Online resources, software and assistive tech at the TES SEN Show 2017
In previous years I had attended the show with my school-based teacher’s hat on. For four or five years I had chosen seminars to develop my understanding to support existing pupils and fill the gaps between experience and INSET. This year I was returning without a school, and with a very different perspective.
Before I might have had a tiny reclaimable budget from school, enough to maybe buy a book or game I’d wanted but only seen online or in a catalogue. I would invariably supplement this, as shelves and boxes at home testify. This year, though, I had promised friends and my students’ parents that I would look out for particular resources.
As I’ve collected rather a stash of brochures and information, I thought I’d share it while it’s still fresh!
Claro’s range of assistive software includes some free text to speech apps.
Clicker (primary) and DocsPlus (secondary upwards) are from Crick Software. The programs are designed to develop writing skills and provide tools for planning and drafting as well as proofreading and editing. Traditionally considered a school-based option, a growing number of families are using Clicker at home.
Dynamo Maths is an evidence based programme that begins with a standardised assessment (for 6-9 year olds) to determine a clear profile of strengths and needs. This can then be followed with their intervention programme for 6-8 year olds. School and home versions are available.
Dyslex.io aims to be a one stop shop for information, advice and signposting. It’s still in development and for the time being only available as a website rather than an app, but is very accessible and has sections for dyslexic children and adults, parents, teachers and employers.
Kaz Type has a range of touch-typing training programs, and has just launched a new, dyslexia-friendly version produced in consultation with the Dyslexia Research Trust complete with coloured filters to minimise visual stress, choice of typefaces and font colours and sizes for optimum readability as well as a ‘speaking key’ function.
Scanning Pens offer a range of reading devices that include models with built-in dictionaries and a simplified version that is JCQ approved for exams. Schools can (and should) buy these in bulk.