Assistive Technology: Lexilife’s Lexilight

Assistive Technology: Lexilife’s Lexilight

What is Assistive Technology? 

Assistive technology (AT) is any device, software, or equipment that is used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Technologies include hardware, or physical technologies that are kept on-site at our AT Studio, and software, or technology available via a computer that can potentially be used from home. To learn more about why and how LDS uses AT, head to our AT webpage.

What does the Lexilight do?

Lexilight is a reading-aid desk lamp that can significantly reduce symptoms of dyslexia when reading printed texts. Dyslexia is a common learning difference that affects the brain’s ability to process language. Those affected have normal intelligence but have challenges identifying speech sounds and relating letters and words.

Our in-person students affected by dyslexia can use the Lexilight in their lessons to improve their comprehension and comfort while reading. Innovative lighting technology combines both pulsated and modulated light to reduce the impact of dyslexia for many readers, allowing them to read faster, longer and with less eye strain. 

Lexilight features:

  • Adjustable dials on the rear of the lamp allow you to control the pulsation and modulation of the light that reduces the mirroring effect many children with dyslexia experience.  
  • Dual function Classic light and Lexilight modes. 
  • High quality LED lights for improved colour rendering and lightwave settings for better contrast

How can my child access the Lexilight?

We offer the Lexilight as part of our AT Studio, a space dedicated to leading-edge AT technology and the collaborative use of it to help our students with learning differences. To learn more about how your child can benefit, email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca [Link to email] 

    —Rie 

    _________________ 

    Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

    Mission Makers: Cynthia—making a difference through her work

    Mission Makers: Cynthia—making a difference through her work

    Cynthia, a certified BC teacher at a specialized school for children with learning differences, has spent the last three years as a part-time Remedial Instructor with LDS. She feels that LDS is a further extension of her work in schools and a way to fill the gaps in educational support that may be unavailable in the school system.

    Teaching at LDS “is a way of doing what I love doing, but in a different capacity,” says Cynthia. Providing one-on-one remedial instruction is a very different dynamic to her work as a teacher with a classroom full of students. But it brings her a sense of pride when she’s able to use what she has learned from her past teaching opportunities to provide accessible individualized education for students.

    Cynthia has always enjoyed learning about how different minds work, including those with learning differences, which is why she pursued a BA in Psychology. Although Cynthia was unsure of what she wanted to do with her Psychology degree, with exploration and curiosity, she applied for her teaching diploma.

    Cynthia chose to study Education for her teaching degree and experienced a range of different teaching styles and environments. She again explored various teaching experiences such as teaching at Montessori schools and in an English as a Second Language program.

    Cynthia found her current career path with students with learning differences upon returning to Canada after teaching abroad. She had worked with students with autism in the past and remembered the feeling of making a difference through her work and the pride of accomplishment the students experienced with her help. So, when applying for jobs, she applied to the specialized school where she now teaches children with learning differences.

    “It’s fun, always changing, allows me to be creative, and is challenging,” says Cynthia about why she enjoys teaching. “I like working with children and learning about what they’re interested in, and deep down inside, I think it keeps me young.”

    For Cynthia, it’s essential that every student has the opportunity to learn in a way that best suits their needs, and LDS can provide a space for this. Connecting with her students is important to Cynthia. With the age group she teaches at LDS, they are old enough to be socially aware and have critical thoughts, which can lead to interesting conversations.

    Using her knowledge about what her students are interested in and what they find relatable, Cynthia curates her sessions around these topics to keep her students engaged. She has found this creates an environment where students want to attend their sessions and are willing to learn. Receiving feedback from her students’ parents about the changes they see in their children, such as volunteering to read at home or seeing their confidence grow, encourages Cynthia to continue instructing.

    “Growth is slow, but when it does change, it carries on to all other aspects of their life, which is exciting.”

    —Rie 

    _________________ 

    Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the  Communications & Fundraising Assistant at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

    Assistive Technology: SMART Technologies’ SMART Board

    Assistive Technology: SMART Technologies’ SMART Board

    What is Assistive Technology? 

