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  • 9 pointers to help writing and reading

    by User Not Found | Aug 06, 2015
    1. Help minimise spelling errors with a Franklin Pocket Electronic Dictionary.
    2. Try using a digital recorder, such as the Olympus DM 7 with the Audio Notetaker software, to record meetings, record reminders of things you need to do and assist with note-taking. The Audio Notetaker helps you to quickly reference and annotate your digital voice recordings on the computer.
    3. Consider whether changing the colour of your computer screen background and the appearance of fonts could make reading electronic information easier for you with ClaroRead software.
    4. Improve proof-reading by listening to text read out loud with text-to-speech software such as Read&Write, software which also helps to check spelling.
    5. Minimise the need for typing with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Speech Recognition software. You dictate and it types. You can see the spoken words instantly appear on screen
    6. Expand your vocabulary with the Visual Thesaurus software which can add a variety of alternatives to many words
    7. Remember appointments, names/addresses and access information on the move, with a personal digital assistant (PDA) device such as the HP iPAQ 214.
    8. Organise your ideas and projects visually with MindGenius concept-mapping software.
    9. Access printed information with a scanner and then read the text out loud with Read&Write software.

    Products mentioned in this article can be purchased from our ecommerce store:

  • Caring and Flexible Working

    by User Not Found | Aug 06, 2015

    Findings published on the 31st July 2009 by the Department for Work and Pensions show that over half of those asked did not know how to request flexible working arrangments, or who is eligible for flexible working arrangements.

    Who Can Request Flexible Working?

    If you have been working for an employer for 26 weeks and:

    • Have a child under 16, or a disabled child under 18 or
    • Care, or expect to be caring, for an adult who is a spouse, partner, civil partner or specified relative, or who although not related to them, live at the same address as you

    You are entitled to request flexible working arrangements from your employer to enable you to better manage the demands of home and working life and achieve a reasonable work/life balance.

    Reasonable adjustments do not have to be costly, time-consuming or inconvenient for other staff – sometimes a little flexibility is all that is required.

    How To Apply

    For more information on flexible working, visit Directgov: Who can request flexible working?

  • Towards a corporate policy on Accessible Format Materials

    by User Not Found | Aug 06, 2015

    Since December 2006, there has been a legal duty on all Public Sector Organisations to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people, the Disability Equality Duty or DED. This brings an obligation to produce a Disability Equality Scheme or DES. Your DES will usually say that you will make written information available in alternative accessible formats for those with reading difficulties.

     Private Sector Organisations do not have such a specific duty. However you do have certain obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act and it makes good Corporate Social Responsibility policy to think proactively about how information is made available to those with reading impairments, such as visual impairments, dyslexia or other cognitive or physical difficulty.

     This article discusses the steps you should take to:

    • Communicate your organisation’s messages effectively
    • to reading impaired staff, customers and other stakeholders;
    • whilst minimising costs in origination, administration and distribution of accessible format materials.

    What are reasonable adjustments to help with reading? What formats are accessible to people with reading impairments?

    Many dyslexic people also suffer from Visual Stress, also known as Meares-Irlen syndrome. They have difficulty focussing and moving their eyes in coordinated jumps to track words (”saccades”), such that the print may appear to move, swim or blur. Their needs are similar to those of partially sighted people. They may benefit from:

    1. Changing font size and style;
    2. Changing foreground and background colours;
    3. Changing the spacing between characters, words and lines;
    4. Being able to listen to the text using a screen reader with a Text-to-Speech (TTS) synthesiser.

    Dyslexic people who have difficulties decoding the words of the text and blind people who cannot see it at all will also benefit from being able to listen to the text.

     You can easily provide for all these needs with a suitable electronic version of the text. Where people have the appropriate technology, they can use it to change the text to suit them, or to listen to it.

     Longer electronic documents will need to have structure - e.g. a table of contents where you can click on a chapter to go there. This is useful for anyone, but particularly important for blind people who can’t skim a document and look at page numbers easily.

     In addition, you may need to provide easy-read versions (abbreviated and simplified) of some documents for people with general learning difficulties. You should always make sure that documents are in Plain English which is easier and clearer for everyone to read and usually shorter.

     You will then only rarely be asked to provide documents in Braille, hard copy for large print etc, or audio files. People will usually prefer a document that they can get to now, e.g. over the web or intranet, rather than having to wait for someone to send it.

    1) Avoid as far as possible having to provide documents in alternative formats: make them accessible in the first place as routine.

    Try to avoid having to make documents accessible after they are finished.  “Post-Hoc Accessifying” (PHA) of documents is almost always:

    • Time-consuming;
    • Expensive;
    • Inefficient;
    • Too late;
    • So inconvenient that people mostly won’t ask for them (thank heavens, given the expense!);
    • and liable to be wrong as the accessifier doesn’t know the subject as well as the author does.


