"The number one way to succeed on the job is to use technology."

Dr. Michael Ryan (DyslexiaHelp's contributing expert)

Today's technological age has brought forth a number of very good computer programs and tools to help individuals with:

  • Listening & speaking
  • Reading & spelling
  • Writing & organization

We have found the following software programs and assistive devices successful in helping to address the areas that affect dyslexic individuals. These technologies cannot replace direct intervention, but they can augment a therapy program. Training from a professional may be required to get the best results. These technologies help:

  • Accommodate for challenges
  • Increase self-confidence at home, in the classroom, or on the job

We update this page as new technologies are developed, so visit often!

Listening & Notetaking

  • Livescribe Smartpen [1]

    Livescribe Smartpen - Various Prices [1]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [1]

    School age and up

    The Livescribe Smartpen will record lectures that you're listening to while you take notes, so you won’t miss any information. You can go back and listen to the recording to fill in any hard-to-clarify areas.

    Other Features

    • Good for people with poor handwriting
  • Note-taking pens: InfoScan 2, InfoScan TS, InfoScan TS Elite [2]

    Note-taking pens: InfoScan 2, InfoScan TS, InfoScan TS Elite [2]

    School age and up

    With these pens, you can scan up to 20,000 lines of text. Store the information on the device or transfer it to a word processor where the text can be edited. The InfoScan 2 is a simpler version, used only for text storage or transfer, while the TS and TS Elite have more functions. Both the TS and TS Elite have touch screens for easy navigation to find the stored text, while the TS Elite has text-to-speech capabilities, allowing the scanned text to be read out loud.

  • Reading pens: ReadingPen 2, ReadingPen TS [2]

    Reading pens: ReadingPen 2, ReadingPen TS [2]

    School age and up

    Both of these reading pens have scanning capabilities, but they are designed for reading comprehension. They scan the text, enlarge the font to make it easier to read, read the text out loud, and display syllabic breakdown of the words. The TS has additional features, including games to improve vocabulary, a thesaurus for looking up synonyms, and more.

  • Scanmarker [3]

    Scanmarker [3]

    School age and up

    Scanmarker is a digital highlighter that instantly transfers words on paper to a digital device for easy note-taking and deeper comprehension. Available for translation in over 40 different languages, the versatile pen helps to save time for a busy student. This unique tool also allows for the text to be read aloud as you go. Figures and graphs are also scannable by the Scanmarker pen.

Phonics

  • Simon S.I.O. (Sound It Out) [4]

    Simon S.I.O. (Sound It Out) - Various Prices [4]

    Ages 5-13

    Simon S.I.O uses a personal tutor to deliver individualized instruction and corrective feedback to ensure students acquire the critical skills they need to become readers. Students practice their learning and increase fluency by:

    • Building new words
    • Recalling learned words
    • Guided spelling
    • Discriminating between words
    • Reading controlled texts
  • Sortegories [5]

    Sortegories - Various Prices [5]

    School age and up

    Sortegories, an Orton-based web supplement to the LANGUAGE! curriculum, is designed to help build vocabulary, literacy, and reading comprehension. The software has 36 different units, beginning with basic phonics, and progresses to word- and sentence-building. Sortegories meets The Common Core State Standards.

  • Talking Fingers [6]

    Talking Fingers - Various Prices [6]

    Ages 5-9

    Talking Fingers is an approach to reading and writing in which the typed or written text children create with their fingers is speech made visible. The Talking Fingers method teaches children to link the sounds in words to the appropriate letters and their corresponding keystrokes.

    Read more about this on our blog [7]!

Reading, Writing, and Study Support

  • ClaroRead - Various Prices [8]

    ClaroRead - Various Prices [8]

    School age and up

    The ClaroRead line of educational software provides reading and writing support tools for struggling learners, or anyone looking to make the writing process easier. The software includes text to speech, word prediction, spell check, and more in one easy to use program. The software is available for both PC and Mac.

  • GrammarCheck [9]

    GrammarCheck - Free [9]

    School age and up

    This online grammar checker will show (and suggest corrections for) grammar errors in your essay or other written document.

