Assistive TechnologyOffice of Student Access and Accommodations
Assistive technology (AT) encompasses many types of devices and programs that support individuals with disabilities or other impairments. A few examples of AT commonly seen are wheelchairs, glasses, IPads and Smart Pens.
Below are some apps and software that may be helpful. Some are free, others have a cost.
Zoom Web Conferencing Accessibility
- Zoom accessibility features are available.
General Accessibility Information
- Accessibility options available on android phones and tablets
- Chrome Books: Explore how to access the accessibility options on your chrome book.
- Chrome add on (Video Speed Controller) - works for all HTML5 compatible video files and allows the user to play back videos at slower or faster speeds.
- Windows: Microsoft has been increasing their tech accessibility. Below is a list of links relating to specific diagnoses:
- Apple: Apple has the most options when it comes to accessibility and it is difficult to compile their vast resource library. Your iPad, iPhone, and Mac have built in options for:
- Hands free control: beyond the limits of Siri, you can control your entire iPad, iPhone, or computer without the use of your hands
- Visual: change the font size, display settings (including optimization for color blindness, contrast settings, and invert color mode that is more universal than dark mode offers), magnifier (which turns your iPad or iPhone into a handheld electronic magnifier), zoom (zooms in on your device), speech (text-to-speech), and VoiceOver.
- Physical and Motor: Touch assist, attention assist, switches control, change the function of the lock button, control keyboard settings (sticky keys and shortcuts)
- Hearing: Connect to hearing devices through bluetooth, use TTY/RTT directly on your iPhone, audible cues to visual, and subtitle changes
- For a complete overview of the above features check out Apple accessibility
- Apple & Microsoft both have specific tech support lines for users with disabilities working with any kind of adaptive or assistive technologies in tandem with their products.
Technical Support Numbers
Apple Disability Support
Microsoft Disability Support
- SensusAccess will convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi), and digital Braille. The service can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into more accessible formats.
- NaturalReader Free version (simple text-to-speech software that reads aloud any selected text using built-in Microsoft voices)
- Balabolka (free) - advanced text-to-speech software that reads aloud any selected text using built-in Microsoft voices
- Kindle - search for and read e-textbooks or PDFs for a better reading experience than Adobe Reader
- Read & Write GOLD – Reading Features (highlights and reads aloud text in Word, Internet Explorer, Adobe PDF, etc); need headphones if using on library PCs (available on all)
- Open Dyslexic font (free) - open sourced font created to improve readability of text for readers with dyslexia. Once downloaded, use it in Microsoft Word and other applications.
- Voice Aloud Reader (For iOS, Android, Windows), Free. - Can upload files or take picture and app will read content back. User is able to select voice and speed for read-back
- Speechify Text Reader (For mobile, desktop, and chrome) - Free - Website has tutorials for FAQ’s. User can import any amount of printed text, select the reading voice they prefer (male/female/accent), and the reading speed
- KNFB Reader (iOS, Android, Windows 10)- $99.99, User can take a photo of any text from PDFs to packages to books, listen to the text read aloud or turn it to Braille. Options to save or share document.
- Prizmo 5 (For iphone/ipad and android) - free version has limitations to text-to-speech exchange and text editing.
- BeeLine Reader helps to make reading more enjoyable by providing a color scheme to each reading line, which enables the user to stay focused and increase reading speed. Providing a solution for reading fatigue and helping the user transition between reading lines.
- Google Live Captions free for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. Live Caption works on any audio through the Chrome browser including: social and video sites, podcasts and radio content, and embedded video players.
- OneNote powerful organizing, planning, and notetaking tool available to PC users.
- Evernote (similar to OneNote, but free)
- Notebook Layout View in Word for Mac 2004, 2008, and 2011 lets you turn on Audio Notes and synchronize them with your typed notes, similar to OneNote.
- Pencast Player app (free) - allows you to access your Livescribe notes on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. (NOTE: Currently does not work on iOS 6 or newer).
- Otter (free) - For Android 5.0 and higher, iOS smart phones, online through Google Play. Record and transcribe interviews, lectures, podcasts, videos, webinars, keynotes (works with Zoom and Teams)
- Ava Free Plan a free desktop app for Mac and Windows. With Ava Closed Captions, the user is able to generate closed captions in front of any video or video meeting including Zoom, FaceTime, social media videos, podcasts, talk radio, etc. Any audio from the computer speakers will be transcribed using AI technology.