    2) Try to work accessibility into your document creation process.

    This is not as easy as it could be. A start is to use Microsoft Word’s more efficient Styles rather than using the typical hodgepodge of ad hoc formatting that many of us do. Styles should be a normal part of enforcing corporate presentation standards. By using styles for headings, bullets etc you have already built basic navigation into your document, because you can automatically generate a table of contents that links back to each section.

     Authors need some (not much!) training to produce accessible documents. It would be better if word processors like Word provided Incidental Obligatory Accessibility, if they always asked the right questions and discouraged the wrong type of formatting, so that you wrote accessibly without trying and without needing to be skilful. 

     For example, to meet the needs of blind people all images need to have “alt text” with them, to describe the image if it is meaningful, or to remain empty if the image is purely decorative. Tables need rows and columns labelling, so that people relying on screen readers can hear to identify each cell.

     If authors can learn to do these things for themselves, then it takes little extra time - even less when the software prompts properly - and the author controls the content themselves.

    3) If possible use Microsoft Word or html as your output format, rather than PDF.

    Publishers and designers like PDF (Portable Document Format) because they can make an electronic document for people to read on a computer, but which looks exactly like it did on paper. They have full and detailed control of what can be quite complex formatting. They also have control of copying and printing and even apply sophisticated Digital Rights Management (DRM) to it if they wish. Many of these controls can make it difficult or impossible for the computer to read the text out loud - depending on the sophistication and expense of the screenreader software on the one hand and the skill of the user on the other.

     Above all publishers like PDFs because they probably sent the document to the printer as a PDF, so they can publish an electronic version extremely easily, on the web for example, almost as a by-product.

     It is possible to make PDFs accessible, but it is not easy. Typesetting is often subcontracted to people who are not concerned about the accessibility of the electronic version, so accessibility is often dire unless it is expressly demanded. We won’t go into detail here as to how to make a PDF accessible. Adobe publish a series of  documentstelling you how to do it. You can produce accessible PDFs with Adobe’s own InDesign publishing progam, but it is impossible with the rival Quark Express. Even accessible PDFs are very difficult to read on mobile phones, where the reading software is less well developed. As mobile phones increasingly become the universal device of choice, people will increasingly expect to be able to do this.

     Word, on the other hand produces accessible documents comparatively easily and you can read them with a screen reader without problems. Web pages in html are also comparatively easy to produce accessibly and to read with assistive technology. There are free tools that check your pages automatically and help guide you as to how accessible they are. (But you still need a human tester as well).

    4) If you have to use PDFs - some things to check.

    You can create three types of PDF file, which at first sight all look the same:

    • Image;
    • Searchable image;
    • Formatted text and graphics.

    Image PDFs are rare on the web - fortunately so, because they are a pain. They are usually created by scanning pages of text and just contain an image of the text not the separate characters and words of the text itself. So most screen readers cannot read them as they are.

    Searchable image files are better because they have a copy of the actual text behind the image. So screen readers can read the text and search engines like Google can index these files.

     But it is formatted text and graphics that you need if the file is to be truly accessible.

     In addition to navigation structure and image labels, PDFs, which can have complex formatting and boxes, need tagging to show a reading order for screen readers to follow.

    Finally, avoid restricting the use that people can make of your documents - see the attached illustration of Adobe Reader’s Properties/Security tab. Some people may like to do so for copyright and other reasons. But whilst some of the more expensive screen readers can read practically anything, many readers will be locked out if you impose copying restrictions.  Mobiles, Macs and cheaper and free assistive technology may not be able to read PDFs if copying is not allowed.

    Ian Litterick is Executive Chairman of iansyst Ltd (, a member of the B.D.A. New Technologies Committee and an associate member of the Right to Read Campaign.

  • Dyslexia in the workplace

    by User Not Found | Aug 06, 2015

    Sir Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Jamie Oliver – all famous names we’ve come to associate as innovators and strong leaders, and did you know that they are all dyslexic? As many as one in 10 people in the UK workforce have dyslexia, a neurological disorder affecting a person’s reading, writing and spelling skills, but many companies are still unaware of the impact this disability can have on an employee’s job or how to realise their potential.

    Dr Andi Sanderson, Dyslexia Specialist & Lead Consultant at iansyst Ltd, answers key questions on this subject and provides advice to employers on the best ways to ensure a dyslexia-friendly workplace and make sure they are meeting key disability legislation.

    What is dyslexia and what signs would I recognise?

