Handy Book App for Android tablets and phones

On the Helpline we have just been alerted to this new product.The product information says,

“Handy Book is an eBook reader that has been designed especially for people with dyslexia and poor sight. Handy Book makes reading easier, less tiring and more enjoyable. You can download a free demo or pay £4.95 for the full licence. This may be refundable if you are eligible for one of the Government schemes mentioned below.

Handy Book has a simple interface allowing you to easily change the background colour, font style and size of text. It also has a highlighter bar that helps you focus on one line at a time.

Many dyslexics struggle with identifying words so Handy Book features a simple dictionary that allows you to select a word and see the definition. Handy Book can also read the definition out loud.

HandyBook supports ePub and FB2 eBook formats. Books can be easily downloaded from third-party eBook websites using Handy Book’s built-in bookshop. Many classic titles such as Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes are available for free.

Handy Book also allows you to view your own documents in DOC, RTF and plain text formats.

During trials at a UK secondary school, Handy Book was tested with a group of dyslexic children from years 7 to 11. The group as a whole showed an improvement of between 16% to 650% in the amount that was being read and a 50 – 300% improvement in the level and time of focus for reading.

“In conclusion, the Handy Book reading app has proven to significantly improve the way students who struggle with one or several aspects of reading actually read. All of the students showed a significant percentage increase in the amount that was read throughout the individual students reading sessions.” – Miss E. Wakely, Senior Dyslexia Tutor

Now get HandyBook for free! If you live in the UK and are registered as having dyslexia you may be eligible to reclaim the cost of HandyBook and an Android tablet using one of the following government schemes:-

Access To Work – for employers of registered dyslexic employees to reclaim the costs of anything that helps them to perform their job. Seehttps://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

Disabled Student Allowance – to help dyslexic students reclaim the cost of anything that helps with their education. See https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

Please contact us if you require any more information about how these scheme can help you.”

Dyslexia Awareness Evening in Salisbury

Parents, pupils and school staff are invited to an evening of dyslexia awareness.


Join us for the Wiltshire premier of the film ‘The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia.


There will also be an informal discussion afterwards to find out more about dyslexia in Wiltshire.


‘’Launched at Sundance Film Festival in 2012, and directed by Robert Redford’s son, James Redford, ‘The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia’ is a film that addresses the misconceptions surrounding dyslexia and aims to inspire and help those with dyslexia , along with their families.’’




This event is FREE !



Date: Monday 3rd November

Time: 6:30pm

At: The City Hall, Salisbury



Doors open at 6:15pm, PG certificate, 52 minute running time.

New scholarships for teachers and SEN support staff

Jean Hutchins has alerted us to the new round of funding for SEN staff in schools. Here is the link:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-scholarships-for-teachers-and-sen-support-staff

– and this is what it says! NB the four week application time starting today!

Teachers and special educational needs (SEN) support staff will from today be able to apply for funds from the National Scholarship Fund worth up to £1 million to develop their specialist knowledge and skills.

For the fourth year running, teachers can bid for up to £3,500 while SENsupport staff can bid for up to £2,000 to fund training which will improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs.

The application window for the fourth round will open for 4 weeks from 30 April. To date £7 million has been made available through the fund, benefiting almost 2,000 teachers and support staff in schools across the country.

Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said:

We believe that a teaching profession that values continual professional development is crucial to raising standards in our schools.

These scholarships – alongside other reforms to improve teacher recruitment and training – will help deliver our objective to raise the status of teachers.

Donna Frost Phillips, a successful applicant from the third round of the fund, said:

The fund has allowed me to undertake the specialist dyslexia training course, which I would not have been able to do without this funding. The course is having a direct impact on the literacy development of the learner that I am working with through my training.

The school will have a specialist teacher on site, which means children and teachers will have access to specialist advice teaching, meaning they won’t have to buy in specialist support.

The outcome of the fourth round will be announced in August 2014.

