North East Lancashire Dyslexia Association
As a regional dyslexia association, we believe it is important to help children and adults who struggle with literacy skills develop their ability to type as an alternative to writing with pen and paper. Typing is a useful skill for people with dyslexia and those individuals who have dyspraxia, where fine motor skills coordination can be a problem.
We were looking for typing software that would teach keyboarding, but also help students make progress in terms of literacy skills development. We chose Touch-type Read and Spell for this reason, and because it worked well for learners of different ages.
Our youngest trainee was 8 and our oldest was well beyond middle age, yet both found the program equally accessible.
TTRS quickly became an essential part of the services we offer. The aspect of the program that most impressed us was its ability to enhance reading and spelling abilities in students, while also instilling confidence.
Particularly for adults who struggle with literacy skills, it can be difficult to admit there is a problem and even harder to seek help in the form of private tutoring. Therefore, the fact that our mature learners could learn independently with TTRS meant they had access to literacy support without the embarrassment they might feel in a classroom setting.
We additionally noticed our students gained a sense of achievement from their typing lessons. Progress developed gradually over time, but after each session students could review their results from individual modules. This helped greatly with motivation.
TTRS further provided an opportunity for students to enhance their metacognition, sensory integration - using their senses smoothly to carry out literacy skills - and phonological awareness - recognizing and using the sounds produced in speech.
The program was so successful that we were able to introduce it as a group training activity at the Tramway Offices of the North Lancashire Training Group, at workshops in two local schools and as part of the local education offerings for young offenders.
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