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Reading Technology Supports

Text-to-Speech/Screen Reading:

- This software will read out loud, in a digital voice, any text on the computer screen.

- The reading voice and speed can be adjusted.

- Individual words can also be targeted to check the pronunciation and definitions.

- Traditionally this type of technology was unreliable and expensive. But now it is built into most devices (laptops, tablets, phones), apps and websites.


Digital Textbooks:

- Accessing textbooks for school can be very difficult and time-consuming.

- Digital versions of textbooks are a great benefit to people with reading difficulties as they can be used along with Text-To-Speech software to have the textbooks read out to the student.

- Bookshare Ireland is the largest accessible digital library in Ireland and is available to individuals with visual or print disabilities including dyslexia.

- Members can access Bookshare Ireland using their desktop computer, tablet or smartphone by signing up at


Reading Pens/Scanning Pens:

- For those students whose reading is reasonably competent, but where they come across occasional words that they cannot identify, a reading pen can be a good solution.

- These are handheld pens containing OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software which enables them to scan and read words and phrases. They also include a dictionary to explain what a word means.

- There are also lots of OCR apps for tablets and smartphones including App Writer and Textgrabber.


Accessing Pre-Existing Audio Formats:

- Some material is available on CD, audio book or digital book format, particularly English novels, drama and even some poetry. This can be accessed through most good bookshops, libraries or online.

- BorrowBox is an app for tablets and smartphones which allows borrowing of digital and audio books from local libraries Audible is also a subscription service for high-quality audiobooks.

- There are also numerous websites where cheap or free digital copies of novels can be downloaded, such as

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