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Assistive Technology and Accessibility

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Assistive Technology is defined as any device, piece of equipment or system that helps bypass, work around or compensate learning challenges.

Assistive technology is more than just the tangible devices and software -- it's also the proper selection, training, application strategies, and technical support necessary to produce results.

Ask yourself what is the barrier to the child's learning? Is it visual processing, auditory processing, written output, memory, focus etc.. Are there tools that will help them complete an activity or school assignment? With so many tools on the market figuring out which tool works best will take a bit of trial and error.

The first step is ensuring the text is always accessible. Here is a list of extensions/ apps that will help turn paper text into digital text and make the digital text more accessible.

Speechify Text To Speech is a mobile and desktop app that allows people with dyslexia, ADHD, low vision, concussions, and other reading difficulties to have any text read out to them using a computer-generated text to speech voice. Speechify operates on iOS, Android, Mac, Chromebook, and the Web.

Snapverter is an easy to use add-on for Read&Write for Google Chrome™ that transforms classroom papers and files into readable PDF documents for easy sharing and reading aloud via Google Drive.

Just Read makes it easy to view web articles in a more readable, attractive, and custom format - like read mode, but better. It removes the distractions like ads, modals, and navigation from vision, letting the user just read the content. ... There is a premium and a free version of Just Read.

BeeLine Reader is a research-backed tool that improves the reading ability for students of all ages and skill levels. By displaying text using colour gradients that wrap from the end of one line to the beginning of the next, BeeLine facilitates visual tracking and enables the reader to focus on other aspects of reading, such as decoding and comprehension.

Micorosoft's Immersive Reader enables learners regardless of age or ability with easy to use features that reduce visual crowding, highlight text, break words into syllables, read text aloud, and provide visual references.

The Texthelp PDF Reader can be used with your Office 365 account in Chrome to open PDFs and use the available tools with the reader:

Text to speech, Dictionary/Picture Dictionary, Screenshot Reader, Translator, Highlighting, Vocabulary, Annotations, Drawing Tools

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