Apps for Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities

The following is an extensive and meticulously organized list of apps that may be helpful to individuals with dyslexia, parents of dyslexics, or the professionals who work with dyslexics (teachers, tutors, reading specialists, etc.). We carefully consider each app before we add it, ensuring that it claims to help dyslexics in ways that are in line with the evidence on how to help dyslexics. In other words, we add apps that aid with the cognitive processes used in speaking, reading, spelling, and writing, but we do not add apps that are visual aids for reading, because evidence shows that dyslexia is not a visual disability. If you are looking for a specific app, please type its name in the search bar above. If you have questions about our apps list or would like to suggest we add or remove an app, please email us at dyslexiahelp@umich.edu.

 

Apps Sortable List

  • In this free app, Leo the Lion teaches the basics of multiplication before putting them to the test. Compared to other multiplication apps, this puts a much greater emphasis on teaching the topic rather than just testing and practice. Once children have mastered the lessons, they are put to test in the form of a race between Leo the Lion and an animal competitor. Teachers and parents can also engage with this app in the say-it-aloud activity, where there is a pause for a response after a math question. In-app purchases are available to unlock more difficult times tables. This app is available for both Apple and Android.

    https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1104769468
  • Epic! is the leading digital library for kids, with access to over 25,000 resources, including ebooks, audiobooks, learning videos, and quizzes. Designed for ages 12 and under, Epic! provides a fun way to engage in reading. Free for both iPhone and iPad, children can explore and learn in a whole new way.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/epic!-books-for-kids/id719219382?mt=8
  • Storyboard That is an online tool that allows users to create engaging and creative storyboards, for both educational and entertainment purposes. Creating storyboards is great for school projects, and teachers can use this resource for reinforcing ideas to ESL and students with disabilities. The website provides a variety of customizable templates for teachers that are ready to export or present in minutes. Storyboard That also provides an extensive image library and special tools that make the website easy to use, while also being compatible with iPad and Android.

    Learn more about Storyboard That and start your own Storyboard on their website.

    http://www.storyboardthat.com/
  • Teen and Adults Phonics, also known as TAP, has introduced an app that is a library of novels written for teenagers and adults with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Their stories are fully decodable, meaning that they include a cumulative phonic progression meant to build readers’ confidence and capabilities. Additionally, there is a decodability tool and 7 different levels of reading. The app is free to download exclusively for iPad, and full access to each book is available for $2.99 USD. You can read more about TAP here.

    Download for iPad through the iTunes store.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teen-adult-phonics-library/id1189152100?mt=8
  • ABC Reading Magic is a 5 part series of apps that build off each other to improve reading skills. The three core skills that these apps focus on are blending, segmenting, and reading. These apps also expand your child’s vocabulary so that he/she can recognize and pronounce words that are not normally found in the everyday vocabulary of young learners.

    Included are progressive skill-building games in skill levels that most other reading programs overlook: blending, segmenting and reading. This time-tested and proven process utilizes phonics principles that help improve your children's phonological processing ability, giving he/she strong foundations in reading.

    Each app includes built-in lesson plans as well as male/female voice, font style, and letter color options.

    Go to this page to see the details for each of the 5 different apps. This page also provides links to the iTunes app store to download the free trials as well as the full versions for each part of the series.

    http://www.preschoolu.com/word-reading-games.html#.Wil-fLbMw6h
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

    The Leo app specializes in recording and transcription, all in real time for the user’s benefit. This app is especially designed for individuals with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, giving them the tools they need to succeed. The app transcribes voice to text, helping to get thoughts to written words faster and easier. Once recorded, all transcripts are saved and backed up so that you can go back through them later on. To reduce confusion, there is a calendar organization system built in, as well as the ability to edit and customize your recordings. Overall, the simplicity and easy to use aspects are some of the most appealing for this app, along with its ability to perform real-time transcription for a long period of time.

    You can get the Leo- Recorder and Transcription app for $8.99 at the iTunes App store here.

    https://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/leo-recorder-transcription/id1140324040?mt=8
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

    The user is given one whole word and seven letters, which, when rearranged, spell out the synonym or antonym of the word. The user has to rearrange the letters correctly before time runs out. Clue letters can help, but using them reduces the score.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-the-synonym/id524309587?mt=8
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

    The A+ Spelling Test is a free app that helps students master new vocabulary words that is catered to their own needs. The app allows a parent, teacher, or older student create a customized list of words for the child to spell. There are over 400 pre-made lists with over 6,300 words already built-in the app for easy set-up. Once the list is created, the student can choose from a variety of activities to learn the words including Practice, Unscramble, Ace It, and Test. These four activities are easy to use and great for any child learning to spell. In addition, this app allows you to track the child’s progress and submit his or her results through email to a teacher or other adult.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-spelling-test/id501211008?mt=8
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

