Wordshark

Evolution has brought true inclusion for 'Wordshark 5' users, writes John Galloway 
Wordshark has long been a perennial of the teacher’s toolbox for literacy. It has an enduring familiarity which sometimes brings pleasant surprises.

While Version 5 appears much the same as previous versions, the developers haven’t stopped building on its firm foundations to continue to create something even more useful. It is one of those programs that started out in quite a specialist SEN niche and has now grown into something much more inclusive.

Sal McKeown meets a dyslexic educator with no time to waste – Sean Douglas

I have just come across a brilliant site for adults with dyslexia. A Google alert flagged up that a site called The Codpast was reviewing and giving away some copies of one of my favourite apps, ClaroSpeak Plus.

"Assistive technology is game changing," says the site's director Sean Douglas. "Speed is of the essence. I am a very fast touch typist and I don't want anything to hold me back." He set up The Codpast (Podcast for the non dyslexic among you), an online resource with videos, podcasts and articles for students and adults with dyslexia.

Special schools and parents have an exciting new free magazine with a world view
Special World magazineSpecial schools and all who work with them get a brand new glossy and interactive publication of their own to download today (September 22), headed by the most experienced UK editor working in UK SEN and inclusion, Mick Archer. And it's free.

The lively first issue of Special World goes out to an already impressive existing circulation of 125,000 people across more than 100 countries, created from the database of its publisher, Inclusive Technology.

The eyes have it as eyegaze tech picks up awards. Carol Allen and Ian Bean explain why it's so important
Popred: art by Sarah EzekielPopred'Popred': eyegaze art by Sarah EzekielFrom April 15 in Finchley, London, artist Sarah Ezekiel will hold another in her series of art exhibitions created on a computer controlled by her eyes. Sarah, who has motor neurone disease, uses an eyegaze system developed by Tobii to produce stunning images by controlling the art package by looking at the on-screen tools and menus.

Computers controlled with your eyes? Surely that’s science fiction, alongside hover-packs and teleportation? Yet it is here now and in classrooms, and homes, near you.

What if you can't find a suitable app for your child? Create your own, writes Sal McKeown
SENspeller screenshotSENspeller The Autism Spelling AppMum Penny Vanderplank couldn't find a suitable app for her son, so she created one, created by mum Penny Vanderplank, is a new app for teaching the spelling of a basic vocabulary. It is aimed at young children and all the rewards – the 'well dones', the clapping and cheering – are recordings of children's voices which gives it a head start over many spelling programs.

It comes with ten topic lists: transport, family, animals, body, food, clothes, school, home, toys and colour. Because it is aimed at children with autism, SENspeller has simple black-and-white illustrations so there are no distractions. The child simply drags and drops the letters to build words.