Free/Low Cost Assistive Technology

CSDTech is committed to identifying the latest assistive technology for students to use at little to no cost


This page includes technology, software, or mobile apps that may be used to help students excel academically and/or in the workforce. Our recommendations include technology that is compatible with Mac, Windows PC, iOS devices, and Android Devices. We strive to find assistive technology that can be obtained at a minimal cost for students.  Majority of these recommendations have free versions or trials that can be upgraded if the student likes it. Please note that some of the suggestions are only available to students with the proper accommodations.

Click on the following categories of interest to see our recommended technology!

Text-to-Speech/Literacy Software

Read&Write

Read&Write

Technology

Software and Web App
Available on:  Mac, Windows PC, and Google Chrome

Description

An easy-to-use toolbar that makes documents, files and web pages more accessible.

  • Read&Write integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with common applications.
  • Offers a variety of features, like reading out loud, built-in dictionaries, summary highlighters, and turning text to audio files.

Learn More about Read&Write

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000

Technology

Software and Web App
Available on: 
Mac, Windows PC, and Online

Description

Kurzweil is a software that makes learning personal through reading, comprehension, writing, and test-taking tools.

  • Features include reading out loud, highlighting text, annotating text, creating study guides, and mapping ideas.

Learn More about Kurzweil 3000

Voice Dream Reader

 

Technology

Mobile App
Available on: 
iOS and Android

Description

Read just about anything that contains text using Voice Dream Reader.

  • With advanced text-to-speech and customizable reading layout, it can be tailored to suit every reading style from completely auditory to completely visual, plus a synchronized combination of both.
  • Designed for people with dyslexia, visually impaired, and other learning styles

Learn More about Voice Dream Reader

Screen Readers

Windows Narrator

Windows Narrator

Technology

Built-in Software
Available on: Windows PC

Description

Hear text read aloud with Windows built-in text-to-speech feature.

  • Narrator lets you use your PC without a display or mouse to complete common tasks if you’re visually impaired.
  • It reads and interacts with things on the screen, like text and buttons. Use Narrator to read and write an email, browse the internet, and work with documents.

Learn More about Windows Narrator

Apple VoiceOver

Apple Voice Over

Technology

Built-in Software
Available on: 
Mac and iOS devices

Description

VoiceOver does more than tell you what’s happening on your Mac or iphone. It helps you make things happen.

  • For Macs, VoiceOver gives you auditory descriptions of each onscreen element and provides helpful hints along the way — whether you prefer using gestures, a keyboard, or a braille display. And it supports more than 35 languages, including multiple voice options.
  • For iPhones, VoiceOver allows you to hear a description of everything happening on your screen, from battery level to who’s calling to which app your finger is on. You can also adjust the speaking rate and pitch to suit you.
  • VoiceOver works with any built-in apps on your Mac or iPhone.

Learn More about VoiceOver for Macs and for iPhones

Note-taking

Sonocent Audio Notetaker

Sonocent Audio Notetaker

Technology

Software and Mobile App
Available on: 
Mac, Windows PC, Android, and iOS devices

Description

Capture all the important information, simply and efficiently.

  • Work with audio recordings taken on your laptop or with the free mobile app. It’s easy to go back to the key moments - audio is visualized, phrase-by-phrase.
  • Type your notes, add photos, and add lecture slides alongside your recording.
  • Annotate by highlighting typed notes and color-coding audio.
  • Listen back to the key moments of your recording at your own pace, or search for keywords in your typed notes when reviewing.

Learn More about Sonocent Audio Notetaker

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote

Technology

Software/Web/Mobile App
Available on: 
Mac, Windows PC, Android, iOS, and Online

Description

Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking program that allows you to take notes, draw, keep to-do lists, and collaborate with other users.

  • Easily access your notes from a computer and mobile device at any time.
  • Record your lectures or meetings as you type your notes.
  • Keep all your information in one place by importing your powerpoint lectures into your notes or adding images/drawings.

