Breakthrough Tool for Students with Dyslexia: PDF Connoisseur

by | Jan 20, 2014 | Education


Credit: Teaching Those Who Find It Hard to Learn, townvibe

If learning to read is a challenging process for the average child, it can be a full out struggle for children with dyslexia. These students find it difficult to “break the letters of written words into distinct sounds.” Consequently, children with dyslexia often struggle when learning to read, and are sometimes mistaken as lazy or unintelligent. Without proper treatment, dyslexia can seriously inhibit a child’s educational development, lead to self-confidence issues, and negatively impact employment and personal life in the long term.

The good news is that with proper training, most children with dyslexia can achieve proficiency in reading and avoid the negative outcomes associated with dyslexia. One of the techniques recommended by specialists for treating these children is the use of audiobooks. Students with dyslexia can better digest information when presented orally instead of in written form. Also, by listening to an audiobook at the same time as reading the text, students can enhance their understanding of the relationship between sounds and the letters that represent them, and then learn to read unaided.


Audiobooks are proven to help children with dyslexia learn.

Credit: Sara Cardwell’s EDM 310 Class Blog

Although audiobooks are extremely useful for children with dyslexia, in the past students and educators were limited to the small percentage of books available in this format. The majority of teaching materials used in the classroom were therefore inaccessible to most of these students. This is no longer true today. With the popularization of the iPad and iPhone and the development of the application PDF Connoisseur, students with dyslexia now have access to anything available in print.

Three key features make PDF Connoisseur a breakthrough tool for children with dyslexia:  the built-in scanner, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Text-to-Speech (TTS).  When a user scans a book or document with PDF Connoisseur’s built-in scanner, the OCR function converts it into a PDF with searchable text, instead of mere images of pages. The TTS engine can then read the PDF aloud to the user. The speed and volume of the TTS function are adjustable, and six different languages are supported. The result? With PDF Connoisseur, handouts, textbooks, and library books—and everything else available in print—can be read aloud to the user.

Experts are increasingly turning to PDF Connoisseur for special needs education. North American universities and school districts have been quick to adopt this application to the classroom setting. Kdan’s technology in PDF Connoisseur can also be deployed as a customized solution that fits any institutional need, not just as a stand-alone application. To date, we have helped numerous organizations with their document needs based on feedback and requests from these institutions. Most recently, the University of Michigan has endorsed PDF Connoisseur as a “Professional App for Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities.” on their dyslexia help page.  Because PDF Connoisseur’s annotation features allow the user to mark up documents, this app is also a valuable tool for developing “active reading” skills in the average student.

Kdan Mobile is committed to bringing greater convenience to the lives of our diverse users. If you are interested in testing PDF Connoisseur for your educational institution free of charge, please contact Kdan Mobile for details.



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