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Read&Write and EquatIO Review by Renita Kuehner

600 Unicorn Park Drive
Woburn, MA 01801

As a homeschool teacher of students with special needs, we have spent a lot of money on accommodations. I constantly change curriculum out that is not working or stops working. Recently we had the opportunity to review a wonderful product to help students with reading and math from Texthelp. Read&Write and EquatIO have been such a wonderful tool. I wish we would have had known about these years ago when we first started homeschooling. What a lot of frustration we may have avoided!

Read&Write is a program from Texthelp that allows students and adults to have webpages and documents (including PDFs, Word, and Google documents) read to them. This is an excellent resource for students with reading delays, dyslexia or vision impairments.

Read&Write is a special program that you download onto your computer, but it was super easy to do. The interface is extremely user friendly, and even those with reading delays can use the bar independently since the buttons used are simple images that are commonly associated with those functions. Such as a forward arrow for the play function. We were easily able to highlight text on forms and pages and Read&Write would read the highlighted areas to us, including my emails!

I liked that it highlighted the words as it read, so students could follow along and keep their attention on the screen. I know if we use audio books, Caty has a tendency to allow her thoughts to be distracted since she doesn’t have anything to really follow along with. So, the highlighted text kept her attention where it should be, on the books we were using. She could follow along on the screen of the PDF textbooks that I had purchased and downloaded. I simply clicked on the start of the pages I wanted her to use and Clicked the Play button. She was able to review textbook material without struggling to read them.

Don’t worry about being tied to a specific device. If you have one subscription, you can use it on multiple devices. I initially downloaded on my laptop, but Caty has her own machine. I was worried about the amount of time she would be on my machine and when I would get my work done. I was very happy to discover that we could sign her into our program subscription on her machine also.

There are many features that Read&Write offers to users. Word searches through the internet using highlighted text, and spell check for documents. I liked the help features that are included. There is an online book that you can search your questions in, very user friendly with guided step-by-step. But also, several video tutorials that I was able to watch if we were stuck on a feature.

Caty has not started diving into creating papers for the editing features, but these would be very helpful to upper grade students. If you do have learning disabilities and are trying to tackle writing papers for high school or college, Read&Write offers help with word check, word prediction, and even vocabulary. These features will also help adults in their work/office settings.

We also were able to play with a wonderful math feature called EquatIO. EquatIO allows students to have their math problems read to them and also input them into documents or papers they are working on. It was created to work exclusively with Google Forms or Google Docs. It also helps students to create charts for papers.

You can use Read&Write and EquatIO with Mac or Windows computers so you are not restricted to one system. Be sure to check out this amazing program for students and adults with learning struggles. I really wish I would have had this ten years ago when we first started homeschooling!

-Product review by Renita Kuehner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018