Learning Difficulties Australia



Statement of Purpose

Key Papers

Literacy Software

Literacy Apps for LD

Mathematics Software


Statement of Purpose

Research has shown that people with learning difficulties learn better with the support of Technology.

Technology offers a multi sensory, diverse pathway for people with learning difficulties/disabilities.

Technology has many and varied modalities from computer hardware and mobile devices to specific applications.  Devices provide for format use in many ways from seeing and hearing to touching.

Technologies support and provide the means to inclusive access, communication and improved learning for all.

"Good teachers match the use of teaching strategies and technology to the needs of the student based on assessment and sound knowledge of the student's strengths and weaknesses not on a whim, fad or fashion". (Ian Bean iPads in Autism Monday 24 October 2011)

Learning Difficulties Australia endorses the use of Technology to support learning. The matching of student needs to particular software remains the responsibility teachers, based on diagnostic assessment and evaluation of software content and presentation. LDA provides a list of potentially suitable software that may support an overall effective teaching and learning program.

Key Papers

Technology for Developing Children’s Language and Literacy: Bringing Speech Recognition to the Classroom

Marilyn Jager Adams
September 21, 2011

Download the report (820 kB)

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), about fifty percent of low-income fourth graders in our nation’s schools are unable to read at a basic level.  In this report, Brown University’s Marilyn Jager Adams, a pioneer in literacy research and practice, points to evidence that speech recognition technology — which is widely used in telephone call-routing and directory assistance — can be tapped as a cost-effective and technically viable means to advance early childhood literacy.  When coupled with effective pedagogy, voice recognition tools can provide valuable assessments that reach beyond the human capacities of the average public school classroom teacher. Adams argues that this emerging technology has the potential to offer real-time literacy support to every student by helping young children learn reading with the fluency needed to compete and cooperate in an increasingly complex age.


Emerging Reading and Writing Strategies Using Technology

John Castellain and Tara Jeffs

TEACHING Exceptional Children, v33 n5, p60-67, May/June 2001

This article discusses teaching strategies for reading and writing using computer software and Internet-based electronic materials for students with disabilities. Different types of educational software are described, along with prereading strategies, reading activities, and postreading activities. A list of literacy links on the World Wide Web is provided.


Also at: 


UNESCO Policy Guidelines on Mobile Learning

Purpose and Scope of the Guidelines

UNESCO believes that mobile technologies can expand and enrich educational opportunities for students in a diversity of contexts.

Today, a growing body of evidence suggests that ubiquitous mobile devices – and mobile phones in particular – are being used by students and teachers around the world to access information, streamline administration, and facilitate learning in new and innovative ways.

This set of guidelines, drawing on UNESCO’s research, seeks to help policy makers better understand what mobile learning is and how its unique benefits can be leveraged to advance progress toward Education for All.





Robert W. Fairlie - Department of Economics University of California, Santa Cruz

Jonathan Robinson - Department of Economics University of California, Santa Cruz  

May 2013



Computers are an important part of modern education, yet many schoolchildren lack access to a computer at home. We test whether this impedes educational achievement by conducting the largest-ever field experiment that randomly provides free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other "intermediate" inputs in education.



Highly accurate children’s speech recognition for interactive reading tutors using subword units

Andreas Hagan, Byron Pellom and Ronald Cole

Center for Spoken Language Research, University of Colorado at Boulder

Speech technology offers great promise in the field of automated literacy and reading tutors for children. In such applications speech recognition can be used to track the reading position of the child, detect oral reading miscues, assessing comprehension of the text being read by estimating if the prosodic structure of the speech is appropriate to the discourse structure of the story, or by engaging the child in interactive dialogs to assess and train comprehension. Despite such promises, speech recognition systems exhibit higher error rates for children due to variabilities in vocal tract length, formant frequency, pronunciation, and grammar. In the context of recognizing speech while children are reading out loud, these problems are compounded by speech production behaviors affected by difficulties in recognizing printed words that cause pauses, repeated syllables and other phenomena. To overcome these challenges, we present advances in speech recognition that improve accuracy and modeling capability in the context of an interactive literacy tutor for children. Specifically, this paper focuses on a novel set of speech recognition techniques which can be applied to improve oral reading recognition. The proposed subword unit based speech recognition framework is shown to provide equivalent accuracy to a whole-word based speech recognizer while enabling detection of oral reading events and finer grained speech analysis during recognition. The efficacy of the approach is demonstrated using data collected from children in grades 3–5.


