Co:Writer Universal

AT/IT Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) is excellent tool teach all students including the students with disabilities because it makes easier to teach and deliver the knowledge to pupils. There are different Apps or software can be used with special education (special needs students).

Writing is one of best way to make others hear your voice whatever where you are. You can write in many different places such as social media (Twitter, Facebook…etc), forums, blogs, word documents, PowerPoint…etc. However, some people may have difficulties to write because their disabilities. Therefore, Co:Writer Universal created to help special needs students who have difficulties in writing to make it more easier.

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Co: Writer Universal:

Co:Writer Universal is a program that supports students' literacy and communication skills. According to Don Johnston website, Co:Writer Universal is program that design to uses grammar- and vocabulary-smart word prediction to help students better express their ideas in writing in anywhere they want such as Google Chrome, iPad, and Mac/Windows desktop.

Introduction of what is Co:Writer Universal

Co:Writer Universal

Co:Writer Universal is Designed for Academic Use:

Co:Writer Universal helps students to write essays, paragraphs and sentences by:

  • Using FlexSpell technology to correct grammar and spelling.
  • Bringing the topic-specific vocabulary instantly when writing in the content areas.
  • Transferring writing by using Cloud so easily.
  • Giving the teacher feedback and data of students' writing process (count words & Time).
  • Read article or paragraphs from the documents or web page by click in "Speak" bottom.

Accommodates specific learning goals of student with learning challenges (writing, reading, communication):

By using Co:Writer Universal, teacher can help students with special needs to achieve their academic skills and goals in:

  • Writing: correct the grammar and spelling. Also, students can select the topic so all vocabulary that link to the topic will appear while they are writing.
  • Reading: it read what the students write so students can read and write at the same time. Also, it can read anything the student highlight.
  • Communication: students will able to communicate in writing form in many different places (e.g. student can write and participate in forums to discuss a topic with his/her classmates or other people around the world; student can write a tweet or post his/her state in Facebook; student can create a blog and write his journals or write comments..etc).

Classroom implementation strategies:

To implement Co: Writer Universal, teacher needs to:

  1. The teacher needs to introduce Co:Writer Universal to the students.
  2. Show the students install on iPad or Google Chrome or Desktop.
  3. Show students how to sign in or give them the class code.
  4. Students will able to use Co: Writer Universal in their devices in many different programs and browsers.
  5. The teacher can assign assessment or project to do such as journals, reflections, essay, presentations, comments and blog. Moreover, they can use the Co:Writer in quiz if the teacher wants to let them use it. Therefore, students will able to write the things that they wish to write about without find difficulties to write.
  6. Students will be able to organize information and will feel confidence so they will love to write. Additionally, it will help them in using new words, correct spelling and grammar.
  7. Students can use an existing topic or add their dictionaries.
  8. Students can write at home or class or anywhere when they iPad with them because it work in different devices and the writing files are storage in the cloud services online.
  9. The teacher can see students development and collect data by using her account.

Here is some strategies from the teachers who used Co:Write Universal.

Some good videos to help in classroom implementation strategies:

EducatorDashboard_Account Setup
Co:Writer Universal (Chrome Extension): Topic Dictionaries
CoWriter Universal | Understanding the Data

Ways to use in an inclusion setting:

As we know, inclusion becomes part of our education setting. We have many schools and universities around the world who has special needs students. In fact, one of the most skill to become a student in school or university is writing. Therefore, Co:Writer Universal is very valuable tool for all students including disabilities students who have some difficulties in writing such as:

  • Dyspraxia: a student has some difficulties in motor skills (fine and gross motor skills) so she/he has so hard time to hold a pen or pencil and write.
  • Dyslexia: a student who have troubles in reading so Co: Writer Universal will read for him so he can write.
  • Learning disabilities: some student has some difficulties in learning and understanding so grammar and spelling so Co: Writer Universal will support him/her to write.

These were few examples of many. In addition, students with a disability will not feel they are disabled because all students can use it.

Training requirements for teachers/students/parents:

Co:Writer Universal is easy to use, and it works with different devices (Windows, Mac and iPad). There are few things that a teacher need to know before she/he uses Co: Writer Universal. All what a teacher needs are:

  • Sign up an account.
  • Pay for the Co: Writer Universal.
  • Give the code to the students.
  • Follow up their data and updates.

Students easily can use it by few clicks in their devices after the teacher set up the Co:Writer Universal. While students start typing a letter, five numbers (from 1 to 5) will appear; each number show the expectation word so the student can click on the number that illustrate his/her idea.

Parents can support their children at home, so they need to know the basic of how to use Co:Writer Universal. This can be easily done by email them few videos.

