LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet software, presentation software, and more. It provides a range of accessibility features such as keyboard shortcuts, screen reader support, and a variety of font options.
May 2, 2023
It is a free online language translation tool that can translate text, speech, and images in multiple languages. It can be helpful for people with communication difficulties or who speak multiple languages. It also has a feature that allows users to take a picture of a text and translate it on the spot.
April 11, 2023
The Boston Public Library has a computer available with adaptive programs to assist users with disabilities, including a larger screen monitor, a screen reader, a braille translator and printer, as well as Kurzweil 3000. All you need is a library card (which can applied for free online)or a visitors pass. Visit bpl.org to learn more!
March 21, 2023
This Chrome Extension is aimed at helping users stay focused on their online reading. The extension will eliminate distractions by hiding advertisements and other pop ups. There are features to highlight text and take notes. There are tools available to help users with dyslexia as well, including text-to-speech. There is also auto-scroll functionality. There is a free version of this extension available, with limited features. Those interested in additional features can check out the Pro and Premium versions.
Feb. 14, 2023
Otter is an application and website that enables users to record meetings, lectures, and more with a simple push of a button. During this recording an AI will transcribe the dialogue and keep track of speakers. This transcription is not perfect, but it is helpful when reviewing what was discussed and finding something in need of review. There are features to search the transcript as well as adjust the playback speed in case the user would like to speed it up or slow it down. The free version includes 600 minutes each month with each recording limited to 30 minutes of transcription. There is also the opportunity to share these recordings with others either through their Otter account or simply through a shared link.
Jan. 24, 2023
Into the Book is a website aimed at teaching reading comprehension strategies such as summarization, visualization, questioning, inferring, evaluating, making connections, synthesizing, prior knowledge, and putting them all together. The website’s tools are available in both English and Spanish. Use interactive books and games to increase reading comprehension.
Nov. 15, 2022
Seeing AI is a Microsoft application aimed at providing narration to the world around those who are blind or visually impaired. The application can narrate short text, documents, products, people, a scene, currency, light, color, and handwriting.
Oct. 4, 2022
This module walks educators through the process of confronting their perceptions of assistive technology and understanding the value they can have for students with learning disabilities. The module follows consideration, implementation, and evaluation of assistive technology for a given student. The estimated completion time is 2.5 hours. A challenge is posed, initial thoughts are considered, reading and resources are provided on other perspectives, followed by a wrap up and as assessment of what the educator has learned.
Sept. 13, 2022
Voice Dream Reader is a reading tool compatible with iOS and Android and allows users to listen to documents or e-books using text to speech in a variety of languages. The app features Dyslexia friendly fonts, audio synchronization, customizable font size and color combinations, a pronunciation dictionary, and voice over support. Users can also add bookmarks, notes, highlights and can control reading speed.
April 12, 2022
The phone application is available for both IOS and Android. The goal of the app is to connect people who are blind or have low vision to sighted volunteers. The volunteers can answer calls and use their sight to help solve problems. The app helps those with visual impairments to live life independently. There are over 5.6 million volunteers and options in over 180 languages. Download the app today to volunteer or to receive assistance!
March 22, 2022
Read Aloud is a text-to-speech extension that can be used on Google Chrome to scan almost all websites and read online text aloud. This tool is a Google extension that can be added to your browser. To add this tool to the top right tab of Google Chrome, type Google Chrome extensions into your browser and locate the extension. This tool will then appear for download in your browser.
Feb. 22, 2022
If you have a Google Chrome browser, you can use the Google extension Snap&Read to simplify vocabulary, translate text, and read aloud any non-accessible documents. To add this tool to the top right tab of Google Chrome, type Google Chrome extensions into your browser and locate the extension. This tool will then appear for download in your browser.
Learn more by following the linked title. Download the chrome extension.
Feb. 1, 2022
If you have a Google Chrome browser, you can use Google’s free speech-to-text feature. Using this feature, you can dictate your work into Google Docs or Google Slides’ speaker notes. You can add punctuation using simple voice commands, including “comma,” “exclamation point,” “question mark,” “new line,” and “new paragraph.” Voice commands allow you to make any changes you need to format and edit your text. For best results, you should work in a quiet room and speak at a normal volume and pace. For complete instructions on using google speech to text, click on the linked title.
Therese Ajtum-Roberts, the Center Coordinator demonstrates how to use Googles’ Speech to Text. Check out the video on our YouTube channel.
Nov. 16, 2021
t is a free app that allows students to complete worksheets and other classroom assignments digitally. It can be helpful for students with dysgraphia or other writing difficulties, as it eliminates the need to write by hand and provides a range of tools to support writing and editing.