Learn More about OneNote and Learning Tools for OneNote

Evernote

Evernote

Technology

Web and Mobile App
Available on: iOS, Android, and Online

Description

Evernote is an app that helps you organize your work. 

  • Features include notetaking, tracking tasks, and clip pages from the web
  • Capture, organize and share notes from anywhere. Your best ideas are always with you and always in sync.
  • You can access all your materials on your phone through the app or on your computer through the web

Learn More about Evernote

AudioNote

AudioNote

Technology

Software and Mobile App
Available on: Mac, Windows PC, Android, and iOS devices

Description

AudioNote is a program that combines both audio recording and note-taking.

  • AudioNote automatically syncs notes and audio.

Learn More about AudioNote

Writing Support

Read&Write

Read&Write

Technology

Software and Web App
Available on:  Mac, Windows PC, and Google Chrome

Description

An easy-to-use toolbar that makes documents, files and web pages more accessible.

  • Read&Write integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with common applications.
  • Offers a variety of features, like reading out loud, built-in dictionaries, speech-input and mind mapping (visual organization of ideas).

Learn More about Read&Write

Ginger

Ginger

Technology

Software/Web/Mobile App
Available on: 
Mac, Windows PC, Android, iOS, Google Chrome Extension, Safari Extension, and Online Web page

Description

Ginger is a spelling, grammar, and punctuation checking program that provides valuable writing support.

  • Go beyond the basic spell check and grammar check, get quick access to complementary writing tools like translation, definition, contextual synonyms and sentence rephraser.
  • Ginger corrects all types of grammatical mistakes including punctuation, sentence structure and style.
  • Whether you’re writing for business, sending an email, or completing school assignment - Ginger will be there to make sure your text is clear and is of the highest caliber.

Learn More about Ginger

Ideament

Ideament

 

Technology

Software and Mobile App
Available on: 
Windows PC and iOS

Description

Easily create diagrams such as mind maps, concept maps, and flow charts with Ideament.

  • Create diagrams from Word documents.
  • Switch between a diagram and outline view.

Learn More about Ideament

Mindly

Mindly

 

Technology

Software and Mobile App
Available on:
Mac, Android, and iOS devices

Description

Mindly is a mind mapping program that allows you to easily organize your thoughts in an effective way that helps you focus and develop your ideas further.

  • Capture your ideas. Create quick summaries. Plan your projects.
  • With you all the time, on all different devices.

Learn More about Mindly

Speech-to-Text/Dictation

Apple Dictation

Apple Dictation

Technology

Built-in Software and Mobile Feature App
Available on:  Mac and iOS devices

Description

Apple Dictation is a speech recognition feature that is built into iOS and Mac products.

  • The program converts speech to text and allows your to control your device with your voice.

Learn more about Apple Dictation

Windows Speech Recognition

Windows Speech Recognition

Technology

Built-in Software
Available on: 
Windows PC

Description

Windows Speech Recognition is a feature built into Windows PCs.

  • Converts speech to text and allows you to control your device with your voice.
  • Works with Microsoft Word.

Learn more about Windows Speech Recognition

Google Voice Typing

Google Voice Typing

 

Technology

Web Feature
Available on: 
Online in Google Docs when using Google Chrome

Description

Google Docs Voice Typing is a feature that can be used in Google Docs when using Google Chrome as a web browser.

  • Write and edit papers using your voice.
  • Select, format, and move text around a document with a few phrases and voice commands.

Learn more about Google Docs Voice Typing

Study Aids

Quizlet

Quizlet

Technology

Web and Mobile App
Available on: 
Android, iOS, Chrome Extension, and Online

 

Description

Improve your grades by studying with flashcards, games and more.

  • A study resource that allows you to create and study your own flashcards.
  • Flashcards that have been created by other users can also be used as resources.
  • Great for all learning styles, as it can be used to study visually and auditorily.

