After you have examined the learning needs of a student or client using the SETT process (http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/blog/permanent-resources/2010/02/sett/ ) you may have a list of features required that reads like this:
Literacy Support Software Tool must be able to:
- Scan print based documents
- Read text aloud with synchronised highlighting
- Read web pages aloud with synchronised highlighting
- Provide dictionary and thesaurus support with speech
- Provide text-to-speech support for a wide range of formats, including Word, PDF and the internet
- Convert text to audio format to listen to on mobile devices
- Have a variety of literacy support tools that can be utilised when required
There are a number of literacy support software tools that have these features, to ensure that the recommended tool/solution will meet your needs not just now, but in the longer term, consider asking and investigating these additional questions.
- Do you need or want to use the same software applications as everyone else in your environment (school, college, university, home or work)?
- Do you need some support to use mainstream software applications (e.g MS Word) and perhaps be able to hear the applications’ menus read outloud?
- Are you studying subjects that require you to learn and demonstrate competencies using a variety of mainstream software applications, and you need literacy support?
- Are you thinking of completing a business, secretarial or Information Technology course or subjects in the near future and need literacy support?
- Do you need or want to participate in social media such as blogs, twitter, emails and facebook and need to have literacy support available?
If the answer to any of the five questions above is yes, consider a tool that works in conjunction with mainstream software applications, rather than a “stand alone” literacy support software program.
Examples of literacy support software programs that work alongside other applications, providing support when required are TextHelp Read&Write GOLD and ClaroRead Plus. (both also have versions available for Windows and Mac computers) These two software programs operate as “floating toolbars” alongside open applications. The customisable toolbars allow you to utilise the literacy support required, and use the same software applications as everyone else in your school, work or tertiary environment.
To investigate these software programs’ features in greater depth, you can look at our Literacy Support Comparison Chart here: http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/article/literacy-support-software-comparison-chart
|Literacy Support Software Decision Making Tree|