    Dyslexia is a learning disability which impacts on a person’s reading, writing and spelling. Completely unlinked to intelligence, this disability can be incredibly frustrating for a person, particularly as the skills it affects are so fundamental in the workplace. Many dyslexics are innovative, strong leaders, and work very well in teams so can be a real asset to an organisation. Dyslexia is often referred to as a ‘hidden disability’ as there are no visible physical signs which frequently results in workers concealing their dyslexia or being unaware of it and so being judged unfairly.

    Dyslexia affects people in different ways, depending on the severity but signs to look out for in your employees include inconsistent spelling, poor time-keeping, difficulties understanding directions and/or disorganised workspace. Due to the challenges which dyslexics face in their daily job, there may also be less obvious indicators such as an employee passing up on a promotion due to extra paperwork, or reporting in sick as they are struggling to work in an open-plan office.

    For an employer, there are different screening techniques which can be put in place to spot dyslexia, either at interview stage with new employees, or at an appropriate point with existing staff. A simple way to identify dyslexia in existing staff members is to offer a short screening test via your intranet, where employees can take part if and when they like. This is particularly effective for identifying people who have previously been reluctant to be open about their condition, or those who suspect they might be dyslexic but have yet to be diagnosed.

    Once employees have been identified as potentially dyslexic, I would recommend a more in-depth, one-on-one diagnostic assessment to ascertain where they struggle in their job and how they can be better supported.

    So what is required of my company in order to support dyslexic employees?

    The Disability Discrimination Act has been introduced to prevent disabled people being treated less fairly than their able-bodied peers, so it is more important than ever that employers provide the correct support.

    In relation to dyslexia, it is now unlawful, for example, for an employer to discriminate against a current or prospective employee on the basis of their condition. In particular, employers are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to enable dyslexic employees to undertake their work effectively. These reasonable adjustments apply wherever any ‘physical feature’ of the workplace or any ‘arrangements’ made by or on behalf of the employer substantially disadvantage a disabled person.

    How do I approach an employee I suspect is dyslexic?

    It is very important that if you suspect an employee is dyslexic, they are approached before aspects of their work result in performance management issues. You should discuss with them that you have noticed the kinds of errors in their work that have some of the characteristics of dyslexia and reassure them that if they are dyslexic, the company can put systems in place to support them and make their job easier. You should then offer them a screening test and further to that, a diagnostic assessment to identify their individual needs.

    How do I correctly address an employee with this condition?

    The way in which people prefer to be referred to varies and is personal to the individual. I would advise having an open, informal chat with them to ascertain what makes them the most comfortable. Often, older staff who have been diagnosed with dyslexia at a later stage in their lives may have different perceptions of their condition than young team members who are likely to have been diagnosed whilst at school. With this in mind, an initial conversation should be handled with sensitivity.

    It is also important to discuss with them how they would like their condition addressed with other members of staff; whether they wish you to discuss it with their team or keep it private.

    What reasonable adjustments can I make to my company to ensure we are dyslexia-friendly?

    There are different types of training that you can implement in your company to help support dyslexic employees. Types of training you could consider, which should always be carried out by dyslexia specialists, include:

    • Creating the right work environment,including a review of physical working conditions.
    • Individual workplace strategies for your dyslexic employees - this can be as simple as employing a dyslexia specialist to sit with your employee for several sessions to discuss how to make certain work processes work for them e.g. to-do lists, prioritising jobs, colour coding etc.
    • Coaching managers in how to work with dyslexic individuals through recruitment and training. For example, dyslexia-awareness seminars for line managers are very effective and ensure that they know how to get best from their staff.
    • Getting the most out of assistive technology and software in the workplace.

    Assistive technology
    Technology has had an enormous impact on dyslexic people as it removes many barriers to learning. It makes them more independent in their job and alleviates many difficulties with reading, writing, organisation and memory skills. Most important of all, your employee can achieve immediate success which builds confidence. Detailed below are just some examples of areas which dyslexic people often struggle with and how assistive technologies can help.

    • Reading:
      Many dyslexic people cannot access material on the internet due to poor literacy levels. Text to speech software reads text back in a real-speak voice at a speed of their choice. Pages of text can be scanned in and read back in the same way. This software is also useful for proof-reading.
    • Written work:
      An onscreen word bank containing subject specific vocabulary can be helpful. One click on the word/phrase enters it into the text. This reduces keyboard strokes and allows the writing process to continue unhindered by spelling difficulties and slow typing. A right click allows the word/phrase to be spoken so is also useful for word recognition.

    Predictive software suggests a list of the most common words following an initial keystroke. If an employee types ‘b’, a list of common words beginning with ‘b’ appears in the predictor window. The person can have the word spoken before entering it into the text using a single mouse click. Such software enables dyslexics with significant spelling difficulties to write extensively using appropriate vocabulary.

     Speech recognition software can be useful for some dyslexics who are articulate and express themselves well verbally. Having their spoken words converted to type enables them to get their ideas down quickly. The software is compatible with most applications and they can control the computer, including browsing the web and sending emails by using voice commands.