Creative Solutions to making the technology work: three case studies of dyslexic writers in higher education

Geraldine A. Price

University of Southhampton, UK

The Journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) V14, No1, March 2006, pp21-38

Research into the behaviours manifested by the dyslexic condition has often focused upon younger dyslexic pupils and the lower-order skill difficulty in decoding and encoding. A surge in interest in the writing process has shifted the focus to higher-order skills, and a growing body of research is emerging within the higher education context (Hughes & Suritsky, 1994; McNaughton et al., 1997; Hatcher, 2001; Singleton & Aisbett, 2001; Farmer et al., 2002). Students are expected to be ‘expert’ writers, and the mark of a good student is the ability to use writing as a tool for thinking. Drawing upon data from semi-structured interviews with undergraduate and postgraduate dyslexic students and their real-time writing logs, three case studies are presented and used to explore creative ways of using technology to manage dyslexia. The students demonstrate how they use different types of software to overcome writing anxiety, ‘fear of the blank page’ syndrome and issues of plagiarism. The experiences of the students within the case studies demonstrate that often simple software can provide the best solutions, and that students combine features from software programs in creative ways to compensate for weaknesses in their cognitive profile.


Fostering Literacy within a Multi-Media, Multi-Tasking Educational World

Marilyn Jager Adams

Reading and Literacy

Brown University

As widely discussed in the literature, the ascendance of print in the Western world was accompanied by dramatic changes in the range of our language, learning, and modes of thought (e.g., Havelock, 1963; Ong, 2002). Some would argue that the latter shifts were as much the consequence of schooling as of the written medium per se. Yet, it was significantly the growing availability of print that fueled and enabled wide-scale schooling in the Western world and, in turn, it was through print that the products and advances of education were principally explicated and disseminated—with each successive layer of print bootstrapping the depth and breadth of our collective language, thought, and knowledge, and each wave of readers and writers enriching and expanding the language, thought, and knowledge offered by print.


Accessible ICTs and Personalized Learning for Students with Disabilities: A Dialogue among Educators, Industry, Government and Civil Society


November 2011

Personalized learning requires attention to the unique needs of all students of all abilities, acknowledging that each have different learning styles including students with mild, moderate or severe disabilities. The use of technology in education plays a particularly vital role by enabling flexible curriculum development and assisting students with disabilities to participate as equals in the learning experience. It also helps to prepare them for life-long learning, recreation and work outside of school.

As the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities continues to be implemented globally, State Parties to the Convention continue efforts to realise the goal of Inclusive Education to ensure that students with disabilities have full access, on an equal basis with other students, to regular schools and teachings.


Improving literacy in developing countries using speech recognition-supported games on mobile devices

Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp 1149-1158

A Kumar (Carnegie Mellon University), R Reddy (American Institute for Research), A Tewari (University of California - Berkley), R Aqrawai (Carnegie Mellon University), and M Kam (Carnegie Mellon University)

Learning to read in a second language is challenging, but highly rewarding. synthesis of research findings suggests that practicing recalling and vocalizing words for expressing an intended meaning could improve word reading skills - including reading in a second language - more than silent recognition of what the given words mean. Many language learning software do not support this instructional approach, owing to the technical challenges of incorporating speech recognition support to check that the learner is vocalizing the correct word. In this paper, we present results from a usability test and two subsequent experiments that explore the use of two speech recognition-enabled mobile games to help rural children in India read words with understanding. Through a working speech recognition prototype, we discuss two major contributions of this work: first, we give empirical evidence that shows the extent to which productive training (i.e. vocalizing words) is superior to receptive vocabulary training, and discuss the use of scaffolding hints to ""unpack"" factors in the learner's linguistic knowledge that may impact reading. Second, we discuss what our results suggest for future research in HCI.


