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  • Writer's pictureJames Kieft

Microsoft Immersive reader - part of their learning tools

What is it Accessibility is key consideration for all software creators as they strive to ensure they cater for the needs of all users. Immersive reader is part of Microsoft free learning tools and it is now available as part of Word online and OneNote online. It can be accessed by going to the view menu. How it works It enables a user to alter the appearance of the text by increasing its size, spacing and font style from Serif to San serif. It is also possible to alter the background colour either to be black with white text or to have a colour overlay from a wide range of colour choices. Research has proven that some Dyslexic users find the contrast between black text on white writing makes it harder to read and the use of the colour overlays reduces the contrast make the text easier to read. Immersive reader also allows the user to highlight nouns, verbs, adjectives and the adverbs with them being highlighted in different colours. Words can also be broken down into syllables with dots appearing in between the letter to show how the word is broken down when speaking. The Line focus tool allows the user to highlight one line or multiple lines making it easier to follow the text as reading. Finally the text can be read to the user, by pressing the play icon. Is possible to alter the speed of the Reading and whether it is a male or female voice. When to use it I can see Immersive reader being a really useful tool for both students and teachers and not just for those who have Dyslexia. Student could use it to aid them in proofreading their work, by using the play feature to have it read to them. Or they could simply increase the size of the text, alter colour of background and change the font type to make it easier for them to see more clearly especially if tired. Teachers could use it in similar way to aide them in review student work when it come to marking. Here is my walk through video guide:

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