Using voice access in windows 11 to write in microsoft word

A feature of Windows 11 that may not be well known is that Vocie Access in Accessiblity . It does not require internet which is a great help to schools using Microsoft Word and struggle with a consistent internet connection or using voice input in exams. A stripped down Word can then be used with voice input at no additional cost.

Not just a page reader!

Had a chance to look at the Orcam Learn for schools and really is a useful tool. First of all, I like the voice, Such tools like this fall down due to the voices they use. This is a useful tool is inflection and tone to the sentence understanding. Also the targeting using laser lights are cool and useful for accurately recording. You can also hear individual words as well. But where the package wins out is in the recording of pupils individual progress. Orcam has worked hard with SENCO’s to find the information they wanted. So you can see in realtime use and how the children read as there is a listen mode and a reading mode. This makes it more comprehensive a tool for reading .

At the moment there is special deal going on so take a look at the link below for more details of that. It’s annual subscription fee for the software after the first year . There is a one-off price for the device around the £400 mark. Still quite difficult for schools to afford in this period of austerity, in my opinion, but I understand the price of developing this product and making it work in this way . Check it out at

Natspec conference 2022

Today I am attending the annual natspec conference. Natspec stands for National Specialist Colleges and the TechAbility event is it’s annual conference. This is a good assistive technology event put on by the national specialist colleges in the UK. I went a few years ago for BATA and found it useful to promote the work we do at the council and recognise the good work that has been going on this educational field. 

Looking at the speaker line up it will be good to catch up on what Rohan Slaughter has been doing in the AT MSc course in Dundee. If I were younger I would go on that course. It’s been running for 2 years so I suspect there will be some interesting developments to share. 

It will also be a chance to network with colleagues such as Fil McIntyre. I worked with him during the pandemic on remote assessment for schools. This was an interesting concept and an eye -opener into the current state of our education system. Apart from that I will attend a few other workshops and speak with colleagues about how AT is impacting the community.

It did not disappoint! Lots of fantastic sessions from technical sessions like Will Wade on some of the assisitve technology devices. that help disabled people to the update on the EduAT MSc course at Dundee University which is making headway towards a professional workforce for AT. I enjoyed it. all and look forward to the next one.

Renewed old and renewed acquitancies and made new ones! It was good to meet you all and thank you for your time. Hope to colleague with you all in the future.

DELL Inspiron 15 305

A client requested that I upgrade the hard drive to 1TB. With SSD this would mean cloning across using either cloud or a device that would achieve this. But when I opened up the Dell I discovered a space for a 2.5″ SSHD which was a pleasant surprise. So the following steps were made to installl this additional drive

  1. Fit a a thermal cover to reduce heat on the SSHD
  2. Fit in position
  3. Start up laptop
  4. Go to Computer Management via right mouse click and select from list
  5. Format the said drive – and set any partitions if needed
  6. Rename the volume of the drive
  7. Check in File Explorer the drive is visible.

“All accessible? where are we today?”

BATA are pleased to announce a conference on Web Accessibility. This conference will look how to write your own accessibility statement and how to be compliant with recent legislation. This conference is aimed at the education sector in universities and colleges and the workplace where you need to reach out to all people.

Free to BATA members with a promo code.

Non-members £25.00. There is an early bird rate using the promo code :- BATAEARLYBIRD

For full details click here and to get your tickets straight away go to :-

Safari Open Tabs

Here’s a tip . If you like me use your mobile phone to access websites on safari you would be having 100’s of tabs left open . My setting was set to “Manually” now I suggest you change that and make at time limited period . Eg mine is set to daily on my phone . Go to Settings >Safari>Close Tabs

Able to Excel: How Differently Abled Individuals Can Use Technology to Aid Their Careers by Andrea Needham

With help from digital technology, differently-abled individuals no longer have to feel limited in terms of their career prospects. There are a number of ways you can use modern tech to your advantage, whether you’re learning new skills, networking, or seeking new employment. In this article, we’ll explore a few handy tips for furthering your career as a differently abled individual.

Remote Learning

If you don’t feel you’re adequately prepared to apply for the roles you want, you’ll find no shortage of online resources available that can help you to learn new skills or gain knowledge in your desired field. You can take free online courses or even get a certification or degree without ever attending classes in person. These opportunities also provide an easy way to network with

other professionals, which could help you find a job or get your foot in the door of your desired industry.

Consider a Home-based Business

If you’re not comfortable working in a traditional office setting, or if you have a potentially profitable idea, you might want to consider starting your own home-based business. With technology, all aspects of starting a business can be carried out fully online, including financing, creating a business plan, and even meeting with potential investors. Even if you’re working with employees, platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams make it easy to manage personnel remotely.

Use Assistive Technologies

There are a number of assistive technologies tailored to a variety of disabilities that you can make use of to further your career. As computers are widely used in most vocations, you may be able to use alternative hardware, such as keyboards and input devices. Programs that can be adapted to accommodate various needs are also available, including screen magnifiers, voice recognition, and screen reading software.

If you work in an in-person environment, you can request mobility, seating, and positioning aids from your employer if you need these to make your job possible. If you have a physical disability, you may need to be provided with lifts, ramps, and special parking spaces.

Finding Employment

When you’re job searching, it’s important to have a well-written resume and an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is invaluable for building connections in your field and can be used to find job opportunities. If you opt for the premium version, you’ll also be able to check who’s viewed your profile and send direct messages.

When building your resume, be sure to highlight your skills and make mention of any notable accomplishments. Having a professional-looking resume will help you stand out from the pile of candidates recruiters receive, so try a resume creator and free templates to achieve this. You’ll

be able to select colors and designs that suit your preferences and then add your photo and relevant work experience.

Once you’re ready to search for a job, it’s important to seek out a job that best suits you and use the appropriate tools to apply for it. Most job applications are time-consuming, as you’ll be required to fill in copious amounts of details in order to be considered, so it’s best not to waste your efforts on positions you aren’t invested in trying.

You may also consider applying for fully remote jobs, as these are far more available now that more and more companies are transitioning toward a hybrid work environment. There are a number of job boards that are dedicated solely to remote jobs, which should help you narrow down your search.

With leaps in remote technology, differently-abled individuals are increasingly equipped to find employment that accommodates them and meets their needs. With the right tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to bolster your expertise with the necessary skills and successfully land a job in a burgeoning field.

Accessibility Solutions aims to find the right technological fix for various challenges that are faced by those who are differently abled. Find a personalized solution at:

Andrea Needham,

Image by Pexels

Go Red for Dyslexia

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and this week is Dyslexia Awareness Week. So AAS is going Red for this month. Please share to make Dyslexia known. Dyslexia affects people’s ability to decode and write words accurately. Assistive Technology helps to overcome this barrier to learning. If you want to know more just reach out to me via this website for advice and support

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 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.


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


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.


Notability​ – £free – note taking

Read&Write – £free –

Claro Speak – £free with in app purchases

Claro PDF​ – £free with in-app purchases –

Remember The Milk​ – £free –

Widget Writer​ – £0.89 –

Glean Notes ​ – £free app but with subscription as well –

Claro ScanPen​ – £8.99 –

Popplet Lite​ – £free –

Speaking Email​ – £free with in-app purchases –

Book Creator​ – £2.49 –

Easy Dyslexia Aid – £2.49

​Correct Spelling – £free –

Timetable – £free –

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 –