Click to Read – Support for Reading.

There is now almost universal agreement that poor readers can benefit from having text read to them by computer software. While spoken text has been prepared and made available to visually impaired students for years, use with dyslexic users and struggling readers has been a long time catching up.

Recent legislation requires us to give urgent consideration to tools such as these. Find out what’s happening nationally and lend weight to the Books for All project by completing a questionnaire.

Speech can be listened to by page, paragraph, sentence, phrase, or single word and the best software allows you all of these options. Most pupils we see who are struggling to read only need help with some words – with software set to ‘Speak on Click’ – the computer acts like a reading assistant that can be called on by simply clicking on the unknown word.

Software that cuts it!!!!

Textease (part of the Softease Studio Plus suite in all Highland Primary Schools) is one of the very best.

Clicker Writer (the word processor that is attached to Clicker 4 – in all Scottish schools)

Both allow for single click listening.

WordTalk: A free add-on to Word created and developed by a colleague in Aberdeen has been distributed to all Scottish schools via SEED funding. (Download here)

Write:OutLoud from Don Johnston Special Needs is a very robust stand-alone talking word processor.

Inspiration & Kidspiration (again distributed to all Scottish schools) are planning/mind mapping tools within which text can be listened to.

Read about one Highland teacher’s use of such tools. SETT seminar details/Article

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About Alan Stewart

I'm a teacher who changed direction after teaching visually impaired pupils. I became interested in how technology could assist young people overcome or deal with various disabilities. I've, since, been an Education Support Officer, an ICT Training Support Officer, and have been Coordinator of Highland's Assistive Technology Support Service for the past 20 years. I'm also the proud father of two young boys (2003 & 2008). View all posts by Alan Stewart

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