Tuesday, November 11, 2014
NEW Desktop App Now Helps Even More Struggling Readers
Over the past several years, however, a number of our clients and readers here have asked us if or when there might be a Reading Focus Card APP developed to help even more struggling readers. We always thought it was a great question, and you can be sure that we listened!
Today, it is our great pleasure to announce that we now DO have such an application for use with Mac computers and notebooks as well as Windows PCs and Microsoft Surface tablets. This innovative, overlay-type app can now open new doors and eliminate many hurdles for a great number of challenged readers and struggling learners when they attempt to read web pages, downloaded e-books, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and more. (App download links provided at end of this article.)
A Brief History of the App
The glimmer of this software idea came to us way back in 2003---even before the word app was commonly used for a software program. The idea remained on the drawing board here at Brennan Innovators until 2009 when the first patent was issued for our low-tech reading tools, the Reading Focus Cards (Patent 7,565,759). When orders for these physical reading tools began to arrive in increasing numbers, we started saving some of that revenue in preparation for possible app development. At the same time in 2009, a second patent application was submitted---this time, for the Reading Focus Card app idea.
In 2013 when that second patent was issued for this application by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, we felt it was (finally!) the appropriate time to turn our attention to the actual creation of the application. We began working with a clinical psychologist who understood the hurdles faced by challenged readers, a developer of special needs apps and an experienced educator to create a digital version of the physical, low-tech Reading Focus Cards first invented and prototyped in 1998.
The Reading Focus Cards App---Digital Tool to Help Even More Readers
The work of developing this idea born in 2003 has been most exciting, and now we finally have a practical DESKTOP app for Windows PCs, Macs and Microsoft Surface tablets that will provide needed digital READING SUPPORT for children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, autism, eye strain/visual stress, convergence insufficiency, low vision, Down Syndrome, stroke recovery/TBI issues (aphasia) and other conditions that can affect reading success.
The Reading Focus Cards app (Patent 8,360,779) provides the following:
1. Allows a user to change nearly all features of the digital reading tool. A reader can
2. Enables the user to change the colors of the tool features, allowing a user to view a chosen card color covering text not to be viewed AND to read text through a selected and more comfortable, colored filter. Other options for tool modification or adjustment are also provided via the application's Toolbox (disappears when reader chooses).
3. Is also compatible with and supports touch-screen technology (where applicable). A reader can interact directly with the digital tool to move it over text on a desktop screen with either fingers, a mouse or the arrow keys. If a user's hardware does not have a touch screen, then the mouse and arrow keys will provide the movement of the digital Reading Focus Card over the text needing to be read--at the speed desired by the reader. Regardless of hardware capability, the application stays on top of the text while in use, which eliminates further frustration by an already-challenged reader.
Recently, the parent of a teen son provided these comments about the NEW Reading Focus Cards desktop app:
"He chose a dark blue (reading) window with a black card. I like the fact the window can be widened or made smaller to fit an individual word on the screen (PDF). He read words individually that way. Then we widened the window to see the whole sentence and reread. It was much easier than pointing at the screen so he wouldn't lose his spot." ---J.B., London, ON
You, our loyal readers, have been most supportive of our efforts to help challenged readers and learners since this blog's inception in 2010. Hopefully, our re-doubled efforts (along with your continued support) will now go toward helping even more struggling readers---regardless of age, ability or the media format presented. Thank you for that great support!
Happy Reading---NOW for EVERYONE!
Direct links to access and purchase the Reading Focus Cards desktop app ($5.99 per download)
1. For Macs:
Visit the Mac App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read-and-focus/id920617853?mt=12
2. For Windows PCs:
Visit Gumroad at https://gumroad.com/l/ReadingFocusCards OR visit the Microsoft Windows Store and search for the app called Reading Focus Cards. (No URLs are provided for apps in the Windows Store.)
For more information on customizable low-tech & digital reading tools for all kinds of challenged readers, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com