Andy Fell has been a disability assessor for over 20 years. Originally a rehabilitation officer working with people with visual impairments, Andy has worked at Guide Dogs for the Blind and Microlink and was one of the first visual impairment assessors for the Disabled Students’ Allowance.
These days he is a Workplace Assessor, a senior associate trainer for the British Dyslexia Association and an expert witness in tribunals.
He was a fan of Claro software from the very beginning because he could see that a facility to tint the screen would be of use to people with dyslexia and could help those who experience visual stress.
‘I like Claro software because it is just so easy to use,’ said Andy. ‘Instead of putting a host of different functionalities in one product, every element is simple so users can pick it up and get going straight away. This is so good for their confidence. I think the ClaroPDF is excellent; it is popular for dyslexia and VI and for anybody who wants to annotate a PDF whether they are disabled or not.’
These days people do not necessarily have a laptop at work – or even their own desk – so workplace assessors need to find solutions that are portable and adaptable. ClaroRead can be installed on a USB pen drive instead of onto a desktop or laptop. No more negotiating with the IT department or waiting for someone to install files on a machine or a profile. This means that employees now have control over the tools they need to do their job and can use ClaroRead to scan documents, capture text and convert it to an audio file that they can listen to later.
It is used by workers in many industries including some you might not expect. ‘Firefighting is one example. It is a very practical job,’ said Andy. ‘My role is to make sure firefighters with dyslexia can complete written reports and cope with the study units they need to advance their career. Often there will just be a couple of PCs in the crew area for all staff to use so those with dyslexia just pick up their USB and go online to write up their reports without needing extra support.’
A relatively new product – ClaroRead USB Creator – means that if they lose their USB stick, they can go online and download ClaroRead onto a new 4GB blank USB drive. They just need to keep a note of the serial number.
ClaroRead can make a real difference to individuals. Andy found one social worker who had not submitted an expense claim for over a year but once she had ClaroRead she caught up and very quickly realised just how much money she had been losing. ‘ClaroRead makes people more independent,’ said Andy, ‘and it can also save them money!’
You can now create a totally portable ClaroRead on a USB stick. Using it is super simple: just insert your personal ClaroRead USB into any Windows or Mac computer, run ClaroRead from the stick and you have the whole program and extras – reading Word and PDF, high-quality voices, OCR and scanning, scan from screen, screen tinting and more.
Demonstrate ClaroRead on a student or client machine. Use ClaroRead on your machine without having to install it. Lend ClaroRead out while a laptop is being repaired. Run ClaroRead anywhere you want!
On a Windows PC you can make a ClaroRead for PC USB stick that runs on any Windows PC. On an Apple Mac you can make a ClaroRead for Mac USB stick that runs on any Apple Mac.
Your licence key is good for two of your personal devices, so you can create your personal ClaroRead USB even if you have used the key to install on a Windows or Mac machine already. You can check your key at https://www.clarosoftware.com/get to find out how many times it has been used.
The whole program – any version of ClaroRead, including ClaroRead Plus – is installed on the USB stick and will run on any Windows machine (for ClaroRead for PC USB) or Mac machine (for ClaroRead for Mac USB) – just you plug it in. You don’t have to install anything or be an administrator.
We really want our software out there being used by people who will benefit: we hope personal ClaroRead USB sticks will help.
Are you an accessibility professional? Do you want to have your own personal ClaroRead USB stick? Get in touch to get you your own ClaroRead licence key!
ClaroRead for Mac has been updated to V6.1. Download ClaroUp to update your version 6.0. Read on for more details.
New: Mac USB Creator
You can now use your ClaroRead Windows or Mac key to download and make your own version of ClaroRead for Mac on a USB drive. This is a great way to transport ClaroRead around to use on shared computers which might not have it installed. See the ClaroRead USB page for more information.
Improved: Scan from Paper
Rather than launching Image Capture, Scan from Paper now launches a scanner window for you to complete your scan and converts the scanned image immediately into the format and location of your choice.
Select “Scan from Paper” on the toolbar:
Select your scanner and click the Scan button:
When the scan is complete, choose the name, location and file type of the result. ClaroRead will remember these for future use:
View the Scanning tutorial video to find out more:
A New Integrated Optical Character Recognition engine – ClaroRead Plus for Mac now includes its own integrated optical character recognition engine which gives you the rapid Scan from Screen function to capture any inaccessible text, as well as quickly converting scanned files to accessible PDF, Word and text files.
New Scan from Paper feature – you can now quickly launch the MacOS Image Capture app and immediately get to scanning in physical documents and creating accessible, digital copies of them using “Scan to ClaroRead”*.
New Scan from PDF/File feature – using the new Scan from PDF/File feature you can convert PDF or image files to fully accessible formats, so that ClaroRead can then read aloud. You can also scan inaccessible files and create editable output formats, such as DOCX. Supported output formats are PDF, DOCX, TXT and RTF *.
New Scan from screen feature – with the new Scan from screen feature you can select an area of the screen to be read with your mouse and ClaroRead will quickly and accurately scan your chosen area and read it aloud. You can now instantly read anything on your screen as well as copy it to the clipboard.
Launch ClaroRead with PDF and image files. ClaroRead now supports opening of PDF and image files directly, so you can choose a PDF/image file, right-click and select Open With, choose ClaroRead and it will launch ClaroRead and start the file scanning process.
New extra app – ClaroSpeak. ClaroSpeak is a supportive reading and speaking app that read PDF files, Microsoft Word document, text files and more, aloud, with synchronised highlighting. When you open a document in ClaroSpeak, the text of the document gets copied in to the ClaroSpeak window and then you can also edit any text. ClaroSpeaks built-in text prediction and echo features can help you maintain accurate typing.
Fixed an issue that could cause text in Microsoft Word documents to be removed when speaking them and quickly moving/switching between different documents.
Fixed an issue where some prediction items were being spoken twice.
* indicates features only available in ClaroRead Plus
Another short but really useful video from the great Codpast blog goes through the stand-out features of ClaroRead for Windows PC. Proofing, reading, positioning the floating toolbar, shortcut keys, saving text to audio, spellchecking and homophone checking are all demonstrated in double-quick time.
A great article and recorded webinar by Arran Smith, a dyslexia expert and adult with dyslexia. A long-term ClaroRead user, he describes how ClaroRead can help with reading and spelling, benefits for school pupils, and use in exams.
ClaroRead for Mac V5 is the latest version of our reading and writing support tool for Mac. ClaroRead for Mac is designed to support individuals who struggle with reading and writing. Users of any age and level of ability will have a world of information unlocked through ClaroRead.
New in ClaroRead for Mac V5
Nuance Vocalizer Voices
ClaroRead for Mac now includes 8 high quality Nuance Vocalizer Voices. Click on the following links to hear audio samples of the voices.
ClaroRead Plus and Standard include 8 high quality voices.