Self Advocacy in Three Parts: 2 - Know Your Needs
Self Advocacy in Three Parts: Part Two - Know your Needs
If you are an adult with dyslexia or another LD, and you've obtained a formal evaluation, you may have a very clear idea of what types of supports you may need in an academic setting or on the job. If you have not obtained a formal evaluation, you may still have a pretty good idea based on the struggles you experience and how they impact on your life. Are you overwhelmed with the amount of text and reading requirements that you have on the job? Do you struggle with spelling or getting your thoughts down on paper in email correspondence or in report form? You may have developed some daily work-a-rounds too, in an attempt to manage at home, but perhaps you haven't explored using these same tools at the workplace or in your college classes.
Assistive Technology can help
Many dyslexics find the use of assistive technology valuable. Assistive Technology, or AT, may be defined as any item, piece of equipment software product or system which is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability. It does not include a medical device which is surgically implanted or the replacement of such a device. Assistive technology can be low tech, moderate or high tech. A highlighting pen is an example of a low tech choice, a moderate or high tech tool might be an electronic spell checker or speech recognition software.
Some adults are unsure of where to start with assistive technology and are reluctant to embrace it. If you are interested in exploring assistive technology and learning how it may be of help to you on the job or in the higher ed setting, visit Jamie Martin's Assistive Technology website HERE.
Try this exercise. Jot down any tools that you currently use that help you to manage on a daily basis. This might be a spell checker, a built in text to speech on your phone or another item. Also jot down any tools you may have seen or heard about but havent tried yet that you'd like to explore. A sample list might look like this:
- I find it easier to record notes in the class or at business meetings.
- I find I work best with digital notes in doc. form that I can refer to and a text to speech product with.
- If notes are in PDF form, the use of an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) app or scanner is helpful to me to prepare text for text to speech.
- I find it easier to jot down key points and graphics when I take notes in meetings or in lectures so a note taking device like a note taking pen might be helpful.
- I need to sit in the front of the meeting room close to the presenter or in the front of the class during a lecture for better focus.
- Background noise really bothers me, so the use of noise cancelling ear-buds or headphones would help me to concentrate on my work.
- A Screen Reader and/or text to speech software program would help me to access text more efficiently.
- Calendar apps on my phone and desktop help me to stay organized.
- A voice to text program for professionals might help me to effectively keep up with email and written correspondence on the job or to write papers for class.
- Spell checkers, word prediction software and grammar checkers would help me to function best.
- Apps to help me to stay on task (timers, etc...) might help to increase my productivity.
Jamie Martin's Website - http://www.atdyslexia.com/assistive-technology/
Headstrong Nation's Strength and Attitude Assessments - http://headstrongnation.org/adults/map-your-dyslexia
Self-Advocacy in Three Parts: Part One - Know Thyself - http://headstrongnation.org/community/blog/self-advocacy-three-parts-1-k...
Self-Advocacy in Three Parts: Part Three -Getting What you Need - http://headstrongnation.org/community/blog/self-advocacy-three-steps-3-g...
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