ABOUT

I wanted to put this resources list together because as a dyslexic adult in the workplace I have had to work a lot of this out my self. As a student in primary school, high school and in my tertiary education I received support but in the workplace, I have had to adapt and create my own workarounds for a lot of daily tasks. 

Before compiling this list I put a post up on Facebook, I had a great response to this. I had people who have dyslexia and people who struggle with concentration and the written word reach out as a result.

I have added information from these conversations into this resource. Thank you to everyone I spoke with and who have contributed to the list. I hope you find this to be helpful. 

If you have something to add to the below information or have come up with better workarounds please get in contact – Hello@digitaldyslexic.com

[learn how to get adobe to read this document to you>]

READING – TEXT TO TALK

Adobe Acrobat

You can read PDF's to yourself if you change the Preferences in the software. This will stop you having to copy and paste text in and out of Adobe in order to have it read to you.

Mac has an 'Accessibility' function in your System Preferences. This can be used for 'Speech' across most functions of your computer. You can also turn on other functions like 'Voice control' and 'Keyboard shortcuts'. Note it took me a while to find the right voice so I'd suggest trying a few out.

Computer Accessibility - Windows: Speech Recognition

In Windows Control panel they have an Ease of Access function. This can be used for 'Text to speech' across most functions of your computer. You can turn on other functions like 'Voice control' and 'Keyboard shortcuts'. Windows Speech Recognition can also be used to enable voice commands to control the desktop and dictate text.

Note if you need to you can copy any text that is not letting you use your computer to read it into a 'Draft email' on Gmail (i.e. from a website that blocks this or a PDF or google Doc etc) this will allow you to read and edit the text. Then you can copy the text back into Google Docs, word doc, Facebook message etc. I use this function every day. My usual workflow is either to write my email reply in a draft email or open a new Google Doc and talk into it as a first draft. Then using the Grammarly plugin spell check. Then I read the text to myself in the draft email - once I am happy with it either send the email or copy the text back into the google doc and share with others. This also goes for PDF's I get sent - I often highlight and copy the text out of a pdf and put it into a draft email and read it to myself. - works well. I am hoping that Google will add a microphone function to Gmail desktop soon as this would be very helpful. However, for now, Gmail on your phone does have this. You can always talk your email into a draft email on your phone then open it and edit it on your Desktop as a workaround.

Note Google sheets will let your computer do text to talk (Speech function) but I do find that the spell check on sheets is not always automatic and this can be deceptive so you will need to go to 'Tools' > 'Spellcheck' in order to spell check your sheet.

Immersive reader

I haven't used this yet but I want to look into it. I think it is aimed at students but may be useful for Adults in the workplace as well.

Natural Reader

Natural reader can be very helpful. It has a text to talk function that can be applied to many different documents and also a font converter and other helpful functions.

WRITING – TALK TO TEXT

On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Dictation. Open the Dictation panel. If a prompt appears, click on enable Dictation

Computer Accessibility - Windows Speech Recognition

Windows Speech Recognition can be used to enable voice commands to control the desktop and dictate text.

E-Speaking and Voice Finger

I do not use Windows but both of these enable you to control your computer and dictate for you speech recognition.

Google released an update about a year ago so that Google Docs now has the function of 'voice typing'. This can be found in the 'Tools' drop down menu and allows you to talk into Google docs. However, your computer like mine may not let you do talk to text in Google docs so you need to talk the text into a draft email to read it to yourself. This is a big missing function across the Google software but until they update this function this is the workaround and while it is annoying it works ok.

Dragon

'Dragon' is one of the original talk to text software. I remember having the CD and uploading the software - it was used in conjunction with a headset. I haven't looked to much into then new versions and how the company has adapted. I think they also do specific academic and medical specific versions of there software but for day-to-day I found this a bit labour intensive and not incredibly intuitive with my day-to-day work, But It might be very useful for others in different industries.

Otter.ai 

'Otter' is good for recording meetings so you can reference it later or use it to transcribe conversations. This can be helpful as a reference after conversations if you have trouble remembering what has been said and can be used to cut down on time writing up notes after a meeting.

READING + WRITING

Read & Write

"Read&Write (R&W) is literacy software with tools designed for reading, writing, study, and research support."
This is a paid full-service software. Like 'Dragon' and others where everything runs through there platform. I don't know too much about this one but thought it was worth a mention. As it might be helpful for others. Apparently, during COVID you can use it for free so might be a good time to have a play around if you are interested.