Pattern Blocks or iPads? Evaluating Teacher Tools for Early Childhood Numeracy

Maggie Blackburn, Josh Fahs, and Christina Mazza

Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

Since November of the 2010-2011 school year, the three of us have been working closely with individual and small groups of kindergarteners from Longfellow Elementary School in Rock Island. Our main goal for this project was to use a variety of effective teaching materials and instructional strategies in order to improve the number sense skills critical to this young students “future math development. It has helped us gain a better understanding of how students‟ early math knowledge progresses and the effectiveness of various teaching strategies and materials. We have learned how to adapt these strategies and materials to the individual needs of each kindergarten student.


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Literacy Software

The following good quality, engaging and multi-sensory programs are suggested for students with learning difficulties/disabilities.

Software should be considered as a complete package: its ease of use, its relevance to the curriculum, clear and achievable outcomes, accessibility, is purpose driven, has feedback facilities and is capable of storage of recorded data.

No program should do for the student what a student can do for themselves.

Please Check your operating system and match to the correct version of software.

  Wordshark is a major teaching resource used widely in schools. It combines the excitement of computer games with the serious task of learning to read and spell.

Available from most of the listed sellers in Australia and Whitespace UK


Catch Up 3 Each world covers a hierarchy of skills from segmenting and blending phonemes to recognition of high frequency words, to reading whole paragraphs for comprehension and recall.

Catch Up 2 Visiting five worlds covering consonant clusters, short vowels, long/sort phonemes, more high frequency words and comprehension.

Catch Up 1 There are five worlds to visit covering regular spelling, onset and rime, high frequency words and extended high frequency words, initial sounds, clusters and digraphs and finally further high frequency words with levels of difficulty in each world.

Catch-up are also now in Australia from East West Online


Dog and Cat -There are three phases for letters and sounds in the dog and cat series.

There is also an early literacy program which supports oral language. These programs have won several awards for their software for early learners or learners with difficulties.

Also available from East West Online and busythings.co.uk

Sym-Writer is a symbol supported word processor that any writer, regardless of literacy levels, can use to author documents. Writers of any age or ability can use the Widgit Symbols to see the meaning of words as theyt ype, supporting access to new or challenging vocabulary.

Available from Crick Software, Spectronics and East West Online.

Nessy provides a complete literacy scheme for students with dyslexia. The extensive resources are organised into 10 colour-coded islands, which progress from letter sounds to advanced multi-syllabic words. Nessy enables students in ages 5-16 of all abilities to read, write and spell with confidence.

Available from Spectronics, EdSoft and East West Online


Choose and Tell programs are designed to engage and motivate. Users are encouraged to respond to the unfolding story on-screen and to make decisions, using a combination of cause and effect and choice-making activities. It also helps the user gain an understanding of sequences of events.

Available from Spectronics and Inclusive Technology UK

Claro-Read is a highly effective, multi-sensory software solution for supporting reading and writing. Designed with maximum simplicity and flexibility for all ages and abilities, Claro-Read aids concentration and increases confidence.
Claro-Read can speak practically any on-screen text out loud, and is perfectly integrated with Microsoft Word. With Claro-Read Plus and Pro, scanned books and documents are also read back with complete clarity.

Available from Spectronics and Claro Read UK

The Fitzroy Readers are based on a progressive phonic system, making them particularly successful with children whose progress with traditional readers is slow. Each book introduces a new English sound-and-spelling pattern, as well as a few sight words that do not conform to phonic principles.

Available at East West Computers


Text-Ease CT is a suite of 9 programs based on the award winning Text-Ease word processor. Speech can be used to read aloud individual words or sentences and word/resource banks can easily be created to support the pupils writing. Pages can contain a mixture of text, pictures, sound and animation. Links can be set up to create multimedia presentations/ storybooks. It is very supportive for students with learning difficulties.

Best for primary students.

RM Asia Pacific. Contact TTR4L for further information in Australia.


To create a Super Story. This software is your complete tool for personalised multimedia story creation. 

  • Incorporate text, drawings, imported images, sound and object animation.
  • Bring characters to life with the use of lip sync.
  • Compile simple time lines to map story elements.
  • Use the magical Augmented Reality template to see your drawings move both on and off screen.

To Create and to Create a Story are also very good for beginning writers.

