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.

 

Most Recent Additions

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
    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.
    Preschool, Reading