Assistive Technology: how can it help your studies?

If you’ve never heard of Assistive Technology (AT) and wonder what it is and how it can help your studies then you’ve come to the right place. Assistive Technology software, for example, mind mapping and text-to-speech software, can help you to develop skills and strategies for studying. Whilst it is particularly helpful for those who have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as Dyslexia, they are really useful tools for anyone to use. Even better it’s available at the university for all students and staff and much of it can be used off campus too.

Title: A logo for Read and Write - Description: A logo for Read and Write

Read and Write Gold – is text-to-speech software that is a useful proofreading tool as we can hear the errors in our writing more effectively than by sight alone. This software can also be useful for a blended reading approach enabling you to access content in different ways. Read and Write also has useful study tools such a spellchecker, with a phonetic base, screen tinting and a homophone checker to recognise similar sounding words. 

TIP: Read and Write is providing a temporary license which is available to all Edge Hill students and staff whilst social distancing measures remain in place.

Get in touch with the Catalyst Helpdesk virtually via email or live chat and they will be able to provide an instructional video and product key so you can download the software at home.

Title: Claro Icon - Description: Claro Icon

ClaroRead – is another text-to-speech software that is useful when proofreading your assignments and can be helpful when taking a blended approach to reading. ClaroRead has lots of useful study skills tools such as screen rulers, tinting and phonetic spellcheckers. ClaroRead anywhere is available to students and staff on our Assistive Technology webpages.

Title: A logo for Inspiration - Description: A logo for Inspiration

Inspiration 9 – is mind mapping software that can assist you when planning your essay writing and offers a visual way of organising ideas on to a mind map. This approach can be helpful in processing information and you can arrange your content in different ways to support your understanding. You can add images, text and web links to your mind map in order to capture all your great planning in one place. Students and staff can download a copy of the software on their own device using the link on our Assistive Technology webpages.

If you would like any further information around these technologies, please feel free to contact the team on [email protected]


SpLD-AppsOver the course of this year the SpLD team in Learning Services will be exploring apps to support you in developing your study skills. A project has just started looking at note taking apps and a group of students have been kind enough to agree to provide feedback after using 3 apps in their lectures over the next month. (Evernote, One Note and Audio Note lite). This feedback will help us in exploring whether these apps could be useful in capturing key information from lectures using a variety of media.

The University also has assistive technology software which is available on all the PCs across campus (and at the site libraries). You can access Inspiration (a mind mapping tool) and Read and Write Gold (a proofreading tool) and they can benefit all students, so why not give them a try. Short guides are available on the Learning Services SpLD web pages.  Assistive Technology Guides

Following on from our exciting Uniskills offer the Academic Support Division will be looking at general study skills apps and we would be interested to hear from you on social media about you app experiences and the apps you couldn’t do without to help you in your studies. Your voice is so important to us in helping to develop resources and materials to support you effectively.

Follow us on Facebook and twitter and tell us about your go to apps.

More from us early next term when we can hopefully tell you a little about what the students found useful in the note taking apps and what worked for them.

andy2015Andrew Billington,
Learner Support Manager
SpLD Support team