Available at 2Simple.com

Read & Write is a discreet, integrated solution for any person with literacy needs. It has been designed as a “floating” toolbar that will help improve reading and writing skills, with features such as speech feedback, phonetic spell checking, word prediction and homophone support. It works within any Windows based application. Great support in all areas of the curriculum so students frequently improve their written work and then their overall learning when using this program.

Available from texthelp.com

   Rapid Phonics On- Line service for struggling students.  New phonics books subscription for both Rapid and Phonic Bug.
Available from Pearson UK

Rapid Reading Assistant contains reading books for one-to-one reading, speech recognition software for independent practice.

The software:

  • enables the pupil to practice re-reading the book
  • prompts and supports the child as they read aloud
  • provides a simple glossary to identify unfamiliar and difficult words 
  • includes interactive quizzes to check comprehension
  • records and rewards each child's reading performance.
Purchasing of Disks from UK - need to buy online. Available from Pearson UK.

Inspiration - For visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations,to take notes, organize information, and structure writing for plans, papers and reports, use the integrated Outline View to focus on main and supporting ideas and to clarify thinking in written form. Kidspiration is also available for younger students.

Available from Inspiration.com Spectronics, East West Online and Edsoft

   A Sound Way provides a number of different approaches to practising and reinforcing student phonological awareness, and caters to a variety of learning styles. Activities in A Sound Wayare suitable for whole-class, small-group and individual instruction.

Suitable for lower primary teachers or teachers of children with learning difficulties.

Available from ACER, Love and Reilly and Pearson Education Australia


Spell Track aims to train the learner to look carefully at words and to reinforce correct spellings by tracking the correct letters of a particular spelling.

Word Track reinforces the correct spelling of words in the context of 180 sentences of increasing phonic complexity, together with simple animated illustrations.

Availalbe from Software time and Sherston UK


Idiom Track helps to identify and explore the actual and literal meanings of 60 English idioms

Phoneme Track encourages learners to attend to, identify, segment, blend and manipulate phonemes through fun activities, which delete and substitute phonemes at the beginning, middle and end of words.

Available from Ed Soft, Software time and Sherston software UK


The Visual Thesaurus is a tremendous resource for improving your students' reading, writing, and communication skills. Students find the Visual Thesaurus captivating and playful, and are quickly engaged in learning new words and concepts.

Available at www.visualthesaurus.com

Dictate or modify word documents, spreadsheets and presentations, send email, search Google, and even more. Capture notes on the go using a digital recorder and Dragon Premium 12 will transcribe your voice into text back at your PC. Be sure to select a USB microphone option as crystal clear digital input is essential for accurate dictation. Speak and See adds on to Dragon for dyslexics.

Available from Nuance Australia but also in most technology stores around Australia


Comprehension Booster has been designed by experts to develop reading comprehension. The interactive nature of the program ensures that children stay on task, which also helps develop concentration and attention. Comprehension Booster provides interactive vocabulary support, so words that children find difficult can be understood in context, so extending their vocabulary.

Availalbe from Lucid Research.UK and Compu Ed.

Penfriend Word prediction is very valuable for those with dyslexia where recognising a correctly spelt word offered by the predictor is easier than thinking how to spell it in the first place. Better spelling, grammar, thesaurus, dictionaries.

The access provided by Penfriend XL to Microsoft Word's spell checking, thesaurus, dictionaries and translation is of great help to any with dyslexia. Penfriend also has a usb support.

Available from Edsoft and Spectronics


Snap & Read is an accessible toolbar that reads any text on-screen as it floats over any application. The simple one-button interface reads both accessible and inaccessible text aloud from Flash websites, Word docs, PDFs, web-based tests, images, and even dialog boxes.

Don Johnson Software. Available from Inclusive Technology UK and Spectronics Australia


Essay Writer is a new program that helps to produce an essay in half the time. It allows the student to collect and organise thoughts in a visual way and then add text to create a complete essay. Essay Writer is designed for dyslexic students. Kid-spark has mindmapping.

Available from Spark Space or Spectronics


Ginger corrects spelling and grammar errors - proof reads text from anywhere you type.  Works to support programs.

