Computer software has given dyslexic children the freedom to read on their own and has revolutionised teaching methods in one school.
Sophie McBride, 15, is in fourth year at Ashcraig Secondary School in Craigend, Glasgow, where pupils have additional support needs.
Sophie is physically disabled and uses an electric wheelchair. She is unable to read in the conventional sense as her hands are unable to hold a book or turn the pages, while her dyslexia restricts her understanding.
But on Unesco World Book Day, on Thursday, she was able to read and enjoy a chapter of fiction at school. An adapted keyboard allows her to scroll through sections of the text, prompting the computer's automated voice to read out sentences as Sophie followed the words highlighted on a screen.
Using a headset, Sophie spoke about her understanding of the passage and recorded that onto the computer for a teacher to assess. When asked what difference the software has made to her learning, she said: "It makes reading easy. It gives me a lot more freedom. Say somebody was reading it to me, it would take a lot more time and I wouldn't get that freedom."
Literacy software firm Texthelp designed the text-to-speech technology, called Read&Write Gold, to improve reading, writing and the comprehension of on-screen text. It can be used with books in HTML and PDF format as well as on computer tablets and bookshare e-books.
Science teacher David Imrie, who is guiding Sophie towards her first science exam, said digital learning has revolutionised the way he teaches.
Ten years ago Mr Imrie did not use textbooks with many of his students. There was little reason to if they did not benefit from having printed words in front of them. Now, digital learning is integral to his teaching methods, bringing a marked change in his students.
He said the accessibility of digital books has made a huge impact to pupils' relationship to reading, both in and out of the classroom.
He added: "I see pupils, who would never have dreamt of looking at books, picking books up and reading them, paper books because the fear factor has broken down. Their disability has to some extent been overcome and part of that difficulty was that it wasn't for them, and now they think otherwise."