Jed and First Jed are popular with lots of different user groups
Jed's comprehensive careers information and ease of use make it popular with all sorts of users. Jed is used in schools, colleges, careers centres, PRUs, community drop-ins, and lots of other places. Every Jed licence also includes access to First Jed too.
First Jed is a simplified version of Jed. It is useful and popular with many students who have special needs.
Contact Careersoft to use Jed and First Jed for free for a month, and see how it works with your user groups.
Jed and special needs users
First Jed's special features
First Jed is included as part of your 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, simpler question at a time 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, encouraging them to work towards their own careers discovery and planning.
Simple clear text and low reading age
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.
Easy handwriting-style font
Which of these looks like the first letter of the alphabet to you? , or ?
Confident readers see both examples above as an 'a', even though the second one shown (a 'double-decker' letter 'a') only ever appears in print. For many special needs users, the first one shown (a 'single-decker' letter 'a') is much more recognisable as an 'a', because that is how you write it.
That's why 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'.
Hundreds of videos and thousands of pictures
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.
W3C compliance for accessibility
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.
Configurable for the level of jobs to display
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:
- No-exams level. No school or college exam passes.
- Foundation level. Some exams, but fewer than 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or C or better, or equivalent.
- Intermediate level. 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or C or better, or equivalent.
- Advanced level. A-levels, Scottish Highers, BTEC National, NVQ 3, or equivalent.
- Higher Certificate level. HND, foundation degree, NVQ level 4.
- Degree level. A university bachelors degree or above.
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.
Jed is pretty good at guessing what you mean even if you spell it wrongly
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.
First Jed is an easily accessible resource which can be used to help support your students transitions. See our transitions articles for more tips.
Try Jed for free
UK schools and colleges can try any Careersoft product for free for a month. That's for the full product for all users at your site, and no strings attached. Contact Careersoft online or by phone and get started with your free trial today.
Last updated 23 October, 2019