Can you believe August is just around the corner and its already time for school supply shopping? For most families, this time of year creeps up way too quickly and we find ourselves unprepared for the school year. Shopping for school supplies is hard enough, but finding the right tools for students with a learning disability can be tricky. Here are seven unique apps that your student can use at school that you can find and use from the comfort of your home.
1. ModMath – ModMath is a free app created by Henry, a student with dyslexia and dysgraphia. This app allows users to type math problems instead of writing them by hand, which proves very helpful for individuals with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD. The app displays virtual graph paper and a calculator. It also provides the option for the user to print out his/her work, or email it to a teacher. For more information, check out their Kickstarter page.
2. Voice Dream Reader– Voice Dream Reader is a text-to-speech app that offers the widest selection of high quality voices of any accessible reader. With this app, users can read virtually anything such as PDF, Word, and text files in Dropbox, Google Drive and more. Voice Dream Reader is also fully accessible with VoiceOver support for the visually impaired. It is highly customizable to fit each individual’s needs. Children with dyslexia, auditory-processing or vision impairments may find this app especially beneficial. This is a great tool to help children learn how to use adaptive technologies to achieve academic and personal goals.
3. Lectio – Lectio is an app created by a mom from Indianapolis for her son after he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Lectio is very user friendly and does not require an internet connection; simply launch the app, take a picture, and press and highlight a word to have it read aloud. There is also a dictionary feature that can easily be accessed by pressing and holding down on a word.
4. Speech Selection – Speech Selection is not an actual app that you can purchase but is instead already built into iOS5; located in the accessibility features in Apple devices. Much like the app Lectio that was mentioned earlier, this feature allows you to select a paragraph and have it read aloud. The text can be read in a variety of languages and also includes a dictionary option. Unfortunately, it does not allow you to take a picture like Lectio and is only available for Apple devices, but if you would rather not have another app or perhaps do not have the storage for it, here is a wonderful option for individuals with dyslexia, visual impairments, or other learning disabilities.
5. Epic Win – Homework and house chores tend to be extremely mundane for most individuals. For individuals with ADHD, the dullness makes it ever harder to focus and complete chores. Epic Win is an app that transforms these tasks into an exciting game! By “destroying” a task you earn points to level up your character. Homework and chores will never be the same.
6. Inspiration Maps – Inspiration Maps is a visual learning tool that allows students to create organized diagrams and outlines. It is recommended by the International Dyslexia Association for literacy instruction. Inspiration Maps is intended for students in fourth grade and up, however, they do have a version for grades K-5.
7. iThoughts – Many individuals with learning disabilities have several thoughts or ideas they would like to execute into a paper, for example, but many struggle with organization. As a result, they may create a tangled web of both related and unrelated ideas. iThoughts is a unique mind mapping tool that helps students organize these thoughts. With this app, individuals are able to organize their information, thoughts and ideas effectively.
Shopping for school supplies can be tricky but we hope that these apps help ease your transition into the new school year. For more information on apps and assistive technology, visit the INDATA Project at www.eastersealstech.com.
Today's post was written by Sam Sanders, Marketing Assistant at Easter Seals Crossroads.