Learn more about Quizlet

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Technology

Online Resource
Available on: 
Online

Description

You can learn anything. Expert-created content and resources for every subject and level. Always free.

  • A collection of informational videos teaching about various subjects, ranging from math and science to history, economics, and more.
  • Video tutorials can be found on the Khan Academy website or on YouTube.
  • Offers practice exercises and a personalized learning dashboard to empower students to study at their own pace.

Learn more about Khan Academy

Equatio

Equatio

Technology

Software and Web App
Available on: 
Mac, Windows PC, Google Chrome, and Web Resource

Description

Easily add equations, formulas, graphs and more to your notes on Google Docs and Microsoft Word.

  • Predicts what math expression you’re trying to write, transforms your handwriting into text, and ignores  ‘umms’ and ‘errs’ when you dictate aloud.
  • Type, handwrite, or dictate any expression, with no tricky coding or math languages to master.
  • When you’re done, just add the math to your document with a click.
  • Works with Read&Write

Learn more about Equatio

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha

 

Technology

Web and Mobile App
Available on: 
Android, iOS, Chrome Extension, and Online

Description

Brings expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people—spanning all professions and education levels.

  • A study resource that that allows you to find information on most areas of the math and science fields.
  • Solves math problems with step-by-step solutions to help you understand how to derive the answer.

Learn more about WolframAlpha

Symbolab

Symbolab

 

Technology

Web and Mobile App
Available on: 
Android, iOS, Chrome Extension, and Online

Description

Equation search and math solver - solves algebra, trigonometry and calculus problems step by step.

  • A step-by-step calculator that can help you understand calculus topics, such as integrals, derivatives, limits, and more.
  • Free graphing calculator function.

Learn more about Symbolab

 

Time Management/Planning

myHomework

MyHomework

Technology

Software and Mobile App
Available on: 
Mac, Windows PC, Android, and iOS devices

 

Description

myHomework is an easy way to manage school life.

  • Tracks classes, homework, and projects so deadlines can always be met.

Learn more about myHomework

Reminders

Reminder

Technology

Software and Mobile App
Available on: 
Mac and iOS devices

 

Description

Reminders is a feature built into iOS and Mac products.

  • Allows you to create and manage to-do items in order to organize any aspect of your life.

Learn more about Reminders

Any.do

Any.do

Technology

Web and Mobile App
Available on: 
Android, iOS, Chrome Extension, and Online

 

Description

Any.do is an organizational and time management app.

  • Allows you to organize tasks and set due dates for each task.
  • Receive regular reminders for when work is due.

Learn more about Any.do

Health and Wellness

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Technology

Mobile App
Available on: 
Android and iOS devices

 

Description

Alarm clock and sleep tracker: Waking up made easy.

  • Analyzes your sleep patterns in order to wake you up when you are in your lightest phase of sleep.
  • Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally, so you feel more rested

Learn more about Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

MyFitnessPal

My Fitness Pal

Technology

Web and Mobile App
Available on: 
Android, iOS, and online

 

Description

MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter, diet, and exercise journal app.

  • Large database, making tracking food and exercise a breeze.

Learn more about MyFitnessPal

Headspace

Head Space

Technology

Mobile App
Available on: 
Android and iOS devices

 

Description

Meditation made simple.

  • Learn to meditate and live mindfully.
  • Provides guided meditation sessions as well as mindfulness training.

Learn more about Headspace

Breathe2Relax

Breathe 2 Relax

Technology

Mobile App
Available on: 
Android and iOS devices

 

Description

Breathe2Relax is a stress management tool that utilizes "belly breathing" technique which has proven benefits for overall health.

  • Uses hands-on diaphragmatic breathing exercises.
  • Benefits overall health by lowering stress, reducing anxiety, increasing energy reserve, controlling anger, stabilizing mood, and focusing the mind.

Learn more about Breathe2Relax