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Assistive Technology with Mark Woodward of Dyslexia Box

The Hive hosts a monthly masterclass where we get the opportunity to learn from an industry expert about dyslexia and its impacts.

This month we got to speak with Mark Woodward, the Head of Occupational Delivery at Dyslexia Box. For those that don't know, Dyslexia Box is a company that supports organizations to understand better and help their neurodiverse employees. They work directly with employees delivering workplace assessments, coaching, training, and access to work. Dyslexia Box also works on the organizational level to help companies with their neurodiversity policies, audits, disability confidence, and so much more.

Mark talked with the community about assistive technology! While we can't hit on all the fantastic things discussed in this Hive-exclusive Masterclass, we want to discuss two major takeaways and some cool tools.

Finding Your Solution

Mark leaned into the idea that every person with dyslexia needs a solution tailored to their specific struggles. Just giving a dyslexic employee Grammarly and telling them to crack on is not the right solution. He emphasized that tech is not the only assistance employees need, such as colored sheets for screens or a whiteboard for notes.

Understand Most of The Tool

When you get a piece of assistive tech, it is tempting to want to learn every single feature and utilize all of them! Mark says don't! He explains that as a person with dyslexia, you only have a limited amount of mental processing power. The goal should be to utilize tech to decrease how much energy it takes to complete a task. Mark's example was that with a tool like Dragon, users have a speech-to-text function and a voice control component (that allows you to open Word and print something using your voice, etc.). To use voice control, you need to memorize commands to instruct the computer on what to do. Utilizing those commands will add to your brain's processing power, not decrease it.

Tools Mark Recommended:

Speech-to-Text Tools:
Text-to-Speech Tools:
Note-Taking Tools:
Mind Mapping Tools:

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