A survey by the National Institute of Health showed that 15% of Americans (about one in seven) are diagnosed with learning disabilities. These are neurological disorders that affect both adults and children. They can impact their ability to recall and organize information, reason, spell, read, and write.
Learning disabilities are no indicator of intelligence. They are merely a difference in how a person’s brain operates. Many people with learning disabilities are just as smart (if not smarter) as others in their peer group, their disability simply affects the way they process and implement information.
Fortunately, Scanmarker is here to help people with learning disabilities reach their full potential.
What is Scanmarker?
Scanmarker is a hand-held OCR reader that can read printed text back to its user in real time. It can also convert the printed text to digital, inserting it into a word processing program. This text can then be altered for easier reading. This is helpful for any user with problems reading printed text, whether due to a learning disability or a visual impairment. It helps them bypass that obstruction, presenting the text in a way they find easier to understand.
What is OCR?
OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It is used by a number of devices and applications to read printed text. First, a piece of writing is scanned by an optical reader. The software in the device recognizes the shapes of letters, numbers, and special characters used in the document. It converts these characters into a piece of digital text, ready to be used in a number of ways. The digital text can be read back as an audio file, imported into office software, or translated into different languages. It all depends on the device.
What makes Scanmarker different from other OCR devices?
In the past, OCR readers were quite bulky things. Usually made up of a flat-bed scanner, they would “read” a page of text at a time. This often took a while, and was not always reliable. Indeed, early models only recognized text if it was printed in a certain font.
The Scanmarker is a leap forward for OCR devices. For a start, it is a hand-held device that fits easily into a purse or pocket. This means it is available for the user when they need it. Whether in a classroom or office environment or when reading for pleasure at home, the Scanmarker is there for you.
Secondly, it recognizes and converts text in real-time. Old OCR devices would scan an entire page and you would have to wait for the software to catch up. With Scanmarker, you simply run it over a line of text and it will read back to you as it goes, or convert to digital text.
Thirdly, as well as reading printed text, its built-in, high-quality digital scanner also scans handwriting and pictures. These are saved as digital images that can then be imported into other software at your leisure. This allows a user to magnify handwritten notes on their computer screen, or otherwise manipulate the image until it is legible.
How does Scanmarker help people with learning disabilities reach their full potential?
Among learning disabilities, difficulty mastering basic language and reading skills are common attributes. Once the Scanmarker device has scanned a piece of writing and converted it into digital text, this can be manipulated by the user in a way that best benefits their condition.
Digital text to word processor
Once you convert printed words to digital text with your Scanmarker, you can then import it into a word processing program. From there you can alter the text directly, to make it more readable. Size, font, color, and arrangement can be changed with a click of the mouse. Something as simple as changing the typeface can make a difficult piece of printed text easier to read on the computer screen.
Many people diagnosed with certain learning disabilities also experience another condition: visual-perceptual disorder. It is sometimes called Scotopic Sensitivity, Meares-Irlen Syndrome, or Visual Stress. No matter what it’s called, it means the same thing. These people have difficulty with words and numbers written on regular white paper. Often, this can be helped by changing the color of the page. With Scanmarker, you can import the digital text into your word processor and simply change the background color. This allows the user to read the text more clearly.
Digital text to speech
The most popular Scanmarker applications is its text-to-speech facility. It converts written text to audio output in real-time. This allows users with learning disabilities that affect reading to experience the information in another way. Unlike some OCR solutions, Scanmarker reads your text back in a natural, human voice. You can even rewind the audio feed, so you won’t miss any important information.
This function doesn’t just aid learning disabilities that affect reading ability. It is also useful to those diagnosed with ADHD and related conditions. Some users have no problem reading and interpreting the writing set before them. Rather, they find it difficult to concentrate on what they’re reading for any length of time.
Audio readings of the text allows them to experience the writing passively. This can often remove that particular neurological roadblock. Being able to rewind the audio feed also helps. It means they can recap any information they may have missed on first listen.
Independence and assurance
Scanmarker is a leader in OCR technology. It has a level of scanning and conversion accuracy that is second to none. Being a hand-held device that looks like a pen, it doesn’t stick out in a classroom or office. This allows people with learning disabilities to use it with confidence, encouraging independence and self-reliance.
For more information on Scanmarker devices and how they can help with learning disabilities, contact a member of our team today.