Hertfordshire BDA – saturday 17th september 2022


Assistive Technology can help your children in the following ways:-

  • an alternative to handwriting
  • note taking skills important for later life
  • text to speech – decoding text using assistive technology
  • speech to text – inputting content using your voice
  • word prediction – class use when speech is not possible
  • access to teaching and learning
  • Maths – Dyscalculia

This page will contain advice and resources that will be discussed in the session. Please contact me by email at myles@aas123.com for any questions you may have.

Your children and pupils don’t want to stand out in the class as being different so its always good to use mainstream software whether it’s a Microsoft or Google product they are using in the school context. Speech recognition is a good tool for the home. Homework can be done more effectively if it requires volumes of text. If it’s just a few words then using the spell checker and typing suggestions are just as good.

In the workshop I will be looking simple changes to the operating system as well as extensions to browsers and free and paid apps for iOS that may be useful to you. Android will be touched on as well as Chrome OS.

Resources

Useful Operating System Changes

Windows 10/11 Accessibility – switch on typing suggestions and the option to make suggestions when you type. This produces a short list of possible words to use

Google Voice Typing – in Google Docs under Tools is the option to use voice typing. Google does this well and it’s quite accurate.

Dictation in Email is a Chrome Extension that allows voice typing in Google Email.

Smart Typing works as artificial intelligence guessing what you want to write as you type. Suggestions are in grey and you may be using it without knowing! It’s switched on in settings or via the wizard when you set up a google account.

Chrome Extensions ( mostly free with some having paid adds-ins if needed)

Grammarly is the chrome extension of choice by older children, pupils and students as it corrects again as you type. I am using it now and its handy on picking up my grammatical errords. There is also a free add – in for MSWord where grammarly sits on the toolbar in Word. Paid options are also available with more options to have. It’s one drawback on free is American spellings!

Natural Reader – is a text to speech tool that can read out PDF’s . If you are using The Edge – Read Aloud is really good and it’s also good on an iPad.

Color Enhancer is a Chrome extension that puts a filter over the screen to make it more readable for the user in Chrome. Fully customisable and maybe useful for those who need to use overlays to decode text

Lightkey Chrome extension works invisibly suggesting completing of text like smart typing.

Helperbird Chrome extension is a suite of tools that help you access your browser more suited to your needs. Like a certain font? Then Helperbird can set that font to work over the internet on your browser. Worth a look.

Read&Write for Chrome is a useful toolbar for research and text to speech. Again can be used when needed. Text to speech cuts down the time and energy decoding long pieces of text.

Apple iOS

Accessibility

Display – changes from size to bold text as well as screen filtering options

Spoken Content – an easier way (and safer!) so you don’t loose your text by inadverttly pressing the screen area. It gives a playback menu that reads and highlights the text as spoken.

Microphone on the On-screen keyboard – now free from using wifi. Not always accurate for young children. But works well as an integrated tool for efficiency.

Keyboards – add-in keyboards like Read&Write and Swiftkey as well as slowing key presses and repeat key pressing options. More important for children and adults with fine mote problems.

APPS

Notability​ – £free – note taking https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/notability/id360593530

Read&Write – £free – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/readwrite-for-google-chro/inoeonmfapjbbkmdafoankkfajkcphgd

Claro Speak – £free with in app purchases https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clarospeak-literacy-support/id977258467

Claro PDF​ – £free with in-app purchases – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/claropdf/id666770153

Remember The Milk​ – £free – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/remember-the-milk/id293561396

Widget Writer​ – £0.89 – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/widgit-writer/id1142926801

Glean Notes ​ – £free app but with subscription as well – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/glean-notes/id1498045022

Claro ScanPen​ – £8.99 – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/claro-scanpen/id994933713

Popplet Lite​ – £free – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/popplet-lite/id364738549

Speaking Email​ – £free with in-app purchases – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/speaking-email-voice-reader/id991406423

Book Creator​ – £2.49 – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/book-creator-for-ipad/id442378070

Easy Dyslexia Aid – £2.49 https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/easy-dyslexia-aid/id1088194043

​Correct Spelling – £free – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/correct-spelling-checker/id1481028375

Timetable – £free – https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/timetable-studies-and-tasks/id309048319

Other Software

My Study Bar – suite of tools that may be useful in exam conditions. Free and can sit across any application to be used.

Voice Typer – provides speech recognition into any app or browser. A bit slow and as a weird way of hiding the menu. Just found this recently and still seeing its potential. No training required.

Maths- Dyscalculia

The following software may be helpful in helping you child/pupil/student have structured maths experience. Most research points to careful coaching and building on previous learnt maths skills. If the building blocks have been missed then it’s difficult to progress

• IXL Maths – IXL | Personalised skill recommendations

•Dynamo Maths –

•Nessy Maths – Maths | Nessy

•Splash Learn – Math Games for Kids Online SplashLearn

•Equatio –

https://www.texthelp.com/en-gb/products/equatio/

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