Brought to you by the generosity of Dow Jones Literacy Grant, BridgingApps has created a list of apps for literacy. The apps have been reviewed by users of all ages and abilities and we have detailed features that may help users with special learning needs or physical disabilities.
The Amazon Kindle app has recently been enhanced for the blind and visually impaired. Users can now hear many books read aloud and use features like Zoom and AssistiveTouch to more easily see and navigate text. Kindle’s text-to-speech audio function can help address the challenges of ELL students as well as those who struggle with reading fluency. A helpful suggestion for these students is to allow them to choose a font size and color to meet their needs. For students that have difficulty flipping pages or holding open books, the Kindle provides a convenient alternative. By pushing a button, students are able to flip through pages and chapters. Additionally, for students with more severe physical disabilities, there may be some potential of connecting a switch to the Kindle. The Kindle provides immediate assistance for unknown vocabulary words.
A must have app for users of all ages and abilities, Audible audio books & podcasts is the world’s largest selection of audiobooks, audio shows, and original series. With the app, users can listen to audiobooks anytime, anywhere—at home or on the go. Even if you switch devices, you will never lose your place.
Voice Dream Reader reads aloud text that can be pulled from pdfs, web browsers, word docs, power point, HTML, Dropbox and many more. A powerful resource for anyone struggling with reading or hoping to reinforce reading.The app is designed for all audiences and is extremely user friendly. Importing text is simple and can be easily mastered anyone with basic iOS knowledge. In addition Voice Dreamer Reader allows reader to customize their experience by selecting the voice, selecting font including Open Dyslexia font, and choosing the reading pace. Read along with the app as it highlights the text or just listen along even through the lock screen. If the reader is struggling with comprehension simply access the built in dictionary for further clarification. For those mastering a new language Voice Dream Reader can even translate text into another language.
OverDrive: eBooks & audiobooks allows you to borrow library books in book ebook and audio format. It is helpful for anyone with vision disorders, learning disabilities, brain injuries or developmental delays that make reading difficult for them. Watch the video below to see our full review of OverDrive and how to use the app.
The Read&Write app for iPad and Read&Write for Android is an alternative keyboard and incredibly useful toolbar for the iPad and Android. The app is designed for maximum literacy support by allowing students to read and complete literacy assignments independently. Typing on a device while using the app assists with word prediction, spell check, dictionary and to help with writing assignments, online documents email and more. The text-to-speech and speech-to-text features can also very helpful for assisting with students who struggle with written expression.
Voice Dream Writer is a tool created to help people with print disabilities, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, create written work with more ease and accuracy. It is, however, a great tool for anyone who might not be the best speller or who has trouble remembering which form or words like “to, too” and “two” to use when. With Voice Dream Writer, users can type or dictate (using the device’s microphone) what they want to write and then check their spelling using the built-in dictionary and word search functions.