Any one know of Gadgets and software

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screengreen
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Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by screengreen »

I have finally bitten the bullet and have gone a head with my access to work assessment, they are due to be contacting me although my advisor only put down dyslexia urgh!!! ](*,) anyway judging by last experience the assessment produced a shopping list so I thought If I knew what was available then I could steer the assessment so I get something useful out of it, sadly you have to be out of work to get an assessment by an occupational psychologist [ to see what's stopping you get a job] .... no prevention there then!
Any way my shopping list so far is:
would be something to turn the screen green [ a high tech version of an overlay]
a tablet that you can write on normally with a stylus and a diary so I can have a continously updated to do list rather than writing a new one every day
Something to stop me being distracted by noise [ I sometimes use ear plugs]
Mind mapping software
address book software for said tablet easier than my muddle of numbers in my diary.
a book chair to prop notes on to write reports

Is there anything that anyone else would add to my shopping list? Also does anyone have any tips for getting an assessment that gives practical advice at work that actually makes a difference thanks to all in advance!
Jim
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by Jim »

You have some pretty good suggestions here.

I have to say that once I achieve my move into admin (it's taking it's damned time...) then I'd definitely consider some of those items for myself, specifically;

The the book stand to prop papers on when I'm typing or inputting data
The tablet or my smartphone to create the address book and diary
ear cancelling earphones, although this would also be a hindrance in many cases
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Tom fod
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by Tom fod »

Hi Screen

There's a piece of software called virtual reading ruler that will give you a variably sized coloured bar across the screen. The version I've seen cannot be typed through though.

Not sure about overlay software but googling Irlens + software site:.uk (the last bit should restrict to UK based domains) may produce some ideas/leads

Mind mapping: There's a package called Freemind and possibly another called Mind Manager (?) Some training in how to use the packages/mind maps in general might also be useful

a book chair of document holder could also be provided as a result of a DSE assessment too.

Noise canceliing headphones both Bose and Sennheiser both make these. I'm sure there are other brands.

Speech to text/text to speech software might also be a suggestion. Configuring them to work well can be time consuming and things like background noise level in your workplace can affect their function.

Most tablets will probably have an inclusive diary and/or combined phone/address book app. Others will be available for download. Finding one you can learn to use and which suits you is more a personal preference. Microsoft Outlook /One Note may already be installed on the PCs where you work and using those might make syncing more easy.

They might suggest a mentor and drawing up a disclosure document which tells prospective managers what things you have difficulty with and how they can get the best from you.

The apparent assumption? that your difficulties are entirely dyslexic is a little concerning!

All the best
Tom
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screengreen
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by screengreen »

Thank you for your suggestions these seem like some very useful ideas thanks again.
Tim G
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by Tim G »

Yes it is concerning that they only said / mentioned about dyslexica but it may be that they have not heard of dyspraxicia or just did tests focusing on dyslexia as they don't know about dyspraxicia

I have software such as Read And Write which is does a lot regarding spell checking, reading what you have written, dictionary etc. I have also used a mind mapping program called inspiration - I found it very helpful espshliy when doing uni work etc.

Yes I don't know about overlay software but glasses are a lot better I find not just for computer / desk work but for every day use as if you anything like me and light sensitive they are grate (not substitute for sunglasses though as people often think they are).
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screengreen
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by screengreen »

Hi Tim,
in an ideal world I would agree that glasses are better but somewhat off putting to my service users to have a woman with green glasses working with them!
to Everybody else I have had my assessment, done by a very knowledgable gentleman, who agreed with me about the tablet but explained that there would be compatibilty problems with anything worthwhile as the NHS is not on windows 8! so he'r recommending a laptop and docking station, some software which will do spelling and grammar checks to a higher standard than normal, and that it can have a tint set up too, he is also recommending a book chair additional equipment to keep in the car (as I keep forgetting mine) and the inspiration package and some training in organisational strategies with the emphasis that if I did not want to complete the training I did not need to, and to get back in touch if it does not work and they will reassess. Just worried that people will be jealous of me and that I will get bullied as I have been in the past! thanks for all the advice Screen
Tim G
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by Tim G »

that sounds helpful about the software and computer etc - it should help.
I don't think that your co workers will have a problem about it as hopefully they are mature enough to understand, i mean we are adults and out of school where this childish behavior is.
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Andrea
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by Andrea »

We have a great program at work that was actually recommended by a parent. It is called Claro. It is mainly a screen reader but also has a speaking spell check, screen overlays that don't get in the way, screen rulers etc. Well worth a look. You can get a short free trial to download.
screengreen
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by screengreen »

Thank you for that. I should be getting something similar but am awaiting the report from the access to work advisor, mind you if what he suggested does not work I could try this thanks again
JohanMidas
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by JohanMidas »

A second monitor is a must. It should be for anyone working in an office, but especially good if you have any problems with working memory & organisation, as it allows reference material to be displayed on one monitor and whatever you're working on to be on the other monitor. No more frequent flicking between screens needed.
The free software program TimeLeft is recommended by at least one book I've read.
The idea of working to a '10+2' pattern might be worth considering: 10 minutes actively working; 2 minutes break. Continue for one hour and you've managed 50 minutes in 5 manageable chunks, which is more than most people.
Tim G
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by Tim G »

A 2nd screen is really beneficial, i worked with one when I was at unie and it really helped to organize the work flow - i.e. have information on one screen while writing on the other - it saved switching between internet view to word etc.

The other thing that isent really a gadget is having a big desk (space permitting) that way you can spread things so they are there in front of you to see and access easily. Then again I could see this being a nightmare if there is too much - having space most often means using it all.
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Peardrop
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Re: Any one know of Gadgets and software

Post by Peardrop »

I find listening to my ipod can block out a lot of the office background noise and I have explained this to my manager who is totally cool with it. I find this means I can "zone in" on what I'm working on and is almost like putting myself in a invisible bubble from what is going on around me. That said I do keep it quiet enough that I can hear my desk phone ring and don't use it all day, just when I'm struggling most - so I don't isolate myself from colleagues. I know this might not help some people, as the music itself could be more distracting, but I find this easier than hearing several telephone conversations around me.

I also pin things to the little partition boards around my desk - maybe you could use a cork-board or similar.

I'm also considering getting a small dry-wipe board so I can have a easier to update to do list.
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I write my blog on my everyday trials and tribulations - I'd love any feedback on whether people have encountered similar situations.

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