    • Memory skills
      Personal organisers can assist with planning on a daily and weekly basis. For those requiring verbal prompts, a digital recorder can be useful. This is also a quick means of recording tasks and deadlines. The digital recorder, especially when used with software to reference and manage recordings, takes the pain out of note taking and removes the need to trawl back through hours of recorded speech. When used with an external microphone, a digital recorder can record parts of a meeting or conference which can be particularly useful for employees with processing difficulties who need to listen to the information several times.

    What funding is available to help cover the cost of these reasonable adjustments?

    Access to Work (AtW) is a government-funded grant operated through Job Centre Plus which can help. If an employee applies for funding within the first six weeks they are employed with you, AtW may cover up to around 90% of the costs of the reasonable adjustments. The amount is dependent on the size of your organisation, as many bigger companies/government organisations may not be eligible for the grant in full. Check this out

    Five simple things you could do immediately to make your company more dyslexia friendly…

    1. Make all company reference documents available in a plain, sans-serif font such as Arial, in point size 13 (at least) and on a cream paper. Wherever possible, also offer these alternative formats via an intranet that your staff can access easily. 
    2. Ensure all notes, handouts etc are circulated electronically two to three days prior to meetings.
    3. Provide all employees with dyslexia awareness training.
    4. Provide screening in open-plan offices, with plenty of plants (these absorb noise as well as creating a more pleasant environment).
    5.  Find out about Access to Work and make sure that new staff are informed about it. Set up a system to make applications easy and effective.
  • Windows 10 Software Compatibility

    by User Not Found | Jul 08, 2015
    Microsoft are now offering free upgrades to their new operating system, Windows 10. Not all of your assistive technology software will be compatible with Windows 10 so it is important to check compatibility by using our compatibility checker table - you should not upgrade until you have checked this. iansyst will be unable to offer technical support for any issues if you choose not to take this advice. 

    Check your software is compatible with Windows 10 by following this link.
  • Working in partnership with NHS Supply Chain

    by User Not Found | Oct 27, 2014

    iansyst are proud to announce that we are now working in partnership with NHS Supply Chain.


    NHS Supply Chain are involved in over 30% of the NHS spend per annum. Our products will now be available to over 1000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across the country.


    We’re really looking forward to helping the NHS with our assistive technology products and hope that this will make a big difference in the healthcare organisations. 

    Go comment!
  • How will the SEND reform affect me?

    by User Not Found | Oct 03, 2014

    If you are the individual with SEN or disabilities you will now be placed at the centre of discussions about the support you will receive. This gives you much more control and allows you to make important decisions that will prepare you for adult life. You will now be given an EHC plan. This has replaced SEN statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) and will be given to those under 19 years, or in some cases 25 years. If you are going to university or entering the workplace you will no longer receive an EHC plan. You will be involved in your EHC plan to help your opinions reflect the decisions made. Your local authority is now required to provide you with a ‘Local Offer’. This will outline what support is available for you.   


    If you are a parent of a young person with SEN or disabilities your child will become responsible for their EHC plan and, unless they feel your child is unable to make informed decisions as a result of their SEN or disability, they will engage directly with your child. If your child had a statement under the old system they will most likely get an EHC plan. The only exceptions to this are if their needs have significantly changed or they are no longer in education. If your child wishes, you can be involved in helping to make decisions to form their EHC plan. The local authority will work closely with you and your child to ensure all views and wishes are included in the plan. You can also help in creating a personal budget. A personal budget is an amount of money from the government to deliver SEN support. More information on the personal budgets will be set out in your Local Offer from your local authority.


    If you are a teacher you will need to be aware that the SEND reforms will require a whole school approach. It is very important that all areas of the school understand what the changes mean. You will need to have reviewed your school’s SEN policy and informed parents about what is changing and how the transition will take place. Teachers should listen to the views of the individual as well as their parents and carers to ensure their aims and outcomes are met. The reforms focus on high quality teaching, differentiating individual pupils needs. 

    Go comment!
  • What changes have been made?

    by User Not Found | Oct 03, 2014

    The reforms that took place from 1st September 2014 are a transformation of the way support is provided for young people with SEN or disabilities. The reform has bought in some of the biggest changes in 30 years to Special Education Needs and Disability support. This article will explain the numerous changes that have been made to the system and what effect this will have.

    The new SEND system means that young people with special educational needs and their families will be placed at the centre of discussions about the support they will receive. They will be able to make their feelings and wishes clear when the local authority creates their Education, Health and Care plan. SEN statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) will be replaced with the new Education, Health and Care plans (EHCs) up until the age of 19, and in some cases up to 25 years. This plan will be a legal document and will outline the support a young person needs. Those who are going to university or the workplace will not be eligible for an EHC Plan.

