Helen Simon Profile:

I am currently a national adviser for the International Examination Officers' Association to improve access arrangements for students with SEND. I have worked with a leading exam boards to create access arrangements (AA) that support the centre, the student and keep the integrity of the exam system. I have been asked to contribute to meetings at OFQUAL and the JCQ to support the exam system with AA for students using assistive technology.

I have a Master’s degree in Language and Communication; the research for my dissertation focused on independent writing skills based on speech recognition software, in mainstream schools. I was able to implement this assistive technology in mainstream classrooms, enabling students to achieve their full literacy potential. I also used it in the classroom as a strategy for raising independent writing skills and raising self-esteem amongst students with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ASD, ADHD and Downs' Syndrome, raising the aggregate score of the schools I worked in by 20%.

I am Joint head of Autism Unit in a mainstream academy. Working with students from year 9 to sixth form, assisting them in accessing mainstream school. Working one-to-one with students with the most severe language and communication difficulties, and supporting development of their social skills.

I train teachers and students in classrooms across the country on how to use assistive technology, specifically Speech Recognition Software (SRS), in the classroom. Teachers can then use the technology to write reports and plan lessons, whilst students use the technology for learning and sitting examinations.

I've worked with students and teachers in both mainstream and special schools, with class sizes ranging from 5 to 35 students. I also work one-to-one to enable the most vulnerable students in education to reach their full potential.

You can contact the EOA at [email protected] EOA or Helen at [email protected]