After reading CanDoElla I felt it appropriate to give some information for NQT’s. As a part-time, external lecturer to Bath Spa University I often meet teachers to be and those working in education as fellow professionals. Without exception the knowledge of assistive technology or ICT SEN is little and sparse on the ground. Therefore I see it as vitally important that information gets out there. I am a Co-Director of the British Assistice Technology Association and our agenda is to raise the awareness of assistive technology in the UK. We run a free group for teachers and you are welcome to join . We run webinars and invite discussion about this topic of what new technologies can do to enable and empower pupils. To join click here

What can Assistive Technology/ICT SEND do?

Alternative methods of recording can enable dyslexics to have different methods to record with not just pen and paper which is an unsurmontable barrier for learning which makes the governments insistence on handwriting laughable if it weren’t so sadly tragic.

For those with  severe cerebral palsy it’s an impossibility to handwrite so using technology such as switches and joystick inputs along with eye gaze and other new technologies are opening up the world to many children who have been denied a means of expression by traditional means

For the autistic technology provides an avenue of communication that is non-threathening and motivating as well as finding a way into their special worlds which we should enter with their permission and not assume our approaches are welcome!

Finally, for those with sensory needs the advent of smart speakers are changing the leisure world of many blind or partially sighted users. Giving enjoyment and pleasure as well as communication means of accessing landlines and mobiles without the need for keypads.

Where do we find out about Assistive Technology/ ICT SEND ?

By looking at this site and others. I have a SENCO update page which would give NQT’s an avenue to find out about useful technology. I do seminars on “What you can get for little or no cost?” and ” Making the most of what you’ve got” as the reality at the moment is little finance in schools to buy things like eye-gaze systems. That may be changing let’s see. But systemic change in education will not occur by bringing in the bright shiny technology but by dedicated, hard working teachers like yourself who are committed to making a difference to a child;’s life no matter what the disability and barrier to learning they have.

Also, check out http://bataonline.org  There is a wealth of knowledge out there but since the demise of BECTA there hasn’t been a place for impartial advice and information to go to. BATA would like to be a current source as we represent suppliers and professionals. Also, take a look at NAACE’s website  They have useful information built up over years of advisory practise.

Finally, contact me here at this website. I’d be happy to come and speak to you and your staff team. I feel there is a huge skills gap in the kind of problem solving work I do as an Assistive Technologist working with schools and families. Sharing just small things of usefulness can change lives for the better. I am a firm believer of a can-do approach even in times of austerity you can still do something ( maybe not the best you could do but something postive!).

NQT’s should be energetic and willing to take on challenges being fresh out of training. If there is anything I can do to help you  – just ask!

Do not leave a man (or child) behind

This is a tile of a NAACE article I wrote expressing my concerns over the present trend for academies and league table positions that might leave children with SEN behind. Are you a SENCO? Do you have an opinion? Please let me know what you think the current state of SEN in schools is. Please click the link below to read the article:-




Screening for individual needs

I have come across a couple of useful tools that deal with identification of need. The first tool is doitprofiler. This will identify for your school or workplace a need someone might have and make suggestions to help that individual. Their is a school and workplace tool. Go to http://www.dotiprofiler.com. Costs vary according to the tools used Screening + profiler £48

Vision screening can identify something that is often overlooked when considering someone’s lack of achievement . This free tool can enable you to find out if someone has a visual need. Worth checking your pupils out at http://www.screeningforschools.com/

If you prefer face to face training then take a look at this facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Visualisetraining?fref=ts. It’s not free  but might provide you with valuable insights you could make to your organisation . Here is what they say:-

“I would like to invite you to one of our ‘Visual Impairment Awareness Open Courses’. We are running the following courses:

  • Manchester 29th March
  • Newcastle – 30th March
  • Glasgow – 31st March
  • London – 4th April
  • Birmingham – 5th April
  • Cardiff – 8th April

This training session will give you the opportunity to develop the fundamental skills and knowledge to support your visually impaired customers and staff effectively.

The course will cover:

  • Main eye conditions and their effects
  • Emotional impact of sight loss
  • How to guide and assist a blind or partially sighted person
  • Appropriate language and effective communication
  • Reasonable adjustments in compliance with the Equality Act 2010
  • The importance of eye health care
  • How the built environment can enable or disable people

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Please find attached leaflet and invite your colleagues.

Kindest Regards,

Daniel Williams

Managing Director

Visualise Training and Consultancy



Twitter:VisualiseTC ”


AAS on SENDirect

AccessAbility Solutions are being a provider to parents and families of children who might like advice, support, training in the use of ICT . Working with partners in the IT education industry AAS hope to be of service . Click on our page and see what we can offer:-


Sonocent app and audio notetaker

I have made an 8 minute video of the above app and software to go on my dyslexia youtube channel. Please share this as I think its a wonderfully practical app in the right circumstances. Encouraging active listening and could be used in a wide range of contexts to make recording easier. On digital
learning day this is something worth looking into!

Useful ICT for Dyslexics

Wyvern training portal do some excellent training videos on ClaroRead and Dragon

A new product I saw at BETT was ClaroScanPen which converts PDF into spoken
text, Forget app is also useful for remembering events and lists,etc

Tools to record is AudioNote taker by Sonocent and their is app called Sonocent
as well. Records and you attribute its importance so you have a visual of what
you need.

If you want to keep up to speed with what is going on in the world of Special
needs I can suggest signing up to Special World http://specialworld.net
and my new intelligent website which designs the look and feel itself.