Read&Write and Equatio free for teachers

Texthelp’s assistive learning solutions help people of all ages achieve their potential by understanding, reading, writing and communicating with greater ease and confidence. Their  products are great for people with learning difficulties, dyslexia or visual impairments. Now you can get their flagship product, Read&Write, and their Maths equation writer are now free – all  you have to do is register.

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Tweaking the built-in features in our devices to cater for diversity.

This link from the fantastic AbleNet site gives detailed instructions on tweaking the built-in supports in Apple and Microsoft to cater for diversity.

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A new and very accessible book on UDL

If you are an iPad user, then this new book from CAST will inspire you by linking the use of iPad apps directly with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.

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Written by Luis Perez, a leading commentator on using iPads to cater for diversity, the book is full of simple UDL strategies to offer alternative pathways to suit all learners in our classroom. This book has just been published by CAST and is part of their skinny book series – more information http://castpublishing.org/skinny-books/learning-on-the-go/

In this video, Luis Perez explains why he chose the iPad as an accessibility tool

Apple introduces a new iPad for education

In late March, Apple announced some major products for education. Firstly, its new iPad is set at a lower price than before and it will work with Apple Pencil – a feature previously available only on the Apple Pro.

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Moreover, it also introduced some updates to its iWork suite of apps (Pages, Numbers and Keynote). These updates include features that allow you to use the pencil directly on the app. Pages now features a book creation template to allow pupils to create their own books and export them to the iBooks app

 

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New Accessibility Features from Microsoft.

For years, Microsoft have  lagged behind Apple in terms of accessibility features. However, with the rollout of Immersive Reader , Microsoft have introduced an excellent support for students with dyslexia and for those who need help with reading generally. Immersive Reader is a new feature in the Learning Tools add-on for for Word, OneNote, Outlook and Edge. It offers text to speech, text resizing, line focus, picture dictionary support and much more.

This is an example with the syllable feature turned on and the screen colour set to white on black.

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The screenshot below is from OneNote (free) on the iPad. The Picture Dictionary setting has been activated. It is worth noting that OneNote has some other great features besides Immersive Reader, such as scanning and sharing documents

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Brushing up your MS Office Skills

Microsoft Office is widely used in schools and at home so it is a good idea to brush up on our skills to get the most out of this popular suite of programs. Microsoft have a dedicated site offering free tutorials at https://support.office.com/en-us/office-training-center. To find more free (and low-cost) tutorials, please visit the excellent MakeUseOf site.

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 https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/microsoft-office-tutorials-courses/