Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Apr 04
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by Jess

The Intel Reader, the mobile assistive technology device that converts pictures of text to speech, began with a cell phone. The creator of the Intel Reader, Ben Foss, who is a Stanford grad and has dyslexia, wanted a way to make all text accessible to those with reading-based learning disabilities like dyslexia and blindness or low vision. “I was sitting at my desk and holding a cell phone wondering if I could get it to take a picture of text and have it read it back,” says Foss.  

Since then the Intel Reader has been through many incarnations, including the first prototype – a cut-up Styrofoam cooler with a taped-on lens. At each step of the way, the design has been guided by accuracy, convenience and discretion.

Now available to parents and educators direct from manufacturer via Facebook and through Intel Reader resellers, this device has evolved to be a portable, flexible assistive technology tool. The Intel Reader is about the size of a paperback book and is designed with a high-resolution camera.  A user takes a picture of printed text; the Intel Reader takes about 30 seconds to process the picture from text to speech. Words are highlighted on the screen as they are spoken, creating a dual sensory experience. Its content management system lets users store material in a way that makes sense. Its small size and portability allows users to read freely in all aspects of their lives.

Independent testing group, SRI International found that the Intel Reader played a powerful and significant role in helping students read and answer questions on a passage that was judged as significantly more difficult than the average reading grade level of the students in the study. In fact, under certain conditions it can be expected that students using the Intel Reader could increase their reading comprehension test scores by as much as 23 percentage points. That’s the equivalent of moving from an F to a C!

Other benefits of the Intel Reader include:

  • More freedom with the ability to read printed materials anytime, anywhere.
  • Greater flexibility, using the Intel Reader to access a wide variety of printed materials and to read and manage content in the ways that are most convenient for them.
  • Independence, privacy and confidence by handling reading tasks for themselves, without having to wait for assistance.
  • Increased productivity and achieve more with fast, efficient access to the printed information they need at work or school and in their daily lives.

For Foss, as well as parents and educators, using the Intel Reader means immediate access to printed text, instead of waiting for accessible material to be available from institutions or dragging around heavy tools. “We need to be able to control our own access,” Foss says.

To learn more about the Intel Reader, like their Facebook page and visit the Care Innovations Community and the Intel Reader product page. The Intel Reader is for sale on Facebook and through resellers.

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