Contact Us

We look forward to your questions about I.C.T. for dyslexia and will do our best to answer them. Do use the form at the bottom of each page or write to B.D.A. tech  for a more personal response.

See Questions , More Questions and Speech Recognition Questions.

Here are some recent questions and answers:

Hello! I’m an Occupational Health Technician and DSE Assessor, who’s been asked to assist a colleague with dyslexia, who has been told that a purple coloured screen filter will make the use of his computer much easier. Are you able to shed any light on this or advise any further please? He does currently use speech recognition software, which does assist him. Thank you. Cas Walker.

A colour filter can be a great help in reducing visual stress – black writing on white paper can make the letters appear to jump around. Purple is not necessarily the right colour for him. Go into Word options and change background and foreground colours until he finds a good one. If it does help, he would benefit from going to an opthalmologist who offers a colorimeter screening service.

Can you advise me whether an Apple computer or a Microsoft computer would benefit my 14 year old dyslexic daughter? I understand that we can claim the VAT back, how do I do this? Thank you, Elma.

A lot depends on how she wants to use it and what for. Some of the programs we suggest are available for both PC and Apple, but mainly for PC. Will she need to link into the school’s system. Disabled students can sometimes get the VAT back – it depends on the local VAT Office, but you do have to have proof, such as a disabled person’s allowance book.

Hi I am an adult with literacy. I find it difficult to contrstuct good sentences. I would like to instal a program similar to microsoft wordprocessor but in supporting me to present a clear sentences which makes sense. Please it would be appreciated if some helps me to overcome such issue. Joseph Buhagiar.

Have a look at WriteOnline It will give you a fully functioning wordprocessor plus a mindmapping facility and word prediction. If you need it and can have help to set it up, you can also have banks of words on topics you need. You can listen to them before you select them.

© B.D.A. New Technologies Committee. August 2015.
Copies of this page may be made providing it is unchanged and the source is acknowledged.

17 Responses to Contact Us

  1. Kate Down says:

    we are planning to get either a laptop or tablet for our daughter who is studying GCSEs – do you have any advice as to what is the most dyslexic friendly device?

    • It really is a case of personal preference and how she wants to use it. The tablets are newer technology so not tried out over a number of years, but they are lighter and tend to have a longer battery life – they are probably also more ‘nickable’ and desirable to other teenagers! Netbooks, as opposed to laptops are smaller and lighter too, but will need external cd/dvd drives and external hard drives to load/ store programs and work.

  2. Natalie Hennessy says:

    I am currently researching how Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs) are used in secondary schools and found that one of the common uses is to identify possible dyslexia. I wondered if you had come across its use in this way and what you think about it?

    • Natalie, sorry for the delay in replying. Secondary schools use CATs to identify pupils whose cognitive abilities are much higher than their English and Maths achievements (in spite of the current trend that says that IQ scores do not predict potential achievement!) They do not identify the reasons for underachievement, though some patterns may suggest dyslexia, e.g. higher non-verbal than verbal scores.

      However, very significantly for dyslexic pupils, they have to read the papers. If dyslexic pupils read slowly or inaccurately, they may not do themselves justice on the cognitive ability tests, and therefore their underachievement may not show. We have had instances where the CATs scores are much lower than scores on WISC tests, which are administered individually and orally.

  3. Peter Jeeves says:

    I have helping me in M’soft WORD. Composition no problem, only spellin’! But most of my mail is via IncrediMail. com not compatible with this US e-mailer. Must have a better tool than the basic PC came with. It’s great for entertaining the kids, you see….and me in return….in my retirement.!
    Got anything can d’load, please?

    Peter J

  4. dan says:

    Hello, I am a high functioning dyslexic who has managed to complete a MSc and thus feel like I am in control of my dyslexia.
    Recently I have started a new job as a Manager, where I am continually writing policies, job specs and other important documents. I have been appalled at how many mistakes I am making, mistakes I am not aware of but others who read the document are. My confidence has taken a huge dip and I am now worried I am not actually able to work at this level. Is there any soft wear where I could write my documents and it would analyse the work as I write it? I did just have a look at the WriteOnline page but it didn’t seem to go far enough. Any advice please? I am feeling pretty bad about my abilities at the moment! D.

    • Hello Dan
      Congratulations on your new job, but sorry to hear there are problems. There are several strategies you can try.
      1. I assume you are using MS Word? There are several utilities in it that can help – if there are words and phrases you regularly use, you can use Autocorrect from your own edited dictionary and/ or Autocomplete where you set a code eg type ‘sg’ and ‘statutory guidance’ will go into your text.

      2. You could produce templates of job specs / policies that you can then tweak for specific situations.

      3. You could use a text prediction program like CoWriter with Word – you will be presented with a selection of possible spellings and it is easier to recognise the correct one than to recall it.