Notes to editors

The National Scholarship Fund is open to all qualified teachers and SENsupport staff in eligible schools. Applications are assessed against stringent criteria and verified by a panel of experts.

Applicants are assessed on the following criteria:

  • priority specialism of SEN
  • support from school – teachers and support staff are required to demonstrate support from their school in terms of accessing resources and being able to carry out activities within and outside the school

The guidance National scholarships for teachers and SEND support staff has more information.

The bursaries will fund up to 50% of a training or development course, up to a maximum of £3,500 for teachers and £2,000 for SEN support staff.


South Hants Patoss meeting – June 17th – new venue

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF VENUE to that advertised in our latest magazine.

The meeting will now take place at Hounsdown School, Jacob’s Gutter Lane, Totton,  Southampton, Hampshire .SO40 9FT

A ‘hands-on’ demonstration of Crick Software will take place, followed by the AGM. Crick software  is suitable  for Primary, Secondary and home use.

Contact : southhantspatoss@hotmail.co.uk to book your place.

Going to University with dyslexia? About the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

Who is eligible?

Higher education students living in England with any of the following:

  • disability
  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia (or other SpLD)

What is it?

A non-means tested, non-repayable grant to cover specialist equipment and non-medical helper support.

In dyslexia terms this usually means:

  • specialist 1:1 support from a dyslexia-trained professional
  • assistive software such as text to speech or mind-mapping applications
  • digital voice recorder

How can I apply?

You must have a full diagnostic assessment report done since you were 16 by a specialist assessor with an assessment practising certificate – either a specialist teacher (STA) or an educational psychologist (EP).

Exam Access Arrangements reports are not enough. Your school or college may be able to advise, or you can find a list of specialist assessors through the Hampshire Dyslexia Association or PATOSS.
Try to book early – many assessors do not work over the summer.


A full diagnostic assessment will give an up-to-date insight into your pattern of strengths and weaknesses and clearly state whether you have dyslexia. Assessments typically cost between £350 and £600; STAs are usually cheaper than EPs.  If you also have any medical condition it will help if you get medical evidence from your GP and add it to the same application.

The application process

This can seem a bit daunting – but it is worth persevering.

If you are applying to Student Finance England (SFE) for your student loan, you will also apply to them for DSA and you can use the ‘short’ DSA1 form.
Part-time, self-funded or postgraduate students must use the ‘full’ DSA1 form.
Health Sciences students with an NHS bursary apply to the NHS for DSA.




  1. Send your application to SFE with a copy of your full assessment report.


  1. If your application is accepted, they will tell you to book a ‘needs assessment’. The Wessex Needs Assessment Centre covers the local area: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/edusupport/wnac/


  1. Your needs assessment report, outlining the support you will need, will be sent to you and to SFE. Check your emails!


  1. SFE will send you a letter or email telling you what funding they have approved and give you instructions for ordering your equipment.


  1. SFE will pay suppliers direct – you do not have to get involved in that side of it. The NHS will credit your account and expect you to order, pay and send them the receipts.

Accessing support at University

Whichever university you go to, it is essential that you register with the dyslexia support services as soon as possible after you enrol.
Take your diagnostic and needs assessment reports with you.
If you have already arranged your DSA, the specialist advisors will be able to help you book specialist 1:1 support and also make arrangements for additional exam arrangements. If you have not been able to get a full diagnostic assessment, they should be able to arrange this – take your old reports with you. The cost may be cheaper than ‘going private’ – it depends on individual university policy – but it is unlikely to be free.

Useful websites:


Jane Warren, MSc (SpLD), AMBDA, APC

Specialist Dyslexia Practitioner and SeniorTeachingFellow
University ofSouthampton

Adult Dyslexia Report

In the 40 years that the British Dyslexia Association has been campaigning there has been many changes in the world of dyslexia, some of them good.

In light of this milestone, the British Dyslexia Association has produced a report looking back at the last 40 years and has made recommendations for the future.

