Nicole’s Nook: C-Pen Reader

In addition to the multitude of apps, extensions and built-in features that can aid in reading, there are also other stand-alone devices available. Recently I trialed the C-Pen Reader by Scanning Pens. This lightweight “pen” is slightly larger in size than a highlighter. It features optimal character recognition that scans printed text and reads it aloud. This device is especially beneficial to those who struggle with reading or comprehension, or those that use English as their second language.

While schools are progressing with technology, many are not entirely digital. For that reason, a reading pen can be a powerful device in that setting. Worksheets, paper and exams are still frequently utilized. A reading pen can allow students to work independently, scanning the text themselves. This has the potential to eliminate the need for an aide or paraprofessional, as well as reduce the amount of teacher preparation as students can access any of the printed material in class. The reading pen also can be used with earbuds or headphones, preventing any distraction to others and promoting inclusion in the general education setting.

The reader pen functions not only as a text reader, but also as a dictionary and as a recorder for quick notes or reminders. You can scan to file by connecting to a computer to allow for greater storage. Also available is the Exam Reader pen which allows students to read test questions to themselves. This pen features an exam lock to which it becomes a read-only device. It cannot access the dictionary or record. Exam Reader pens can be used for tests, even college board exams, so long as the accommodation of text-to-speech or portable speech is written in your student’s IEP.

Many of your state lending libraries feature these pens to trial to see if it may help your student. I highly recommend doing a little research to see if such a device would help your student become more efficient and independent!

Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist
Team NF