Tackling reading challenges with assistive technology
Jasmine Gibbins is 14 years old. She is currently studying at Hessle High School in East Riding, Yorkshire. Jasmine has dyslexia.
Dyslexia is the most common of the learning difficulties affecting one in 10 children and an estimated 1.2 million children across the UK. Jasmine has always struggled with her reading, and it has caused difficulties throughout her school life. Jasmine also faces daily challenges with reading outside of school, when she picks up a book, reads text messages from her friends or looks at directions on her phone to her next hockey game.
Jasmine is an exceptional field hockey player and spends her weekends playing games for Kingston-Upon-Hull’s ladies and juniors’ teams. She has also been selected to play County Hockey for the Humber region.
Since she was 9, Jasmine has been going to Dyslexia Sparks, a local charity supporting dyslexic individuals of all ages to reach their full potential through specialist tuition and diagnostic assessments in Hull and East Riding.
Thanks to a partnership between Dyslexia Sparks and OrCam Technologies, Jasmine has access to the OrCam Learn, a revolutionary new learning solution. The OrCam Learn is a wireless, pen-sized, handheld device, with an intuitive point-and-click operation that “captures” and immediately reads out loud a full page, paragraph, or single word of text – from any surface such as books, digital screens, or handouts.
It enables individuals to explore their full potential as the learning solution offers vital, practical reading support that includes interactivity with the user reading. The OrCam Learn provides real-time feedback, as well as comprehensive analysis and reporting of the student’s progress for teachers and parents to review and tailor the learning process accordingly.
Sam Buttle, Head of Teaching and Learning at Dyslexia Sparks who teaches Jasmine says: “Jasmine is quite inspirational as she has developed a resilience to her learning and refuses to give in to the challenges she faces with her reading on a daily basis.”
Jasmine has found that since using the OrCam Learn, she has been able to tackle head on the immense amount of content needed to be covered in her school work. Jasmine explains: “The OrCam Learn has helped me so much with my studies. Most of my subjects are very content heavy, so it has really helped me be able to study better and read all the material needed. It even helps me with my Maths as the questions are often problem-solving with a lot of reading required.”
Sam has been amazed at how much of an impact the OrCam Learn has had on Jasmine’s progress in her studies: “The transformation I’ve seen in her confidence since using the OrCam Learn has been incredible. It’s been very noticeable since using the learning solution that she’s asked for my help less with her reading during lessons and she’s thriving on this new independence. Last week she came into the lesson thrilled to tell me that she was proud of managing a test in class on her own with the OrCam Learn and without the need for a teaching assistant ‘reader’.”
After her GCSEs, Jasmine is planning on going to college to continue her studies, where she’d like to specialise in animal welfare. With the support of assistive technology, like the OrCam Learn, she will be able to fulfil her ambitions and have the same chances as any other student her age.
Jasmine says: “The OrCam Learn has helped me become more independent in my learning and I don’t need to rely on others to help me with reading out questions or any other material. I can also use it to read out what I’ve written to double check it is written correctly.
The OrCam Learn is really easy to use and it has given me so much freedom and enjoyment in my learning and personal life. I now actually look forward to picking up a book and reading it for pleasure, something I’ve never wanted to do before but now can really enjoy.”