  • iPad [10]

    iPad - Various Prices [10]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [11]

    School age and up

    The iPad has several tools and features that can be helpful with learning, such as:

    • Touch-screen technology in either portrait or landscape
    • Built-in screen reader
    • iBook application for reading, listening to, and buying new books

    Other Features

    • Note application for managing to-do lists
    • Calendar application
  • Nook [12]

    Nook - Various Prices [12]

    School age and up

    Barnes and Noble offers its Nook, which has a "read and record" feature that allows you to record your own narration to books. In addition, the Nook has its own set of interactive games.

  • KidsRead2Kids [13]

    KidsRead2Kids - Free [13]

    School age and up

    Struggling with Dyslexia or other learning disabilities can make reading difficult and not very much fun. So let KidsRead2Kids read to you. KidsRead2Kids has picked their favorite abridged versions of beloved classic stories and filmed kids reading them so you can follow along at your pace.

  • Kurzweil 3000 [14]

    Kurzweil 3000 - Various Prices [14]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [15]

    Ages 8 and up

    Kurzweil 3000 allows struggling readers to learn the same content as their peers in different ways with this reading, writing and learning software solution. Kurzweil 3000 supports Universal Design [16] for Learning, and offers:

    • Fluency
    • Vocabulary
    • Comprehension
    • Writing
    • Study skills
    • Test-taking support

    Other Features

    • Text-to-speech capabilities for documents and web pages
    • Color highlighters
    • Notes and bookmarking
  • Text Summarizers for Mac & Windows [17]

    Text Summarizers for Mac & Windows - Free [17]

    School age and up

    These text summarizers enable your computer to give you the gist of a body of text. Summarize Word documents, PDF files, and web pages.

Text-to-Speech

  • Amazon Kindle [18]

    Amazon Kindle - Various Prices [19]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [20]

    School age and up

    This portable electronic reading device allows you to electronically read books, newspapers, blogs, and magazines, all of which can be accessed and downloaded wirelessly through the Kindle device.

  • FlameReader [21]

    FlameReader - Various Prices [21]

    School age and up

    FlameReader allows you to read text aloud in any computer with customized voice, speed, and pitch. It also converts text to mp3, reads text in other applications, and can translate between seven different languages.

  • Narrator [22]

    Narrator - Free [23]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [24]

    School age and up

    Narrator is a screen reader that reads text on the screen aloud and describes events like error messages so you can use your PC without a display.

  • Natural Reader [25]

    Natural Reader - Various Prices [25]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [25]

    School age and up

    This text-to-speech program assists with reading by converting text on web pages, in e-mails, PDF files, and in applications like Microsoft Word to words spoken in a natural voice.

    Other Features

    • Can convert text into MP3 and WAV files 
  • Read: OutLoud 6 [26]

    Read: OutLoud 6 - Various Prices [26]

    School age and up

    This program makes it easy to provide access to the new electronic books required in IDEA, and the included web browser makes the internet fully accessible. It provides accessibility supports like text-to-speech and study tools that help you read with comprehension.

  • ReadSpeaker [27]

    ReadSpeaker - Various Prices [27]

    School age and up

    ReadSpeaker is a text-to-speech provider that is applicable to any website. It’s easy to use and with a click of a button, any text on your website is converted to speech.

  • TalkButton [28]

    School age and up

    TalkButton is one of the few text-reading applications that not only works well in Microsoft Word, but allows the user to write, work and create right in the document.  It reads text from all other major programs and is ultra-user-friendly, fast and responsive.

  • Universal Reader [29]

    Universal Reader - Free [30]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [31]

    School age and up

    This software can both read and translate any piece of text in a computer application. It can be used with Microsoft Word, email, and web pages.

  • Verbose [32]

    Verbose - Various Prices [32]

    Screen shots [33]

    School age and up

    Verbose is an easy and convenient text-to-speech converter that can read aloud or save spoken text to mp3 files.

  • Write Out Loud [34]

    Write Out Loud - Various Prices [34]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [34]

    School age and up

    This text-to-speech program has the essential tools to help its users spell and choose words correctly. The program allows its users to easily create error-free word documents and easily integrates with Co:Writer.

  • YAKIToMe [35]

    YAKIToMe - Free [35]

    School age and up

    This free online text-to-speech service uses 57 male and female voices and allows users to convert any electronic text into an audio file. YAKIToMe supports 21 languages.

Writing & Spelling Software

  • CoWriter [36]

    Co:Writer - Various Prices [36]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [36]

    School age and up

    This simple-to-use software corrects and offers suggestions for basic spelling and grammar mistakes when its user inputs words into web pages, e-mails, and applications like Microsoft Word. This software easily integrates with Write Out Loud.

