Train-the-Trainer materials

Using these materials

These Train the Trainer materials contain everything you need to appoint trainers or champions in your setting. We equip them with all the materials they will need to be able to train everyone in your setting, how to use Read&Write.

In this section you will find:

  1. Introduction
  2. Curriculum and training materials
  3. Action plans for quick wins
  4. Additional resources

You can also take this guide away to refer back to at any time.

1. Introduction

Read&Write literacy software is an excellent example of a tool that incorporates several key elements of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Assistive Technology (AT), High Leverage Practices (HLP), and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) in order to support students with diverse learning needs.

Read&Write is designed to meet the principles of UDL. It provides multiple means of representation, allowing students to access and engage with text in various ways. For example, it includes text-to-speech features that can read text aloud, highlighting tools to help students focus on specific parts of the text, and a range of fonts and backgrounds to customize the appearance of the text. The software also provides multiple means of expression, allowing students to communicate their understanding through writing and voice recording, which is particularly beneficial for students who struggle with handwriting or typing.  Read&Write is an AT tool that provides a range of features to support students with disabilities or learning differences. For example, it includes optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which can scan printed text and convert it into digital text that can be read aloud, highlighted, or manipulated. It also provides a range of reading and writing supports, such as word prediction, spelling and grammar checkers, and graphic organizers, that can help students to better comprehend and express themselves.

These materials give you an overview of UDL from CAST.

About Read&Write

Read&Write incorporates HLPs by providing teachers with research-based instructional practices that they can use to support students with diverse learning needs. For example, the software includes a range of strategies and supports that can be used to differentiate instruction and engage students in learning, such as scaffolded reading and writing activities, vocabulary support, and differentiated questioning.  Read&Write is also an AEM tool that provides students with accessible materials that they can use to engage with text and express themselves in meaningful ways. It includes features that make text and digital materials more accessible to students with disabilities or learning differences, such as text-to-speech, OCR, and alternative input methods like speech recognition.

Overall, Read&Write is an excellent example of a tool that incorporates the key elements of UDL, AT, HLPs, and AEM in order to support students with diverse learning needs. By providing multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement, teachers can better differentiate instruction and support students in achieving their full potential.

You can use this video with teachers and administrators.

Sample Reflection Questions

  1. What are three impactful things you learned about Read&Write from the videos?
  2. How can Read&Write be used to make reading more accessible for all learners?
  3. In what ways does Read&Write support the needs of students with learning differences or disabilities?
  4. What is one way you see yourself using Read&Write with your students in your classroom?
  5. Are there any concerns or limitations you have about using Read&Write in your teaching practice?

2. Curriculum and Training Materials

Let's get started with Read&Write's top tools.

For each feature, we've included some talking points, a video to share, and some tips for usage.

Text to Speech

Text to Speech works with the Google Suite, Microsoft Online Suite, and on websites.

Notice the 'dual highlights' when text is being read aloud - Read&Write highlights the sentence AND word that is being read.

Text To Speech Overview

Share this video and the usage tips.

Tips for usage:

  1. Continuous Reading is on by default but can be turned off in the Settings under the 'Speech' tab. This will allow for more control over how much is read aloud at one time.
  2. Try on a Google Doc first. You can adjust the speed of the reading voice in the Settings under the 'Speech' tab.
  3. Have students choose a preferred voice and two speeds - one for support when they are tired or distracted but could read on their own and a slower speed for text with more difficult concepts or new vocabulary.

Dictionary & Picture Dictionary

The Dictionary tool allows students to gain access to word meaning regardless of their own reading ability as all definitions can be speech-enabled. We want to get students in the habit of using the dictionary as a resource.

Picture Dictionary gives visual representation of word meaning

Dictionary & Picture Dictionary Overview

Share this video and the usage tips.

