CALL Scotland and Assistive Technology [1]

At a recent meeting of the Adult Network (Edinburgh), Allan Wilson from CALL Scotland told us about CALL Scotland, and demonstrated some assistive technology to us. This blog post:

  1. Shares some of the information Allan gave;
  2. Signposts you to further information;
  3. Tells you about my personal experience of assistive technology; and
  4. Asks you some questions. I will be telling you about specific pieces of technology that dyslexic adults may find helpful. This does not equate to Dyslexia Scotland endorsing these.

CALL Scotland

  1. ‘CALL’ stands for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning.
  2. CALL Scotland supports people with disabilities, including dyslexic adults, to use assistive technology. For example, CALL provides:

The Scottish Voice

  1. The Scottish Voice is a computer voice[4] which CALL Scotland and software company Cereproc developed together.
  2. It comes in 3 forms: a female version called Heather, a male version called Stuart, and a Gaelic version called Ceitidh.
  3. You can install the Scottish Voice on your computer or mobile device. It is compatible with most text readers.
  4. All dyslexic adults in Scotland can obtain the Scottish Voice.
  5. Just fill in the form at http://www.thescottishvoice.org.uk/download and CALL will send you a link to download the voice.

Scanning pens and Apps

  1. Scanning pens and Apps let you scan text and then listen to it.
  2. Allan demonstrated 2 scanning Apps to us: ‘Claro ScanPen Reader’ and ‘TextGrabber’.
  3. Allan’s written a comprehensive blog post on scanning pens and apps: http://www.callscotland.org.uk/blog/scanning-pens-or-scanning-apps/

 ‘I have an iPad – which apps should I obtain to help me with dyslexia?’

  1. Allan is often asked this question. He answers it by asking: ‘Do you know about Speech Selection?’
  2. Speech Selection is built into the iPad. It does the same job as a text reader: converts text to speech.
  3. http://www.callscotland.org.uk/information/text-to-speech/text-to-speech-ipad

 My personal experience of assistive technology

  1. I use the Scottish Voice and text readers to proof read my writing, and to listen to a piece of text that is too long for me to read in print. The Scottish Voice helps me because I, and most of the people I speak to, have a Scottish accent. This makes the computer voice sound as normal as possible to my ears, which means I can focus on the content.
  2. My Workplace Needs Assessment acted as a useful starting point for me because it recommended specific software, and which purposes to use it for.
  3. For more information on assistive technology, see Dyslexia Scotland’s leaflet ‘Dyslexia and ICT’, available in pdf and audio at https://www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/our-leaflets

 What is your experience of assistive technology?

  1. What assistive technology do you use?
  2. What purposes do you use it for?
  3. What would be your top tip(s) on assistive technology?
  4. If you’d like to share your answers, please post a comment.

By a member of Dyslexia Scotland

 

[1] Assistive technology is technology that helps disabled people.

[2] An app, or application, is a piece of software you can download and use on your mobile device.

[3] Text readers read electronic text aloud. For a self-help guide on text readers, see Making written web content accessible using text readers

[4] A computer voice is a synthesized voice which you can install on your computer or device. It works with a text reader to read electronic text out loud.

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