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Text and Screen Access Tools

Page history last edited by Paul Hamilton 8 years, 2 months ago

Access Tools Offering Options for Representation and Expression




Follow 'Red Links' to additional information about resource on UDL4ALL






Google Chrome


  • Increasingly accessible web browser
  • Access facilitated by extensions and 'apps' created by Google and by third-party developers
  • Click HERE for more information


  • Google Chrome extension
  • Text-to-speech for reading web content in Google Chrome
  • Select text, click icon, listen; or right-click selected text and choose Speakit

Voice Search


  • Google Chrome extension
  • Use speech-to-text for Internet searches
  • Click icon, speak search term
  • Works with multiple search engines

Speech Recognizer

  • Google Chrome App
  • Text-to-speech that collects phrases and/or sentences in text box
  • Text can be copied and pasted for use anywhere 

Readability Redux


  • Google Chrome extension
  • Remove clutter from websites (ads and distracting graphics)
  • Set margins, select style and adjust font size
  • Can be activated by keyboard shortcut set by user


  • Google Chrome extension
  • Magnify and change the color of any text selected
  • Use mouse or keyboard to move selection
  • Click HERE for ChromeVis manual

Google Dictionary

  • Google Chrome Extension 
  • Double-click on words on webpage for definitions, with audio pronunciation
  • Definitions can be read aloud with Speakit
  • Click on icon for search box to find defintion of any desired word 

Split Screen

  • Open multiple windows in Chrome
  • View multiple websites simultaneously
  • Note-taking window(s) available onscreen with website(s)
  • Windows may be tiled horizontally or vertically 


  • Speech-to-text for Google Chrome, not an extension, but a site that functions only in Chrome
  • Text-to-speech available for dictated text



Chrome on a USB Flash Drive

  • Run Google Chrome from a USB flash drive, without installing browser on the computer
  • Install add-ons on portable version of Chrome, so these can be used on any PC computer
  •  Click HERE for more information 

Access Firefox


  • Information about installing and using Firefox
  • Information about add-ons that facilitate access for people who need additional supports
  • NOTE: Some Firefox add-ons work only on earlier versions of Firefox, which can be downloaded HERE


MITS Collections


Theme Font & Size Changer


  • Firefox add-on that changes font and adjusts font size of theme options, eg. address bar or menus
  • Access from 'Tools' menu, or install button on toobar

Smart Spell Checker in Google Docs




  • Online contextual and phonetic spell checker and grammar checker
  • Helps correct misused and confused words
  • Text-to-speech available via Speakit in Chrome

Read The Words


  • Versatile online text-to-speech option
  • Multiple high quality voices available
  • Type text, upload documents, or copy online content
  • Download audio or embed file elsewhere online


  • Online text-to-speech
  • Bookmarklet for reading online content
  • Choice of ale or female voice
  • Create mp3 audio files


  • Online text-to-speech
  • Convert text from pdf, MS Word, text files, html
  • Use with RSS subscriptions
  • Create mp3 audio files



Online and Offline





After the Deadline


  • Contextual spell checker, grammar checker, and style checker
  • Firefox add-on and Google Chrome extension for online writing (Facebook, blog entries, etc)
  • Extension for OpenOffice Writer for off-line writing

Natural Reader


  • Text-to-Speech for websites and other applications, eg. email
  • Can be used as floating toolbar
  • For Mac and Windows
  • Free version opens with ad for Natural Reader
  • Click HERE for more information 


Getting Started: Apple Tech for Diverse Learners


  • Extensive document (pdf) from Apple outlining accessibility and other learning options built into and available for Apple products


Video demos of Windows 7 Accessibility


  • Excellent built-in features to support learning challenges
  • Watch video overview of features HERE
  • Tutorials for using Windows 7 accessibility features HERE
  • Watch video demos of accessibility features HERE


  • Word prediction/auto-completion software for the pc
  • Dictionary, thesaurus, and translation features
  • Choose 'Advanced' installation to avoid installation of 'Incredibar' search toolbar 


Virtual Magnifying Glass


  • Free versatile screen magnification software
  • Magnifies from 1X to 32 X
  • Keyboard shortcuts and zoom factor can be controlled by mouse scroll wheel
  • Adjust page color schemes
  • For Windows/Mac/Linux

Large Pointers


  • Extensive set of cursors to meet wide range of needs
  • Designed specifically for individuals who need additional support 
  • Windows only


Mouse Locator

  • Software to help track the cursor
  • Mac OSX 10.4 and up only



  • Accessible onscreen keyboard, with word prediction
  • Windows only


  • Virtual mouse for anyone who has difficulty clicking a physical mouse
  • Works with trackball, eye-pointing, etc.
  • Windows only


  • Mouse clicking replacement software
  • Options for left click, right click, double click, highlight then drag n drop





  • Onscreen "slotted ruler" that covers all but one line of text
  • Adjusts to font size and width of line
  • Windows only
  • [Several other helpful programs available from the same website.]






  • Toolbar with set of applications to support reading, writing, planning and vision
  • Install on computer, or run from USB drive
  • Click HERE for demonstration of using MyStudyBar with Windows 7 Speech Recognition 
  • Video tutorials HERE for tools on MyStudyBar
  • Windows only
  • Click HERE for more information 

Access Apps


  • 60 open source apps that run from a USB drive
  • Tools to support writing, reading, planning, graphics and much more
  • Helpful tutorials available for installing software on the USB drive and for using the applications
  • Click HERE for more information 

MITS Freedom Stick


  • "Americanized" version of open source apps that run from a USB drive (similar to Access Apps)
  • Designed to run in any Windows or Linux computer 










  • Text-to-speech toolbar for MS Word
  • Highlights text as read
  • Talking spell checker
  • Creates audio files (wave and mp3)
  • Windows only
  • Click HERE for more information 
  • If WordTalk does not install properly into Word 2007 or 2010, instructions in this video 

Equation Editor


  • Toolbar offering mathematical symbols and notation for doing math in MS Word
  • Built into MS Word from Word 97 onward
  • Windows only
  • Click HERE for more information  

Math Add-on for MS Word


  • Add-on for Word 2007 and 2010 that makes mathematical symbols and notation available conveniently in MS Word 
  • Click HERE for more information 

Microsoft Mathematics 4.0


  • Free standalone program from Microsoft
  • Powerful and versatile math tool
    • Graphing calculator (2D and 3D)
    • Equation solver
    • Formulas and equations library
    • Unit conversion tool 

Equation Editor in Google Docs

  • Write equations and complete math assignments/projects in Google Docs 
  • Mathematical symbols and notation can be inserted conveniently from built-in pallettes
  • Click HERE for more information 




  • Text-to-speech add on for PowerPoint
  • Windows only
  • Click HERE for more information 
  • CAUTION: During installation, be careful to de-select the boxes that read "Use PowerTalk when opening PowerPoint slideshows / presentations.

PowerTalk with Tar Heel Reader

  • PowerTalk works extremely well with Tar Heel Reader books when downloaded as PowerPoint files
  • Click HERE for more information 




Free download for Mac and Windows

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