    The reforms require local authorities to give a ‘Local Offer’ outlining what support will be available for young people with SEN and disabilities. From September 2014, every local authority will publish information about the support that is expected to be available in the area for young people with SEN and disabilities. It aims to provide clear and accessible information about the range of support available.

    The SEN Code of Practice has been changed. This document gives guidance from the government on what local authorities, schools and other bodies should be doing in order to support young people with SEN and disabilities. Education, social care and health services are now required to work together to give young people with SEN and disabilities support.

    The government have listened to parents and young people to bring together a reform that will support a better transition for young people with SEN or disabilities into adulthood.

    To read the full report of the reform please follow this link.
    Go comment!
  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network.

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    Connect to a Wi-Fi network.

    You may find this article useful if:

    • You need to connect your computer to a new Wi-Fi network
    • You Wi-Fi password has been changed for security reasons
    • You experience problems with your Wi-Fi connection

    To connect to any wireless network you usually need to have that networks wireless passphrase or key.

    • You can commonly find the wireless passphrase on the Router that has been supplied by your internet service provider on a sticker on the back or underneath of the router.
    • If you wish to connect to a network that belongs to someone else or is a public network you will need to obtain the key from the owner.
    1. Once you have the key, click on the icon for Wi-Fi to the bottom right of your screen .
    2. You will now see a list of available wireless networks, Find the network you want to connect to and left click on it.

    Note: Make sure you are trying to connect to the right network; sometimes the names of the networks can look similar so double-check to make sure you have selected the right one.

    3.   Next  click on “Connect” and you will be asked to enter the wireless key for this network
    4.  Carefully type the key into the box provided and then click on “Ok”
    5.  After a moment you should now be connected to your chosen wireless network.

    NOTE: If you are still not able to connect you will need to speak to whoever administers your network as there may be some specific settings applied to the router preventing it from connecting. The next call should be to your ISP for support.


  • Windows 8 System Recovery from within Windows

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You may fine this article useful if:

    • Your system has viruses
    • The operating system is corrupt
    • Windows is behaving unexpectedly
    • Multiple applications crash or no longer run

     To restore your computer from the original Iansyst installation you must follow these steps.

    1)    Press the Windows + I key.

    2)    Click the Power button power button  at the bottom of Settings to open a list of power options.
    3)    Hold the Shift key while you click Restart.
    4)    After a moment you will reach the choose an option screen as shown below. You should select troubleshoot at this option

    Choose an option window

    5)    From the troubleshoot menu please select Advanced options

    troubleshoot window

    6)     From the advanced options menu please select  System Image recovery

    7)    The computer will now prepare to recover the original system image. You will be prompted to enter the password for your use account, if you do not have a password please leave this field empty.

    8)    You will now be asked the select a backup  , You Should click Use the latest available system image (recommended) , and then click Next.

    9)    On the Choose additional restore options page, click Next .

    10)    On the confirmation page, click Finish . Then click Yes . Windows begins to restore the computer. Once the restore has finished, Windows will automatically restart

  • Office 2013 – Word and excel Crash when opening

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You may find this article useful if:

    •  Word Crashes when opened
    • Excel Crashed when opened
    • You see the following error

    MS Word Stopped working screen

    This error is usually caused by broken or incompatible Addins in office – To resolve this problem the offending addin must be disabled.


    1. Firstly hold the Windows key & press “R” to open a “Run” dialog box.
    2. Type “winword /safe” or copy and paste the text below and press “Enter”
    3. Word should now open up in safe mode
    4.  Click File > options > and then click Add-ins
    5. At the bottom of the add ins window you will see Manage, make sure this is set to “COM Add-ins” and click “Go
    6. You will now be able to see a list of all the current Add-ins, You can untick an item to stop it loading with office and stop it crashing and then click “Ok”

    Note: It may take a little trial an error to find the malfunctioning Add-in.

    7. Now close all the open windows and restart Microsoft Word as normal.

  • Removing Malware and viruses from your computer

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You should fine this article useful if:

    • You believe you have a virus
    • Your Google searches or browsing is being Redirected
    • You are getting lots of Pop ups or adverts


    1)    Firstly you need to download a tool remove the malware from your system – We recommend malware bytes and can you download it from the following link:


    2)      Start the Install of Malwarebytes by double clicking the mbam-setup file.  The setup will guide you through the installation and clicking “next” will guide you to the next screen until the install is complete.

     Note: when given the option please deselect the “ Enable free trial of   Malwarebytes” option

    Click Finish to complete the setup and open Malwarebytes.

