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We scan materials for students to use on Kurzweil 3000 at school. Could you recommend an efficient way to scan and email a textbook page home to a student with dyslexia? He has Natural Reader on his home computer, but he does not have Kurzweil. Using the .doc extension results in a poor reproduction; the original layout would be preferable.

There are several options that might be appropriate for this student or for others in a similar situation. Some scanners come with software enabling the user to scan directly into a PDF document; however, it is more likely that you will have to purchase either Adobe Acrobat(opens in a new window) or third-party software that will allow you to convert scanned documents into PDF.

Converting the scanned image would enable you to maintain the original layout of the document and still work with Natural Reader since it is capable of reading PDFs as well as MS Word documents. Having the capability to convert documents to PDF could also be beneficial for other students, as the newer versions of Adobe Reader(opens in a new window) have improved read out loud capabilities. This could be helpful for students who don’t have access to a screen reader at home. You could convert any text to a PDF and students could hear it read aloud using the free Reader program.

If purchasing additional software is not a feasible option, you may also try searching for a digital version of the text online. Learning Ally(opens in a new window) has audio versions of many textbooks, and websites such as BookShare(opens in a new window) and Project Gutenberg(opens in a new window) have electronic books freely available for download (BookShare provides books free for users with documented print disabilities).

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