I am still going on about the ‘Just Ask’ campaign about the suggestion that ‘a pupil with dyslexia may benefit from use of voice recognition software’.

As I wrote in my last post, I feel this is a most unhelpful statement, practically guaranteed to set parents in opposition to schools. Focusing on this one area that is, as  as I understand it, the least well regarded and least used support is staggering. There are so many supports we can and do offer to children with literacy difficulties in schools that to name this one, in my view erroneously, seems designed to cause friction between those parties who have the interests of the children most at heart: their parents/carers and their teachers.
The British Dyslexia Association has a very comprehensive summary of ICT supports for learners with dyslexia. It includes a useful list of focused questions to help audit diverse learning needs and map provision planning.

The paper summarises the supports that will be familiar to most of us who work in schools with learners with literacy difficulties.

At the very bottom of page 6 comes a reference to voice recognition software (look closely):

Offering alternatives to writing as key method of recording.

Dyslexic learners enjoy using alternative forms of recording [I loathe such blanket descriptions, but hey ho] and often use strengths in pictorial imagery in their learning. ICT can support this with the use of digital images and clip art, digital cameras, multimedia presentations and video cameras for example.

Recorded speech using tapes, minidisk or digital recorders offer low tech solutions.

Voice recognition software may be appropriate in some cases, especially at KS 3/4 where the demand for writing in all curriculum areas increases both in volume and difficulty.

I am awating a reply from Enquire Scotland as to their reasons for the inclusion of their misguided information. I am hoping that they can direct me to some research and/or practitioners who have found voice recognition software the most indispensable support for learners with dyslexia. I would be delighted to have my mind changed!

Why don’t you write too?

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