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CindyJ

dyslexic scout

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@goldnloks, welcome to the forum. There's a lot to say for home grown. But watch out for pitfalls. I'll give you a case study ...

Because a bunch of folks at church thought it cool if everyone could keep pace with the same devotional last year, a couple of Sunday School teachers of the classes for adults started daily podcasts of a bible reading, commentary, and devotionals. It first it was just two guys, then their kids, then a bunch of us, producing 15 minutes of recording a day covering a public-domain translation of Genesis to Revelation. It wound up with 10,000 subscribers. Small, by internet standards, but fifty-fold more than our membership. Folks just like hearing someone like them, rough edges and all, reading something they care about to them. (Those interested can look up the YouCanReadTheBible website.)

But Spanish is the second most popular language in our congregation. We have some great folks who would gladly read for us. Problem is, the most popular translation of the Bible is privately owned, and they won't readily give a license to reproduce it on any media, including voice recordings! And most Spanish speakers -- at least among our members -- would only want to listen to recordings in that version. What was simple became impossible.

I wouldn't be surprised if BSA has a similar lock on their license. So although I bet your troop would be honored to read and record pamphlets for your sons, and they would do a bang-up job making a digital audio library. Broadcasting them widely so they'd be available for any scout who actually needs them will bump up against license restrictions.

If it were me, all BSA materials would be strictly black-and-white covers with minimal typesetting until they were recorded in audio by the nearest available scout.

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Learning Ally has many of the MB booklets recorded. Moreover, Learning Ally is a service specifically designed for dyslexic students. He/she listens to a recorded book while “watching” the book on their phone or iPad. As words are read, they are highlighted. Learning Ally is a subscription service. A student must be recommended by a teacher. There are scholarships available which make the subscription free.

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@Lizzyttt. welcome to scouter.com 

  In public schools here, I  have found a student is dyslexia certified by an outside doctor - a psychologist , neuro-psychologist, etc. 

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2 hours ago, Lizzyttt said:

Learning Ally has many of the MB booklets recorded. Moreover, Learning Ally is a service specifically designed for dyslexic students. He/she listens to a recorded book while “watching” the book on their phone or iPad. As words are read, they are highlighted. Learning Ally is a subscription service. A student must be recommended by a teacher. There are scholarships available which make the subscription free.

Yes it is true they have the pamphlet but they only have a few, they have multiple of each, don’t have all the eagles and the important component is they are all outdated.  So unfortunately it doesn’t do a scout any good.  We have learning ally and it’s a bit more complicated than a recommendation from a teacher.  

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2 hours ago, goldnloks said:

Yes it is true they have the pamphlet but they only have a few, they have multiple of each, don’t have all the eagles and the important component is they are all outdated.  So unfortunately it doesn’t do a scout any good.  We have learning ally and it’s a bit more complicated than a recommendation from a teacher.  

Goldnloks, I agree that Learning Ally does not have the latest versions of the MB pamphlets nor all of the books.  I believe that this is largely the responsibility of BSA as there are copyright licenses that need to be addressed.  While Learning Ally is not a perfect solution, or the best imaginable, it is the best I can find.  Goldnloks, do you have an alternative recommendation?

 

Scotty

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Hey Scotty actually there is a solution.  Many troops scan their pamphlets and keep them on line in PDF format.  All you have to do is open them click play and they are read to you.  

 

Learning Ally can do the pamphlets they just choose not to.  I have spoken to them several times.  My oldest a life scout wanted his eagle project to be get all the eagles read and posted but we received a resounding NO!  My youngest is profoundly dyslexic so this would have helped him as well as countless other scouts.  Our hope was to continue this project with all 3 of our sons.  So much for BSA helping scouts of all abilities!

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16 minutes ago, goldnloks said:

Hey Scotty actually there is a solution.  Many troops scan their pamphlets and keep them on line in PDF format.  All you have to do is open them click play and they are read to you.  

 

Is that really all there is to it?

My understanding is that common reader apps look for text-based content to "read".  That's fine if you create the PDF using Word, Publisher, or one of the many professional publications software packages that create PDF output.....but maybe not so fine if you just scan pamphlets yourself. The problem is that these are probably images and not really text strings, so your reader won't interpret it as human language, but rather as a picture.  

Maybe your mileage varies, but it seems to me like it might not work.

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21 hours ago, goldnloks said:

Hey Scotty actually there is a solution.  Many troops scan their pamphlets and keep them on line in PDF format.  All you have to do is open them click play and they are read to you. 

I'd love to learn more about this procedure.  I have Adobe Acrobat Pro (older version) but I don't see a audible reader function.  Is it on a new version?  Are you having some Google function read the PDF?  If we can do that, it would be very helpful.  (a quick cursory search I found voice dream reader.  Is this what you are using?  :  https://apps.apple.com/us/app/voice-dream-reader/id496177674

If your son wants to read the various pamphlets and upload them onto the troop website in a downloadable format that could be very helpful for scouts outside of his troop.  I know I would ask for access and promote it to other parents with children with reading difficulties. 

 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I hope to find something that works better than what we currently have. 

 

Scotty

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Hey Scotty, 

I find the PDF of the pamphlet that we need on a troop website.  I just google. "camping merit badge pamphlet PDF". then there is a bunch of options from troops, pro tip make sure its a current pamphlet...LOL We download and save it.  Then when we open it we just hit the icon to read it.  I am not the techie, my husband is so I can ask him to respond to the particulars.  Obviously its not as nice as Learning Ally since its a computer generated voice, instead of a human, but it works.  Another option is if you or your scout has an I phone, under settings then under general then under accessibility click on speech then toggle on Speak selection and Speak Screen.  You can also select highlight content to highlight as it is being read.  My son uses this all the time.  So if you can download the merit badge pamphlet to a phone you can have it read on the phone.  We have also downloaded  the path to eagle app and he uses this to help him with his handbook since its current and lists so much information.  

 

My youngest is profoundly dyslexic, but his goal is to earn all the merit badges...He crossed over in mid December 2018.  He is the one with the hat.  He has about 16 more merit badges coming to him at their next CoH at the end of the month. His older brothers have slight dyslexia and dysgraphia which were not diagnosed until after my youngest was.  So It is possible just takes a lot more work.  

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 1.10.35 PM.png

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Thanks everyone for your responses.  I did not know about the Adobe function that allows Stephen Hawking read to my son. 

 

Scotty

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