In partnership with The Dyslexia Foundation and after consulting 100 organisations, this report is a wide ranging and comprehensive assessment of the current provision for adults with dyslexia.

The link to the full report is here:


Lack of evidence puts the brakes on SEN reforms

See this link to the Times Educational Supplement: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6304966

Edward Timpson, Minister, admits pilot work on the changes is still ’embryonic’. There is particular concern about the costs of implementing this important new legislation and on seeing the effects of the first education, health and care plans as they are coming into fruition nationally, in the pilot schemes.

The Minister  announced the extension of the SEN and Disability Pathfinders for 18 months to run through to September 2014. The Minister made this statement while giving evidence to the Education Select Committee on the proposed SEN and disability reforms.

The Minister stated that “the overwhelming view is that we are moving in the right direction, but we want to get this right and if that means listening for a little longer, then we will do that.

The Minister also assured the committee that families’ current protections under the existing statementing system will be carried through to the next system. This includes the right to request an assessment, which within the provisions will be extended to GPs also.

New JCQ Access Arrangement regulations

Thanks to Jean Hutchins for alerting us to the new JCQ Access Arrangements regulations. I am particularly interested in the one about being allowed a screen reader in papers testing reading. It is allowed because the candidate is able to work independently. Here are the links:

Department for Education: New JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications)
22 August 2012.

Some of the main changes are:

* The JCQ mobile phone poster only needs to be displayed outside the
examination room.
* A candidate is allowed to use an electronic bilingual dictionary.
* A candidate is allowed to use an iPad or tablet where provided by
the centre.
* Prohibited electronic communication/storage devices now include
wristwatches with a data storage device.
* An invigilator is allowed to read the question paper rubric to
* Centres are able to record candidate attendance data through their
management information system (MIS) and submit a centre generated
attendance register to an awarding organisation.
* A computer reader is allowed in a paper or sections of a paper
testing reading.
* The instructions for conducting controlled assessments document has
been revamped to provide subject teachers, examination officers and
heads of centre with a single definitive source of generic guidance
and instructions for all GCSE subjects.
* Modified enlarged paper formats have been amended to A4 modified 18
point bold and A4 modified 24 point bold.

leading to:
with details of access arrangements, including use of iPads if normal
means of working.

and a link to an order form for 2011/2012 Patoss guide.



Trial of Spell Read & Write System

Mavis Kerrigan – an Independent Learning and Communications Consultant, who lives in West End, near Southampton – is looking for 6 people to trial her Tutor-Coach Training programme. It is aimed at Parents, Carers and Tutors who would like to help others read, write and spell successfully.

As this is a trial, Mavis is offering her skills at a much reduced price.  The course will involve 5 days over the next 5 months with email and phone support as you develop your teaching. If you pay for all 5 sessions at the start then the cost is only £225. The first day is going to be either Saturday May 19th or Wednesday May 23rd, and Mavis would like to know your preference as soon as possible.

To find out more:

Phone Mavis on 023 8046 6679.
Evenings between 6.30pm and 8pm (Not Sat/Sun)
Mornings between 8.00am and 9.30am any day
or e-mail maviskerrigan@gmail.com

Claro launch their first app – ClaroSpeak

I’ve just received this on the Helpline from the Claro Support team:


Claro Software is pleased to announce the launch today of our first app –

ClaroSpeak™ is the first assistive technology app from Claro Software,
available on iOS for iPad or iPhone. ClaroSpeak is a high-quality text to
speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human
high-quality voices. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in
sync with the spoken words – and a great range of colour and font
settings to allow for optimum reading. ClaroSpeak is available in a wide
range of languages and voices, for different countries, via the Apple App
Store. ClaroSpeak is a quality app for proofreading text through listening,
helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from
any text.

Click here to see ClaroSpeak in action with our overview video –

To find out more go to the ClaroSpeak Web Site – http://www.claro-apps.com

To purchase ClaroSpeak, go to the ClaroSpeak App Store Page –