Free Assistive Technology Tools

The following Assistive Technology tools are free to use and are organized by access needs.

Screen Readers

  • Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA): Fully-functional screen reader for the Windows Operating System. It has the ability to run from a USB drive with no installation.
  • Fire Vox: Talking browser extension for the Firefox web browser.  Basic features such as identifying headings, links, images, and navigational assistance are included.
  • System Access To Go: Fully-functional screen reader for the Windows Operating System that runs from the web. It also works as a talking screen magnifier. It prompts for a download to maintain connection with the web client

Screen Magnifiers

  • Virtual Magnifying Glass: Cross-platform screen magnifier. Magnification ranges from 1x to 32x.  Viewing window width and height can be adjusted.
  • KwikLoupe: Viewing window magnifies the area around the mouse pointer and ranges from 2x to 64x.
  • CLC Star: Browser extension for the Firefox web browser. Allows for enlarging images, increasing font size, changing font style and color, changing background color, enhancing focus indicator, increasing link and word spacing, and more.
  • System Access to Go: Fully-functional screen reader for the Windows Operating System that runs from the web. It also works as a talking screen magnifier. It prompts for a download to maintain connection with the web client.

Text-to-Speech Output

  • Speak Easy: Reads text copied to the clipboard. Voices settings can be adjusted.
  • Orato: Reads text copied to the clipboard with the ability to display text and highlight words or sentences as they are read. It has the ability to run from a USB drive with no installation.
  • Natural Reader: Converts text to speech and can create audio files in mp3 or WAV (i.e. for iPod).
  • PowerTalk: Speaks any presentation or slide show running in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows.
  • ClickSpeak: Browser extension for Firefox web browser. Mouse-driven interface that reads text based on point-and-click interaction.
  • Word Talk: Plug-in for Microsoft Word that will speak the text of a document and highlight as it reads. It also includes a talking dictionary.

Text Presentation

  • WordFlashReader: Flashes each word of a document sequentially on the screen. Font size, type, color, rate, and amount displayed can be adjusted.
  • Tbar: A colored bar that can be dragged around the screen or locked to the mouse pointer. Color, transparency, and optional ruler lines can be adjusted and saved between sessions.
  • Vu-Bar: On-screen slotted ruler that can be dragged around the screen or locked to the mouse pointer. Width and height can be adjusted.
  • Spr-OT: Spreadsheet slot to block columns or rows for easier visual focus on selected cells. Bar can be flipped horizontally or vertically, moved, hidden, locked to the mouse pointer, and adjusted for height and width.
  • RapidSet: Allows changing of the background and font colors without going through the Windows control panel.
  • Washer: Renders everything within the viewing window into grayscale.
  • Typoscope: A reading guide which has a cutout section, to reduce glare and the amount of text visible, making it easier to focus on a line of text. Color shading can be adjusted.
  • Fx Toolbar: Plug-in for Microsoft Word 2007. A toolbar with options to highlight, collect text in a new document, speak hig hlighted text, indentify confusables, and more.

Mouse Tracking

  • Sonar 4: Provides a large ring around the mouse pointed for easier tracking. Color, shape, size and width can be adjusted.
  • Big Cursors: Selection of bigger mouse cursors for easier tracking.
  • Chunky Cursors: Selection of chunky cursors for easier tracking.

Typing Tools

  • LetMeType: Typing program that analyzes your typing and predicts words in order to increase typing rate. Works with most word processing and text input programs.
  • Click-N-Type: On-screen keyboard that can be controlled with a mouse, trackball, touch-screen, or other pointing devices. Works with all word processing and text input programs.

Organizational Tools

Communication

  • NexTalk: Instant messaging program which allows users to place calls to TTY or other NexTalk messenger users.