A new font is available for dyslexic learners

OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles.

OpenDyslexic is created to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to indicate direction. You are able to quickly figure out which part of the letter is down which aids in recognising the correct letter, and sometimes helps to keep your brain from rotating them around. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent confusion through flipping and swapping.

This font has been installed remotely on all school computers.  It should appear in the long list of fonts offered in Word.  Please contact the IT Service Desk (ITServiceDesk@eastlothian.gov.uk) if you do not have it installed and you would  like to try it out.  Any other questions, please contact Shirley Lawson (slawson@eastlothian.gov.uk)

 

 

Translated comments for Home School Communication (Polish)

This extremely useful collection of bilingual comments was originally produced by the EAL service in Moray and was added to the resources provided on the East Lothian EAL website. 

It attempts to cover all situations when teachers need to communicate with parents and provides an easy to use format. Short comments in English and Polish and can be printed off as required , glued into the homework diary or even posted or e-mailed home.

 It has now been updated by the St Andrew’s Learning Community who have edited the Polish and presented each comment in its own box ready for printing.

 Even if you are acquainted with this resource please look at the updated version. .There are also comments in Chinese and Russian.

 Just follow this link:

https://sites.google.com/a/www.edubuzz.org/english-as-an-additional-language/information-for-parents-in-polish

Many thanks to Janet Storey for providing this valuable information.

Ease your reading problems by listening to the text instead

We have Word Talk installed on all school computers which allows text in a Word document to be spoken back.  Word Talk (as the name suggests) only works with Microsoft Word.

 All the high schools had Read and Write Gold 8 software which offered this text to speech functionality plus many other useful literacy support tools. With the move to Windows 7 computers, Read and Write Gold is no longer fully compatible and the cost to upgrade is prohibitively expensive.

 Ivona MiniReader is a free simple text reader which adds a floating toolbar on the screen and can read out text from almost any program – Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, web pages etc.. MiniReader can use the free Scottish voice Heather and Stuart and most other voices on your computer. 

It is hoped to remotely install it onto all East Lothian school computers but if you would like to try it out prior to this universal install then please email slawon@eastlothian.gov.uk  I have instructions to issue on how it works and how it can be best used.

Holiday break on offer for families affected by disability

Epilepsy Scotland is delighted to announce the purchase of a luxury caravan based at Seton Sands in the Lothians.

The caravan is available for booking both by families and by individuals affected by a disability and on a low income.  It can sleep up to six people for a one week stay between March and October. 

A one-off administration fee of £40 is payable which covers the use of all the caravan’s facilities.  A free entertainment pass for on-site entertainment is also included. 

 This opportunity to have a short break can make a huge difference to an individual or family and can contribute to everyone’s health and wellbeing.  The purchase of the caravan has been made possible thanks to a generous grant to Epilepsy Scotland from Spifox.

 If you would like to find out more please look up our website www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk, email caravan@epilepsyscotland.org.uk or phone 0131 226 5458.

New website for young learners of English as an Additional Language

Have a look at this fun website Anglomaniacy. It has word games, quizzes, songs, printable worksheets and other resources for parents/carers and teachers.

This is a website produced in Poland with a great variety of resources for vocabulary and grammar for all pupils learning English. There are interactive grammar games to reinforce patterns and these are accompanied by a Polish translation.  There are good worksheets and games to help teach Christmas language.

A Polish version of the text is also available at the click of a button so it supports bilingualism and would be useful for parents to use at home.

For lots more resources to support young learners of English as an Additional Language, check out Janet Storey’s excellent website here.

W i d e r s p a c i n g can help dyslexic pupils

Spreading the letters of words a bit farther apart helps dyslexic kids read more quickly and make fewer mistakes as they read, a new study shows.   ( Read the full report here )

While the strategy isn’t a cure for dyslexia, which causes the brain to process information differently, researchers say it may help some children with the condition to read more easily, a key to helping them become better readers and learners overall.

Therapists agree that one of the best long-term remedies for the reading difficulties of dyslexia is practice. But because reading is so frustrating for these children, practice is often a tough sell.

“The consequence is that children with dyslexia read very, very little. We give the comparison that a child with dyslexia reads in a year what a normal reader reads in two days,” says researcher Johannes C. Ziegler, PhD, director of research in the cognitive psychology laboratory at Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France.

East Lothian teachers can access more information and useful resources to support pupils with dyslexia  at the Additional Support Needs Info Hub. (http://asnhub.www.edubuzz.org  –  Google Apps log in required).

East Lothian Support for Learning Conference 13 – 15 June

On the 13th – 15th of June, support for learning teachers from across the authority will gather for a conference in Haddington. The theme of the event is supporting pupils in mainstream classes. The wide and varied programme includes sessions delivered by staff from our school as well as presentations from Dr Margaret Crombie on Dyslexia and Moira Park, DHT at New Struan School. The conference also offers teachers an opportunity to share ideas and issues away from the demands of school.

For further information, contact Linda Gaughan lgaughan@eastlothian.gov.uk

ICT and Inclusion Day at CALL – June 14

 Coming to  Edinburgh in June 2012 ICT and Inclusion is Scotland’s leading annual exhibition with a focus on the use of ICT to support learners with additional suppport needs. This year’s roadshows are being held at CALL Scotland, University of Edinburgh, 14th June CALL Scotland and BRITE, the organisers of the event, have arranged for up to 25 of the UK’s leading suppliers of software and technology to support students with additional support needs to take part in the exhibition and to give a short presentation on their latest products. 

There will also be short presentations by staff from BRITE, CALL and local schools, colleges and services, illustrating the use of technology to support learning. Equipment and software on display may be of interest to adults with disabilities and the people who support them. It’s Free! The days are free to attend and run from 8.45  until 4 pm. Lunch is provided for people who book in advance.

 There will be a prize draw at the end of each day, with prizes including software, iPad apps and other worthwhile items. Make sure you stay until the end of the day to have a chance to win a prize!

Book online at www.ictandinclusion.org.uk 

 

New accessibililty features in Google Apps

Google has recently made some important accessibility enhancements within Google Apps for Education. 
Google Docs and Google Sites have new keyboard shortcuts and better screen reader support with support for two screen readers: JAWS and ChromeVox.  Members of the blind community can now use JAWS, VoiceOver and ChromeVox within Google Calendars to manage your calendars, create and edit events or simply browse your events.

For more information on Accessibility within Google go to https://www.google.com/accessibility/