    Assistive technology (AT) is any device, software, or equipment that is used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Technologies include hardware, or physical technologies that are kept on-site at our AT Studio, and software, or technology available via a computer that can potentially be used from home. To learn more about why and how LDS uses AT, head to our AT webpage.

    What Does the SMART Board Do?  

    The centrepiece of our AT Studio, SMART Technologies’ SMART Board is an industry-leading interactive display whiteboard that offers tools for LDS instructors to take their teaching to the next level. SMART Board offers a ton of effective and easy-to-use tools to make learning fun and engaging for in-person and remote learning. Built-in software allows instructors to personalize their lessons and access materials with ease, making the delivery of lessons easier and more effective than ever before.  

    SMART Board Features: 

    • 20 points of touch – Allows multiple users and tools like eraser, marker, and timer, to be used simultaneously. 
    • Built-in Android – Instructors can quickly access One Drive, Google Drive, teaching materials, and personalized tools. 
    • SMART Ink – Draw, annotate, and write on any type of document or webpage. Also allows users to move/erase notes, save files, and convert notes to text. 
    • SMART Learning Suite – Enables students to learn remotely by logging into an online classroom with an instructor via the SMART Board screen. Additionally, a SMART Board screen can be shared via Zoom for remote lessons.  
    • Supports all major computer operating systems (Windows, ChromeOS, Mac).

    How to access the SMART Board?

    We offer the SMART Board as part of our AT Studio, a space dedicated to the collaborative use of leading-edge assistive technology to help our students with learning differences. To learn more about how your child can benefit, email our AT Manager at AT@ldsociety.ca

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Our Assistive Technology Studio—a supportive space to enhance the learning experience for our students

      Our Assistive Technology Studio—a supportive space to enhance the learning experience for our students

      LDS is committed to providing exceptional learning support and remedial instruction for our students with learning differences. Whether that’s by providing accessible education through internal and external bursary funding or by investing in innovative tools for delivering instruction, we continually search for ways to engage students. This has led to the creation of programs and opportunities unique to LDS.  

      In 2020, we looked to innovate and find new tools to help our students overcome educational barriers as in-person instruction was restricted by public health orders, school closures, family comfort levels, and the periodic need to self-isolate. From this need, we developed RISE at Home and began seeking new technologies that could help students. Thus, the seed was planted for a supportive space centred on enhancing the learning experience for our students—an idea that grew into our Assistive Technology (AT) Studio.    

      What is Assistive Technology?

      Assistive technologies are software and hardware tools designed to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability, including a learning difference. Examples of tools include specialized reading lights to help with dyslexia (Lexilight) and writing software to help students with their written output (Grammarly). Our AT Studio now has 16 different AT tools for our students to use.  

      How does Assistive Technology help children with learning differences?

      LDS families have noticed a difference in their children’s learning experiences, outcomes, and confidence. We can provide these tools in-person and at home, expanding the scope of accessibility. Assistive technology can empower students, provide greater independence, stimulate engagement, improve learning outcomes, and enhance emotional and social development.  

      “My son has shown an interest in writing well in his school assignments and often has me help him edit an assignment before it is due. He has been very open to using Grammarly as an integrated tool in Microsoft Word and often uses it as he is writing and as a final check before he hands it in. Between the help he gets from me and the extra support of Grammarly, he is able to hand in well-polished writing that he feels a deep sense of pride in. For a child with a written expression disorder, it is really fantastic to see him use the tools available to him and flourish!” —LDS parent  

      How can I learn more about Assistive Technology?

      To further our commitment to sharing the successes, programming, and tools available for students and creating awareness and accessibility, we are starting a new blog series that will feature one of our assistive technology tools each month. If you know a child with a learning difference who could benefit from these tools, please reach out to at@ldsociety.ca to learn more. 

       

      —Rie 

      _________________ 

      Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people. 

      Early RISErs for 3-5 yr olds: applications open now!Learn more!