Assistive Technology


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Assistive Technology


In this tech savvy world, there are always new technologies to discover and new apps to explore. Here we share some of our favorites. We will keep adding to this page, so check back often for new content. If you have a piece of tech or an app that works great for you, we’d love to hear about it. Send your review to info.nj@dyslexiaida.org and you could see it on our website!

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Voice Dream Reader
This app is available for Apple and Android. It is a text-to-speech app with lots of customization options. The app can read text from various sources, including web pages, pdf files, Daisy eBooks and Bookshare. Users can also copy and paste text into the program.

Why we like Dream Reader:

  • Allows user to customize pace, volume and pitch, backgrounds and fonts (includes OpenDyslexic font)
  • Includes a natural-sounding default voice with the option to purchase additional voices
  • Allows highlighting and notetaking on text
  • Customize for optimal readability, including line, word and letter spacing and size of reading window.

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Bookshare and Learning Ally
These audio book subscription services provide text and audio versions of books  in all genres from the most current popular literature to textbooks for just about any school subject.

Why we like Bookshare:

  • Currently free to U.S.students due to a D.O.E. grant
  • Large selection of textbooks – and continually adding new ones
  • Word-by-word highlighting as text is read

Why we like Learning Ally:

  • Human volunteers read texts instead of computer voices
  • Teacher Ally allows assignment and monitoring of student reading

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Accessibility Features
Both Apple and Android have greatly enhanced their built-in accessibility features. These features can make using mobile devices easier by allow the user to customize settings and have text read aloud. To access these features, go to Settings > Accessibilty

Why we like these features:

  • You don’t need to purchase apps for these- they can be found in the settings menu
  • Built-in text readers are clearer and more accurate than before and can often be used to read all types of text on the mobile device
  • Speech to text features work well for everything from writing emails to taking notes.  Updated versions have excellent voice recognition the first time you use them.
  • A variety of visual settings allow you to change font sizes, screen color/contrast, etc.

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Quizlet
This flashcard site/app allows teachers, parents or students to create flashcards for any subject.  Once created, cards can be used in study mode or test mode for practice and review.  There is a free version, and a paid premium version

Why we like Quizlet:

  • Review games are automatically generated from cards
  • Built-in text-to-speech software allows users to have cards read aloud

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