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Advanced Reading and Writing Aids

Advanced reading and writing aids allow students to use one software program in order to both complete reading and writing assignments. Most advanced reading and writing aid software programs allow teachers or students to create electronic materials by either importing digital files or by scanning books or text using a scanner and presenting them on a computer screen. Most of these programs include optical character recognition (OCR) capability which, upon scanning, converts document images and PDFs into editable text.

Advanced reading and writing aids provide text-to-speech like the talking word processing software and will allow users to have the text read as they write. They also include a variety of other features such as displaying an exact copy of the textbook page as it is being read. Word processing with word prediction support is also a component of an advanced reading and writing aid. Other features integrated into many of the software programs are the ability to select font size, font color, background color in the text view, and the ability to choose the type of visual tracking support. There are also several study skills features available such as highlighting text in different colors, definitions, pronunciation support and the capability of making different types of notes. All of these programs enable students to access text-to-speech on the Internet through the software. The advantage of using one of these programs is that students only have to learn to use one software package instead of having to layer numerous programs in order to get the reading and writing support needed.

Frequently used advanced reading and writing aid software includes Kurzweil 3000 (Kurzweil Educational Systems), WYNN (Freedom Scientific), Read & Write Gold (TextHelp), and SOLO (Don Johnston). Kurzweil 3000 WYNN and Read & Write Gold all include optical character recognition software so they can scan documents and usually saves them in that specific program format. However, Read & Write Gold is a toolbar that works on top of Microsoft applications, so it usually saves its documents in Word (.doc) format. Although SOLO does not provide OCR software, it will open documents that have been formatted as pdf, rich text, text, Daisy, and xml formats.

Advanced Reading and Writing Aid software can be beneficial for students who need support in both reading and writing. This includes students with print disabilities, physical disabilities, and writing deficits.


 Resource Name

Web Address

Kurzweil 3000 flash demonstrations

Read & Write Gold Guided Tours

SOLO Quick Card

WYNN Tips Sheet



 Vendor Name

Web Address

Kurzweil Educational Systems

(Kurzweil 3000)


(Read, Write and Gold)

Don Johnston


Freedom Scientific