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Handheld Scanners

Handheld scanners are portable scanning pens that are capable of scanning text and providing text-to-speech feedback. Handheld scanners used for reading support are generally suggested for students who only need occasional help reading unknown vocabulary.

Reading Pens (Wizcom Technologies Inc., sold through Don Johnston) scan either single words or full lines of text instantaneously supplying the user with immediate word support when they are reading. The definition for a selected word can also be provided by the Reading Pen. The scanned words as well as the definition appear on the LCD screen and can be spoken. Speech rate, volume and speed may be adjusted for the individual user.

These devices are completely portable and therefore are easily transported from setting to setting and are beneficial for students who only need occasional help reading unknown vocabulary while reading. Reading Pens provide immediate word support as a student reads text. However, some individuals with fine-motor problems may have difficulty manipulating this type of device. Use of these devices need to be investigated on an individual basis as it differs from person to person.


 Resource Name

Web Address

IRISPen Executive

InfoScan TS Elite



 Vendor Name

Web Address

Onion Mountain Technology

Wizcom Technologies Inc.