Kurzweil 3000

"Our products offer learners new multisensory approaches to read, comprehend, synthesize, apply, and demonstrate their knowledge."
This is a paid full-service software. Like 'Dragon' and others where everything runs through there platform. I don't know too much about this one but thought it was worth a mention. As it might be helpful for others. Apparently, during COVID you can use it for free so might be a good time to have a play around if you are interested.

Voice dream reader

This company have a 'Reader' App, 'Writer' App and 'Scanner' App and looks great. I haven't used this but I am definitely going to look into all of these Apps – Looks like a one-stop-shop.

Co:Writer Universal

Snap&Read Universal

Word Bank Universal

These are extensions for Chrome which I will definitely be looking into.

EDITING – SPELLING / GRAMMAR

Grammarly

This is a Spelling and Grammar plugin. Its great! and I use it every day. It's very helpful with Grammar and will help with sentence structure but it is also a powerful spell checker.

Google Search 

This is great and I use it every day. There are often words that I just can't spell or spell check just won't pick up. I open a google search tab and use the Microphone in the search bar and talk the word into google. It will come up with the correct spelling and then I can copy it into my email or document.
Just a little tip – If you can't talk into your computer for one reason or another I find that putting the word into a sentence and searching it on google often gives me a better result then just searching for the word on its own. Even if the sentence is misspelled it gives the search function more to go on and usually, I have better luck with this.

Google Search dictionary

This is great for checking that the word you have just looked up is the correct word. If you hit the speaker icon once you have looked up a word google will say it out loud and give you the definition of it. Note you may need to put the word 'definition' after the word you are looking for to get the google dictionary function to come up if it doesn't do it automatically.

Hemmingway App

I use Hemingway App quite a bit. It's meant to make your writing bold and clear. But it also helps to simplify your sentences and is very useful if you need someone to look over your emails or writing but can't send it to an actual person for review. It also tells you if what you're saying is to confusing or if you are using to much 'passive language' ie words like 'Like' and 'if you don't mind' etc.

AUDIO + LISTENING

Audible

If you don't have an audible account or haven't looked into audiobooks you should. Audible has changed my life. It has opened up the world of reading to me and has allowed me to read the books I have always wanted to.

Audio Book Bay

I haven't tried this myself but have been told it's good for more obscure books.

Bookshare

I haven't used Bookshare yet but have been told it is good. The only catch is that you have to qualify as having a print disability. I'm not too sure what the process is but if you are interested have a look into it.

Podcasts 

There are a lot of podcasts out there on Dyslexia, I haven't listened to too many myself but I am a big podcast consumer in general and would recommend everyone get on to podcasts as a great way to learn about anything you are interested in. Here is a Top 10 Dyslexia podcast list that might be helpful.

FONTS + DESIGN

OpenDyslexic

I haven't used many 'Dyslexic' fonts but have been told they are very helpful for many. OpenDyslexic is a free typeface/font designed to mitigate some of the common reading errors caused by dyslexia. It is an open-source font.

Dyslexiefont

Dyslexie font is a typeface specially designed for people with dyslexia. It can be applied to many devices.

Good Fonts for Dyslexia

Helpful design and font guide as well as an interesting study on fonts and reading times for dyslexics

VISUAL + PHYSICAL

In Mac's 'Accessibility' function you can go to 'Display' > 'Colour Filters' and play around with different colour options for your computer this can help with concentration and reading as it lowers the contrast of the screen. I'm not sure if there is a version of this for PC but I'm sure there would be. Note if you work as a photographer, in film, as a designer remember to turn this off before you start work on anything involving colour.

Screen Colour filter

I haven't used this myself but I have been told that it can help with concentration and reading as it lowers the contrast of the screen. Note if you work as a photographer, in film, as a designer remember to turn this off before you start work on anything involving colour.

Flux

Flux is great and turns on automatically when you tell it to. This can be used at night to reduced the 'blue light' affect and can also help with fatigue. Note if you work as a photographer, in film, as a designer or anything involving colour do you self a favour and turn this off before you start work on anything involving colour.

C-Pen Reader

C-Pen 'Reader Pen' is a pen that you can use if you need to read physical text. I don't have experience with this but after looking into them they look great. It is a pen that will read the text to you and also acts as a dictionary. The new versions connected via Bluetooth to your headphones. There are a few different companies doing these digital reader pens, if you are interested I'd suggest looking it to them. as this could be a game-changer.

