Understanding Assistive Technology jargon related to neurodiversity


Understanding Assistive Technology jargon related to neurodiversity

Introduction


Here at Aventido, we are passionate about the positive impact that assistive technology (AT) has on the lives of those that use it. We want to do our utmost to ensure that if you were looking at the technology that we represent, you would be able to have all the information that you need in order to make a recommendation or purchase decision that meets the needs of the user perfectly (or at least as close as possible!).


In this blog article, we are going to share some of the jargon that is used within our industry, define it, and list which of our products sit within that group of products.


This article will be useful to anyone who is new to AT or who wants to have a list of definitions that they can refer to.


Let’s delve deeper into Assistive Technology.


Text-To-Speech (TTS)


TTS is simply technology that is used to read out text. Some might refer to it as a screen reader within some contexts.


This technology is useful for those who have a cognitive or visual impairment that makes it difficult to ‘eyeball’ text and comprehend what that text is conveying.


The video below is a useful demonstration of how a TTS product can be used:

Contexts within which a TTS product could be used are:


  • Proofreading a document on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

  • Reading out an email or message.

  • Reading out the text on a website.

  • Using TTS to read out printed text e.g books, signs, printed documents, and text in photographs, in conjunction with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology (see below).

  • Converting text into a recording of the text being read out e.g revision purposes or listening to information on the go.

TTS is useful if text is difficult to read or if one struggles to focus on staring at text. Reading out text allows the user to not be ‘chained’ to a desk and so be able to listen to the text whilst they adjust their position or walk around.


Who uses TTS?


Anyone who finds interacting with text difficult and uncomfortable in terms of vision, cognition, and concentration.


Which product at Aventido is a Text To Speech product?


At Aventido we talk to our customers about ReadSpeaker TextAid – Click here to find out more.


Optical Character Recognition (OCR)


Optical Character Recognition software is used to digitise printed material and can be used to make digital content more accessible with TTS technology.


Contexts within which an OCR product could be used are:


  • Digitising an exam paper so that the questions could be read out.

  • Digitising printed articles so as to be able to access the text (for editing) or to be read out (TTS)

Who uses OCR technology?


Anyone who wants to manipulate or read out text that exists in ordinarily inaccessible text formats.


Which product at Aventido is an OCR software Product?


At Aventido we talk to our customers about ABBYY FineReader PDF– Click here to find out more.


Speech-To-Text


Speech-To-Text software is technology that replaces the use of a keyboard and mouse for that of one’s voice. Often referred to as ‘dictation’ features, speech-to-text can be used not only as a way of writing text on an electronic device such as a PC or smartphone, but it can also provide an alternative way of accessing computer operating systems and the apps that they utilise.


The video below illustrates how speech-to-text can be used:


Contexts within which a speech-to-text product could be used are:


  • Replacing the need to use a keyboard and mouse on a laptop by using speech.

  • Generating text in electronic documents using one’s voice.

  • Navigating an operating system on a laptop using one’s voice when it is not physically possible to use a keyboard and mouse.

Speech To Text provides an alternative way to generate written content when other ways are physically or cognitively difficult to use.


Who uses Speech To Text technology?


Anyone who would find using their voice as a faster, more comfortable way of interacting with a PC or Mac device to navigate apps or to perform productivity tasks such as writing text in word processors or spreadsheets.


Which product at Aventido is a Speech To Text product?


At Aventido we talk to our customers about Nuance’s Dragon software– Click here to find out more.


Mind Mapping


Mind Mapping software aids visual thinking by providing a range of visual strategies for noting down and manipulating information. As this is a digital format, the information put into a mind map can be used to aid productivity and organisational skills.


Contexts within which a Mind Mapping product could be used are:

  • Expressing ideas and learning onto a visual structure that can then be converted into an essay or report.

  • Noting and manipulating tasks for a project or event ultimately producing a Gannt chart from which to plan activities and collaboration.

  • Researching ideas and visually manipulating those ideas into topics.

Who uses Mind Mapping technology?


Anyone who would find it more comfortable to view thoughts and ideas in a non-linear and visually creative way from which documents, essays, reports, and timelines can be produced.


Mind Mapping technology has been found to be really useful for people who are neurodiverse who find linear thinking quite overwhelming or who experience ‘writer’s block’ when they really need to be productive. It can help with reducing procrastination and increasing concentration and focus.


Which product at Aventido is a Mind Mapping software Product?


At Aventido we talk to our customers about MindMeister– Click here to find out more.


Word Prediction


Word Prediction software helps users to write accurately with spelling and grammar and often this can be done in real time. It often helps with improving creativity and productivity as it reduces anxiety surrounding spelling and grammar.


Contexts within which a Word Prediction product could be used are:


  • Writing essays at college that are marked with spelling and grammar criteria.

  • Writing emails to important contacts where poor spelling and grammar can affect ‘first impressions’.

  • Accurately completing webforms.

  • Saving time and improving productivity in many contexts.

Who uses Word Prediction technology?


Anyone who finds spelling and grammar tasks difficult or who experience anxiety about spelling and grammar causing them problems with those who read their written work. Equally, if productivity is affected by poor spelling and grammar skills then using a word prediction program can help with saving time and producing better-quality written work. Students and employees mostly use word prediction technology.


Which product at Aventido is a Word Prediction software Product?


At Aventido we talk to our customers about Lightkey– Click here to find out more.


E-Learning


An ‘E-Learning’ platform is a piece of software that provides training to the user. In the content of assistive technology at Aventido, an e-learning platform is training the user on the use of assistive technology that has been awarded to them to ‘help level the playing field’ at University or within the Workplace.


Contexts within which a Word Prediction product could be used are:

  • A student who has received training from the Disabled Students’ Allowance for their assistive technology but needs further training to refresh what they have learnt at a later date.

  • A workplace employee who has received training from the Access To Work Scheme for their assistive technology but needs further training to refresh what they have learnt at a later date.


Who uses Word Prediction technology?


Individuals who has been awarded assistive technology to support your needs within University or the Workplace who need to refresh their training on assistive technology.


Which product at Aventido is a Word Prediction software Product?


At Aventido we talk to our customers about:


DSA – FindMyFlow – Click here to find out more.

Access To Work Scheme – atWork – Click here to find out more.

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