Assistive Technology Tool Kit for Dyslexia

Mike Matvy, 9-15-21

Enabling Students to Rapidly and Effortlessly "Read" and Write Print: Using reading by listening and writing by speaking, students complete their work in the same length of time is their peers and stay caught up minute by minute in the classroom.

Note: It's best to use the tools built into the device you're using than relying on the various tools built into applications on your device. Therefore, this list will emphasize those universal access tools. You will have one or two tools to learn to use for all your reading and writing needs, and you will use the same controls no matter what app you're in. However, sometimes special apps are needed. This list will also consist primarily of Apple products because they have been the universal access leader and checked out by me. However, other devices are adding universal access tools, and some of those will be listed below.

(1) Use Screen readers on computers, tablets, and smartphones

VoiceOver built into all Mac computers and all iOS devices (iPad, iPod, & iPhone), 

— Mac

— iOS devices,

(2) Use Speak Selection (that lets the user select a word, paragraph, or sentence and have it voiced) Hear iPhone speak the screen, selected text, and typing feedback

(3) Use Accessibility Shortcut built into all iOS devices (lets you quickly turn the VoiceOver off and on)

(4) Use TalkBack built into Android devices

(5) Use VoiceView built into Amazon Fire Tablet

(6) Use Special application for voicing Bookshare books, PDF files, etc. on computers, tablets, and smartphones. For purchase on iOS and Android devices

— iOS

— Android

(7) Use Audiobooks from Learning Ally, Bookshare, and National Library Service (played with Apps for the iOS devices BARD Mobile, Learning Ally, Voice Dream, etc.)

(8) Use OverDrive to find and get eBooks, audiobooks, streaming videos, and periodicals from your public library.

(9) Use the Learning Ally app, Bard Mobile app, or Voice Dream Reader app to plays the specially formatted audio and text content with speed and flexibility.





(10) Use Voice recognition systems that work simultaneously with screen readers (Apple's dictation on Mac and iOS devices which work simultaneously with Apple's screen reader, VoiceOver.)

(11) Use Voice Dictation to complete writing quickly

— iPhone, iPad, and Android

— Mac

— Amazon Fire

(12) Use related software for additional support for reading, writing, and research (Dictionaries, spellcheck programs, web search programs, etc.). These software systems are built-in to your device and are free.

(13) Use Grammar Checker, Grammarly automatically detects potential grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, tone and style mistakes in writing, and suggests corrections.

— Grammarly Free web version

— Grammarly Premium subscription ~$29.95 per month or ~$139.95 per year

(14) Use text scanning, A hand-held reading device that takes a picture and converts printed material into spoken language (iOS Device w/Prizmo Go app (Free), Prizmo 5, Seeing AI, or Voice Dream Scanner)

—Seeing AI (free) (Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera)

—Voice Dream Scanner ~$5.99 (scans print with OCR and text to speech, lots of functionality)

—Prizmo Go app (Free) (Cannot save the text)

—Prizmo 5 Pro Scanner plus OCR, Premium Pack ~$13.99, (Students can save, edit, & export the text):

(15) Use a workstation for teachers, which will convert printed material into digital print that can be read using text-to-speech (Voiceover, or Speak Selection) on students' devices. Using a flatbed scanner and a computer with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. Teachers can convert paper documents to text documents while retaining the formatting of the original document. An example of the OCR software that will do this is OmniPage from

(16) Instantly capture non-selectable text from any image a screenshot with a built-in snipping tool for Mac.

—Textsniper (Extract text from images from your Mac window to digital text on your clipboard)

(17) Use a test-taking app that lets students do read aloud testing on the iPad /iPod/iPhone (For full disclosure: this is an app that Mike Matvy developed, owns, and sells on the Apple iTunes store)

(18) Use ongoing evaluation and program planning which take into account [A] the student's abilities, needs, and aptitudes, [B] his school and home environment, [C] tasks he is expected to complete, and [D] assistive technology systems used to accommodate for reading spelling and writing inadequacies. An excellent set of procedures are available for planning assistive technology (AT) interventions and ongoing support — The SETT Framework by Joy Zabala

(19) Use training, which includes initial training on each system and follow-up/follow-through training to ensure that adequate support is provided for both mastery of the AT system and successful integration of the AT system into the student's curriculum.