Dyslexia Courses Ireland - Newsletter January 2022
Dyslexia Courses Ireland: Update on how to access digital copies of textbooks January 2022
To read and download the January 2022 newsletter please click here.
Digital copies of books are very useful for students with dyslexia as it enables them to see and hear the text. The educational publishers make digital copies of textbooks available. It may be the PDF file of the book with images and graphics stripped out or the eBook version.
There is a problem with the integration of iPad assistive technology software with some eBook versions of textbooks. This may mean the book cannot be read aloud on the device. However the educational publishers are working to overcome this incompatibility. This article describes the situation as of January 2022.
Bookshare Ireland is the largest accessible library in the country available for all people with visual impairment or print disabilities. The service is available to students with dyslexia. Launched in November 2019, it is a partnership between the National Council of the Blind and the Department of Education and Skills. It is a free service for those who qualify with over half a million books, which are available in a range of formats including audio, digital Braille, Word, and PDF. For the student with dyslexia, the EasyReaderApp facilitates dyslexia friendly fonts, increased size of font, highlighting text etc. it is also possible to access audio recordings of books. CJ Fallon and Edco have their books available on Bookshare and Folens and Gill are in the processing of making them available. The other publishers are likely to follow.
If the student would benefit from having the book read aloud, an alternative solution is the use of a scanning pen/reading pen. There are two types of reading pen, the C Pen and the Exam Reader. The C Pen Reader reads text aloud or through headphones. It can also scan and store text and has a dictionary feature. The Exam Reader is a reading pen with only the scan and read facility. The Exam Reader has been accepted by the SEC as a reasonable accommodation in State exams in 2018. Both are available from Ed Tech in Ireland (www.edtech.ie/details.asp?id=16331&ptid=20151). Schools can request a 30 day free trial of the pens from Scanningpens www.scanningpens.co.uk.
The Irish Educational Publishers Association (IEPA) have a Special Needs Access Request Form (SNAR) for students who require access to digital versions of textbooks. This form must be submitted to IEPA members via the following email addresses:
This form lists the book titles and the format requested, for example, eBook or PDF. It needs to be signed by the school principal and parent/guardian. Some publishers also send an educational agreement to be signed.
The process for accessing digital copies of textbooks is outlined below. However their books are also available through Bookshare Ireland.
- If contacted by teacher or parent, CJ Fallon will create and assign an eBook account free of charge for textbooks used in the classroom. If they feel it is being abused, they can revoke the access. The books are same as the printed version.
- The full range of books is accessible, so it is possible to buy revision eBooks.
- They are working on integration with the iPad assistive technology. Access presently is as follows:
On iPad, go to Setting >General>Accessibility>Speech> Turn on Speak Selection. Next open a title in your CJFallonReader app, go to a page you want to read, next click the settings icon on the top right of screen and click on ‘Text Only’, select the text you want read aloud and from the menu provided click speak.
Edco offers students a free eBook with their printed textbooks. It comes with a bank of free digital resources allows students to access their e-book both at school or at home. Ebooks must first be redeemed on www.edcolearning.ie/code using the code on the inside of the physical book before they can be downloaded into the Edco Learning app. Full instructions are located above the code in the physical textbook and additional support can be found on www.edcolearning.ie/support.
Books can be accessed through the Edco Learning app which is available to download free of charge download from the App Store for iPad, Google Playstore for Android and Windows Store for Windows 8 and Windows 10. Users who want to access the books on a different operating system can do so through the Edco Learning web app which is available at www.edcolearning.ie. Both the Edco Learning iPad app and the Edco Learning Web App include text-to-speech functionality within the platform itself, a first for any Irish educational publisher’s platform.
Free eBooks are supplied with the printed version of their books but these do not read the text aloud.
Educate.ie does provide PDF versions of textbooks via download for the benefit of pupils with reading difficulties. The format of the PDF is a full text copy of the book, in the same layout as printed book. Due to copyright, these files are solely for use by the pupil for whom they are authorised. The pupil should have an original printed copy of the book being used in this way.
There is an application form (SNAR) to be completed, which can be returned to Educate.ie via email. There is no additional charge for this service.
Folens are more than happy to assist students that have special educational requirements, and are very proud to be working with Bookshare Ireland in providing this service.
This is available for all students with special educational requirements. This includes visual impairments, learning difficulties or a physical disability that limits a person's ability to read standard print, and is compatible with smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks computers, and assistive technologies devices.
For Primary books, click here to get started: NCBI Bookshare
For Post-Primary books, please reply to this email with your full name and the names of books that you require. We are still working with NCBI in making post-primary content available via Bookshare Ireland, and we are hoping to have this ready soon.
Gill ask that a “Gill Education Agreement and SNAR Form” be filled up and signed. They will then make the PDF versions or eBook versions of their textbooks available.
PROCESS FOR REQUESTING A PDF
If a student is using read-aloud software or other assistive technologies, a PDF copy is provided free of charge. PDFs are compatible with most read-aloud software including ReadWriteGold, Dragon Naturally Speaking and Claroread. A link to the PDF files for the books requested will be emailed or the PDF's will be will be posted out. To arrange a free PDF, please complete and sign the “Gill Education Agreement and SNAR Form” and send the completed forms to Anne Sophie Blytmann by email or by post:
- Post: Anne Sophie Blytmann, Production Department, Gill Education, Hume Avenue, Park West, D12 YV96
PROCESS FOR REQUESTING AN EBOOK
Our eBooks are compatible with PC, Android and iOS devices. Please note these are not read-aloud and cannot be used with read-aloud software (unlike the PDF version).
There is an application form (SNAR) to be completed, which can be returned to Mentor Books.ie (Educate.ie via email). There is no additional charge for this service.
At present the eBooks cannot be read aloud on iPad/Tablet unless the student has installed such software themselves. To access reading aloud, Mentor will provide a pdf and, if the student has software on their laptop, it can be read back.