way to learn subject specific material via games at Primary age.  If you get the answer wrong it gives the right answer and then pops the question up again a few turns later.  One student played the game which taught the names of all the items you might find in a science lab – bunsen burner, tripod, asbestos mat etc., When she went to look round a Secondary school in Year 5 she was astonished to find all these items in the Science lab.  Wandering round she kept saying the names out loud.   The teacher came over and start to have a chat. The teacher was so impressed she said ‘I really hope you come to this school as I think you are going to be really good at Science.’  The girl did, and she was, despite her severe dyslexia.  Teacher and pupil expectation can be key to success.

There is now 3 disks available for Key Stage 3/Secondary Maths, English and Science designed for revision.

What is it like to have dyslexia?