TextHelp for writing and proofreading; scanning plus adding comments.

manuscript in word“Text to speech is really useful when you are writing and proofreading – it makes me stop when I leave out words and when I create words that don’t exist.,  I was given TextHelp Read and Write Gold and I use the scanning for my manuscripts.  Add the picture to Word and make comments in the margins.”

Becky  – Medieval Renaissance Culture.

Using a Franklin Dictionary for foreign languages

Franklin translator“I use an Electronic Dictionary for foreign languages such as Russian.  It is a Franklin handheld dictionary and it is easier to use than a paper based dictionary also less scary than my Latin dictionary!”

latin dictionary

Becky – Medieval Renaissance Culture.

Strip Highlighter for text with or without text to speech

“I would like to see a strip highlighter for text with and without TTS.  It would highlight a line but the user needs to have the choice of how many lines can be highlighted. I don’t use any strategies like this at the moment but I have worked with individuals who are VI [visually impaired] and use similar strategies for reading.”

ClaroRead and TextHelp Read and Write can be used with the text to speech turned off and just use the settings for highlighted words, phrases and sentences.

Tbar overlay

However, if you do not need text to speech then there is the option to use an overlay such as the Claro screen ruler separate from ClaroRead or  the free FX software T-bar,  which is also available in Arabic.

Anirban – Computer Science

Mind mapping and Colour Coding

colour coding

“I use Inspiration for mapping out topics then add keywords and explanations, perhaps with the different verb endings – Then I have a paper based colour coding system when I am revising  that highlights those endings.”

Becky – Medieval Renaissance Culture.

ZoomText magnification with screen reading.

“I use Zoomtext a lot for reading and assignments when the screen reader is the most useful thing. I use the printer and scanner, although now I do not use the scanner so much as most of it is on line – I have large fonts and mouse pointer but usually read things with a screen reader as it saves my eyes.”
Amber – Nursing

YouTube Video link to  ZoomText Tips and Tricks #10 – Using the SpeakIt Tool

You can personalise your mouse pointer in Zoomtext and there are several free downloads such as ‘Philip’s Large Coloured Cursors‘ that allow you use a colour and size of pointer that makes it easier to see and Dolphin Computer Access offer Windows High Visibility Mouse Pointers.

Access ebooks from libraries with Kobo Reader

Kobo reader“I have discovered that the Kobo e-reader can open protected (DRM’d) epubs from libraries.  They are synced by connecting the device to a PC with Adobe Digital Editions installed.  But as far as I know it has no TTS.”

The Kobo wifi has adjustable fonts and views but these can depend on the book that has been downloaded.

Using the free Calibre ebook management service is another alternative when documents need to be converted to an accessible format

Neil – Psychology

Dulling down a computer screen to prevent headaches.

laptop keys

Laptop keys with brightness settings available as function keys

“Because with my dyslexia, bright colours give me a headache. I dull it [the screen] down so that I can sit at a computer for a lot longer… I get headaches when I drive at night, as well.  I like typing on blue but when I print it out it remains normal like black text on white. The dullness prevents me getting headaches and I can concentrate for longer.”

Andrew – nursing