Introducing the Giglets reader
The Giglets reader sits at the heart of our literacy resource and contains content and features developed in partnership with schools designed to engage and support children and young people in reading and learning.
The Giglets reader supports a range of different text types including:
- animated stories and nursery rhymes,
- illustrated stories,
- comic books,
- wordless picture books,
- news articles, and
- illustrated nonfiction texts.
Within the Giglets reader there are a number of features that can be added to books where appropriate, these include:
- interesting and engaging illustrations,
- theme music to set the scene,
- audio voiceovers that read along with the text,
- sound effects to bring the text to life,
- animations of key scenes in the story, and
- scrolling sections that allow the pupil to explore in greater detail.
Many books in the Giglets library are enhanced with features that allow the teacher to interact with the story on an interactive white board while teaching a group or the whole class.
Giglets displays text in one of two typefaces, both of which are designed to be accessible to dyslexic readers.
Giglets uses Heinemann Education as this was developed for reading in primary schools. Heinemann is defined by longer ascenders and descenders that help children to distinguish between letters, rounded edges on all letterforms help focus the reader on the individual letter shape and modified characters ensure instant recognition of letterforms.
Open Dyslexic typeface is also available on pupil‐facing screens. This has been designed specifically to eliminate some of the common problems faced by dyslexic readers. Letters are given heavy weighted bottoms to prevent the characters from flipping and swapping for the reader as well as helping to reinforce the line of the text. Characters are evenly spaced and are uniquely shaped to be more easily‐discerned, in line with recommendations from the British Dyslexic Association. Within Giglets, Open Dyslexic is simply referred to as ‘Font two’.
Adjustable font size
Within the Giglets reader font sizes can be made larger or smaller. Text or book content adjusts and repaginates or scrolls following a change in font size – a feature often lacking in products which were not built with accessibility in mind.
Tailored text and background colours
Within the Giglets reader, the page background colour can be adjusted to suit each pupil’s reading needs.
Available colours include:
- pink, and
Giglets can also present text in white or yellow on a black background page.
In developing accessibility features Giglets worked with pupils and teachers in across the UK. We also undertook a review of the Giglets literacy resource with Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning Scotland (CALL Scotland, University of Edinburgh). Our aim was to use a digital experience to better support all pupils, particularly those with additional support needs.
It is worth noting that the purple background colour was added in response to a request from one young pupil; she uses purple acetate sheets when reading on paper and finds that the colour supports her reading better than any other. She sent a request to Giglets through her learning support teacher, we were more than happy to add the colour to our selection.
The Giglets reader also contains interactive tools that encourage pupils to interact with the text, these include:
- note taking, and
Giglets provides texts in over 35 languages and each of those is fully supported by the features outlined above. Of particular note is the support of non‐Latin alphabets (such as Hindi and Mandarin) and right‐to‐left languages (such as Arabic and Urdu). This is important in developing a truly inclusive experience for increasingly diverse primary school classrooms. On Giglets no child is given a sub‐standard reading experience because their first language is not English.
Giglets supports each language on the full list (below) in the same way – no language requires that the user follow a different set of rules or switch to an inaccessible format. Fonts in the reader can be made larger, highlighted and annotated regardless of language. Audio and animation can be added to a text in any supported language. If the language used in the book runs from right to left, the book ’opens’ on the rightmost page of text. The teacher and the pupil all experience the same process and user‐friendly functionality that they would find in an English language text on Giglets.