Available at Ginger Software online


Word-Q will read aloud any text you can highlight to improve comprehension and proofreading skills. WordQ’s writing prediction capability makes writing easier. WordQ enables auditory proofreading so a user can hear how s/he has written a sentence or passage – a proven way to develop grammar, spelling, pronunciation, and comprehension

The skills plus a willingness to edit, correct and improve personal writing.

Speak Q and Word-Q/Speak-Q are available too.

Available at order@goQsoftware.com, Word Q in UK or East West online Or Spectronics in Australia


StarSpell 3 is a structured spelling program. It simply corrects any mistake and the student tries again. It now has a phonics component for early spellers following a structured program of phonics development, such as the UK’s English “Sounds and Letters programme.

Available at Spectronics or Fisher Marriott


The talking word processor for younger learners and computer users with literacy difficulties.

Sym-Word is a fun, easy-to-use talking word processor for younger learners and computer users with literacy difficulties.

 Claro Software Ltd. Available from Spectronics in Australia (Australian version and voices)


 Write-On Line for older students who need support in constructing their writing genres.

 Crick Software. Can be purchased from distributors in AUstralia and Inclusive Technology.



A terrific free list of E-books that can be read on line.  The collection is from the full range of authors from Oxford UK and covers letters and sounds.Oxford University Press UK. Online free books from several different writers.


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Literacy Applications (Apps) for LD

Apps should be viewed as part of the technology kit that link to computers or other mobile devices to provide learning opportunities for students to engage in an inclusive learning process. The following apps are compiled from iPad application lists.

Apps are fluid in nature, with new and review Apps available constantly.

The Alphabetic Principle

  Twinkl Apps is a suite of apps based on the letters and sounds phases from 1-5 of the UK letters and sounds Rose Report into teaching synthetic phonics.  The speech is a dialect closer to the Australian sound/articulation voice rather than US voices.  There are also apps for High Frequency Words and some activities for developing Alphabetic knowledge.   Sound Literacy is an instructional tool and resource for teaching phonemic awareness, phonological processing, the alphabetic principle and word study focusing on morphology.  It uses a tile system for build the above skills. 
   Prof's Phonics invites 3 to 7 year old children to explore detailed paintings for words that start with a particular sound.  Children will come to understand that words may start with the same sound that is represented by a letter of the alphabet.  This is known as 'cracking the alphabetic code' and is essential for children to be able to understand the reading process.  The app set also has a Smar-test app to refine the phonemic awareness knowledge.   Oz Phonics has a suite of activities for beginning reading skills such as warm ups, sound to letter, sound match, making words, ABC letter to sound and word test activities.  It comes with Australian voices which is important. 
   Phonics Deck is a deck of 42 phonic audio cards to help your child learn to read.  Each card has a simple word on one side and when you tap the card to 'flip it' you hear the word read and see a hand drawn picture.  The word is broken into individual phonics or sounds.  Tap each sound to hear it read aloud.

Read with Phonics teaches your child the 44 phonic sounds of the English language and gives them over 100 words to practice reading.

Stage One includes simple single letter sounds and simple CVC practice words like “cat” “dog” and “pen”. Stage Two includes more complex sounds and four and five letter practice words with multiple letter phonemes, like “duck” “meet” and “queen”. 


Children build language skills using tic-tac-toe game.  It covers vowel sounds, syllables and more.  It is suitable for those needing support with literacy sub-skills.  For mainstream children between ages 6-8yrs.

   PB Phonics 1 to 7 contains 42 phonemes in 7 sets (S A T I P N, CK E H R M D, G O U L F B, AI J OA IE EE OR, Z W NG V oo,OO and Y X CH SH th TH). It shows how to build 637 words out of these phonemes. Multiple voices say the words for variety. PB Phonics grew up in Australia and has an accent to match.


This app enables children to match phonic sounds with letters, through colourful illustrations, pictures and accurate pronunciation whilst playing the age old game of I Spy. It provides a fun and highly interactive way to help children learn to recognize letters and their phonic sound – the first stage in reading.  Using iSpy phonics can aid reading development through multi-sensory learning.





