C-Pen Exam Reader: a different kind of assistive technology.

Published: Monday April 01, 2019 13:47

The C-Pen is a small, hand-held device for scanning text from a printed page and then displaying it in its own small screen. It also has a text-to-speech facility and multi-language capability.

It is specifically designed for people with reading difficulties such as dyslexia, as well as for some readers with low vision. It comes in 3 different models, with the model being tested here intended for use in the exam room.

C-Pen features

The C-Pen is lightweight and easy to handle. Its display is blue text on a black background, with these colours being reversed for each word as it is read out loud. It has a font size range from 6.5pt to 22pt and two clear female voices (British and American English) available either via its own internal speaker or via headphones.

How it works

A line of text can be scanned by dragging the pen across the page. More lines can then be appended, or the pen can be set to replace any existing text in memory each time new text is scanned. Once in memory, text can be read out loud as many times as required (it is well-known that candidates can be reluctant to ask a human reader to repeatedly read out a question, often leading to loss of performance for the candidate).

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