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What Are the Different Types of Technology for Dyslexia?

By Angela Farrer
Updated May 17, 2024
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The different types of technology for dyslexia are speech-recognition programs, text-to-speech software, specialized spelling and editing tools, computer screen readers, or recorded books. Some of these tools use interactive software that presents information in multimedia formats or software with features such as word prediction and suggestion tools that allow dyslexic users to concentrate on the subjects of their writing rather than on spelling. Many people with dyslexia also use optical character recognition software along with a scanner and screen-reading program. This type of technology for dyslexia is intended to assist with reading printed material that has not been previously recorded.

Many people with this condition have difficulty with writing both by hand and with a word processing program. Consistent problems with selecting the correct letters on a standard keyboard are common symptoms of dyslexia, and this problem can frequently stem from poor eye-hand coordination as well as poor letter recognition. Speech-recognition software is a type of technology for dyslexia that offers a solution in many cases. Users speak into a microphone connected to a desktop or laptop computer, and then their words render as typed text in an open document.

Text-to-speech software works essentially in reverse of speech-recognition software. These types of programs recognize the words in an electronic document and play them as audio heard through a computer with a sound card and speakers. Using technology for dyslexia in this case is intended to help people who struggle with reading. They often confuse one letter for another and may even see some letters backward or upside down, and these common signs of dyslexia can present a significant barrier to correct reading recognition and comprehension. Many dyslexics who hear written text out loud have much higher rates of reading improvement.

Computer screen readers and previously recorded books are additional dyslexia tools that can allow greater accessibility to written text. Many screen readers are designed to read aloud the names of computer applications and websites in addition to full-length documents. Audio books are popular reading alternatives for dyslexics as well. Some text-to-speech software includes a feature that allows users to create their own audio files out of printed pages that have been scanned into the program.

Proofreading technology for dyslexia includes specialized tools for grammar and spelling that are more comprehensive than the standard proofreading tools found in word processing programs. These tools often present lists of possible words for users to include in their writing by selecting them from a menu. Some of these programs also have audio features that spell out words individually for easier correction.

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