Please note that most of these resources are free or provided at a reduced cost for ALL students within the United States. There are also a few listed that have a cost associated with them.
This list is not designed to indicate endorsement of any individual tool, but rather to help provide some starting points for students looking to adapt their learning style to online instruction.
General Technology Tools
- Text to Speech
- Kurzweil 3000 (free for all WCC students – must request login through LSS)
Kurzweil 3000 is a text to speech software that allows a user to have electronic text aloud. It is beneficial for those who learn through auditory means.
- NVDA (free for all students)
NVDA is a free, open-source screen reader technology which can be used to read webpages, documents, or applications.
- Natural Reader (free for all students)
Reads text out loud from DOC, DOCX, RTF, HTML, and accessible PDF files.
- Read Speaker (free for all students)
Users can choose to listen to an audio version of content as they follow along with the highlighted text, enhancing accessibility and making written content available to more people.
- Microsoft Edge Browser (free for all students)
Microsoft’s Edge browser can read websites out loud for you. Microsoft has added cloud-powered voices that sound less like a 50’s-era robot and more like a modern voice assistant.
Collaborating with hundreds of publishers and colleges, RedShelf is helping to make digital course materials more affordable.
VitalSource Bookshelf partners with publishers to allow instant access to eTextbooks and study tools both online and offline. The Read Aloud feature allows students to listen as the text is read aloud.
- Read&Write (free for all students)
Read&Write is an additional text to speech software that allows a user to have text read aloud and that can also be useful for writing and note-taking.
- Google Docs (free for all students)
Google Docs has many useful built-in features to support students. This tool can be used to support the creation of notes, papers, discussion responses, etc.
- Speech to Text
- Read&Write (free for all students)
Read&Write is a text to speech software that allows a user to have text read aloud and that also can also be useful for speech to text for writing and note-taking.
- Google Docs (free for all students)
Google Docs has many useful built-in features to support students. One to highlight is the speech to text feature. This tool can be used to support the creation of notes, papers, discussion responses, etc.
- ai (free for all students)
Otter ai is a free captioning tool for real time video content that allows users up to 600 free minutes a month. It can also be used as a speech to text tool for creation of notes.
- Study Tools
- Quizlet(free for all students)
Quizlet allows you to either build your own custom digital notecards or import your notes which can be converted into notecards. Once your note cards have been created you can easily share them with fellow classmates.
- Kahoot (free for all students)
You can create a Kahoot (quiz) for yourself off items you think will be asked on an assessment. You can then make Kahoot live and share it with friends to see how everyone does.
- Screen Recording Tools
- Loom (free for all students)
Loom is a free software that allows you to record your screen, video, or app without the need of a built-in camera. This can be used to screen record your virtual lectures to support note taking or for video responses.
- Microsoft Voiceover Recorder (free for all students)
Record your audio and export in multiple formats to make a voice over your videos by adjusting the volume of your video and/or record a custom voice over your video as appropriate.
- Time Management Tools
- Remember the Milk (free for all students)
This app allows users to create to do lists and set up reminders that link can be linked to other apps such as Gmail, Outlook, and Google Calendar. The user even can attach documents to tasks to stay organized.
- Note Taking Tools
The Livescribe Smartpen records what you write, draw and hear. The pen requires Livescribe paper which is available in a variety of formats. An infrared camera tracks what is written or drawn and the built-in microphone records audio. Using the USB connector, the pen transfers the written notes and audio to the free downloadable Livescribe Desktop software.
- One Note (free for all students)
Revise your notes with type, highlighting, or ink annotations. With OneNote across all your devices, you’ll never miss a flash of inspiration. Features include the ability to highlight can't-miss notes with important and to-do tags, draw your thoughts and annotate your notes, using a stylus or your finger, share notebooks with classmates, friends, and family, record audio notes, insert online videos, and add files.
- Note Taking Apps Compare and Contrast (free and reduced cost for all students)
- Focus Tools
- Freedom (free for all students)
This app allows the user to take control of distractions. Freedom can limit websites, desktop apps, or the internet as a whole and can sync these blocks across all devices.
- Reader View Chrome Extension (free for all students)
Reader View strips away unnecessary clutter on a webpage and allows you to focus only on the content. It removes all advertisements to help prevent distraction. It also allows you to change the text size, font, contrast and layout for easier reading.
