Welcome to our overview of Assistive Technology, organized by category. This is not an exhaustive analysis, but a quick survey of the products that we consider to be valuable tools.  Almost all of these apps and services have free trials so you can see if they work for you. We are not including prices because they change all the time, but we note if something is free, or involves a subscription.

  • Categories:
    • Accessibility options in different operating systems
    • Text to speech
    • Sources for Digital Books and Publications
    • Audio Books
    • Speech to text
    • Literacy Suites
    • Organization and Study tools.

TEXT-TO-SPEECH

Free built-in Text-to-Speech (in Operating Systems and Browsers)

This type of text-to-speech is useful to just get something short read to you. Another important use for text to speech is to read back pieces of writing so you can hear their grammatical or spelling mistakes.

System/Browser
How to Activate
Link if available

Apple

In Settings under Accessibility


microsoft

In Control Panel under Ease of Access

android

In Settings under Language and Input


chrome books

In Settings under Accessibility

safari

Just highlight and right-click

android

Several free text to speech extensions and add-ons get these in upper left corner of browser window.

firefox

Add Extensions…Text to Speech

ie

Doesn’t have built in Text to Speech but can access Windows extension

TEXT TO SPEECH APP: 

We are highlighting this app which, although expensive, is very high quality and provides access to a lot of types of digital text very seamlessly

voice-dream

Voice Dream

A highly recommended Android and iPad App that allows you to import from the web, Google drive, Dropbox and Gutenberg and Bookshare (see sources for eBooks).Reads and highlights the text.

You can change font, color etc…

You can take notes and highlight

SOURCES FOR DIGITAL BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS:

Digital books are available to be read electronically on many devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, Amazon’s Kindle, and Android devices. Any book for which the translation or original text is 100 years or older is copyright-free and part of the public domain and usually available from several online sources. In addition, there are several resources that serve people with learning disabilities. Once you have a digital text, you can have them read to you using an appropriate text to speech tool listed above, or a literacy suite listed below.

Name
Description/Features
Requirements/Availability