We live in an age of digital distraction. If adults are finding it tough to concentrate, then we can imagine it might be even harder for young people. In this month’s edition of Toolkit Tuesday, we’ll share tips to help your students focus on their writing assignments.

What: Focus Pocus: Assistive Tools Built into Windows, Word, Mac and IOS that Help with the Learning Difficulty We All Share

When: Tuesday, March 28 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM Central

Register on Humanitix

Jessica “Jay” McKay, Director of Community Programs, and Neill Hadder will take you on a tour of popular tools to help your students focus. Among the tools they’ll cover are:

-Microsoft Immersive Reader

-Focus modes on Windows, and Mac

-Windows Contrast Mode and Mac Dark Mode

-Microsoft Word’s specialized focus and reading modes


-Extensions for Google Chrome

Neill has worked in the assistive technology field since 1992 and has conducted field research on disability as a cultural anthropologist. His interest in reading difficulties comes from working with students as a University professor.

As with many accessibility tools built into operating systems, Immersive Reader is one of the many helpful tools for students with and without disabilities.

Neill shares that picture dictionaries are useful for those who are reading content as a second language learner. “The word being spoken will be highlighted and there’s a picture of it.”

Toolkit Tuesday was first launched at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The unexpected and swift move to remote education brought about many changes. For many, simply finding a quiet place to study proved challenging. Neill will give us ideas for better study habits.

“The educators probably know all this already, but it’s a good reminder that the heart of focusing is to have a space and time that are both compartmentalized,” Neill said.

“In other words, if you can establish a place where you work that’s different from the place where you play or sleep, your body learns that when you’re in that space, then you need to focus.”

“Focus Pocus” happens Tuesday, March 28, 2023  at 4:00 PM Central. Join us live or catch the recording.