Fitzroy Sounding-Out Readers

The Fitzroy Readers is a set of graded books which employ the Fitzroy Method - a phonic approach to reading. Every Reader is only slightly more advanced than the one before it.  There are several sounding-out options available. All speech is high-quality recording. The interface is designed for young fingers and can be used by the student alone or with a tutor.


Oxford Reading Tree stories

Carefully graded stories: Six levels, with gradual progression and vocabulary repetition throughout, help build reading confidence, using a combination of Phonics and First Stories. Read with Biff, Chip and Kipper levels match Oxford Reading Tree stages and are designed to support your child`s progression at school. 


 Pocket Rockets

Solid research in Britain, USA and Australia has shown that the explicit teaching of phonic skills is the most effective way children learn to read.
Once children can blend sounds to read words, they need appealing stories to practise their newly learnt skills.
These stories are Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds.


Spinout Stories - Red and Blue

Spinout Stories (Red and Blue) are collections of high interest stories especially designed to appeal to upper primary and lower secondary students who are still struggling with literacy. Some stories are fictional, some are informative.


 BusyThings - Dog and Cat

This story is written and spoken in English. Dog and Cat love dressing up! Watch Dog and Cat dress up and perform. Pause the story at any time and play individual sentences


Dropbox, Downloader and Flashcards

Dropbox is the easiest way to sync and share your files online and across computers.  It is a great way to store your reading material books etc and read on your iPad.

Dropbox downloader gives even more facilities for storing and retrieving files and book.

Dropbox has other apps to assist with downloading and storing flashcards, sound files etc.



iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books.

iBooks only opens books published in the ePub electronic book format or documents in the PDF format.



Working Memory


Candy Span

Candy Span is a simple, fun puzzle game that challenges your “working memory”. It also can be used by researchers and educators, to measure your current skill level. “Try out your skills” to see how well your working memory functions.


Auditory Processing


Auditory Workout

Auditory Workout is research-based and focuses on improving auditory attention and memory and auditory processing of verbal directions.


Writing and Communication Process



School Writing

Students intuitively trace pre-handwriting shapes, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, words or whiteboard images that you import with the touch of a finger


Hairy Letters

Learn the names and sounds of each letter with the Hairies.
• Interact with animations and trace the letter shape onscreen with your finger.
• Play games to reinforce learning and build letters into simple words. 


Draw Free

Draw Free -Blank slate ideal for free writing of letters and words.



Created and designed with input from Australian teachers and Occupational therapists specialised in early childhood education for children aged 3-7 years and most importantly, including feedback from the children themselves who are learning to read and write.


Younger Children's Story Writing


Story Maker

Story Maker has two screens — Create Story and Tell Story. In Create Story you make your stories, as well as edit and change them. In Tell Story you read, tell, and talk about your stories. For extra fun, record your voice and other sounds and have everyone listen to your stories.


 Fairy Tale

The Fairy Tale is fun to personally make the story and read, encouraging imagination, creativity, and emotions.  The movements of the characters after being touched also add the liveliness and interests. You can record your voice into the children’s stories.


 My Story

My Story gives children a way to create and share stories on the iPad. It combines tools for drawing, writing and recording stories in an easy-to-use interface for kid


Kids Book Report

The Book Report  enables kids to write following details:
-- book information
-- title, author
-- when and where the story takes place,
-- who are the main characters

-- what was the main problem
-- what was the solution
-- How does the kid like the book.


 Writing with Visual Support

   Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs

Clicker Apps -Develop young learners’ writing skills and build struggling writers’ confidence with Clicker Sentences - the definitive early writing tool that enables you to build sentences with whole words.

Clicker Docs - the writing tool that provides differentiated support for students of all abilities.

Symbol Support

Symbol Support is a super easy way to add symbols and speech to text. SymbolSupport automatically adds symbols to text as you type. You choose whether the symbols appear above or below the words. The Slater Literacy Support Pictures™ and GoTalk Image Library are included, giving you instant access to over 6000 quality symbols.



