Dyslexic students, children, and adults have various issues with reading comprehension. Learners are especially affected as these issues mean they read information slower than their peers. A knock-on effect happens, causing the person with reading impairments to fall behind.
This article looks at tools and technology that helps struggling readers with their work and day-to-day lives.
The best dyslexia resources and technology
Assistive technology for dyslexic people ranges from voice recognition software to tools that make reading and writing easier. Here are eight of the most powerful technologies available today.
Note-taking is an excellent way to improve memory performance. The challenge dyslexic people face is that they often struggle to take notes as quickly as their peers.
Note-taking technology solves that problem.
This technology comes in several forms. Some examples, such as Evernote, allow users to copy and paste screenshots and samples of text into their notes. Others empower the student by letting them use visual aids to connect concepts.
Whatever the case may be, note-taking technology is vital in special education. It allows students to keep pace with their classmates.
Text to speech apps
Text to speech (TTS) software is helpful for anyone with reading comprehension issues. The user copies a sample of digital text into the software. Then, the app creates audio recordings of that text, which it will read aloud to the user.
More advanced TTS readers install directly into web browsers. This allows them to read the content of web pages instantly, making TTS a valuable study aid. Examples of this technology include Speechify, Natural Reader, and Read Aloud.
Imagine you’re a dyslexic person trying to read a book via a Kindle. The odds are that you’ll have difficulty interpreting what you’re reading due to the sheer volume of words on the screen.
With audiobooks, dyslexic people don’t have to worry about decoding text. Instead, they can listen to the content, making them more effective learners and, ultimately, better readers.
There are many places to find audiobooks online, with Amazon’s Audible service being the most popular. You can also stream audiobooks from smartphones, making them mobile learning and reading tools.
Word prediction apps
Word prediction apps combine the best features of spell check software with the ability to predict what you want to say.
The idea is simple.
You start typing in the app. As you type, the software suggests words you may want to use. Anybody who’s seen predictive text in action on an iPhone or Android device is already familiar with the idea.
More advanced versions of these tools can read words aloud and allow users to specify if words should be a part of an article’s headings. Some are made for specific topics, while others can help students decide between confusing words, such as there, their, and they’re.
Speech to text software
Speech-to-text apps are a form of speech recognition software that allows dyslexic people to record their thoughts without writing. It uses dictation technology to write what you say onto a screen.
Some versions of the software also allow you to create audio recordings of your voice. This makes it even easier to listen back to what you’ve recorded at a later date. Those with learning disabilities can use this software to avoid reading and writing altogether.
As mentioned, note-taking is often tricky for dyslexic people. With no spell checkers around, it’s hard to determine if you’re writing the correct word.
With smart pens, students can write while recording the lecture or discussion to which they’re listening. The pens usually have a button you can press to start a recording.
When you’re writing, the pen translates your notes into digital text. Some even let you scan the text so you can play a recording of what you heard as you took your notes.
The pens reduce the stress of trying to process several sources of information at once. They can also help with other tasks, such as word spacing and proofreading.
A mind map gives dyslexic people a visual way to take notes. They’re often used to plan written work because they let students draw their ideas in addition to writing them.
The maps combine colors, pictures, and space to help people visualize complex concepts. For example, a student may use color coding to link related ideas. They may then use white space to separate different ideas from one another.
The resulting notes end up organized in a way that’s much easier for a dyslexic person to read.
Bookshare is a reading resource that combines several handy features.
It contains a library of over 1.1 million books, textbooks, and career resources. All are edited and adapted to make them suitable for people with dyslexia.
This includes turning many of the books into audiobooks with highlighted text. Visually impaired people can also access books with larger fonts or in braille.
Introducing Speechify – the text to speech reader
Finding the right assistive technology is often difficult. If you’re searching for a text to speech app, Speechify is one of the best options available.
The app is easily accessible, as it’s available for iPads, iPhones, and any other Apple technology that uses iOS It’s also available for Android and Microsoft devices. Plus, the Google Chrome extension makes it usable on Google Docs and in your web browser.
Speechify features optical character reading (OCR) technology that allows users to snap pictures of text and have it read to them. Plus, it comes in over 20 languages and features dozens of voices. Finally, learners can slow down or speed up the reading speed to suit their needs.
Speechify is available to sample for free today Give it a try and unlock a whole new world of reading.