Six Apps To Help With Reading
Do you have resources for people with learning disabilities?
It's one of the most frequently asked questions I hear at public events when I'm representing the Utah Assistive Technology Program. We recently addressed the question in a webinar featuring Kent Remund of the Utah Center for Assistive Technology. Here are some resources and short videos on apps for reading and comprehension.
Read & Write for Google
Price varies. Free 30-day trial, after which a subscription is needed for premium features. At last check it was $129 per year for private use, less expensive in schools. More information at the texthelp web page.
This is a Chrome extension, available in the Chrome store; it works on a PC, Mac or Chromebook.
- Reads what's on the page out loud for visual and auditory feedback to improve comprehension
- Integrates with Google Docs to play back documents
- Predicts words as you type them in
- "Understands" phonetic spelling
- Built-in dictionary
- Allows dictation of documents
- Collects highlighted passages and assembles them into a separate document
LiveScribe Echo Smartpen
$130 on Amazon
- Pen records audio, has a camera that detects where the pen is on its specialized paper
- Plays back the audio when the pen touches the paper where the notes were taken
- Must be used with specialized paper
- Can attach a headset
- Notes can be dropped into a free program that stores all audio and text
- Can be used as a calculator
- Best for motivated students in secondary ed and college
$9.99 in App Store
- Can type or hand-write notes on an iPad
- Touch on the screen and audio will play back
- Features similar to smartpen, but it's an iPad app
$34.99 in App Store
- Predicts text
- Reads back what the student has written
- Predicts words that are spelled phonetically
- Looks for information on educational websites to predict text that is relevant to the topic
- Can be customized for students
- Can take a picture of a document and read it back
- Can change speed rate
- Scans page, allows people to add notes, can translate and read back.
- Claro ScanPen and Prizmo are both featured in the short video below.