Free / Low-cost options

In my line of work as an Assistive Technology Specialist, I often see how technology can help individuals with special needs; however, I have found assistive technology devices and software on the market are typically, very expensive.  I have not tried all of the following free software, but I have listed many resources.  I am planning to add more, but if you have tried any of the following or other free software, please send me your feedback.

DSpeech User Interface

– Reads with highlighting
– Save the output as a WAV or MP3 file
– Voice selection
– Record a voice note
– Copy text or  open from a text file.
– It will not display a picture.

You can download it from here.

Natural Reader User Interface

Natural Reader
– Text to speech
– Floating bar
– You can select any text and press one hot key
– Magnify text.
– Text font can be changed
– Paid versions support audio output.

You can download a free version  from here.

Word Web User Interface

The comprehensive English thesaurus and dictionary includes:
Definitions and synonyms, Proper nouns
Related words, 5000 audio pronunciations
150 000 root words, 220 000 word senses
Fixed web reference tabs

You can download a free version from

Spell Catcher
Specll Catcher

Spell Catcher
Spell Catcher  is a spell checking and writing software. Spell Catcher can watch for errors as you type, and suggest a list of items for you to select. ($39)

 You can download from here.

Additional Free/Low-cost software:

Web Anywhere
You interact with WebAnywhere using the keyboard.

Word Talk
A free text-to-speech plugin for Microsoft Word.

If you have teach students with multiple or significant special need, Ms. Kate Ahem has excellent resources. For example, this is a link to her Free Software list.
Kate’s List of Free Software for Severe Special Education Classrooms

Downloadable and online free software resources by Ms. Marianne Wartoft.
Educational Freeware

Resources from Digital Text Services, Landmark College
Collections by Landmark College

This entry was posted in Assistive Technology, AT_Software and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Free / Low-cost options

  1. BetaTester says:

    Are you aware of Fluidmath? It is a really great moderate cost math package that allows you to write in math onto a tablet just like a note pad and it will generate-convert your penmanship and commands into a readable document with graphs of your functions and also generate exceptional graphics of the functions themselves. It really shows up all graphing calculators in its abilities.

    You can visit their website and download a demo and I also attach a youtube address to show it in action. It seems the developers have released several youtube demos to show off their product.

    Technology is certainly becoming more transparent yet interactive and allowing us to accomplish and learn multiple times more than we ever could in the past.

  2. Pingback: TODD’S TECH TUESDAY: Free assistive tech « Differentiation Daily

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