For more guidance to use Co:Writer Universal, you can visit the support center or visit the resources page.

Good Videos for training

Co:Writer Universal (Chrome Extension): Overview
CoWriter Unviersal iPad Interface

On-Deman and Live Webinars:

You still confuse about Co:Writer Universal? No worries, there are many Webinars for you!

  • Here is all On-Deman which you can watch it now.
  • Here is the updating list of online Webinars.

GOOD NEWS!! Online Webinars are coming soon register now!

I list some of them below:

Going Google: Accessible Reading and Writing with Co:Writer and Snap&Read

In this webinar, Zach Bender joins us to share how districts are using Co:Writer and Snap&Read Universal to help their students read and write across Google. He will share how you can do the same and instantly track usage and qualitative data that helps implementation.

Whether your district is just beginning to consider Google for your students or have already “gone Google”, this webinar will help you make the best accommodation decisions possible.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Central)

Smart Data, Safe Students: Harnessing Data While Protecting Student Privacy

In this webinar, accessibility leader Mike Marotta joins us to help answer these questions and give you criteria to use when selecting apps and extensions that will keep your student data safe. From COPPA to FERPA, we’ve synthesized the regulations and requirements. Mike will also share the student-safe way Don Johnston is protecting student privacy with data collection in Co:Writer and Snap&Read Universal.

Join us for this webinar to learn what we can do to take to better protect student data — and keep our students safe!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Central)

Chrome as AT: What You Need to Know

From Chromebooks to Google docs, Google for Education has exploded. The devices and apps change just about everything you know about accessibility.

In this webinar, accessibility leader Mike Marotta will share what you need to know to support accessibility on Chromebooks and Google apps on the Chrome Browser. Mike will also share literacy-based accessibility tools Co:Writer Universal (word prediction) and Snap&Read Universal (text reader and leveler) with you.

Thursday, July 16, 2015 — 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Central)

Other features pertaining to adoption of technology for instruction:

Co:Writer Universal has many unique features such as:

  • Using FlexSpell technology: show the expectation words, fix spelling and grammar.
  • Reading: "Speaks" option read the highlighted text. Moreover, it works so well with

    Snap&Read Universal which read the PDF and Charts texts.

  • Can be everywhere and anytime: it works on many different devices (Mac, iPad, Desktop and Windows) and programs and website (Microsoft office, social media, online test...etc).

  • Vocabulary: students can Add topic dictionaries or select a topic from the list. There are over 4 million Topic Dictionaries. Here is good video show how this work.

  • Adding images to the text.

  • Using Google Apps: students can use cloud services, Google docs, sheet, forms...etc.

  • Data collection: the teacher can get students summary data (words count, time) so easily from the website (her account). Here is a video to present how to do that.

Information about company which produces the product and pricing:

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Don Johnston

Don Johnston started the company in 1980 to help students read and write with technology. About us page shows the whole story of Don Johnston website.
He created many programs and assertive technology to help students with disabilities:
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More information about the products can be view here.

Co:Writer Universal information can be viewed here.

Sign in for e-Newsletters click here.

Don Johnston website is very flexible with the pricing so you can request a quote to fit your budgets. Here full information about the pricing.

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Technical requirements:

As I mention above, Co:Writer Universal work in many devices which are Mac, iPad, Desktop and Windows. The table below shows the requirement of each device:
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Website link with product pictures, demonstration and support resources:

Links to download the Co:Writer Universal in different devices:
Here is the full guidance how to download in each device including desktop

For other supports or questions for technical requirement click here.

Here you can hear and read real stories from students and teachers who use Co: Writer Universal


Bender, Z. (2015, February 5). Cowriter universal - PATINS [Video file]. Retrieved from

Co:Writer Universal. (n.d.). Retrieved from Don Johnston website:

Don Johnston Incorporated. (2015, March 20). CoWriter universal: Understanding the data [Video file]. Retrieved from

Don Johnston Incorporated. (2015, April 1). Co:Writer universal vocabulary support [Video file]. Retrieved from

Freeman, E. (2014, November 25). CoWriter unviersal iPad interface [Video file]. Retrieved from

Johnston, K. (2014, September 4). Co:Writer universal [Video file]. Retrieved from

Johnston, K. (2014, October 3). Educator dashboard: Accommodate_CoWriter [Video file]. Retrieved from

Johnston, K. (2014, October 3). Educator dashboard: Account setup [Video file]. Retrieved from

Johnston, K. (2014, October 6). Co:Writer universal (chrome extension): Overview [Video file]. Retrieved from

Johnston, K. (2014, October 6). Co:Writer universal (chrome extension): Topic dictionaries [Video file]. Retrieved from