Headphones

I use my headphones every day. I would suggest getting Bluetooth headphones as they allow me to walk around and still be listening to my emails or documents etc. As I am often in a working environment with other people or places that are not appropriate for me to have my computer read things out loud to me I often go about my working day with one headphone in my ear at all times.

Kindle

I don't use a kindle but have been told that USA kindles have an audio function but Australia kindles do not. Not sure why this is but this could be a great function if you enjoy reading on a kindle. Also, some dyslexic fonts can be applied to kindle like 'OpenDyslexic'.

Even though I rely on digital technologies to get me through the day I still like writing in a notepad. I have recently found these pens and I love them. They come in all different sizes and come in different colours. They work great and erase clearly. You can get them from Officeworks but I'm sure you can order them online as well.

OCR APPS

In my research for this list I have come across OCR apps - (Optical Character Recognition). I haven't used any of them yet but below are some apps that you can download to your phone then take pictures of text and have the text read out loud to you.

PHONE FUNCTIONS

Siri, Alexa, Ok google etc

Using your phone's Ai technology can help you save time whether its just setting a reminder, looking up the name of a restaurant or checking the weather.

Microphone on your phone

Most if not all phones have a speech function on them. Using the little microphone button in your keyboard is an incredibly useful function and one that I use every day to save time and help with communication. This can be used across all apps on your phone e.g. for writing Facebook messages, emails, text messages etc.

Text to Talk on your phone

I use a pixel android phone and if I highlight text i.e. in an email and press the 3 vertical dots on the right-hand side in the pop-up bar, there is a 'speak with talk' option. This will talk the text out loud and is very useful. I'm sure apple phones must have a similar function.

Speechnotes

I haven't used this one but it is a Text to talk app for your phone and computer. You can copy and paste text and it will read it back to you. Guessing this can be used in conjunction with your phone's microphone as well, so you can talk into your phone and get it to read it which is very helpful.

Talk FREE

This is an easy software to enable you to control your computer, dictate emails and letters and have the computer read documents back to you. I use this quite a lot when I am working on the go and cant reply on my computer. This can be used in conjunction with your phone's microphone as well, so you can talk into your phone and get it to read it back which is very helpful.

TIPS + TRICKS

PostIt Notes

I use post-it notes quite a bit and find them good for brainstorming or for memory prompts. Note pads or scrap paper also work fine but good to physically have something to arrange when processing ideas. I really like the new full adhesive back ones – I often stick than to my computer/Desk/ Wall with notes.

Word Lists

This may feel like something you did in school but I find it very helpful. I have a list of words I use regularly but can never remember how to spell blue tacked to my wall in front of my computer. This just helps so that I am not looking them up 3-5 times a day.

Drawing Symbols or Visual Clues

I think this is something that a lot of people with Dyslexia do innately but thought I'd include it anyway. If I am in a meeting and people are talking quickly and I can't get down my notes fast enough I use drawings ie a quick drawing of an Airplane rather than writing out the word. Drawing symbols or visual notes to yourself can work well and help get notes down quickly.

Print It Out

I don't use this that often because I rely on my computer so much to read to me, but a lot of people I have spoken to will print out documents as it helps to have a physical document and can help with your concentration rather than trying to read on a computer. You can also print out the document and get your computer to read to you at the same time this may help with processing the information and still allow you to make physical notes as you work.

Email Templates

If there are emails you find your self sending a lot, maybe it sales emails to clients or weekly reports. You can start a 'Templates' Folder in your emails. This can help save time and can be an easy way to get over the anxiety of a blank page as you are starting from a base email you know is 70–80% done. This way all you need to do copy and paste the base text and then change it around or fill in the specific information.

BOOKS

ON DYSLEXIA

  • The Gift of Dyslexia by Eldon Braun, Ronald D.Davis [Available on Audible]

  • My Dyslexia by Philip Schultz  [Available on Audible]

  • The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain by Brock L. Eide 

  • The Dyslexia Checklist by Sandra F. Rief

  • Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf [Available on Audible]

  • The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning by Ben Foss 

  • Fish in a Tree by Linda Hunt [Available on Audible]

  • Seeing What Others Cannot See: The Hidden Advantages of Visual Thinkers and Differently Wired Brains by Thomas G.West

OTHER BOOKS 

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HELLO@DIGITALDYSLEXIC.COM

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