People with dyslexia, visual-processing challenges, and other learning disabilities usually have great ideas but have grave difficulty writing them down. Fortunately, there are good programs and devices out there that can lend a hand. A critical element to these is word-prediction ability, where one types a few letters and receives a list of possible words or names.
We have used a variety of such assistive technology for our clients and have covered many of these. Today, we feature another, Co:Writer, by Don Johnston. Co:Writer assists the user by offering a selection of words and phrases as he or she types. It does not matter if their grammar and spelling are way off.
According to manufacturer, Co:Writer’s is based on a “prediction engine” they call Neuron. The program “follows the natural relationships of ideas and concepts in the brain.” It draws on its AI to understand the topic area, using it to predict and present a selection of topic-specific vocabulary. A feature called FlexSpell helps turn around even inventive spelling. However, there may be word spellings that pose a major challenge. For that, Co:Writer has speech recognition as an input channel. An icon of a microphone within the word-prediction allows the user to simply press the corresponding number to launch it. According to Don Johnston, this feature is particularly helpful the user is not able to spell a word close enough for the word prediction.
Co:Writer works with multiple languages, too. Among these are English (American, British, and Canadian), French, German, and Spanish. Translation is available among more than 25 languages, either by typing or speaking into the microphone.
If you are in New Jersey, a team member of our Assistive Technology Center may be of help. One such individual was is Dan Wrinn, who we featured in this space recently.