      3) You should now see a screen like the one below and  the program will start to update its virus database  - If you don’t see the green tick next to the database version , click “update now” to make sure the program has received the latest’s updates.
    Malware Bytes image

     4)     Now that the program ha the latest updates we need to start a full computer scan which you can do by clicking “Scan now” button. Whilst a scan is in progress it will look like the image below.

     Note: Depending on the amount of files, computer speed and amount of infections this scan could take a couple of hours.
    Threat Scan Image

    5)    When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine All” button, and then click on the “Apply Now” button.

    remove malware screen

    Note: Malwarebytes may prompt to restart the computer to complete the removal of some items; You should save any open work and allow the restart to happen.

     6)    Your computer should now be clean of viruses but performing a secondary scan is recommended to double check the scan has found all malicious items.

  • How to restore the original Iansyst image – windows 7

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You may find this article useful if:

    • Your system has viruses
    • The operating system is corrupt
    • Windows is behaving unexpectedly
    • Multiple applications crash or no longer run


    Restoring your computer may cause you to lose important files and any programs you have installed since we supplied your computer will be removed along with any settings changes you may have made.

    It is really important that you perform a full back up of your work to ensure you do not loose important data.
    iansyst cannot take responsibility for any lost data during this process
     If you are unsure about running this restore, please call our support line on 0800 018 0145 and our team of technicians will advise you further.

    1. Please make sure the computer is fully shutdown
    2. Turn on the computer  and begin pressing the “F11” key once per second
    3. You should see a message that says “starting acronis Loader…” – Keep pressing the F11 key
      Acronis Loader screen
    4.  After a moment the screen should change and look like this 

    Acronis true image screen

    5. If you see a box with “Enter Linux Kernel Command Line” press the “Esc” (Escape Key) once.

    6. Select the second option “Restore

    7. You will be given an advisory notice about the potential loss of data by running this restore. 

    8. Only select to continue if you have backed up your important files first.

    9. Once you have selected to continue the restore the process will begin. It takes around 20-30 minutes to complete the restore.

    10. When finished you will be prompted with an option to restart your computer, Select “restart” and once restarted your computer will be ready to use.

  • How to Reset Google Chrome

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You May find this article useful if:

    • You browsing is being redirected
    • You are getting lots of adverts / Pop ups
    • Chrome will not open
    • Chrome crashes frequently

     To reset Google Chrome please follow these instructions

    1. Make sure Google Chrome is closed.
    2. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the run dialog.
    3. Type in the following and press enter  %localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\

    Press Ctrl + A to select all the files in the folder.


    4. Hold down Ctrl + A and click once on the files “Bookmarks” and “Bookmarks.bak”. This will unselect them. 

    5. With all the files selected (except for your Bookmarks), press the Delete key and click Yes to delete the files.

    6. Restart Google chrome and it should now have been reset

  • How to Reset Canon Printer ink absorber

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You may find this article useful if:

    • The printer gives an error message when trying to print
    • Printer does not print – No errors
    1. Ensure the printer is turned off
    2. Press and hold the resume button – Triangle in the circle
    3. Whilst the resume button is held  - press and hold the power button – A green Light should come onKeep the power button held down, Release the resume button and press the resume button twice - The green light should turn amber and then green again.Release the power button and then press the resume button 4 times and then press the power button straight away to confirm.
    4. Turn Printer off and then on again.
    5. Try to print.
  • How to remove old and unwanted programs from your computer

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You find this article useful if:

    • You have unwanted programs installed on your computer
    • You want to uninstall old programs
    • You want to reinstall a program but need to remove it first
    • You have pop ups and ad’s caused by rogue software.


    1. Firstly you will need to go to the control panel – Go to “start” and then click on “ control Panel”

    Remove programs image 1

    2. From the Control panel Choose “Programs and features”.
    Remove programs image 2

    3. You should now see a large list of programs installed – Review this list and choose the application you want to uninstall and then click “uninstall”

    Remove programs image 3

    4. You should receive on screen instructions directing you to uninstall this application

    5. Once you have uninstalled that application you can repeat as needed to uninstall other applications.

    Note: Please be careful when choosing applications to uninstall, if you are not sure what they are then a Google search should provide some information as to what the program is and does.

  • How to fully uninstall office 2010 / 2013

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

    You May find this article useful if:

    • Office programs crash or freeze
    • Office  programs fail to open
    • Saved files are corrupted


    1. To fully uninstall office 2010 and 2013 you can use the Microsoft Fix-it removal tool. You can download the tool from here
    2. Double click the downloaded file to open the Uninstall tool – You will now see the following screen

    Fix It screen 1

    3. Tick the “I agree” box and then click next and system will begin to create a restore point.

    4. After a few minutes you will be prompted with the following screen advising the tool is now ready to start the removal process

    Fix it screen 2

    5. Click “Next” and the process will start; it can take up to about 15 minutes to complete this process.
    6. During the removal you will see a screen like this.
    Techsupport removal screen

    7.When finished you will see the following screen , Click “Close” to finish the removal.

