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Allan Wilson

Has been Information Officer with CALL since 1993, having previously worked in computer training for young learners with support needs. His areas of particular interest include speech recognition and the use of technology to support learners with reading and writing difficulties.

A Career in Assistive Technology: 1993 to 2021

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 31st August, 2021

I’m using my retirement from the role of Information Officer with CALL Scotland at the end of this month as an excuse to reflect on some of the changes that have taken place in assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication, and the role of CALL Scotland over the past 30 y...

Survey - use of Assistive Technology in Schools and Colleges

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 17th May, 2021

The ACE Centre and TechAbility are working together to research the skills, knowledge and awareness among school and FE leaders, teachers and IT staff regarding the use of Assistive Technology to support learning. They have created a short survey in conjunction with Cranfield University to help gath...

ASL & Technology - Dyslexia & Literacy Difficulties

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 3rd May, 2021

People don't always have time to study the programme for an online event like our ASL and Technology conference on 16th June so we are posting a series of blogs to highlight particular presentations that may be of interest to help decide what to see. This blog focuses on Dyslexia and Literacy Di...

Immersive Reader in Powerpoint

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 27th April, 2021

Immersive Reader and Learning Tools have proven themselves to be very useful tools for supporting people with reading and writing difficulties over the last couple of years, so we were delighted when Microsoft recently added Immersive Reader to the Online version of Powerpoint. Immersive Reader has ...

Switch Access to the Chromebook - Initial Thoughts

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 11th March, 2021

It has always been possible to use a switch with a Chromebook to access various online activities (e.g. HelpKidzLearn), but the release of Chrome OS 88 in January has brought switch access into the operating system, giving people with disabilities who cannot use a mouse / trackpad or keyboard greate...

Getting Immersive Reader in Edge to Work!

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 9th February, 2021

Back in 2019, I wrote a blog on using different browsers to make web sites easier to read by removing 'clutter', adjusting the appearance of pages and having text read out by a built-in text-to-speech option. This is an update, particularly on the Edge browser. I concluded that Edge "ha...

Using Immersive Reader with Teams

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 2nd November, 2020

I did an online session recently with Dyslexia Scotland's South West branch, looking at the use of Immersive Reader (and other tools) to help learners with dyslexia complete assignments sent to them via Teams. Given the possibility of pupils having to self-isolate at home, or even experiencing a...

Using T2S for Text to Speech on an Android

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 28th July, 2020

Most Android phones and tablets have a built-in text-to-speech facility, known as Select to Speak, that can be used to help people with reading difficulties listen to text from the screen. However, Select to Speak has shortcomings so it cannot be relied on as a general purpose text-to...

Working at Home - Accessing Powerpoint

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 26th June, 2020

Teachers in some local authorities have been creating lessons and exercises combining text, images sound and video in Powerpoint for pupils to try at home. This is working well for many learners, but there can be issues depending on the device that is used to view the file, particularly for learners...

Special Apps for Very Special Learners

Posted by Allan Wilson on the 19th June, 2020

The wonderful Flo Longhorn has been producing new  updates to her 2012 book, iPads, Apps and Very Special Learners, with information on some apps that are currently available to support very special learners, typically with complex additional support needs.  The latest of these updates is ...

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