    Recently featured by Apple, the app Reading Machine takes reading for beginners to a new level. With the overall goal of reducing frustration amongst readers, this app assists in the reading process by modeling how the letters and sounds in a word go together. How it works is that when a child comes to a word he is unfamiliar with and unable to read, he simply types it into the Reading Machine. The app, with a dictionary of over 5,000 words, sounds out the word so that the child can try figuring it out by blending the sounds together to make the word. He can then “ask” for additional help, and the whole word is stated. This strategy helps children become better readers because they are forced to decipher the word instead of guessing or memorizing words that they see. Creators of the app say this is the type of letter-sound skill that the brain needs in order to develop quality reading skills. In addition, this app empowers the reader because it transforms them into a self-teacher of new words. Whether a new reader or a dyslexic, this app allows the reader to enjoy the reading experience without feeling embarrassed by what he doesn’t know. With the Reading Machine in hand, it keeps reading fun and children on track to become advanced readers.

    You can download the Reading Machine app for free from the iTunes store. Also, visit the Reading Machine website to learn more about how the app works.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reading-machine-full-install/id368974482?mt=8
  • Root Words App

    The Root Words dictionary app helps you in learning English root words to improve your vocabulary. Root Words has all the important Latin and Greek root words along with explanations and examples. The app also lets you quiz your knowledge of root words using multiple choice tests.

    This English Root Words dictionary app offers the following features:

    • Offline application
    • Add important root word to favorite list
    • Search using intuitive search functionality
    • Flashcards
    • Multiple choice tests
    • Off line pronunciation
    • Add root word to mastered list if you are familiar with that
    • After each test, a summary is displayed indicating your marks and percentage
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.praveenj.root&hl=en
  • Action Words App

    Action Words is an application for iPhone and iPad that teaches beginner readers over 100 action words using real photographs to increase their early vocabulary and improve their writing skills.

    Users can select which category of action words they want to work on (emotions, movements, etc) and, within a category, turn action words “on” or “off” so they can monitor how many new words are presented in each round. When the user selects which category he or she wants to work on, an action word appears on the screen accompanied by four photographs. The user must select which photograph best depicts the given action word. There are no hints or penalty for selecting the wrong photograph, the user just keeps guessing until he or she chooses the correct photograph. This application is made to be engaging for its user, so the existing 500 photographs, concepts, and accompanying audio are all customizable. Users can also add their own categories, action words, and photographs.

    You can learn more about Action Words at the AppStore.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/action-words/id511783094?mt=8
  • Lectio
    Lectio is mobile application built to encourage independent reading for students with language related learning disabilities. Developed by the mother of a dyslexic, Lectio is an application for iPhone and iPad that quickly allows the user to snap a picture of a text-filled page and have a specific word or words read aloud. The application doesn’t require access to internet, and allows the user to select just the word he or she wants help with, instead of reading the entire passage out loud. Once the picture is taken, words on the page that are in Lectio’s extensive dictionary will appear highlighted in yellow, and the user can simply tap the single word they want read aloud—or can hold down his or her finger to view a definition of the word. This application is designed as a quick and personalized aid to reading in classrooms, at home, and out in the community. Watch a video here of the mother and son duo showcasing the application, or visit Lectio at the App Store.
    http://mylectio.com/
  • Mystery Word Town

    Build spelling confidence with a mystery

    News Bulletin: The Huevos Rancheros Gang stole the gold and they are hiding out amongst the good citizens of Word Town.

    Your Mission: Help the sheriff, a friendly and curious little ghost, recover the missing gold and catch the outlaws.

    Find the letters you need to solve the word puzzles

    • Spelling practice integrated with a rich, immersive game experience
    • Record your own words and make your own custom word lists
    • Unlimited user accounts - create your own avatar and save your game progress
    • 3 skill levels and 2 game modes provide a highly customizable and flexible learning experience for a range of ages
    • Optional audio hints speak the words from the selected word list
    • Visual hints provide scaffolding for difficult words
    • Quirky characters and backstory are revealed as you recover the missing gold and capture the outlaws
    • Promotes strategic and critical thinking
    https://artgigapps.com/apps/mystery-word-town
  • Easy Spelling Aid

    Easy Spelling Aid is a tool to help you spell problematic words. Simply touch the microphone button, say the word or phrase, and receive the correct spelling, displayed in your chosen writing style. The software is designed to recognize a variety of accents and is fine-tuned to pick up on children’s voices. Easy Spelling Aid is suitable for students of all ages.