Writing for Dyslexics and Older Students

  AppWriter is the first text editor for the iPad to offer users of all ages with reading and writing disabilites the necessary tools for unlocking a world of information.  AppWriter is packed with incredible assistive features. All tools and features are seamlessly integrated and comprise context based word suggestions, text-to-speech, OCR and the special Dyslexie-font.    ClaroSpeak is a high-quality text to speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human high-quality voices. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in sync with the spoken words – and a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading. ClaroSpeak is a quality app for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from any text.  Has Australian voices.
   iWordQ UK (English) is an easy-to-use writing and reading application to assist struggling writers and readers. In Writing mode, a simple text editor is used for writing with the support of word prediction, abbreviation-expansion and speech feedback features. Spell-check and dictionary access is included. Use speech recognition with an iPad 3.    Pages is a general use processing app with facilities to create documents that look stunning on the bright, vivid iPad display. And writing is a dream with the large onscreen keyboard. You can use Apple-designed templates and Multi-Touch gestures to lay out letters, flyers, brochures, reports, and more.


Is it a word processor? A writing app? A journal? An adaptive app for special needs? It truly is a hybrid of these- this app provides customizable keyboards, word prediction, text to speech, voice recording and picture support to encourage language and writing development.

  SoundNote is the best way to take notes in meetings, lectures, and interviews. It tracks what you type and draw while recording audio, so you`ll never worry about missing an important detail. During playback, just tap a word: SoundNote will jump right to that time in the audio. 

Pencast for Livescribe Pen

Pencast Player is an easy-to-use application powered by Livescribe that allows you to download, view and play your smartpen notes, audio recordings, or interactive pencasts.



Concept Mapping


Inspiration Maps

Brainstorm new ideas and capture insights
- Analyze information
- Understand cause and effect
- Organize projects
- Organize thoughts and topics for writing
- Take notes
- Study for exams


imind map

The ONLY Mind Mapping App for the iPad Endorsed by the Inventor of Mind Maps, Tony Buzan. Brainstorm your ideas, develop them into a plan of action, present it to your colleagues or clients and capture their feedback all in one place.

   Idea Mapper is a tool that helps you to organize your ideas during brainstorming.
You can draw a idea map by writing keywords and connecting them each other.
This tool is based on a concept "stimulate your right brain", so you can draw maps like drawing pictures.


Dictionary and Reference


 Visual Thesaurus

This application is an interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that helps you find the meanings of words and show connections among associated words.


American Wordspeller © & Phonetic Dictionary
"Find Word by the Way it Sounds"

Especially for dyslexics who have difficulty with spelling and how words sound. 
   A Dyslexic`s Dictionary allows independent discovery of an unknown spelling or a quick check of an uncertain word.  Good for homophones.    

The second edition of the Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus is the perfect language resource, combining a dictionary and thesaurus text. This means that you only need one app when you need language help.

   Paper Helper offers a writing and web browser app in one, aimed primarily at students writing essays. It’s easy to toggle either side to full-screen mode and then switch back to the combination view, and to copy and paste text from the browser into the writing side.    

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Mathematics Software

Ten tips for choosing mathematics software:

  • Procedures should match what is being taught in school structure.
  • The less clutter on the screen, the better.
  • Choose modifiable software considering speed, visual modelling, speech and sound support.
  • Choose software with small increments between levels and differentiated levels.
  • Choose software with helpful feedback.
  • Choose software that limits the number of wrong answers for a single problem.
  • Choose software with good record keeping capabilities.
  • Choose software that stimulates real-life solutions.
  • Choose software that is an instructional or skilling tool. (Babbit 1999)

    Numbershark 4 The program features around 50 totally different games covering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

    New Topics in v.4 - covering fractions, decimals and percentages.

    Available from White Space in UK, East West Online, Edsoft, Softwaretime Spectronics

    Dynamo Maths is an intervention and remediation programme for learners with specific learning difficulties with maths (dyscalculia), working memory, and generally low maths achievers.
    Developed through

    research on how the brain learns maths and around areas of needs.

    Purchase online

    Australian version available from

    Multi Sense Technology W.A

    Middle Years

    Measuring Up is an interactive multimedia resource for secondary students and adult numeracy learners. Numeracy learners will develop basic numeracy skills for measurement in the areas of fractions, decimals, reading scales, and metric units.


    Available from, Software time, English Software

    Percy gets Measuring

    Percy Learns Time with both analogue and digital clocks included, the activities involve reading the time, setting a clock to given times, finding a clock with a given time, placing events in the correct order and working out time differences.

