- Speech to Text (dictation)
- Text to Speech (reader)
- Screen Readers
- Mind Mapping
- Focus, Productivity and Literacy
Speech to Text (dictation)
Speech to Text apps allow users to write using their voice and orientate themselves on a computer using spoken commands.
- Windows Dictate is the Microsoft native dictation feature. Find out more about how to use Dictate in Microsoft 365 and dictation in Windows 10.
- Apple has a built-in dictation feature, that can be used in a range of their products. Find out more about Dictate on a Mac and Dictate on ipad and iphone.
- Dragon Naturally Speaking is the industry leader in speech-to-text. Find out more about the Dragon Naturally Speaking Command List (PDF) and Dragon Naturally Speaking start up guides.
- Otter.ai is a web-based transcription tool. Find out more on the Otter.ai dictation app product page about the product and various start up guides. This video explains how to use otter.ai (YouTube) and demonstrates its functionality.
- Voice In Voice Typing is a dictation extension that can be used on the Chrome web browser to dictate directly into web based text boxes. This video demonstrates Voice in Voice Typing (YouTube).
Text to Speech (reader)
- Claro is a text-to-speech reader that will read text. It enables the highlighting of text in time with spoken words. Useful for proof reading and helping with literacy and languages: French and Spanish are available.
- TextHelp includes features to aid reading, writing and literacy. It aims to support reading fluency (Fluency Tutor), comprehension (Lexiflow) and improved internet navigation (Speechstream). The app includes an e-book reader, dictionary, speech and spelling.
Screen Readers allow on-screen text to be read aloud.
- JAWS is the screen reader industry leader and provides speech and Braille output for the most popular PC applications.
- NVDA is a free, open source screen reader for Windows.
- VoiceOver is the Apple native screen reader. Find out more with the starting guide for VoiceOver in HTML.
There are numerous other screen reading online options, including:
- Read Aloud is a Chrome extension that allows text to be read aloud.
- Natural Reader is an online text to speech software.
- TTS Reader is an online screen reading software.
Mind mapping is an effective and visual way of planning and organising. It allows the user to capture large amounts of disparate information and gives them the ability to view content from different viewpoints. Find out more with this Mind Mapping Workshop Video delivered by University of Leeds Assistive Technology Student Advisor, Thomas Starkey.
There are different mind mapping tools and approaches available:
- MindView, Find out more with this MindView video tutorial (YouTube)
- Mindly is a mobile-based mind mapping app.
- Mindmaps is a free, online mind mapping option.
- Simple Mind+ is an app that facilitates brainstorming, idea collating and thought structuring. It enables easy experimenting and editing and offers a range of style, colours and fonts.
- Inspiration Maps is a mind mapping app which allows the user to create diagrams which can be built upon. Images taken from the internet or i-pad camera can be used.
- AudioNote is a note-taking app that synchronises the audio to the notes taken. Useful for note taking in meetings, highlighting information and taking photos and using them within notes.
- Evernote is a useful text, audio and image note-taking app which allows sharing of notes between devices via an account. Allows for document creation and document storage (Word, PDF, etc.). Useful for organisation across all devices, taking notes, creating to do lists.
- OneNote saves, searchable, and synchronised notes to the app on other devices. Useful for sharing files, taking notes and syncing notebooks.
- Outline is a note-taking app that creates different notebooks for various topics.
- Sonocent Audio Notetaker captures audio, text and slides in a single note-taking workspace.
Focus, Productivity and Literacy
There is lot of useful technology to help with focus, blocking out distractions and literacy.
Web Site Blockers
- Stayfocusd is a Chrome browser extension that limits the websites that can be accessed for a designated period of time.
- Forest is a web blocker with the added motivational tool of planting virtual trees.
- Texthelp’s Read&Write is a simple and easy-to-use floating toolbar that provides speech feedback, phonetic spell checking, and many other literacy support tools to help with reading and writing.
- Grammarly helps with clear and mistake-free writing.
- Ginger Spelling and Grammar tool
- Microsoft Immersive Reader allows tailoring of text formatting and the read aloud feature highlights each word as it reads the text out.