      4. You could consider trying Dragon voice recognition – it takes time to train it and get comfortable with dictating your work and does not suit every one, but worth a try.

      5. Have you looked at Access to Work because that assessment could entitle you to equipment and secretarial / PA support?

      Hope that helps?

  5. Jess Ingram says:

    I have recently been employed by an International School to start up the SEN department in order to help support secondary students. I am currently trying to find some comprehensive screening tests that can be used to establish what specific students’ learning requirements are and was wondering if you had any suggestions. I have experience in using a number of different tests including the DST, WRIT, WRAT 4 and Progress in Maths and English but would like to find something that accommodates students between the ages of 11 and 18 years old. Since majority of students are not native English speakers, determining if their requirements are due to a language barrier or specific learning differences is proving to be difficult. I would appreciate any recommendations of websites, books and, of course, tests.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards


    • We try not to make specific recommendations to keep the impartiality of the website, but if you want to screen for possible dyslexic differences you could use Frolundata’s Lexion or Lucid’s LASS or Rapid. They all will give you a profile of the strengths and weaknesses of the student. Lexion has the advantage of suggesting computer exercises that can used at home or school; Rapid is a shorter screener, useful for whole class screening and LASS can be used for children whose Rapid profile suggests they have more complex needs. Look at the Computer Assessment and Screening tab on bdatech

  6. Hello,
    I just wondered if anyone’s come across a really dyslexic user-friendly free email service? I’ve had Hotmail for over 10 years but a few months ago they changed it over to Outlook which I’m finding really hard to use. I’ve given it time to try & get used to it but that’s not happened yet! I’ve also tried G-mail which I find even more confusing. Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance,

  7. Maggie says:

    Hi I have a diagnosed but unsupported dyslexic/aspergers 12 year old – Yr 8 at our local grammar school. He has terrible handwriting because he never got the OT support – and was asked to use the old Alpha Smart 3000 because his teachers can’t read his writing. He refused this as it only has limited font – he prefers Comic Sans – like Diary of a Wimpey Kid, he can only view a few lines on screen and was dark green screen with black text which he found hard to see. We bought him a netbook and eventually got the school to agree he could use it. In fact on the one and only dyslexic help session, they really tried to persuade him to use mind mapping software which he hated but will use when necessary. Our netbook (reconditioned) has died and the school will not let him use their ones until he is in Year 10/ Keystage 4. They are insisting he should be grateful to use their new Alpha Smart Neo 2. Is this any better than the old ones that he couldn’t get on with. Many companies that sell the Alpha Smart are saying that most schools are now looking at more modern approaches for dyslexia – ipads etc (we do have a Samsung notes 10.1 – which obviously the school won’t allow and we have never really learnt how to use it as a school tool. Please advise us whether we are stroppy pushy parents or is the school we are struggling to survive in stuck in the dark ages, Thanks

    • The Neo2 does have a better display than the old Alphasmarts and does have the advantage that it will run the prediction program CoWriter which is a huge help for spelling and producing written work more quickly. It has a brilliant battery life and is more robust than most netbooks or laptops. I think it is important to think of it as a notebook for producing notes wherever you are, in or out of school. These notes can be quickly exported to a wordprocessor on a pc or mac where they can be worked up into a final piece of work in whatever font is wanted, with added diagrams etc before being printed out

  8. Antonia Cheeseman says:

    Please can you advise me on the benefits (or not) of pupils with dyslexia using a Kindle to access reading material. There has been an article in the Daily Mail claiming there are distinct benefits but I would appreciate your expert opinion.

    Thank you

    • The Kindle can be a real help to dyslexic readers! You can change font size and this restricts amount of text that can be seen which can help to focus on the amount that it is read. You can also get the text spoken on some Kindles, which allows the student to hear and read the text at the same time which is helpful. The older Kindles have a subdued background and slate writing which is more comfortable than a paper book; the K Fire is cream and also backlit which can appear rather bright. The K Fire can access apps the internet etc, more like an ipad than the older kindles. To get the speech facility you need the Kindle with a keyboard. The older Kindles’ batteries need rarely recharging – especially if you turn off the wireless until you need it – the KFire’s batteries need recharging every few days depending on how much you use it. Hope that helps?

  9. Marie says:

    hi I am in the process of being assessed but do have difficulties with emails in my job. In particular processing the volume and remembering I need to action some and or prioritise some. I also miss some emails that then appear to me later and I get a lot of stick from my bosses about my “uselessness”

    Has any work been done to help people with these problems and suggested solutions developed?

  10. EstherChapman says:

    Can anyone recommend help for a ten year old boy with severe dyslexia ,whose greatest challenge at the moment,is with telling the time.Many thanks, E.Chapman

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