Reading & Writing

Students using computers
Courtesy of UAL

If you have difficulty with reading or writing, here are a few useful tools that can make your life easier.

ClaroRead

ClaroRead is text to speech software available on our PCs and Macs in our libraries and learning zones. It has tools to:

  • read documents, emails and web pages aloud
  • help with writing, including a spell checker, homophone checker and predictive text
  • change screen colours (Screen Ruler)
  • assist with collecting and organise research materials (ClaroCapture).

Watch this video tutorial about the capture option. There is a ClaroRead LibGuide that explains how to use ClaroRead.

Email the Assistive Technology Coordinator to request free access to the Wyvern Training Portal for training videos on how to use ClaroRead on Mac or PC.

Contact the the IT Services Helpdesk at servicedesk@arts.ac.uk for a code that will give you an 80% discount when purchasing ClaroRead for PC or Mac.

Read&Write Gold

Read&Write Gold is text to speech software available on our PCs and Macs in our libraries and learning zones. It has tools to:

  • read documents, emails and web pages aloud
  • support writing with spelling and prediction tools
  • change screen colours
  • convert PDFs and web pages into Word
  • help with study skills

There is a Read&Write LibGuide that explains how to use Read&Write. You can sign up to the Wyvern Training Portal (request your free account by emailing Assistive Technology Coordinator). Wyvern have great videos and factsheets on how to use Read&Write on Mac or PC. This links to a list of Read&Write training videos.

Mac's can read text aloud

If you have a Mac you can use the built in text to speech to hear your documents, emails and other text read aloud. 

This Mac Libguide explains how to use it.

PDFs

Adobe Reader or Adobe Pro can help you read your PDFs by:

  • speaking the text aloud
  • changing the look of the document
  • providing summary information.

Find out more in this Word document about Reading PDFs using Adobe.

Dictation Software

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon helps if you find writing difficult. Dragon is available in the LCC library. You can:

  • dictate text directly into Word, emails and other text boxes.
  • use voice commands to control the computer if using a keyboard and mouse are problematic.

Sign up to the Wyvern Training Portal (request your free account by emailing Assistive Technology Coordinator) for training videos on how to use Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Dictation on a Mac

Macs have built-in dictation software. This Mac Libguide explains how to use dictation on the Mac (click on the dictation tab). Here is a link to a web page on how to use your voice to enter text on your Mac

Note: You will need a headset with a microphone for Dictation on either a Mac or a PC.

Supporting Writing and Notetaking

Supporting Writing and Notetaking is a website that lists free tools that can help with the writing process.

How do I find the software?

On a Windows PC

  1. Log on to the PC.
  2. Click on the Start Menu, click on All Programs, click on Zen Works application window.
  3. Click on Assistive Technology in the left-hand menu.
  4. Double click on the program you want to use.

On a Mac

  1. Log on to a Mac.
  2. Click on Launch Pad (the rocket icon on the bottom toolbar).
  3. Click on Self Service (you will need to login to Self Service)
  4. Select Assistive Technologies from the right-hand menu.
  5. Click on the program you want to use.

Note: The programs can take up to 20 minutes to install if they haven't been used before on the machines.