    Easy Spelling Aid Benefits:

    • Improves literacy performance and spelling
    • Helps with comprehension and vocabulary
    • Gives children and adults alike a quick and easy way to find out the spelling of a word without relying on a parent or teacher. As a result, creative thought processes are interrupted less often, allowing for greater creative flow
    • Helps children learn homophones and understand word usage by using context to determine the correct spelling of a word
    • Assists children and students to become independent writers
    • Develops recognition and correct spelling of words in their appropriate context (for example, they’re, their, there)
    • Features a History Log with saved spelling results, including translations
    http://www.easyspellingaid.com/
    Spelling
  • Originally a story book (available on Amazon here), Blue Hat, Green Hat is an application for iPad and tablets that introduces kids to early reading skills in a way that keeps them learning and laughing. The interactive ebook, designed for ages 5 and under, lets users dress an animated turkey and see him and his friends go on silly adventures. As a user drags an article of clothing and places it on the turkey, the clothing’s description is displayed on the screen, highlighted, and read aloud. For example, if a red hat is dragged onto the turkey’s head, the phrase “red hat” will appear on the screen and each word will be highlighted individually as the narrator speaks. After the turkey is dressed and ready to go, the child can get a laugh out of manipulating the character’s adventure with the touch of the “OOPS!” button. The ebook also comes with the choice to take away the narrative voice so users can have a hand at reading through the ebook by his or herself.

    The interactive ebook Blue Hat, Green Hat is available at the Google Play store and AppStore.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.loudcrow.bluehat&hl=en
    Preschool, Reading
  • SightWords

    SightWords free and printable materials are designed to promote learning in the classroom and also at home. They have recently introduced a great new curriculum for teaching Phonemic Awareness (also called Pre-Phonics) to children.

    The site's features include:

    • A Curriculum covering the full range of Phonological and Phonemic Awareness
    • Classroom-tested Lessons based on the latest research, complete with “how-to” videos
    • Printable picture cards, word lists, and game boards
    • Teaching Tips for tailoring games to the specific needs of your students
    http://www.sightwords.com/phonemic-awareness/
  • Ghotit Real Writer assists people with dyslexia and dysgraphia in their English writing and text correction.

    The application corrects badly spelled words, confused words, homophones, grammar, and punctuation like no other writing assistance tool and offers advanced word prediction with grammar and phonetics awareness capabilities.

    The main features:
    - Phonetic and context-sensitive spell checker;
    - Word-Prediction with grammar and phonetics awareness;
    - Quick-Spell Word-Prediction with instant correction for creative/phonetic writers;
    - Advanced grammar and punctuation corrector;
    - Effective proofreader;
    - Speak as you write (speech feedback);
    - Reading assistance with dual highlighting;
    - Independent text editor;
    - Importing and sharing of text with other iPad applications;
    - Integrated dictionaries;
    - US, UK, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African English dictionaries;
    - AirPrint compatible.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ghotit-real-writer/id956782250
  • Write in Style – Powered by Gerlingo

    Write in Style is every writer’s best friend. Smart text prediction helps you write in selectable styles, fast and without typos. Writers and bloggers can write in the style of their favorite authors. How would Jane Austen finish this sentence? How would the president phrase the next few words? Write in Style has the answers!

    Write in Style combines the gray text suggestions known from search engines with the simplicity of a free text area. As you write, the next few words are always predicted and laid out in front of you. Arrow keys help you find fitting alternatives and when you’re done, you can export the text directly to your email or wherever you need it.

    The best thing is that you can select from a variety of topics, styles and languages to get suggestions fitting your needs:

    Available styles: W. Shakespeare, J. Austen, F. Nietzsche, F. Kafka, A. Dumas

    Available languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Catalan, Danish

    Available topics: Political Speech, Basic.

    http://www.gerlingo.com
    Writing
  • Promptoo...The Actor's Toolkit. Bringing the actor's script into the 21st century.

    The app help actors to read and learn a script in a more time effective way, specialising in the needs of actors suffering from reading disabilities such as Dyslexia, Aspergers, Autism and Irlen Syndrome, to help neutralise their difficulties with reading, learning and rehearsing text.

    Promptoo is a valuable aid for any actor, it allows you to customise the entire script; from changing each characters font to adding notes, Promptoo can even read out your script, making learning and rehearsing on your own an easier task.
    http://www.promptoo.com
  • Spy Sam Reading Series - Free

    Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 7.0 or later.

    Created by a doctor to help his son learn to read, this multi-book adventure starts with a few simple words on each page. Gradually the simplistic cartoon façade falls away to reveal a thought-provoking plot that champions loyalty and determination. You can also download books 2 and 3.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spy-sam-reading-book-1-big/id644904139