Tech tools to make reading easier for special education students

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Here are some assists to help make reading easier, presented by Kindy Segovia, assistive technology supervisor at Kent ISD in Kent County, Michigan, at an MCEC (Michigan Conference for Exceptional Children) conference in March 2019.

Reading highlighter

Picture of Reading Ruler being used

Reading Ruler

Segovia previously suggested solutions for highlighting paper-based text in her article, Top ten assistive technology tools to support special education students in reading. Now there is a free Chrome extension which highlights online text, called Reading Ruler.

Page layout simplifiers

Sometimes graphics within an online article can interfere with a student’s ability to track the text. Two free Chrome extensions remove graphics and reformat text so it is easier to read. They are Mercury Reader and Just Read.

A Chrome extension makes it easier to track text by removing graphics and unusual text formatting

Online text summarizers

Wading through long paragraphs can be intimidating to struggling readers. There are many Chrome extensions to summarize text. Segovia suggested these three: Summarizer, One Click Summarizer, and Shorten & Translate.

A Chrome extension summaries lengthy text

Portable text readers/smartpens

Livescribe Echo

There are many readers for online text, such as Read&Write, a Chrome extension, and Google Translate, which can translate and read text in a wide variety of languages.

C-Pen Reader

There are also readers for paper-based text. Segovia suggested Livescribe Echo (currently $180-$190) and C-Pen Reader (currently $250).

To find more, check out kisdat.org, kindysegovia.com, and @kindysegovia. You can email Segovia at KindySegovia@kentisd.org.

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