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Quick Guide to Free Low Cost Software

by Allan Wilson

on Fri Mar 26, 2010

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CALL Scotland course,
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25th January, 2018

Low Cost/No Cost Apps and Software to Support Learners with literacy difficulties

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We have updated our quick guide to Low-cost / No-cost Software Tools for People with Dyslexia. This provides information about a selection of mainly free programs that can help people with reading and writing difficulties to access text on a computer. The guide is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to every program that could be useful, but highlights a few that can support people with a range of specific difficulties. The programs listed include:

  • Visual support tools: Vu-Bar, RapidSet, T-Bar and ssOverlay
  • Text-to-Speech software: WordTalk and Balabolka
  • Reading electronic books: Microsoft Reader and Adobe Reader
  • Reading web pages: ClickSpeak, CleanPage and NaturalReader
  • Engaging with text: ScriptVox
  • Organising your thoughts: FreeMind, XMind, Webspiration and Bubbl.us
  • Word prediction: Let Me Type
  • Speech recognition: Windows Vista.

We do not suggest that pupils in schools should be restricted to using free programs purely on grounds of costs, when their needs may be better addressed by a more comprehensive commercial product such as ClaroRead or Read and Write Gold, but if a school is using Microsoft Word and pupils just need text-to-speech support, why not use WordTalk?

PS. Our good friend, Craig Mill from the JISC Regional Support Centre in Edinburgh has recently created a new software tool, MyStudyBar, which brings together some of the programs listed above (and others) to provide a comprehensive package to support literacy skills. Definitely worth a look!

Tags: dyslexia, software

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