  • Draft:Builder [37]

    Draft:Builder - Various Prices [37]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [37]

    School age and up

    Draft:Builder 6 helps struggling writers produce their best possible work by breaking down the writing process into three simple steps:

    • Brainstorming ideas
    • Jotting down notes
    • Creating a first draft
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking [38]

    Dragon Naturally Speaking - Various Prices [38]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [39]

    School age and up

    This program allows its users to create documents up to three times faster than normal typists by using voice dictation technology. The program is compatible with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook Express, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and AOL.

  • Ghotit [40]

    Ghotit Real Writer & Reader - Various Prices [40]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [40]

    School age and up

    Ghotit Real Writer & Reader for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android is a text editor and contextual spell checker geared towards users with dyslexia and dysgraphia, as well as English Language Learners (ELL).

    Other Features

    • Text-to-speech/reading aloud from most applications with dual highlighting
    • Grammar and punctuation corrector
    • Word prediction and proofreading tools
    • Built-in dictionary
  • Ginger Software [41]

    Ginger Software - Free [41]

    School age and up

    Ginger Software is an advanced spell-check program. Instead of checking a document word by word, the program checks each sentence for clarity. It places the corrected sentence next to the original sentence, so the user can check them against each other. The product requires an internet connection and is compatible with Microsoft Word and Outlook.

    Other Features

    • Text-to-speech
  • Inspiration [42]

    Inspiration - Various Prices [42]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [43]

    Ages 11-18

    Inspiration 9 allows its users to visually map out papers and presentations before the writing process begins. The program has tools to create notes, organize different facets of information into outlines, and ultimately, to use this information to create refined presentations that easily communicate ideas to an audience. 

  • Kidspiration [44]

    Kidspiration - Various Prices [44]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [44]

    Ages 5-8

    Inspiration 3 is a tool that integrates thinking, literacy, and mathematical skills with visual learning. The student creates maps, diagrams, and webs in the “picture view” and then expands them into the “writing view” and adds to the outline. The “math view” allows the student to use visual tools to understand mathematical concepts, like fractions.

  • WordQ [45]

    WordQ - Various Prices [45]

    TutorialVideo Tutorial [46]

    School age and up

    WordQ is a tool designed for students who have difficulty with writing. It suggests words while the user writes, creating easy word-flow. It also gives spoken feedback, which makes it easier for students to detect their mistakes and correct them.

    Other Features

    • Microphone function for dictation
    • Clears up confusion between similar-sounding words such as their, there, and they're
    • App available for the iPad [47]

Online Tools

  • InstaGrok [48]

    InstaGrok - Free [49]

    School age and up

    InstaGrok is an interactive, visual way of learning about any topic imaginable. Search for what you want to learn about, and an interactive concept map pops up with your topic and related fields to create a comprehensive learning atmosphere. In addition, InstaGrok provides a scrolling list of definitions and examples of the topic, an annotated search guide for related subjects, and images and videos of the topic.

  • Keybr.com [50]

    Keybr.com - Free [50]

    School age and up

    Keybr.com can help you learn to type better and faster. It has three basic lessons (plus a "custom" mode), and the software keeps track of all of your mistakes and your words–per–minute (wpm). It even creates graphs of your day–by–day performance.

  • mySchoolNotebook.com [51]

    mySchoolNotebook.com - Free [52]

    School age and up

    mySchoolNotebook.com is an online tool that lets you organize and share your class schedule. Sign in with your Facebook account, and begin sharing your class schedule and class notes with your friends.

  • Notes.io [53]

    Notes.io - Free [53]

    School age and up

    Notes.io is an online tool designed for quick note-taking and sharing. You can quickly type, save, and archive any notes you take and share them via a shortened URL.

  • Todo.ly [54]

    Todo.ly - Free [54]

    School age and up

    Todo.ly is an intuitive and easy-to-use online to-do list and task manager. Create to-do lists, organize them into projects, and manage them online, from anywhere.

  • Todo.ly [54]

    Understood - A Variety of Tools [55]

    All

    Assistive technology is one of the core strategies schools use to help with learning and attention issues. Some adaptive tools are low-tech and some are pretty fancy. Learn about these tools here!

 

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Software & Assistive Technology