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Parents Need to Know
Read & Write is a simple yet powerful program that goes above and beyond your standard text-to-speech tool: It helps kids read independently, comprehend more of what they're reading, see and listen to definitions of unfamiliar words, and highlight important sections. When they're writing, it can help them find the words they’re looking for, hear and check their spelling, carry out and organize research, and even translate from Spanish or other chosen languages. Depending on where your kid needs the most support, they may only end up using a couple of the tools, but there's lots of great help available whenever they want it.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- text analysis
Thinking & Reasoning
- collecting data
- problem solving
- thinking critically
- identifying strengths and weaknesses
- work to achieve goals
- academic development
- achieving goals
- asking questions
- multiple forms of expression
Engagement, Approach, Support
Frustrated kids having difficulty reading and writing will be very excited to get their first experience of successful reading and a chance to keep up with their more skilled peers.
Read & Write empowers kids to independently find, read and understand information with its supplementary tools; it’ll help them develop life-long skills.
A quick-start guide is available for beginning users, as well as a detailed FAQ and training guide in PDF form.
What's it about?
Read & Write is a text-to-speech program that gives kids a set of tools to hear difficult words aloud, see corresponding pictures, listen to definitions, and better understand what they read. All options are accessible in a toolbar that works with any Windows application. You can choose from three sets of icons to identify the tools, each with or without text. Customized sets of tools are available for reading or writing. Additionally, tutorials and training curricula are available. Cool features include Screen Masking, which frees you from distraction by highlighting the exact part of the page you're focusing on while masking the rest of the screen.
Is it any good?
It's excellent. More of a set of tools than a single application, it offers a wide variety of supports for any reader or writer. Although each separate utility is well integrated into the program as a whole, many kids will use only a few of the tools, so the toolbar can be customized to show only what they need. The spoken reading voices are clear and customizable, and the clean interface as well as super-accessible help videos for most tools make it very easy to learn.
Read & Write's tools are powerful for all kids, but they make a huge difference for those with disabilities who may have been really struggling with the whole reading experience. It enables kids to go ahead and access the important information they might be missing otherwise while improving actual reading skills at the same time.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
- Explore the different tools in the program together and figure out which ones will help your kid the most.
- Encourage recreational reading (perhaps try a Bookshare.org subscription) to help them experience the fun of independent reading.
- Use simple texts or emails to show your kids how they can correct their own errors with the writing tools.