    Fix it finish screen

  • How to back up and restore Dragon 11 and 12 profiles

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

     You may find this article useful if:

     You want to reinstall dragon

     You want to migrate your profile to a new computer

     You want to back up your profile to a safe place

    Backing up your profile

    1. From the Dragon Bar, click the ‘Profile’ button.

    2. Select the ‘Manager User Profiles’ option.

    3. Select the user profile you would like to back up

    4. Click the ‘Advanced’ button and then choose ‘Export’

    5. Choose a safe location to save the exported user profile.

    6. Click ‘OK’ to save the user profile.

    Restoring your user profile

    1. From the Dragon Bar, click the ‘Profile’ button.

    2. Select the ‘Manager User Profiles’ option.

    3. Click the ‘Advanced’ button and then choose ‘Import’

    4. Now select the backup you created previously.

    5. Click ‘OK’ to import the user profile.

  • Function Keys not working on Toshiba Laptop

    by User Not Found | Jun 09, 2014

     You may find this Article useful if:

     Brightness Controls do not work

     Volume controls do not work

     Track pad Enable /Disable keys not working.

    Option 1

    Press and Hold the FN key and then press the desired function key .

    Option 2

    1. Check the Flash Card settings:

    2. On the Start Menu go to All Programs/Toshiba/Utilities/

    3. Click on "Restart Flash Cards" if it exists.

    4. Click on "Settings for Flash Cards" if it exists. Make sure the "Disable all function keys" option is unchecked and click OK.

    5. Test function keys

  • VAT, Dyslexia and Disability

    by User Not Found | Feb 03, 2014

    Information about VAT, dyslexia, disabilities and getting VAT relief or zero rate VAT.

    Please Note: We have put this information together with great care and good advice, including long correspondence with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) VAT Policy Directorate, Charities and Healthcare Branch. These are the people who set VAT policy and try to ensure that local offices follow it consistently. But we can accept no responsibility if other VAT offices or tribunals come to a different conclusion in individual cases. If you intend to use this information for your financial advantage (e.g. by selling any of the products without charging VAT) you should take your own advice. Please do not ask us to explain the logic behind any of these rules. Any logic is probably hidden in the mists of time and political lobbying by different causes at different times.


    VAT is a tax chargeable on many products supplied to any customer within the European Union. Information in this article is based on the Value Added Tax Act 1994, in particular Schedule 8 ( Group 12), which deals with zero-rated supplies of goods and services. The current UK VAT rate is 20%.

    VAT relief:

    We have to charge VAT on everything except as follows:

    1. book sales;
    2. we do not charge VAT to customers whom we invoice and ship to outside the European Union;
    3. VAT-registered organisations in other European Union countries should give us their EU-VAT number, so that we do not need to charge VAT;
    4. individuals with disabilities, who are buying products that have been designed solely for people with disabilities, for their own personal or domestic use, can claim VAT relief (sometimes know as VAT exempt or exemption, although this is technically the wrong term);
    5. charities who are buying products designed for disabled people can, in certain circumstances, also claim VAT relief;
    6. charities can sometimes buy diagnostic products with VAT relief.

    The VAT position on dyslexia and other disabilities:

    Dyslexia, for VAT purposes, can be a disability if it “has a substantial long-term adverse effect on ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. This includes reading, writing, remembering and studying.

    To claim relief from VAT you must sign the appropriate certificate and send it to the supplier (see How do I apply?, below). On our website you can make the declaration quite simply in the shopping cart.

    But VAT relief does not apply to products which are designed for ordinary use and happen to be used by someone with a disability, and so does not apply (for example) to word processing software, even when configured for use by people with disabilities. In our context, it does apply to a number of products, for example Texthelp Read & Write, which were designed for dyslexic people, and to parts of the hardware on which they run. But we must charge VAT, even for these products, when we sell them to someone who has no acknowledged disability.

    By a special concession we can give VAT relief on dictation software, but only when it is purchased pre-installed on one of our computer systems and when it “enables a disabled person to use the computer system or other software effectively, or to carry out tasks effectively when otherwise they could not.” (VAT Notice 701/7/02 Para 9.2).

    The VAT relief belongs to the disabled individual (or parent or carer acting on their behalf). However, you can get VAT relief if you are a student claiming DSA (Disabled Student’s Allowance) even if your funding body pays us directly: we invoice you, but send the invoice to the funding body, for payment by them.

    HMRC have an information page (Reduced-rate VAT on equipment and vehicles for disabled people) on their website.


    Charities can also claim relief from VAT:

    1. when buying the same products designed for disabled people, according to VAT Notice 701/1/95 Para 6.1.2;
    2. as long as they are buying it with their own or other charitable funds;
    3. (but not if paid for by a commercial organisation commissioning particular research, for example).

