How OCR tools can help students with dyslexia and learning disabilities
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology has a lot of applications in the education domain. OCR-based tools and technologies help students with dyslexia and learning disabilities overcome their learning challenges.
OCR tools are completely changing the way students with learning disabilities are used to approach their learning needs. The advancements in the OCR help convert the learning material into a digital format that can be manipulated to make it easier to understand for students.
Let’s talk in detail about OCR and how it has been helping students with dyslexia and learning disabilities.
What is Optical Character Recognition?
OCR technology analyzes a picture with text written on it, recognizes the characters in it, and converts them into a digital format. The text can be read aloud or converted to speech.
OCR-based tools help extract text from a digital image whether it is created digitally or taken from a camera. Students who find it hard to read the text because of dyslexia can benefit from this technology as the OCR-based tools help convert the text to speech. The image to text and the text to speech conversion are two of the most prominent applications of OCR.
How Does OCR Help Students with Dyslexia & Learning Disabilities?
Web-Based OCR Applications
The most popular application of the OCR tools is the web app based on optical character recognition. These tools are an excellent alternative to a traditional scanner.
Students with learning disabilities can use an OCR to convert printed material to the digital version. After that, the students can make changes to the digital version to make it easy to understand. For example, students who find it hard to read from the paper can convert the text to digital format using the OCR tool.
After that, they can use the text-to-speech converter to listen to the text instead of reading it, which makes learning more interactive and fun for the students.
Text to Speech Conversion
The Text to Speech conversion technologies rely on OCR for character recognition. These tools read the world aloud for visually impaired students.
Students who find it challenging to read or listen to the text can use a text-to-speech converter to listen to the text. They can adjust the volume and make it louder so that it becomes easier for them to listen to the text.
Image to Text and Text to Speech Converters go hand in hand. These tools are highly recommended for students with dyslexia who want to improve their learning experience. Educators can use these tools to enhance the learning experience for their students as well.
Changing Font Size, Type, and Colors
By changing the text to the digital format using OCR, you can edit the text to make it easier to read for visually impaired students. You can increase the font size, use an easy-to-read font type, and choose the colour the student feels comfortable with when reading the text.
You can make these changes using any word processor that you want. But first, you’d need to extract the text from the image using the image-to-text converter. Once you have extracted the text, you can start making the changes to it to make it easy to read for dyslexia students.
You might need to try various font sizes, types, and colour combinations to find the one that works the best for your students. Each student might have a different preference for an optimal learning experience. So, you will have to do a lot of testing to find the right font size, type, and colour to use.
Changing the Background and Highlight Words
Students with severe learning problems might find it hard to read complicated words. They might not even be able to read the simplest words as well.
You can use the image-to-text converter to change the background colour of words and highlight the ones that are difficult to read for the students.
This will force the students to focus more on the highlighted words and to say them properly, as compared with the text that they find easier to read.
You can also create extra spaces between words, lines, and sentences to eliminate any kind of potential confusion for students with learning difficulties.
You can organize the text extracted using an OCR tool to make it easier to access for the students. For example, you can use digital bookmarks on the document containing the text.
This way, it will get easier for students to move from one place to another on the document. For example, using the bookmark, students will find it easier to move from the table of contents to the chapter that they want to read.
Without OCR, the students will have to go page-by-page till they get to the chapter that they want to read. And even then, it will be quite difficult for them to read the text because of the lack of reading facilitation.
Benefits for Visually Impaired Students
The malleable nature of the digital text makes it ideal for learning for visually impaired students. Unlike printed text, digital text can be adjusted to meet the preference of the student.
OCR technology has paved the way for easier learning for visually impaired students. The text that you extract from a printed piece of paper using OCR technology can be edited to make the font larger and easier to read for visually impaired students.
With enhanced readability, students with visual impairment issues can learn difficult concepts easily, without a lot of physical effort.
OCR Online technologies are improving at a fast pace. The developers of these technologies are working hard to find new ways to make learning easier for dyslexic people and the ones suffering from issues such as visual impairment.
If you or someone around you is suffering from learning disabilities, they can take help from OCR tools to facilitate their learning process. If you have any questions regarding OCR technologies, feel free to reach out to OCR Online.