AT can help students with LD to compensate for reading and writing difficulties by building on students’ strengths and compensating for processing difficulties (Forgrave, 2002)
The use of assistive technology has expanded the learning opportunities for many students with learning disabilities (Neibaur, Day & Snow Huefner, 2003; Ministry of Education, 2007).
Research shows that assistive technology helps students with reading and also acts as a remediation tool (Forgrave, 2002). Assistive technology can help students with LD who cannot read very well in two ways. It can be used as a reading support to help with decoding and comprehension. It can also be used as a reading intervention that helps students to strengthen their overall reading skills. Technology allows students with LD to read and gain knowledge that they can scaffold upon afterwards (Hassel- bring & Bausch, 2005).
Reading with AT can also help to alleviate a common problem that non-reading students face, a deficit of background knowledge (Hasselbring & Bausch, 2005).
Examples of Assistive Technology to support literacy: (available for check-out through the T/TAC @ VT lending library)
Read: OutLoud 6
Read: OutLoud 6 makes it easy to provide access to electronic books and the included web browser makes the Internet fully accessible. Read: OutLoud 6 provides accessibility supports like text-to-speech and study tools that help students read with comprehension. Providing access to the curriculum is easier than ever with Read: OutLoud. It was chosen as the text reader for every school in Virginia. It is free for any student with an IEP through AIM-VA.
View Video tutorials of Read: OutLoud 6: http://donjohnston.com/readoutloud/#.VXBkTVy5fHg
For More Information visit: http://donjohnston.com/tutorials-readoutloud-6/#.VSPnZFy4nOQ
Read&Write Gold software
Read & Write literacy software solutions help struggling readers and writers, and students with learning disabilities, access the support tools they need at school, work, and home. Read & Write ensures every learner has the tools necessary to reach their potential, build confidence and independence, and succeed.”
Read & Write Gold is a fully customizable toolbar that anchors to any application being used by the student. The toolbar features are available within familiar applications (i.e. Word, Google Docs, Chrome, Firefox, Adobe Reader, and IE). Key toolbar tools: word prediction, speaking calculator, speech maker, study skills tools, screenshot reader, PDF aloud, screen masking, text-to-speech, talking dictionary, and picture dictionary.
For more information, visit http://www.texthelp.com/media/171162/rwg_11_new_features_flyer.pdf
First Author Writing Software
First Author Writing Software helps teachers bring writing to students planning to take the alternate assessment-the 1 to 3 percent of students with complex instructional needs, including autism. First Author will help you make these students, who were never expected to write, into first-time authors. The software was developed with Dr. Janet Sturm through an NIH research and development grant.
Read&Write for Google
Read&Write for Google is a Chrome extension that provides comprehensive reading and writing supports for Google Docs and the Web as well as PDFs, ePubs, and KES files stored in Google Drive. http://rw.texthelp.com/drive/Home/RegisterTeacher
These supports include:
- Read Aloud with dual-color highlighting
- Word Prediction
- Talking and Picture Dictionaries
- Fact Finder
- Highlighters and ability to collect highlights
- Vocabulary Builder to easily create a list of words with text definitions and images
- Annotations (PDF and ePub)
- Navigational tools (PDF and ePub)
Read&Write for Google is FREE with a Google Apps for Education account.
For More information visit: http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/support/videos/#Google
Read&Write for iPad
Read&Write for iPad is an easy to use alternative keyboard with integrated features to help with writing content. When viewing online content in Safari, simply touch some text to hear it read aloud. Use the dictionaries and other tools to assist with essays, assignments or general reading and writing. It is available for a free 30 day trial by visiting https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/read-write-for-ipad/id934749270?mt=8 .
- Hear text read aloud with easy-to-follow on-screen highlighting
- Speak As I Type
- Word prediction
- Talking Dictionary and Picture Dictionary for use in any writing app
- Spell checker
- Read&Write web toolbar for Safari
Snap & Read
Snap&Read reads text aloud on the widest range of accessible and inaccessible websites—the kind your typical text reader won’t read. In fact, Snap&Read is the only Chrome Extension that reads inaccessible text and PDFs in real time without a separate special conversion process! It allows students to dynamically adjust text level across the web without changing the meaning. It also complies and collects all of this data in a way that protects student privacy. Watch a demo.
Apple iPad Accessibility Features:
- Speak Screen and Speak Selection– If you have a hard time reading the text on your iOS device, use Speak Screen or Speak Selection to read your email, web pages, and books to you. Turn on Speak Screen and swipe down from the top with two fingers, or just tell Siri (not available on the iPad2) to Speak Screen and have all the content of the page read back to you. You can adjust the voice’s dialect and speaking rate, and have words highlighted as they’re being read. Turn on Speak Selection and hold your finger down over a word to highlight. Drag the bottom right dot over the text you want read. A toolbar will popup, select speak to hear the highlighted text out loud. Speak Screen and Speak Selection works with Reading A-Z books saved in iBooks.
- Predictive Text– With the keyboard on the screen, users now have a word prediction bar to assist with selecting common words. The user can type a letter or two of a word, and the prediction will provide suggestions. Select the word you want, and it will be added to your writing.
- Safari Reader– For some students, navigating the web can be a sensory overload. Safari Reader reduces the visual clutter on a web page by removing distractions. It strips away ads, buttons, and navigation bars, allowing you to focus on just the content you want. And Safari Reader works with Speak Selection and Voice Over, to provide auditory reinforcement for what you’re seeing.