April 25, 2023
MyNoise is a website designed to provide free audio files to users who prefer to listen to background noise while they work. The website has categories for different sounds, including for ADHD, sleep, focus, and so much more. Once a sound is selected, users have the option to adjust the different parts of the sound. If someone is listening to a storm, they can increase the sound of droplets and decrease the thunder or vice versa. Users can also adjust the volume and set a timer on the audio. This website is available for free and is also an APP on IOS.
April 4, 2023
LibriVox is a volunteer-based organization that aims to provide access to all books in the public domain. LibriVox offers ebook and audiobook versions of thousands of titles completely free and advertisement free. This organization continues to accept volunteers of all languages and accents. A professional set up in not required to participate. Enjoy LibriVox's content and/or sign up to volunteer today at librivox.org!
March 7, 2023
When completing an important task that requires undivided attention, it can be difficult to forget about all the other tasks that seem just as urgent. Though a pen and paper can make for a simple to do list, this can get lost and may result in further stress. Thankfully, there are a number of tools whether online or in the form of an application that can provide simple ways to keep track of those other tasks so they can be shelved for later. Choose the right to do list for you. Then when the task at hand is complete, you can revisit those shelved tasks and set up an order that best reflects its priority. Check out this article by MondayBlog on “5 strategies for prioritizing tasks.”
Feb. 7, 2023
In the 1980s Francesco Cirillo developed a time management method that he coined the “Pomodoro Technique.” The goal of this system is to manage one’s time to increase productivity while including opportunities for rest. This website guides the user through this method. A timer is set for 25 minutes in which the user will aim to complete a task. There is an option to include a list of the desired tasks that the user can then check off once complete. Also on the website, is a time for a short break, 5 minutes, and a long break, 15 minutes. The layout of the website is simple and distraction free to help encourage productivity.
Dec. 5, 2022
Khan Academy is an interactive learning platform that includes video lessons, reading material, and activities for students to learn any subject they are interested in or to get extra help on a subject they are struggling with at school. This website offers math, science, arts and humanities, computing, reading and language arts, economics, as well as life skills. All of this content is completely free.
Nov. 8, 2022
This website allows users to convert images to text or to a PDF using optical character recognition (OCR). Users will get 15 free pages per hour. When registered for the website, users can purchase more pages at a low cost. Once converted, these PDF pages and text can be read aloud.
Oct. 18, 2022
Mod Math is a free application aimed at helping students with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia or any other disability that makes it difficult for the student to write down a math problem or read their own handwriting. The application helps level the playing field for students with disabilities and allows them to develop their math skills. Users can write out math problems without ever having to lift a pencil. The developers of the application are working to make more complex math available to do as well.
Sept. 27, 2022
Grammarly is a software that can be installed to Mac or PC. Some functions of Grammarly are identifying errors in writing and word prediction. Word prediction is beneficial for students with disabilities because it reduces the need for handwriting and improves spelling accuracy and writing skills. Grammarly also allows students to form sentences without having to worry too much about spelling and word choice. When a user types into a field, Grammarly underlines potential corrections in red and explains the correction.
May 3, 2022
Kurzweil is a literacy software that is designed to run on Windows or Mac. One function of Kurzweil is to provide students who are blind or low vision access to text, comprehensive reading, writing, and test taking tools. Kurzweil can read print, as well as digital documents and offers magnification and lighting functions. The software aligns with common core standards and can be customized for the needs of individual students.
April 5, 2022
If you have a Google Chrome browser, you can use Google's Volume Master extension. This tool controls the volume for the open tab and can be switched to any other open tab in preview. It increases the volume up to 600% and allows easy tab access to other desired sound-enhancing websites. To add this extension to the top right tab of Google Chrome, type Google Chrome extensions into your browser and locate the extension. This tool will then appear for download in your browser. For a video tutorial on how to download and use this tool, find the link in our bio.
March 8, 2022
Dark Mode is a Google extension that enables dark chrome mode for all websites. The extension allows users to easily switch back and forth between light and dark browsing themes.
Feb. 15, 2022
You can Control your Mac and apps using Voice Control! When you turn on Voice Control on your Mac, you can dictate text and speak commands to edit text, navigate the desktop and apps, and control your Mac -performing tasks such as scrolling in a document or pressing a button. Voice Control is always listening for commands so there’s no need to get its attention - just say a command. Just say “command mode” and your apple device will respond to commands such as ““Open Mail”, “Click Done”, “Scroll down”, and “Move cursor right 5 pixels”. All you have to do is say “Dictation Mode” to switch back to voice to text.
