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!
One of the most common queries we get for ClaroRead for PC is “What’s the difference between ClaroRead Plus and ClaroRead Pro?” And indeed they have similar features – reading, proofing, and scanning/OCR. ClaroRead Pro also has “Advanced Scanning” – but what does that mean?
Of course, there is a comparison chart to help, but we thought it might be helpful to create a short video to explain the key differences – the proofing dialog and the advanced save options. View it here or watch it on YouTube:
We have tested ClaroRead and our other Windows PC programs with the new Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, released 2 August 2016, and can confirm that there are no known problems and that our software is compatible with this new version of Windows. If you encounter any problems do please contact us.
Our Windows software as of August 2016 includes (but is not limited to):
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.
‘I have problems reading black text on a white background,’ said Sarah. ‘It tends to go blurry and I need a blue overlay. I’ve got really poor handwriting. I am quite a good reader but I am very slow and my spelling is atrocious!’
Sarah is a student at Hereford Sixth Form College. Last year she took some extra GCSEs and this year is studying A-level history and AS Health and Social Care. She has problems keeping pace with the reading required and getting her assignments finished on time. Learning Support Assessor Shaneagh Moriarty suggested that she try ClaroRead software which is freely available to any students at the college.
‘I was introduced to Claro my second year at the college and I use it on a laptop. I’m using it to read web pages, college handouts and any work that I have written. If I hear a voice reading my essay back to me, I can see if it makes sense.
‘I have been using it for about 18 months now and I’m noticing a big difference. I can finish my work faster. I hold more information in my head and it’s even helping me with my spelling as I hear the word and see it written on the screen at the same time.
We have updated ClaroRead for PC so it runs more smoothly and easily than ever. We’ve improved features, including spellcheck, reading and scanning. But we have kept it as simple as it always has been to get on with reading and proofing and working. ClaroRead 7 has been shipping in the UK since August and is now generally available for download world-wide.
You can get the latest ClaroRead by logging in to ClaroRead Cloud and entering your ClaroRead licence key. You can then download ClaroRead 7, any of our other Windows programs, any of our 80 high-quality text-to-speech voices in 30 languages, and even ClaroRead for Mac!
If you own a copy of ClaroRead but don’t have a licence key, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get one. Note that ClaroRead 6 or 7 keys work just the same – you don’t need a new ClaroRead 7 key if you have a ClaroRead 6 one already.
We are committed to keeping up with the latest technologies. ClaroRead 7 (and ClaroRead 6) – both support the latest Microsoft Office 2016 and Windows 10.
We are also excited to announce ClaroRead Chrome, a Google Chrome extension that provides text-to-speech and screen tinting for any webpage in Google Chrome on Windows, Mac or Chromebook – including speech with highlighting in Google Docs. It is currently free in the Chrome Web Store so get it now: