First Jed is included as part of a Jed subscription. It has all the great features of standard Jed, including comprehensive independent and impartial information on hundreds of careers, and thousands of training and progressions routes. For the visual learner there are hundreds of videos and thousands of pictures, and to find out more, there are thousands of checked links to sources of further information. It also has a number of features specially for First Jed, like even easier text, simplified quiz, and a colourful interactive World of Work map.
The features of Jed and First Jed make them suitable for many special needs students. Depending on student abilities and the support available, some students may be able to use it on their own or with minimal supervision.
Jed's text is designed to be easy to read, and First Jed simplifies that further. Lots of the text in First Jed is in bullet points, which many students find easier to understand than larger paragraphs of text.
Jed and First Jed include text-to-speech. On each page there's a speech bubble icon. Clicking on the bubble activates a computer voice to read the text on the page. The voice is natural-sounding and it highlights the words on the page as it reads.
Jed's text-to-speech brings the program within reach of weaker readers. Even for better readers, text-to-speech gives extra confidence and encourages the student to use the program on their own where possible.
Students who have difficulties reading or concentrating can be overwhelmed by pages with dozens of questions to answer. First Jed's quiz asks one question per page, with an illustration to go with it, so that students have just one question to concentrate on at a time.
After a few answers, First Jed can start making suggestions about jobs for the user to look at.
As the user continues using Jed or First Jed, the program asks additional questions, one at a time, relevant to that user and the job they are currently looking at. For example, if you are looking at a job that involves looking after people, Jed will ask how you feel about that sort of work. With the user's answers, Jed builds up a better profile and refines its suggestions.
First Jed uses a handwriting-style font, so that the letters in First Jed are shown in the way that the student would write them.
Jed and First Jed don't assume any prior careers knowledge. So any time there's a word that might not be in most users' vocabulary, it has a green dotted line under it. For any word indicated in this way, hover over it and you get a pop-up box explaining what that word means. There are hundreds of word explanations in Jed and First Jed, from 'CV' and 'GCSE' to 'overtime' and 'voluntary'.
Visual learners enjoy the pictures and videos in Jed and First Jed. All of the videos and picture sets show real people doing real jobs.
The videos all have subtitling, which can be turned on or off. This makes the videos accessible to hearing-impaired users.
Just like in any workplace, a few of the people doing the work shown in the pictures and videos have disabilities or special needs. Jed doesn't make a big deal out of this; these pictures and videos are just mixed in unannounced with all the other pictures and videos.
Jed and First Jed conform to level 'AA' of the W3C standards. These are the global standards for accessibility on the web. That means Jed and First Jed are compatible with W3C-compliant devices for accessibility, including screen readers and alternative input devices.
Jed features a wide range of jobs. For some you don't need any formal qualifications, while for others you would need a Masters degree or PhD. Most are somewhere in between.
Depending on the special needs of your user group, it may be that some of the higher qualification level jobs will be unattainable to them. Having the program continually suggest jobs that are unattainable can be disheartening. So Jed allows teachers to configure the program to only show jobs at certain levels.
The jobs in Jed are banded into the following qualification levels:
The qualification levels to show are set within the password-protected tutor settings area. In the tutor settings you can configure other aspects of Jed too, including which information items to show, adding your own web links, and opening links in new browser windows.
English with its quirky spellings can be a challenge for any reader, including those with special needs. Searching for 'docter', 'acter', 'farmersist', and 'meckanick' and finding nothing would be discouraging. But with Jed, all of those searches, and many more mis-spellings, will get you a 'did you mean' prompt leading to the job you intended. It's all part of Jed's approach to making things easier for the user.