Thank you, TechOWL, for your dynamic dedication to raising AT awareness and providing technology recommendations along the way.
TechOWL, the Pennsylvania AT Act Program, has once again gone viral. The program is bringing assistive technology to mainstream social media consciousness with TikTok videos celebrating assistive technology.
TechOWL’s outreach success is so dramatic that conventional media outlets have taken notice, reporting TechOWL’s videos have received more than 2.6 million likes and 15 million views!
This is great news for all AT Act Programs because TechOWL often references (and makes referrals to) the network of State and Territory AT Act Programs of which they are a part.
This is also great news for Dyslexia Awareness Month!
Tom DiAgostino, TechOWL’s Outreach and Training Coordinator, is the creator of many of TechOWL’s videos and last week he posted “Apps for Dyslexia,” a video with a mere 3,821 views… so far. Tom has dyslexia and earned both his BA and MA writing in three languages (English, Spanish, and Portuguese)! His video highlights the AT tools he used to succeed. AT3 Center is amplifying his message with this post and providing links to his recommendations.
But first, what is dyslexia?
“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.” – International Dyslexia Association
“These difficulties have no connection to their overall intelligence. In fact, dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader.” – Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity
Now, Tom’s recommendations:
Speechify reads aloud articles, PDFs, digital text or physical books with high definition voices in over 50 languages. Hardcopy may be scanned using your device camera. Digital text may be imported. Syncs your library across all devices. Speechify was created by a developer with dyslexia. $139.99/year after a three-day free trial. A Speechify Chrome extension is available.
TikTok commentators also recommend NaturalReader which is available for iOS and Android and has free and premium versions.
Grammarly suggests grammar, spelling, and punctuation corrections across web-based platforms such as email, Google Docs, and social media. Grammarly also suggests sentence structure revisions and alerts users to the tone of their writing. Free and premium versions are available.
Read a book each month, plus additional unrestricted content, with the Audible app. Audible features real human readers, often a book’s author, synced to text if a user also purchases the ebook on Amazon. $14.95/month after a 30-day free trial.
TikTok commentators also recommend Libby, the app that accesses free audiobooks from participating local public libraries (iOS and Android); and Libro.fm, a way to buy many of the same audiobooks available through Audible (Amazon) but from a user’s local independent bookstore (a membership is also $14.99/month, as with Audible).
Below is Tom’s TikTok video, “Apps for Dyslexia” posted for TechOWL:
Happy Dyslexia and Learning Disability Awareness Month!
TikTok for #Assistive Tech Outreach? from AT3 Center News and Tips
AT for Reading Everything at Work from AT3 Center News and Tips
Reading Assistive Technology – the What, When, Who and Why (from the AT3 Center)
Assistive Technology for Reading (from Understood.org)