- Innocaption (free) - With InnoCaption, you’re are able to experience a seamless phone conversation where you can see what is being said in near-real time, whether calling mom or a conference call with your closest friends. It is the most natural phone conversation that deaf and hard of hearing individuals can have on a mobile phone.
- Built-in software for Android, iOS, Google, Windows
- Sticky Notes (free) - sticky-note software that helps you jot down, manage, and organize information, as well as create reminders with alarms and repeat options.
- Cold Turkey (free) - software blocks access to social media, websites, and programs (e.g., games) for a specified period of time to keep you focused on your work, so you'll be more productive.
- TickTick (free) - simple, well-designed to-do list manager that allows you to create custom lists of tasks to do (e.g., school, work, personal); add due dates, reminders, and/or recurring tasks; syncs across all of your devices.
- Self Control (free) - software blocks access to email and selected websites (e.g., Facebook) for a specified period of time to keep you focused on your work so you'll be more productive.
- Stay Focusd (free Chrome extension blocks access to selected websites for a specified period of time to keep you focused on your work so you'll be more productive)
- Idea Sketch app (free; iPhone/iPad) - mind-mapping/brainstorming app
- Adobe Reader XI (free) - basic PDF viewer now includes numerous annotation tools, including voice notes, highlighting, underlining, and text comments.
- Quizlet (free online flashcards) - find, create, or share flashcards. Search millions of flashcard sets already created. Works with apps such as Quizlet Go and Flashcardlet
- Chegg Study (free online flashcards) - search and create your own flashcards.
- Flashcard Flash search engine that searches over 25 flashcard services for flashcard sets that match what you're looking for.
- My Study Life a virtual planner that can hold exam dates, schedules, homework and class information
- Brain Scape web and mobile flashcards technology to help you get ready for exams
- Exam Count Down Lite a tool to keep track of exam dates so you are always prepared
- Mendeley (free software and app; Windows/Mac/Linux/iOS) - research-based software that lets you import, organize, and highlight/annotate PDFs as well as generate automatic citations for them. Search engine allows you to search and read millions of research papers.
- Zotero (free; for Windows, Mac, Linux)- tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research.
- Kurzweil or Read & Write GOLD – Writing Features phonetic spell-check, word prediction, mind mapping/graphic organizer, etc.
- FreeMind (free mind-mapping/brainstorming software)
- Dictation (built into Mac OS X Mountain Lion; System Preferences > Dictation & Speech > turn it On. Press Fn twice to bring up mic and start dictating; Press Fn once when done). Speak clearly and enunciate your words for best results. * Requires Internet connection
- Dragon Dictation app (free; iPhone/iPad) - No voice training; Dictate directly into the app, then send text to SMS, email, Facebook, Twitter, or copy it to Notes or any word processor app. * Requires Internet connection.
- Grammarly online spellcheck, plagiarism, and grammar check platform.
- Wolfram Alpha (web-based & apps) - web-based answer engine that performs computations related to mathematics, sciences, etc. Apps are available for $2-$4 for iPhone/iPad/Android.
- Geogebra (free educational software; PC/Mac/Linux) - interactive software for geometry, algebra, calculus.
- MyScript Calculator app (free; iOS/Android) – write your mathematical expressions on the screen, and the app will convert your handwriting to digital text and solve it for you; faster than a regular calculator app.
- LibreOffice (free; Windows/Mac/Linux) - free office suite software (alternative to MS Office) that allows you to import MS Office documents or save to MS Office file formats.
- Khan Academy videos (web-based & app) - free online instructional videos about a variety of subjects (e.g., math, science, computer science, economics, etc.)
- Genius Scan app (free) and TurboScan app ($1.99) - turns your iPhone into a pocket scanner that lets you quickly take scans of a whiteboard or document and email/export them as PDFs to Evernote, DropBox, etc.
- QR & Barcode Reader (free QR code reader app) - iPhone/iPad app can be used to scan QR codes to take you to a webpage or automatically add an event to your calendar.
- Easterseals Has AT Loaner Programs that some students may qualify for. Contact Easterseals directly for more information.
- MassMatch Program Has programs and services that help you navigate Assistive Technology. Some students may qualify. Contact MassMatch directly for more information.
- Boston Center for Independent Living Providing job training and technology to students eligible. Contact Boston Center for Independent Living directly for more information.
If you’d like to discuss the option of a smartpen as an accommodation, please contact our office. We have a loaner program for LiveScribe Pens.
- LiveScribe Pen: various models, but typically around $150
- Neo Smartpen N2: About $169 plus replenishing notebooks and pen fillers when you fun out
- IrisNotes Executive Digital Pen: Prices vary per model but are usually over $100