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You are in: Home > Articles > Software for dyslexia

Software for dyslexia


Software to support learners with dyslexia can be divided into two broad categories: programs to help and support people with writing, recording and reading; and programs to provide opportunities for learning and practising skills.

Supporting writing
Utility programs used alongside word-processors can help people write by offering help with finding and spelling words and by checking completed text. When not available as standard, speech output can be added to programs to help by reading words back to the user.

Word entry utilities can be used with a word processor giving the user help with writing by providing word banks and lists on the screen, or by using an overlay keyboard. These can take different forms; word prediction programs that offer suggestions that change as the user types; others give fixed lists from which words and phrases may be chosen.

These utilities can help some, but may confuse or slow down others by interrupting the flow of their writing. These programs often require a trial period before benefits are seen, and some of the more powerful ones may require careful setting up to suit the individual.

Speech output utilities can be used to read back text as it is written or when completed. It can be a valuable check for meaning and for some types of spelling mistakes. Spell checking is commonly available although some may benefit from specialised checkers designed to help with typical mistakes.

Here are some programs that offer support for writing:

Handwriting for Windows - An effortless way of producing worksheets and other documents in simulated handwriting with the correct letter shapes and joins.

Handwriting for Windows

Penfriend XP, Penfriend XL (Windows) - A prediction program to be used alongside a word processor. The predicted words can be used along side Clicker grids.

Spell Checking, Thesaurus and Dictionary

TextHelp - A floating toolbar that adds speech feedback, phonetic spellchecking and word prediction to practically any Windows program.

TextHELP Read & Write 10

Touch Type on-screen typing tutor that works at the user's pace. Has a full picture of the keyboard on-screen, teaches the home keys first and then introduces the others through a range of exercises.

Touch Type

UltraKey5 - a clear and straightforward typing tutor that directly instructs students in the art of typing, providing them with regular and useful feedback.


In addition to prediction programs, on-screen programs such as Clicker and Wordbar V2 can be used to create word banks to allow single click entry of whole words and phrases.

Clicker 5

Software for skills practice
There are very many programs designed to provide opportunities for people to practice and develop spelling skills. Among these are a number that have been developed, or found to be especially useful, for learners with dyslexia. Suitable software should allow you to choose the age level, words used and type of activity. Good software will allow you to set up examples that will help with the individual's specific needs.

InSound comprehensive classroom programme devised to help develop phonic skills. InSound is a unique way of computer-aided teaching, integrated with a quality of activity that encourages learning independence.

Numbershark 4 contains 30 games which can be played with the user's choice from a large number of carefully graded and structured sets of pre-recorded topics.

NumberShark 4

StarSpell 3 can be tailored to help with a wide range of spelling difficulties. Includes learning activities based on the well-tried Look-Cover-Write-Check approach to spelling. Words are spoken (by a human voice).

StarSpell 3

Wordshark 4(PC) contains games which use sound and graphics and text to emphasise word recognition. The games provide high motivation and interest.

Wordshark 3


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