    Available from East West Online and Software time

    Paws Series of Programs

    Money, Multiplication, Counting.

    A good series to check out for teaching.

    Available from East West Online

    Talking Clocks PLUS has four different activities (Say the Time, Set the Clock, Match the Clocks and How Much Time?), each of which can be tackled at multiple levels appropriate to pupils' ages and abilities.

    Available from East West Online

    Classroom Suite is a unique software intervention tool developed based upon the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that combines two educational paradigms—systematic, explicit instruction and flexible creativity tools


    Available from Spectronics

    The Mult-e-Maths Toolbox The specialised maths tools are organised into eight mathematical strands: numbers, calculations, fractions, measures, shape and space, handling data, probability and solving problems.


    Available from Software time and Edsoft

    Numeracy  Connections The contents of Numeracy Connections include counting in ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and tens; tens and units, combining sets, differences, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and an endless range of number sequences.


    Available from Software time

    Perfect Times helps  teach and reinforce number recognition, multiplication and division skills as well as common number sequences.


    Available from Cambridge Hitachi Software and Software time

    Maths Packs for most concept development using your computer.

    Early Years Maths Pack is a highly visual collection of dynamic resources designed specifically for K-2 years

    Primary Games - six volumes for maths skills

    Secondary Pack as well

    Teaching Time

    Teaching Fractions

    Teaching Money


    Available from Ideal Resources - NSW


    Rapid Maths  Each activity is designed to help understand key maths concepts. The software automatically tracks children’s scores to help you monitor their progress.

    Available from Pearson Education UK.

    Check also Maths Evolve


    Users spend 100% of their time doing maths.
     Age-neutral: enabling adults, teenagers and special needs users to participate.
     Minimal text: reading ability not a barrier to accessing the maths.

    Order disk online from Numbergym.co.uk

    As simple to use as a calculator, with the power of a spreadsheet! Teach and learn place value, fractions, decimals. Explore number sequences & negative numbers.

    Teach money, shape & space, data handling

    • Use spreadsheets & graphing tools.


    Available from 2Simple software


    Maths Planet

    This extensive resource focuses on the development of mental imagery, through the use of structured apparatus, number patterns and number lines.

    Available from Inclusive Technology UK

    Grid Algebra

    Learners build links between numbers and physical movements around a grid.

    Purchase from ATM  UK.


    Hi-Flyer Decimals supplies concrete number manipulation to supplement classroom instruction, allowing students to visualize the numbers represented by decimal fraction symbols.


    Classroom Professor Peter Price -Queensland

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Covers Software and Related Reading EBook Resources


In Australia:

East West Online:(Victoria) www.east-west.com.au

Spectronics: (Queensland)www.spectronicsinoz.com

Compu Ed: (Western Australia) www.compued.com.au

EdSoft: (Victoria) www.edsoft.com.au

Software Time: (New South Wales) www.softwaretime.com.au

Dataworks: (Victoria) www.dataworks.com.au

L.E.A.R.N: (Western Australia) www.learn4u.com.au

2Simple Software: (Victoria) www.2simple.com.au

Ideal Resources: (New South Wales) www.idealresources.com.au

Greygum: (Victoria) www.greygum.com.au

Nuance: (Australia) www.nuance.com

Quantum Technology:  http://www.quantumtechnology.com.au


International Suppliers:

Inclusive Technology – UK: http://www.inclusive.co.uk

IanSyst: Dyslexia.com – UK: http://www.iansyst.co.uk

Sherston Software – UK: http://shop.sherston.com/sherston

Textease -RM – UK: www.textease.com

Crick Software – UK: http://www.cricksoft.com/uk/home.aspx

Nessy Software – UK: http://www.nessy.com/uk

Attainment Company – US: http://www.attainmentcompany.com

Kurzweil Education Systems – US:  http://www.kurzweiledu.com/research-efficacy.html

Oxford Reading Tree – UK: http://www.oup.com/oxed/primary/oxfordreadingtree

Pearson - Rapid Reading – UK: http://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk/Primary/Literacy/AllLiteracyresources/RapidReading/RapidReading.aspx

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