We recently had a psychologist complete an assessment of a Year 7 student and her report and advice was applicable to many other students. Some students have difficulty reading and writing at any level and this can impact on many of their subjects. Many teachers of students with disabilities have embraced technology to improve outcomes for their students, and some tools will be just as useful in mainstream classrooms.
Some of the programs that were suggested were text-to-talk programs, which are ‘artificial readers’ – you highlight the text and the software reads the passage to you. These include: “Speakonia”, (free) “Sayz Me” (also free) and “Natural Reader” (probably the best of the free ones) . “Dragon Speak” converts your speech into text. “Voicethread” was also mentioned as a useful tool – students can verbally label parts of a picture, tell a story or describe an experiment.
Here is a Voicethread activity for students who would prefer to speak about the microscope, rather than draw a picture or label a diagram.