- Additional Tools
- Grammarly (free for all students)
Grammarly is a browser plugin that runs a grammar check on your content and offers suggestions on how you can improve your wording or punctuation. This can prove especially useful for email correspondence.
- EquatiO *
EquatiO is a tool designed to support students in mathematics and STEM courses. With this tool the user has the availability to type, write, and dictate expressions and equations. It also can predict expressions and transform your handwritten expressions into text. It also allows the user to grab an equation and transform it into digital text. Users can take a picture of a written equation and upload it into a digital format.
- WordToEPUB (free for all students)
WordToEPUB is a tool that allows for the converting of Word documents to accessible EPUB files. The EPUB format makes for easier reading on laptops, smartphones, and other devices.
- Mind Node (free for all students)
Every great idea starts with a single thought. Which leads to another and another. And then a million more! Whether it's on the beach, at the office or on a walk, Mind Node helps you capture all your thoughts and turn them into a clear picture of your idea.
Additional Resources for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired:
The National Homework Hotline for Blind/Visually Impaired Students (NHH-BVI) is a
free service for K-12 and college students in the United States who are experiencing
school closures due to COVID-19. To request support, email [email protected] or call 732-835-6672.
- National Federation for the Blind has a list of distance education resources
- TapTapSee(free; (Android, iOS)
Photograph an object and the app identifies the object with a text description.
Photograph printed materials and the app’s OCR (optical character recognition) technology transforms images with text into regular text. The text can be read using VoiceOver, copied into a reading app, or translated to other languages.
Reads accessible PDF files while maintaining the page layout and allows you to annotate PDF files with various tools.
The UM Kellogg Eye Center created a list of iOS apps for students with low vision requirements. The list includes audiobook apps, speech to text dictators, digital zooming programs, and talking calculators among many others.
Additional Resources for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:
Additional Resources for Students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, ASD
- Learning Disability Association of America
- ADDitude Mag
- National Center for Learning Disabilities
- College Autism Network
Resources to Help Manage Mental Health and Wellness
- What’s Up (Free; What's Up for iOS and What's Up for Android)
What’s up uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy approaches to help users cope with depression, anxiety, and stress. The app contains over 100 different questions to help pinpoint what you are feeling and offers thinking patterns to teach you how to stop negative internal thoughts.
Mind Shift is an app designed specifically for young adults with anxiety. Mind Shift helps users change their focus from avoiding anxious feelings to being mindful about how you think about anxiety and process through anxious situations and feelings.
SAM supports users in creating a build your own 24-hour anxiety toolkit. This toolkit supports users in tracking anxious thoughts and behavior and then pulls from 25 different self-help techniques and tailors the recommendations to the user. SAM also allows users to connect to an online community for additional support.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (free for anyone)
The suicide prevention hotline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. Hearing-impaired TTY users may dial 1-800-799-4889.
- Trevor Lifeline (free for anyone)
The Trevor Lifeline is the nation’s only around-the-clock crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Call 1-866-488-7386. (Note: the lifeline will talk with any individual regardless of sexuality or gender.)
Free/Reduced Cost Options for Internet
With the shift to remote learning, the need for reliable Internet connection has become vital. Below is a list from major internet providers and the services they are offering in response to COVID-19. Check with each provider for the most up to date information:
Free essential internet for two-months and no data caps (60 days).
Unlimited smartphone data to existing customers (60 days), 20GB/month wi-fi hotspot for smartphone customers (60 days), free international calls to Level 3 impacted countries.
Free hotspot access to anyone, $10 home unlimited internet for qualifying households, no late fees and no disconnects.
No late fees.
No late fees, no disconnects, and no data caps (60 days).
MORE General Resources for Assistive Technology
- Microsoft Teams and Captions or Subtitles
- Microsoft Accessibility
- PowerPoint and Presentations with Captions
- Microsoft Accessibility Checker
- Focus Assist- Turn off distracting notifications for a period of time
- Dictate your Documents- Voice to Text
- Microsoft Teams and Screen Readers
- Text to Speech Software Options
- Speech to Text Software Options
- On-demand video training from Microsoft
- What is Microsoft Teams?
- Teams Quick Start Guide (PDF)
- Teams Tips and Tricks presentation (PDF)
- Adobe Pro Accessibility Checker
- Accessibility features in Zoom for college use