Most of the AT that we cover is fairly specific in its functionality, but today we are going to look at an app that functions more like an assistive technology suite, providing multiple functions and features designed for multiple learning challenges.
Kurzweil 3000 is a literacy tool that is designed to assist with reading, writing, comprehension, and test-taking, and it does so within one unified app. The software is expensive, especially when compared to the cost of an iPad which has most of Kurzweil’s features already built-in for free, but if you struggle in ALL of the areas listed above, it could be worth considering, especially if you are used to a Windows-based learning environment.
We’ve covered lots of other notetaking and annotation apps in the past, but we’ve somehow neglected to cover one of the most powerful note-taking tools for iOS. Notability is a multi-media note-taking app that does everything you’d expect and more. The app would be a great choice for many persons with learning disabilities as it provides multiple means of recording and representation, plus it pairs well with Apple’s built-in accessibility features for iOS.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and scanning apps are great for capturing and digitizing physical text such as documents, whiteboards, textbooks, and more. We’ve already mentioned Office Lens, PrizmoGo, and other OCR apps in previous e-bulletins, but when it comes to OCR apps (and AT in general) it’s always good to have multiple options at hand in case one app works better than the other.
Today we’re going to look at Adobe’s free OCR app, Adobe Scan. To use Adobe Scan, you simply open the app, select the type of text you would like to capture, and hit the camera button. Supported text formats include whiteboard, book, document, ID card, and business card.
When it comes to PC-based writing and reading tools, there’s no shortage of choices, and we’ve covered plenty of those apps in past e-bulletins. But what about when you need a more mobile solution, perhaps something that works with Android tablets or iPads? Today, we’re going to look at a premium text-to-speech app that has a range of useful features for reading and writing on the go.
ClaroSpeak Plus is a premium reading and writing app with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities, which means that this app can turn a piece of paper or page from a textbook into digitized text which can then be read aloud. This is especially helpful for students with unique learning challenges, but there’s no one who WOULDN’T benefit from having this kind of technology in the classroom, on the job, or even at home.
We’ve said many times before that the Apple iPad is one of our favorite platforms due to its many built-in accessibility features. But what if those built-in features aren’t quite enough? What if you need a bit more of your iPad but you still want to use the apps that you are most familiar with?
Enter Read&Write, a literacy app that functions as a keyboard replacement/enhancer. The app is designed to support reading, writing, comprehension, and vocabulary development, and it does so within the apps that you’re already used to using, from documents and presentations to email and browsers. The app is helpful to a wide range of individuals including persons with learning disabilities such as dyslexia or dysgraphia, persons with mobility challenges, and ESL students.
We don’t spend a lot of time talking about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) apps, and that’s for a couple reasons. First, AAC apps and hardware are typically recommended by speech-language pathologists. The other reason is that these devices are also highly specialized, and quite expensive, so it’s not always easy to get our hands on the latest and greatest AAC hardware.
Today however, we’re going to look at an AAC app that costs a fraction of the price of a typical piece of AAC hardware, while still providing users with what they need to effectively communicate with the outside world. Proloquo2Go is a symbol-based AAC app for iPad that is designed for persons with speech difficulties, autism, cerebral palsy, and other fine-motor based disabilities, as well as a wide variety of communication-based challenges.
We’ve looked at a couple math calculator and equation breakdown apps in the past, but today we are going to look at a math app that instead focuses on building mathematical foundations. Montessori Numbers is a visual math app designed for children aged 3-7, and it offers a wide range of guided math activities that are designed to conform to common core standards.
Text-to-speech apps allow users to quickly absorb articles, documents, emails, and virtually anything else found online. Of course, students and professionals aren’t the only ones who benefit from text-to-speech applications. Persons with disabilities including those with dyslexia, dysgraphia, visual impairments, and more, can all benefit from this alternative approach to reading.
Imagine you’re a highly visual learner, and your math instructor’s teaching style isn’t working for you. You’ve gone for extra help, but you just can’t wrap your brain around these new concepts. Many of us have been there, but the good news is there are now plenty of apps available that are designed to provide alternative means of instruction.
In 2022, if you want to stay informed and connected to the outside world, being digitally literate is essential. This is especially true for those who are still participating in the work force, as most job opportunities, work environments, and means of companywide communication is online. And while Neil Squire offers free digital literacy training for persons with disabilities, there are also other free options available right now that shouldn’t be ignored. These resources are well-crafted, searchable, and have been used by millions of users.