Best alternatives to pen reader for dyslexia

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    What are the best alternatives to pen readers for dyslexia? There are a couple of different options you can find today, and each offers something unique.

    Best alternatives to pen reader for dyslexia

    You are probably aware of pen readers or highlighters and what they offer. But they are far from being the only option for dyslexic children and those with other reading disabilities, such as dysgraphia, visual impairments, learning disabilities, or auditory learners. 

    Pen reader and the reading support they give to dyslexics

    Pen readers or reading pens are devices you can buy to help those that struggle with reading. They are shaped like regular pens, except they are a bit larger. Using them is quite simple. You will run the nib of the pen across lines of text, and the pen will scan it. 

    After that, the device will be able to read the text back at you, and you can choose different customization settings based on the model you pick. 

    How does a reading pen work?

    The nib or the tip of the reading pen acts like a scanner. When the user runs it over the text, the device will be able to scan the page and create a digital copy of the book. After that, the reading pen will use OCR or optical character recognition to convert the image into text it can use. 

    From there on, the app can use voice synthesis to create an AI version of the voice that will read the written text. This means that you can easily adjust the reading speed, accent, voice type, and more.

    Best assistive technology alternatives to pen readers

    Pen readers are far from being the only assistive tools you can find. There are plenty of other alternatives that can be equally effective. Naturally, it all comes down to your goals and what you are trying to achieve. 

    In some cases, these alternatives can be a better option than the pen reader, which is why you need to check them out. Here are just a few examples.

    Spell checkers

    Those that struggle with reading disabilities will find spell checkers to be more than useful. And these apps are often quite simple. All you need to do is paste the text you wrote, and the app will do the rest for you. 

    It will save dyslexic students so much time, and these apps can be incredible even for those without reading disabilities. Furthermore, they will improve both the accuracy and quality of the text, and they will do wonders for accessibility. 

    Graphic organizers

    Since the topic here is reading disability, eliminating letters and words will improve the quality of work. There are many different tools you can find that focus on images instead of text, and these visual gadgets can be perfect for making mind maps. 

    You can use them for planning, brainstorming, and so much more. Based on the app you choose, you will be able to use diagrams, charts, and others. You can easily create a plan for writing that will help you stay focused and on track once you start writing. 

    Display control

    Almost every device today will have some level of display control. However, the more control you have, the easier it will be for you to create a healthy environment. This means that your students (or you) should be able to adjust fonts, sizes, colors, spacing, and anything else that can improve their reading skills.

    Additionally, many people use dyslexia fonts that are designed to improve accuracy and prevent confusion. When there is a clear difference between letters, people will have an easier time reading. 

    Scanners

    There are plenty of different scanners you can find, and reading pens are just one way to use the technology. With scanners, you can scan entire pages or even books in no time. This will allow you to create a digital version of the content but also to use OCR software on your PC.

    Once you convert printed text into digital, you can easily edit the text and do with it whatever you please. 

    Speechify

    Speechify is one of the most popular accessibility tools you can find today. Speechify is a text to speech app that can convert any type of text into an audio file, allowing you to listen instead of physically read.

    The basic idea is similar to reading pens, but Speechify can offer so much more. It is equipped with OCR, allowing you to scan text and convert it into a digital voice. Speechify will also work on any file format, including docs, PDF, txt, ePub, and physical documents. 

    Speechify is also available on nearly any platform, it’s easy to use, and there are plenty of customization options you can explore. It will upgrade the accessibility of whatever text you wish to read in no time and allow everyone to listen to the content in just a few steps. 

    You can use Speechify on iOS (both iPad and iPhone), Android, Microsoft Windows, Mac, or even as a Google Chrome extension on any webpage. The default language is English, but you can experiment with other languages as well (Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, and many others). 

    Try Speechify for free today and check out how it can make your reading experience more hassle-free and enjoyable.

    FAQ

    Which tool can support dyslexic individuals in writing?

    People with dyslexia can use scanning pens such as the C-Pen Reader 2, text to speech software, and voice recognition software (or speech to text such as note-taking apps) if they want to avoid writing on their own. Scanners and optical character recognition can also be helpful. 

    Is Speechify good for dyslexia?

    Yes. Speechify is one of the easiest ways to avoid reading difficulties. Instead of going through the text on your own, you can just put on the headphones and let the app read it to you. You can choose different accents, speech rates, languages, and so much more. 

    What is a good alternative to Pen Reader for dyslexia?

    OCR software, scanners, spell checkers, text to speech apps, dictation apps, and others are all good alternatives to pen readers. It mostly comes down to your needs and what you are trying to achieve. Most of these apps are designed to improve accessibility, so you can’t go wrong if you try them out. 

    The most popular TTS apps are Read Aloud, Speechify, NaturalReader, Murf, and Amazon Polly, among many others. 

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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