The SQA states:
In relation to the National Literacy Units at all levels:
(i) exemption from demonstrating any of the four assessed skills of reading, writing, listening or talking will not be a reasonable adjustment and (ii) using human readers and scribes will not be reasonable adjustments where reading and writing abilities are being explicitly assessed.
The rationale behind this is that the provision of a human reader and/or a human scribe would undermine the fundamental assessment objectives for reading and writing and would not secure that the National Units in Literacy provided a reliable indication of the knowledge and skills of the candidate upon whom they are conferred. It would not be possible to maintain public confidence in the National Units in Literacy if learners are given credit for ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ when that process has been carried out by someone else.
In order to minimise the disadvantage faced by some disabled learners in attaining the National Units in Literacy, the use of word processors and other assistive technologies such as screen readers, spell checkers or speech-recognition software would be acceptable as reasonable adjustments.
I have been doing some testing with the in-built speech recognition on a Windows 7 Lenovo ThinkPad E530. I used an Andrea USB Mono headset and from a test yesterday think the correct headset makes a huge difference. Have a look at the short video clip here to see it working. (slightly wobbly filming as was self-videoing)
It’s not perfect as I excitedly stated in the video clip but it’s good and could be something that could benefit many of our students. Could this be a possibility for them to use instead of dictating to a scribe for the Literacy Unit assessment?
You can try it for yourself on a Windows 7 laptop or PC. Click on the Start icon then type in ‘Speech Recognition’ in the Search box. Work your way through the set up – I skipped the tutorial and so did no ‘training’ of my voice and still got very good results.
Let me know what you think!