Jan. 25, 2022
Technology Tuesday: Bookshare is a great resource for anyone with a disability that impacts their ability to read. It provides free, unlimited access to ebooks for U.S. schools and qualified students. Qualifying disabilities include dyslexia, blindness, low vision, retinitis pigmentosa, cerebral palsy, and more. Books are accessible in a variety of formats, including audio, braille, follow-along text with karaoke-style highlighting, and the ability to change font size, color, and background.
Therese Ajtum-Roberts, the Center Coordinator shares her experience setting up a Book Share account in an informative YouTube video.
Nov. 9, 2021
It is a free color contrast checker tool that helps to ensure that web content meets accessibility standards. It can be helpful for people with visual impairments or color blindness, as it ensures that text is legible and easy to read.
April 19, 2023
MindNode free mind-mapping app allows users to organize their thoughts and ideas visually. It can be helpful for people with learning disabilities or cognitive impairments, as it helps to break down complex ideas into simpler, more manageable pieces.
It is available on IOS & MAC devices for download.
March 28, 2023
Braille and Audio Reading Download, or “BARD,” is an application available on both IOS and Android devices for free. This application has a selection of audiobooks for those who may be blind, visually impaired, have disabilities that affect reading, or those who are unable to hold a physical book. In order to use the application, the user has to be a patron of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. In order to become a patron, the user must fill out an application available on the National Library Service website.
Feb. 21, 2023
The goal of Technology Tuesday is to share assistive technology that is easy to use as well as free or at a low cost for those who may need it. Understanding the importance of assistive technology and how to implement it in the classroom is vital for both families and educators. This webinar by Parents Helping Parents addresses what assistive technology is and how it can be helpful, provides an overview of what types of assistive technology exists, and how to effectively consider which ones are best for the student in need.
Jan. 31, 2023
Starfall Education hosts a number of free and interactive games and songs for children learning reading and math skills. There are options for Pre-K through Kindergarten as well as for grades one through three. Though there is an option to buy a membership to this website, there are multiple free options still available for your child to learn from.
Nov. 29, 2022
This website allows users to paste text or a URL to a web page of text. The website will then translate the text into language that is easier for the user to understand. The user can select their reading level as well to get a version that is easiest for them to read.
Nov. 1, 2022
Natural Reader is a free, online Text-to-Speech website that allows users to copy and paste text to be read aloud. The website also offers a number of free ebooks for users to listen to and read along with. The voice used in the website can be sped up or slowed down to suit the needs of any user.
Oct. 11, 2022
This website provides resources to families, educators, and children to help promote communication, education, and life skills in a way that works best for the child. There are hundreds of worksheets available from resources for going to the doctors office to educational charts to planning to try new things. There are also songs and games to promote critical thinking and encourage children to engage in important conversations.
Sept. 20, 2022
Smart pens allow students to take notes while simultaneously recording classroom discussions. The pen takes pictures of the notes as they are written. Smart pens save digital copies of notes that can be transferred to a computer. From the computer, you can review, search, and listen to your notes. Also, by simply tapping anywhere in your notes, the smart pen will play back what was said at that moment. Smart pens can help minimize the stress of processing multiple modes of information at the same time. They can be particularly beneficial to students who have dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD.
April 26, 2022
The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is a multi-sensory reading accommodation that assists students who struggle to read due to reading deficit. It is designed for students who learn through listening, such as students who have dyslexia or a vision impairment. The application offers over 80,00 narrated audiobooks and highlights words and sentences as they are read, allowing students to follow along. Learning Ally also allows educators to track students reading and provide progress reports using data dashboards and progress monitoring tools. It is available on PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, Android, and iOS devices.
March 29, 2022
The AEM Navigator facilitates the process of decision-making around accessible formats of educational materials for individual students. It assists teams in making informed, accurate, and multi-step decisions related to determining a student’s need for accessible formats, selecting the format(s) needed, acquiring materials, and determining the supports needed by the student, family, and school staff.
March 1, 2022
TechMatrix is a database of hundreds of assistive and educational tools and resources to support learning for students with disabilities and their classmates. This database allows users to search for tools and resources using extensive criteria tailored to assistive and educational technologies.
Feb. 8, 2022
If you have Microsoft 365 with Windows 10 or 11, you can use the "Dictate" feature, which lets you write using a microphone and your own voice! Users can dictate in 13 different languages, including: Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. In order to get started dictating using Microsoft Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint, all you need is to be connected to the internet, have a working microphone, and have your cursor in a text box in Microsoft Support
You can find complete instructions to use this feature by clicking the linked title. Microsoft also has an accompanying video.
Nov. 30, 2021