    This also applies to computer hardware, as below:

    1. only if it is specifically for use by disabled people (e.g. in a disability resource centre);
    2. not if it is for general computer room or library use.

    What is a charity?

    “Charities” include educational organisations such as universities and many schools, even when not registered as charities. A charity:

    1. does not have to be registered to be eligible for VAT purposes;
    2. includes non-profit organisations providing care for dyslexic or disabled people or providing education;
    3. normally includes, for example, local Dyslexia Associations;
    4. includes you if the Inland Revenue treats you as a charity;
    5. also includes charitable organisations in other EU states, as long as they show that they meet these conditions.

    (See: VAT Notice 701/1/04 Charities; VAT Notice 701/7/02 Reliefs for Disabled People; VAT Notice 701/30/02 Education and Vocational Training).

    A charity is not limited to domestic and personal use, if the products (designed for disabled people) are paid for with its own funds or from voluntary donations (both “voluntary funds”), whether given to the charity or bought by it. Thus the items could be used in a resource centre.

    Charities which exist to provide care for people with disabilities or to do research sometimes think that they can avoid VAT on general computer equipment, software and accessories, if the goods are funded by themselves or other charity or voluntary contributions. (VAT Notice 701/6 Charity Funded Equipment). But this is only true if the goods are for medical or veterinary research, diagnosis or training (see Paras 4.2.4 and 4.2.5 ). This will rarely apply to products for dyslexic or disabled people, except for Diagnostic Products below.

    Which products are eligible?

    You can claim VAT relief if you:

    1. are an individual with a disability (including dyslexia as above);
    2. are buying a product that has been designed solely for people with disabilities;
    3. and it is for your personal or domestic use.

    “Designed solely for people with disabilities” does not mean that it can only ever be used by somebody who has a disability. But it does mean that the manufacturer’s intention in designing the product was purely to meet the needs of disabled people. We consider that some products, of those that we sell, meet this condition and so can be sold without VAT to an individual or charity under the conditions outlined above. These products have been agreed with our or the manufacturer’s or publisher’s local VAT office. See Para 4.5 in VAT Notice 701/7/02 Reliefs for Disabled People.

    Personal or domestic use” excludes normal commercial use, but includes, for example, computers supplied under the Access to Work scheme for the personal use of the disabled person.

    Diagnostic products:

    Diagnostic products (e.g. those from Lucid Research and Dyscalculium) can also sometimes be zero-rated under different rules. This will typically be a Health Care organisation, local Dyslexia Association or other charity which has “as its sole purpose and function the provision of a range of services for, or on behalf of … disabled people”. (See VAT Notice 701/6 Charity Funded Equipment, for who is eligible) If you are an eligible body and the product is being bought by you or donated to you and you fill in the relevant form (Certificate F, which is in PDF format) as “a charitable institution providing care or medical or surgical treatment for handicapped persons”, then we can supply the diagnostic product zero rated. There is a full Checklist (in VAT Notice 701/6) which, although designed for suppliers, should have enough information on purchasers to help you judge whether or not you qualify.


    Training can also qualify for VAT relief but only when it is ordered in connection with a computer system or software that is also zero rated.

    Computer Hardware:

    A central processor may be zero-rated if:

    1. it is sold as part of a computer system; and
    2. it has software installed that enables a disabled person to use the computer system or other software effectively, or to carry out tasks effectively when otherwise they could not.

    So, where we supply a computer with VAT-free software to help with dyslexia (e.g. dictation software, Texthelp Read & Write, Kurzweil 3000) pre-installed, we can also supply the CPU (Central Processing Unit) VAT-free on which to run the software. This includes any hardware which is supplied as standard with that model, including:

    1. keyboard and mouse;
    2. speakers;
    3. integral screen, e.g. on notebook computers and iMacs.

    In addition the following will then also be free of VAT:

    1. training and installation of the software;
    2. software-support fees;
    3. any future maintenance payments for the VAT-free items.

    The following items cannot be supplied VAT-free:

    1. monitors for desktop PCs;
    2. printers;
    3. scanners;
    4. hardware upgrades external to the standard system box, such as better speakers;
    5. computers where there is no enabling software, even if there is specialist hardware (e.g. a special keyboard).

    How do I apply?

    If you are buying from the web site you can just fill in the declaration in the shopping checkout. Otherwise we will need a signed copy of the relevant form, which can be sent to us by email as an attachment, fax or post - the fax number and address are on the form. The links below provide printer-friendly versions of the form. Once we have a form from you on file, we will not normally need to get one again.

    Note: HMRC has now made its own internal guidance on VAT & disabilities available under the FOI Act.