Dec 082013

Kindle Tablets are Perfect for Children with Reading Disabilities or Dyslexia

What makes the Kindle Tablet perfect as assistive technology for children with reading disabilities?

I picked the Kindle Fire for my personal choice because of the huge library of books available for use on the Kindle, but there’s a lot more to the Kindle than a large library.

More about the Kindle for Reading Disabilities below, but I did want to mention, if you’re interested in other strategies for reading, you may want to check out other Assistive Technology for Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities too!

Kindle Fire’s main reading accessibility features are:

  • The ability to read any book using the built in text-to-speech functionality,
  • The ability to change page contrast to be black text on white, white text on black, or a low contrast sepia background for the text,
  • The ability to change the display brightness,
  • Whispersync capability which coordinates your Audible Book edition with the text edition of a book and provides text highlighting of words as they are read aloud,
  • The small size of the “Mini Tablet” is ideal for small hands,
  • As well as an extensive library of available books and apps.

There are other accessible features as well, but these are the best features when using the Kindle tablet for reading disabilities as a reading assistance device.

I really like the Kindle reading voice in the device’s text-to-speech feature. The voice is a little bit mechanical, but the voice is far smoother than most computer-based voices and is a pleasant female voice.  The text-to-speech programming uses good pausing at periods and commas, as well as good inflection for questions.

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Kindle has Great Learning Apps to Practice Phonemic Awareness and Writing

One of the other great aspects of the Kindle is your ability to install Android Apps that can be used by your child to practice phonemes in a multisensory manner.

As part of the Orton-Gillingham method for overcoming dyslexia is to have a child trace, recite, and hear the sounds a letter represents simultaneously.  There are APPS for THAT!

With the Kindle’s touch screen, your child can practice tracing letters with his finger while saying the phoneme aloud.  With some apps, your child can the phoneme read aloud too as he traces the letters.

There are even apps for kids with apraxia, math skills practice, building memory, etc. The wide variety of available apps for learning makes the Kindle tablet a top choice for kids with reading disabilities.

There are TOO MANY Educational APPS for Kindle To List!

Here are a few Kindle Apps that are Good for Phonemic Awareness and Writing practice:

I LOVE my Kindle and use the accessibility features even though I don’t HAVE to.  The Kindle is lighter and easier to handle than the bigger tablets, and that will be particularly important for your child if he’s in elementary or middle school.  A high school student may like the small size, or may prefer a larger tablet.

Some of the competitor tablets at this time do not have the built-in or pre-installed text-to-speech capability, but I’m hoping they all eventually get there. While my top choice is the Kindle tablet for reading disabilities, there are other small tablets that offer similar features, and providers are moving towards disability-friendly technology.  The best is yet to come, I’m sure!

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