Thanks to the development of educational technology, more students with learning disabilities are finding the amenities that will help them thrive in the classroom and in life.
That was the experience of Elle Mae (Ellie) Taylor. A third-year student at a UK university learned during her first year there that she had dyslexia, but found out before that Immersive Reader, a digital learning tool from Microsoft This helped address some of the challenges I faced in school. The tool not only improved their confidence and well-being as the stress associated with learning decreased, but it also opened up more possibilities for their future, including higher education options and ideas about choosing a career.
“What the omnibus reader has done is give me the ability to be on the same level as everyone else,” he says. “It helped me deal with some challenges and made me more successful.”
Elle’s journey towards discovering her full potential as someone who just needed the right tools, techniques, and attention to improve her reading and writing shows how greater awareness and accessible technologies can have a huge impact on learning. For students and in life in general, including people who have no differences in learning. In the United States alone 2.5 million the students They have learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia, which can affect their performance and academic progress and can contribute to emotional conflicts. This is growing exponentially by engaging students in the UK and around the world. But assistive technology can also support how students feel about their learning and performance in areas where they struggle.
Some memories of Elle’s early school include her being treated as less capable than others. She had a cluttered handwriting and difficulty with things like expressing her thoughts clearly about writing exams, so her teachers encouraged her to focus less on academics and more on sports and the performing arts. Although she was talented in the arts, she had a more academic career in mind and wondered if her love for technology, which she excelled at and found innovative and creative, might somehow intersect with that. She became a student excited to learn and do better, but was frustrated by what she felt was a lack of support and solutions.
This continued in part because Ellie did not receive a dyslexia diagnosis until she entered college. Although she had always known that it took longer to process a certain work, it wasn’t among the most common difficulties I’ve heard regarding dyslexia, such as seeing or writing jumbled words on a page.
Things changed when Elle was introduced to the Immersive Reader, which happened when she started using the computer for her studies during the latter part of high school, known as the “Sixth Form” in the UK. Her school’s Department of Access Services told her about the tool, which she says changed the course of her life forever.
Immersive Reader supports diverse learning styles.
Elle has been able to admit her mistakes and improve her work through a variety of comprehensive reader features that she has learned over time. Use the Page Color feature that changes the page background color and font focus to allow users to better focus on one sentence of text at a time, and the Read Aloud feature, which uses text to voice-over to help users hear the sounds of their writing. These and other features helped her better understand the online texts she had to read for school and address sentence structure. Before that, when I had to manually write for assignments and tests, I had to spend more time thinking about how to do it. But features like Dictation in Word let you write articles by speaking them to your computer, making it easier to jot down ideas and then check for accuracy and clarity by listening to them using read aloud.
Immersive Reader also helped with Elle’s self-expression. “I changed the success of my articles. I got out of A-Levels [Calificaciones de nivel avanzado] With the highest rating you can get.” This reshaped his future. “When I started getting better grades, I was able to get into a really good university.”
This gave Elle easier access to the learning difficulties assessment she needed to screen for dyslexia. “When I did a dyslexia assessment, they told me that my reading and writing were very good, so it looked as if I had overcome many challenges on my own.”
Ellie’s professional outlook changed course. Since he was able to use assistive technology like an omnibus reader while taking data and information systems courses, he was able to explore more options and pursue technology as expected. Her increased confidence “led me to be able to apply for other types of jobs in technology or business,” says Elle. Apply for an internship at Microsoft, hoping to learn and do more in the use of technology to increase access and equity for students.
Now, Elle thrives as an intern at Microsoft and still uses Immersive Reader to check emails before sending them, and in other small ways in everyday life. At Microsoft, Elle has been involved in a variety of jobs. She appeared with the Microsoft Education team to help customers identify Microsoft Education solutions, including accessibility tools, that might benefit them. She also founded TechHer Coding Day, to make sure the day is accessible, to provide resources and guidance aimed at encouraging more women and non-binary students to pursue a career in technology.
“I think it can help in a number of ways,” Elle says of Immersive Reader, including relieving stress for students who are “very stressed and overwhelmed” these days. “I can help any student. I don’t think they need dyslexia or any other learning disability,” says Elle. “I think if more students knew about it, they would use it.”
With Microsoft’s built-in learning tools, students around the world can get the assistive technology they need. Learn more about how to do it Microsoft Learning Tools It can benefit your students.
Tags: accessibility, education, educators, universal reader
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