This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week and there are some great resources on the British Dyslexia Association website including posters and resource packs full of information and suggestions. Something I had been previously unaware of is the DAW Awards - you can nominate a child, young person. adult or teacher for an award, I'm sure there must be many inspiring people out there that haven't yet been nominated and the awards are presented on November 27th.
I have blogged about apps for Dyslexia before but publisher Barrington Stoke have released a new app this week called Tints that has been extremely well thought out and deserves praise. The publisher's extensive experience in producing resources for Dyslexic youngsters shows and the app is smoothly functional as well as being aesthetically pleasing. You can choose from 5 soft colour backgrounds to make reading on a tablet more comfortable and there is a very useful ruler function included that will help readers focus on the text a little at a time. Looking forward to seeing a wider range of books available via the app but this is a great addition to the wonderful library of books published by Barrington Stoke.
A function of the iPad that is not always well known can make web surfing easier for Dyslexics, Reader mode. When browsing a website or an article online if you look to the left side of the address bar often a symbol comprising of several horizontal lines appears. Tapping on this brings up a clearer version of the page with just the relevant text and images without any of the other digital noise (ads etc) that are usually there. Handy for those of us that are easily distracted too!
I've been looking at apps specifically for Dyslexic students today and have found loads - some good, some not so good. Magnispies is fun - you have to use your magnifying glass and get rid of all the spies on the page by matching the secret code (which is the word's vowel and is on your secret spy folder). It helps with vowel recognition , thus improving reading fluency with practice.
This is Dyslexia has been very well designed and is targeted at children with bags of information, a brilliant video that describes what life is like for dyslexics in comic form and suggestions for parents and teachers. Huge bonus is the fact that it is UK made so the voices have English accents (loved the Geordie character in particular!).
iOverlayPlus is a very simple app but effective , it utilises the device's camera and puts a coloured overlay over the words in your book, in exactly the same way that plastic overlay sheets do but I think using an iphone would look much cooler! The £1.99 price tag is a little steep but it is very easy to use.
ClaroSpeak UK isn't cheap at £3.99 either but it is worth the money in my opinion. You can type directly into the app, paste in text from elsewhere or open a file from your Dropbox and the app will then read it back to you. There is a choice of 4 voices , 2 English, 1 French and 1 Spanish and you can change many things in the settings including the speaking rate and text colour etc. The ability to save the texts as audio files and email them to yourself is very useful. Yes the text to speech is a little disjointed but it's pretty good.
Of course many of the built in idevice facilities are very useful too, in particular VoiceOver (Settings/General/Accessibility/Vision) but it's a shame this will work in iBooks but not the kindle app, worth experimenting with even so.
My blog is a collection of thoughts and I hope you will learn something about me from the ramblings as well as finding some useful links. I'm Bev Humphrey and I'm a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant. I am self employed so views expressed are solely my own.