Assistive Technologies

Assistive Technology (AT) is any device, software or equipment that helps people with disabilities work around challenges so they can learn, communicate and simply function better. For instance, software that reads aloud text from a computer is AT.

~ Definition from

Screen Readers and Reading Apps (Text-to-Speech)

  • ChromeVox - screen reader extension on Chrome, best for webpages
  • Narrator - modal screen reader built into Windows OS
  • VoiceOver - modal screen reader built into MacOS
  • NVDA - open source screen reader for Windows OS, allows shortcut jumping using keyboard shortcuts
  • Capti - use as an app or on your computer to easily listen to books online, listen to news, convert DOC, PDF, Web and ePub to speech.
  • Google Docs - built-into Google Docs screenreader


  • Windows - Speech Recognition is built into the Windows OS
  • Mac - Diction is built into the MacOS
  • Mobile - any app that uses a keyboard has a microphone icon that will turn on speech-to-text
  • Google Docs - enable speech-to-text in Google Docs
  • Microsoft Word  - short video on using MS Word speech-to-text


  • Magnifying glass app (or a free app) - on mobile devices that allows you to read small print
  • Zoom/Magnifier on mobile device to magnify the screen
  • ZoomText - Magnifier/Reader enlarges and enhances everything on your computer screen, echoes your typing and essential program activity, and automatically reads documents, web pages, email. ($875)

Live Captioning

Relay Services

  • Pedius - write your message on your phone and it speaks it to your contact using an artificial voice (for deaf and hard of hearing)
  • BeSpecular - helps visually impaired using the phones camera to show the information to BeSpecular service who speaks or texts the response

Transcription and Subtitles

Assistive Technology Tools Viewed through UDL Lens

30+ Tools for Diverse Learners by UDL Network - Engagement, Representation, and Action/Expression