Tips for usage:

  1. Use the Dictionary, Picture Dictionary, and Translator tools together as they auto sync with the highlighted word giving students choice of support.
  2. Try using on a Google Doc first then a webpage.
  3. Choose 5 words with more than one meaning from their reading.  Ask students to use the dictionary to determine which is the correct definition based on how the word is used and copy the definition next to the word.  Also ask why students chose the definition they chose for each.
  4. Three Productive Ways to Use the Picture Dictionary

Single Word Translator

The Translator can be used to translate single words into over 90 different languages! The Translator tool gives more choices for an individual word.  You can change the language that the Translator tool translates to in the settings under Speech tab. Spanish is the default translation language.

Translator Single Word Overview

Share this video and the usage tip.

Tips for usage:

  1. Try on a Google Doc first. Click on the translator to open, type the word “car” and look at the 5 Spanish choices.  Different words will be recognized depending on where a student is from or what is spoken at home.

Screenshot Reader

The Screenshot Reader allows you to have inaccessible text read aloud. Screenshot Reader is useful PDFs, Images, Maps, Charts, Diagrams and Videos.

Screenshot Reader Overview

Share this video and the usage tips.

Tips for usage:

  1. Try on the pictures on this Web page
  2. Pause a video with text and use the screenshot reader to have it read aloud! Example Video: pause at 0:08 seconds and use to read “Apples are red.”

Simplify Page

The Simplify feature in Read&Write de-clutters and simplifies web pages only. You can change the contrast of background and text color, the font style and size (with Lexend and Open Dyslexic as fonts for students with dyslexia) and the line spacing. When using Simplify, once on the new tab of the article, clicking on the minus button next to the word “simplify” can remove the pictures leaving just the article.

Simplify Page Overview

Share this video and the usage tips.

Tips for usage:

  1. If your students need a specific font or have a tendency to migrate to other places on the web, you can save the modifications you made in Simplify as a PDF to be shared.
  2. Try on this Web page.
  3. Check out the Discover toggle to explore some additional support for key words and topics.  This feature finds these and then provides a pop-up explanation and photo. The words that Discover has found more information on will be underlined in purple. Have students try it out.


Prediction can be customized for use including number of words displayed, where the prediction box appears, prediction for just the word being typed or the next word as well, enabling words predicted read aloud when hovering over each suggestion, and adjustments to the size of the words predicted in the prediction box.

Prediction Overview

Share this video and the usage tips.

Tips for usage:

  1. Try using on a Google Doc. 
  2. Click on the Prediction Tool. When you start typing a sentence, you will notice the prediction box will pop up. There are a two ways to have the word populate on your document: Click on the word in the prediction box or press Ctrl+[number] of the word.


Talk&Type is Speech-to-Text which allows for students to speak their thoughts and answers versus having to type them, including most punctuation marks.  This tool will also allow you to speak in your native language by using the drop down menu on the microphone icon.

Talk&Type Overview

Share this video and the usage tips.

Tips for usage:

  1. Try using on a Google Doc.
  2. Click on the Talk&Type icon. If prompted, you must allow access your microphone. When the Talk&Type button is highlighted purple, this means it is active. A red microphone icon will appear near the top left of the Chrome window. Use the Text to Speech tool to catch any errors to be corrected.

3. Action Planning for Quick Wins

Teachers need to take time to reflect on how and how often they are implementing Read&Write in their instruction, lessons and activities in order to increase the ease of use and benefits for students. Continuously seeking feedback from students and colleagues, and staying informed of new updates and resources available can help ensure the most effective use of Read&Write.

Here are some sample questions for participants to answer at the end of a Read&Write training session:

  1. In what specific lesson or activity will you use Read&Write tools this week and? using what specific tools?  Why have you chosen those tools
  2. How will you use Read&Write to support UDL principles in this lesson or activity?
  3. How will you measure the effectiveness of using Read&Write in this lesson or activity?
  4. What supports or resources do you need to effectively implement Read&Write in this lesson or activity?
  5. Identify the videos you will use to train your students.