Free & Low-Cost Assistive Tech Resources

Screen Readers

NVDA Screen Reader


  • For Windows
  • NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is an open source screen reader
  • Allows users who are blind or have low vision to access computers running windows
  • Has ability to run entirely from USB drive with no installation
  • Link to website: NV Access



  • For Mac and iOS
  • Built-in screen reader
  • Allows complete control over the computer without needing to see the screen
  • Link to information: Apple Accessibility

Thunder Screen Reader


  • For Windows
  • Allows users who are blind or have low vision to access computers running Windows
  • Can be installed in several different languages
  • Link to download: Thunder Screenreader


Open Dyslexic Font


  • Open source font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia
  • Free for commercial and personal use
  • Link to website: OpenDyslexic

Microsoft Reader

Microsoft Word Built-In Feature

  • For Windows and Mac
  • Text-to-speech reader embedded in Word
  • Link to instructions: Microsoft website


Available to students with approved accommodations

  • Web-based
  • Library of digital books in accessible formats
  • Membership is free with approved accommodation (contact Disability Support Services for assistance)
  • Books are available in the following formats: Daisy, BRF, MP3, Bookshare WebReader (customized reading tool for members)
  • Link to website: Bookshare

Google Dictionary


  • Google Chrome Extension
  • View definitions easily as you browse the web
  • Double-click any word to view its definition in a small pop-up bubble
  • Includes audio pronunciation
  • Link to extension: Chrome Web Store

Read & Write

Available to Mines Students and Faculty

  • For Windows, Mac, Google Chrome
  • Simple to use text-to-speech reader with Canvas integration
  • Reads PDFs, Bookshare files, and websites out loud
  • Built-in study tools and other features
  • Link for more information: Read & Write at Mines

Natural Reader


  • For Windows and Mac
  • Text-to-speech reader
  • Converts written text (PDF, Microsoft Word, emails, etc.) into spoken language
  • Link to website: Natural Reader

Learning Ally

$119 per year

  • For Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iOS
  • Audio books
  • Access to nearly 80,000 titles, including world’s largest library of audio textbooks
  • Link to website: Learning Ally

Kurzweil 3000

Free Trial available

  • Desktop app or web-based
  • Text-to-speech reader
  • Long-term membership is free with approved accommodation (contact Disability Support Services for assistance)
  • Link to free trial: Kurzweil 3000

Central Access Reader


  • For Windows and Mac
  • Text-to-speech application designed specifically for people with print-related disabilities
  • Reads Microsoft Word, PDFs, math and logic equations
  • Flexible MP3 output
  • Link to download: Central Access Reader

Adobe Reader (Read out loud feature)


Writing & Note-Taking

Dictation Feature


  • For Mac and iOS
  • Mac devices have a built-in dictation feature
  • Say out loud what you want to write and it will convert your words into text
  • Link to instructions for Mac: Apple Support
  • Link to instructions for iPhone and iPad: Mac World



  • For Mac
  • Lets you easily draw a diagram – mind map, concept map, or flow chart – and convert it to a text outline, and vice versa
  • Ideal for brainstorming new ideas, illustrating concepts, making lists and outlines, planning presentations, creating organizational charts, and more
  • Link to download: App Store


Free trial available

  • For Windows and Mac
  • Quillsoft has an Extended Access Request form for a trial to use for remote work or online learning. Once you fill out the form, they’ll email you with your trial information within 24 hours
  • Link to website: Quillsoft

Audio Note


  • For Windows, Mac, Google Play, and iOS
  • Synchronized note-taking and audio-recording
  • Tap Notes to seek in the audio, taking you instantly to what you want to hear
  • Automatic audio amp for recording in large classrooms
  • Must have instructor permission or be approved for permission to audio-record lectures as an accommodation
  • Link to download: Luminant Software



  • For iOS
  • Create, share, and manage notes
  • Combines handwriting, typing, audio recordings, and photos so you can create notes that fit your needs
  • Link to website: Notability



  • For iOS and Android
  • Text input system that allows you to quickly and easily type on touch screen phones and tablets
  • Allows users to type text on the familiar keyboard layout, by tapping on the screen and swiping
  • Powerful auto-correct feature that can detect what you meant to enter even if multiple characters are incorrect
  • Link to website: Fleksy

Voice Note II - Speech to Text


  • For Google Chrome
  • Say out loud what you want to write and it will convert your words into text
  • Have the option to speak punctuation or use the punctuation buttons to insert them
  • Link to download: Chrome Web Store



  • For Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Robust spelling and grammar checker
  • Will make suggestions for rephrasing sentences
  • Can help ensure you are using the word and the correct spelling (e.g., there/their/they’re)
  • Link to download: Ginger Software

Study Tools

Khan Academy


  • Collection of micro lectures and tutorials teaching mathematics, history, healthcare, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, economics, cosmology, organic chemistry, American civics, art history, microeconomics, and computer science
  • Link to website: Khan Academy



  • For Android, Mac, and online resource
  • Recreates the ambient sounds of a café to boost your creativity and help you work better
  • Link to website: Coffitivity



  • For Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iOS
  • Create or upload notes, to-do lists, and images that are synced across all of your devices
  • Plus and Premium versions with additional features available
  • Link to website: Evernote



  • For Android and iOS
  • Handwriting recognition software that converts your own handdwriting to text
  • Built-in spellchecker and dictionary



  • Online resource
  • Create powerful learning tolls, like interactive games, flashcards, and practice tests
  • Mobile version also available
  • Link to website: Quizlet



  • Web-based
  • Tool for mind mapping, brainstorming, and organizing ideas
  • Can help people who think and learn visually
  • Link to website: Popplet

Organization & Time Management



  • For Android and iOS
  • Time management app based on the 30-minutes of work, 30-minutes of rest concept
  • May be particularly helpful for students with ADHD or who struggle with time-management and focus
  • Link to download: 30/30

Focus Booster

$3/month or $33/year

  • For Windows and Mac
  • Based on the Pomodoro time-management technique
  • Get deep understanding of your work cycles and further improve productivity
  • Link to website: Focus Booster

iStudiez Pro


  • For Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Award-winning student planner
  • Allows you to manage and organize assignments, manage your calendar, set notifications for deadlines, and more
  • Link to download: iStudiez Pro




  • For iOS
  • Mobile app with open source text-to-speech
  • Simply enter text and iSpeech will instantly read what you’ve written


Free to Mines students

My Talk Tools Mobile Lite


  • For iOS
  • Allows users with communication difficulties to express their needs and desires to those around them
  • Communicate through a variety of images, pictures, symbols, video and audio files including human voice
  • Full version available for $99

Microsoft Teams


  • For Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
  • Accessibility features of Microsoft Teams
    • Using Microsoft Teams with a screen reader
    • Using Live Captions in a Teams meeting
    • Changing your viewing settings to high contrast or dark mode


Dankam: Colorblind Fix


  • For iOS
  • Designed to help people who are color blind distinguish between colors they normally could not
  • Images can be taken in real-time from the devices camera and the image can be adjusted to make hues easier to detect and differentiate
  • Link to download: App Store



  • For iOS
  • Assistive listening software
  • Processes sound received by the microphone on your device in real-time, then delivers the processed sound via headphones
  • Link to website: AUD1