Enhanced Literacy Applications are software packages or browser extensions that “enhance” an e-book reader technology with certain additional “tools that can support reading in students with print disabilities, particularly those with Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia. These applications come in desktop form, as apps for handheld/mobile devices, and as browser extensions and increasingly, these tools are being included in the operating systems of computers and handheld/mobile devices.
Enhanced Literacy Application include all or some of the following features:
- Text-to-speech – Text is read to the student and controls are included to allow the student to change the voice and speed of the speech.
- Font size and style changes – Allows the student to changing the type, size or color of font.
- Font color and background changes – Allows the student to change the font color and or background color.
- Highlighted words – While using the text-to-speech feature, the application highlights the words, sentences or paragraph when speaking the content.
- Built-in glossaries – Allows the student to look up the meaning of words without having to leave the text.
- Notation/annotation – Allows the student to “mark-up” or make notes regarding the text.
An excellent resource listing various Enhanced Literacy Applications and apps for students with learning disabilities/dyslexia was developed by educator Jamie Martin and may be found on his website www.atdyslexia.com
Photo credit: Image of Kurzweil 3000 application (c) by Kurzweil Education