We have an extensive range of assistive learning technology, each packed with features catering to specific literary and educational needs.
Neurodiversity in Prisons
Prison education and support services are in a state of change where learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or other neurodiverse needs, are starting to be identified. As a result, the number of inmates with special educational needs is becoming better understood. Ongoing research indicates that 60% of inmates have weak literacy skills, 20% potentially being functionally illiterate.
Time in prison is time to improve and rehabilitate, but with such literary challenges, the inability to enjoy a library book, access educational materials or read letters from home, it is harder for inmates to be fully reintroduced into society.
Following a 2016 review of prison education by Dame Sally Coates, she described it as one of the “pillars of effective rehabilitation.” Here at Scanning Pens, we have found the potential of our assistive technology in supporting reading independence and ensure equality in the access to education, aiding their rehabilitation.
It was important to provide the relevant evidence that our pens were safe to use within the prison environment. Standard fire risk assessments were carried out by the CQC, along with necessary security measures to ensure compliance. A fire health and safety document was created, which outlines everything in more detail.
Our prison research projects started in 2017 when we realised many inmates had neurodiverse learning differences and struggled with basic literacy. Our studies helped us to understand how reading pens could help individuals be less vulnerable and better equipped to learn
Our research proved the concept of valuable support for reading in education centres. In July 2020, the first prisoner was given permission to use a personal ReaderPen Secure™ in his cell. This was a landmark decision towards equity of access to written materials and an important milestone during COVID lockdowns, where support for reading was not readily available. Our research continues both in the UK and internationally to identify the impact ReaderPen Secure™ has on individual rehabilitation and reduction of recidivism.
The ReaderPen Secure™ is the world’s first assistive reading tool to support GDPR compliance, with the unique function of having no storage or memory functions, designed with security in mind. Users can have multiple lines of text read aloud thanks to text to speech technology, allowing them to read or study independently and confidently.
If you’re interested in becoming CPD accredited, we have a range of modules on hand to provide the necessary tools to help improve literacy access for those with specific educational needs.
The journey doesn’t stop after you’ve purchased our pens. We have a wide range of helpful literature and other resources to help ensure the implementation of our pens will be easy for both the staff and prisoners alike. There’s also a range of tips and videos to ensure they are getting the most out of the pen.
Foreign National Learner, Ali, shows how he uses the ExamReader™ to support his studies. Turkish is his first language and describes the ExamReader™ as his “Magic Pen” as it enables him to read and decode the words he is learning.
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