Reader Pens launched at Wexford Library

By Dan Walsh

Ireland Reads is an annual campaign to get the country reading and leads to a national day on Friday February 25th to celebrate reading and, consequently, Wexford Library Service has teamed up with authors, local bookshops, publishers and libraries nationwide this year for Ireland Reads.

As part of this year’s campaign, Wexford Libraries are working to help remove barriers to reading for people living with visual challenges, dyslexia or literacy challenges.

Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy said: “I warmly welcome the addition of these Reader Pens to the many excellent resources offered by Wexford Library Service. The Reader Pens are part of the STAR collection of assistive resources and toys that are borrowed from our libraries by those who need them. Our libraries are continually working to support inclusion and access to books, literacy and assistive resources for everyone, so I am delighted that the introduction of these Reader Pens will help people living with dyslexia, visual, language and literacy challenges to enjoy reading throughout our county.”

How will they help people? Reader Pens read words and full lines of text aloud for independent reading. Those with dyslexia, or difficulty with reading or pronunciation, those learning languages or with vision problems will find the pens extremely helpful pieces of technology. The pen reads text aloud with a natural speaking voice. The devices have built-in dictionaries, offering users the option to access definitions of the words as they read them.

The Reading Pens are part of Wexford Library Service STAR collection (Sensory Toys and Assistive Resources) and can be requested and borrowed from all our branches. A STAR card is obtained for free from any library branch or mobile library in Wexford. All needed is some form of photo ID and proof of address. The Reader Pens can be borrowed, by any library user, for a three-week loan period.

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