TextHelp: Overcoming Barriers To Learning With Read&Write GOLD Software
Written by TextHelp
Bay Deane has been using Read&Write GOLD, Texthelp’s award-winning literacy support software, since 2006 and says she chose it because it was recommended by her dyslexia assessor but also because she felt “it was the most versatile and useful software package for dyslexic people”.
Bay continues “I found the Texthelp team really helpful and could pick up the phone and ask staff about anything I wasn’t sure about. I’ve had so much support from Texthelp over the years and feel staff were not just trying to sell the product to me but were really trying to help me succeed with this software, from the countless phone calls to receiving the free trials of Read&Write in the post. I used to have the PC version of Read&Write GOLD and now I use the Mac version as it seems just as good.
There is so much ignorance around literacy problems, it used to be equated with being stupid and that is difficult to shake off when you are my age (I am in my 40’s). PDF Aloud is a vital tool in Read&Write GOLD – it unlocks so many unreadable documents. What I use the software for most is to scan in course books and have them read back to me by the computer. Then using the Study Skills tool, I highlight what I need within the text and collate my highlights, pulling the relevant information into a Word document.
I also use the text-to-speech feature with the colour block highlighting to read. I think this has improved my reading because I have definitely got better over the last few years. The highlighting encourages my eyes to read in straight lines as they used to jump around all over the page, but the highlighting picks the word out that I am reading, so my focus is on this.
I use the Speak as I type feature all the time when I write essays. One of my biggest problems is reading and it is amazing how much reading is involved in writing! When I started using Speak as I type, I very quickly realised the mistakes I was making in my spelling and grammar as I could hear them. This feature ensures I can understand what I have written. Prior to using the tool I was not very confident in my writing, but now I can hear my line of thought and if I have expressed myself correctly, which is a real confidence boost.
Another feature I use a lot is the scanning feature. It was great to see the multiple scan feature in the Mac version of the software. I also like the screenshot reader tool as it is very helpful and the screen tint feature. It is great that I can pick the colour of tint that suits me best from a palette selection.
Bay concludes “I am now running an ‘Overcoming barriers to learning’ group at College and I am constantly singing the praises of your software. I am also trying to persuade my College to buy a Read&Write GOLD mobile device to help other students. I think if people who are struggling with their reading and writing learnt to use Read&Write GOLD, they would see how much it could help them and how easy the software is to use. Overall, I think Read&Write GOLD benefits users by helping them to become more literate, which is increasingly essential in this world of global and fast communication.”
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