Accessibility Resources

Alternative Textbook Resources

You have a wide array of options for alternative textbooks for courses at Agnes Scott College. Below are a few options that other students have found helpful. The Office of Accessible Education also contracts with the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation for alternative textbook and other accessibility needs.

Bookshare

Bookshare makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading. Bookshare is free for qualified U.S. students.

Learn more about Bookshare

Learning Ally

Learning Ally is the largest source of educational books on tape in the world. The books in its collection begin at the kindergarten level and continue up through graduate school and beyond, and run the full range of subject matter. If a book of an educational or professional nature is not already in Learning Ally’s audiocassette library or the NLS collection, a registered borrower may ask Learning Ally to record it.

Learn more about Learning Ally

Chegg and Amazon

Chegg and Amazon both offer ebooks options that are accessible for many books. Chegg has a built-in read aloud feature that can be used via app or on a computer.

Learn more about Chegg

Learn more about Amazon

Assistive Technology Software and Apps

If you are registered with the Office of Accessible Education, you have access to a wide array of assistive technology software programs for free. This includes speak-to-text programs that allow you to orally listen to textbooks, articles and other course materials. If you are interested in learning more about the different options available, contact your assigned Accessible Education staff person.

Recommended Apps to Support Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

Notability

Integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing of notes. Handwriting features allow for easy annotation and you can even prevent unwanted marks with a palm rest. Includes advanced word-processing and you can link audio recordings. Additional features include auto-syncing (to Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, iCloud), media inserts, and library organization.

  • Price: $7.99 (iPad, iPhone); $5.99 (Mac)

AudioNote

This app combines functionality of a notepad and voice recorder to create a powerful note-taking tool. Synchronize handwritten and typed notes with audio, add notes later, highlights notes during playback, review notes in iTunes. AudioNote automatically indexes your meetings, lectures, or study sessions.

  • Price: $4.99, $2.99 (iPad, iPhone, Mac), $19.95 (Windows), $5.99 (Android)

Evernote

This app allows you to keep track of files across devices, take text notes, dictate audio notes, capture pictures, create to do lists, record voice reminders and audio notes, share notes easily, and index these notes by searchable key words.

  • Price: Free (Premium ranges from $4.99 to $99.99) (iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android)

OneNote

This app allows you to type, hand write, draw, and clip things from the web to get down your thoughts into your notebook. OneNote is set up like a notebook to bring the familiar physical 3-ring binder to the digital era. Easily use sections and pages to separate out thoughts by theme at school, home or work. OneNote syncs your notes across all devices and lets multiple people work on the content together, at the same time.

  • Price: Free (Windows, Android)

Simplenote

With Simplenote you can take basic notes and upload them to a Web account or sync them with your computer. There is no audio support with this app.

  • Price: Free (iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows, Android, Kindle Fire, Linux)

SoundNote

SoundNote is the best way to take notes in meetings, lectures, and interviews. It tracks what you type and draw while recording audio, so you'll never worry about missing an important detail. During playback, just tap a word: SoundNote will jump right to the proper time in the audio.

  • Price: $4.99 (iPad, Mac)

Read&Write Gold

Award-winning Read&Write gives extra confidence to students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. It’s also a big confidence booster for English Language Learners, and anyone who needs a little extra help with their reading and writing. Read&Write makes the web, documents and files more accessible. It’s a friendly, intuitive toolbar that assists students at all levels with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work.

  • Price: Free for Students (Mac, Windows, iPad)

Blio

This app displays purchased books in full color and layout like the publisher intended. You can sync books to multiple devices. Books can be read aloud by a text-to-speech voice and words highlighted (which requires purchase). You can search unfamiliar words or topics through the web without leaving the book you are reading. You can also choose the way in which you read the book. You can access books from the Blio bookstore or use iTunes to transfer your purchased EPUB, PDF, or XPS formats, via iTunes or the web.

  • Price: FREE + $9.99 for text-to-speech feature
  • Languages: English

GoodReader

This is a pdf reader with advanced reading and annotating capabilities. You can transfer files through the USB connection or via wi-fi. This app also supports large PDF and TXT files, but can also work with MS Office files, iWork, HTML and Safari web archives, images, and audio and video. You can also use the 50x zoom without distorting the text or images!

  • Price: $4.99
  • Languages: English

Learning Ally

Become a member of Learning Ally if you have documented reading accessibility difficulties. Then access the downloadable DAISY-formatted audiobooks. This app allows you to navigate audiobooks using chapters and page numbers, adjust reading speed, use bookmarks, and voiceover.

  • Price: Free (must be a Learning Ally member for $99 a year or 30 days risk free trial)
  • Languages: English

Learning Ally Audio

Android version of the Learning Ally Application (see above).

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English

iBooks

Download and read bestselling books from the iBookstore and browse through your library on your device. Tap a book to open it and swipe through by tapping. You can bookmark and add notes to your favorite pages. Some books come with audio and additional interactive features. You can also sample books before purchasing. You can also add PDF documents from your mail or add them to iTunes and sync them to your device. You can use the accessibility features that are built-in with your device through this app.

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

ReaddleDocs

Catch documents from any source: PC or MAC computers, web sites, email attachments, iDisk, Dropbox and other online file storages and even iPhones. It is a PDF viewer that lets you copy files, read office documents, save email attachments, share files, read books on the go, transfer files to an iPhone with or without wi-fi, save documents, and access other storage sources.

  • Price: $4.99
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish

Kobo

Download eBooks, connect with Facebook and Twitter, read online content through website and blogs, add books from Safari, iTunes, Mail, Dropbox, or MobileMe iDisk, look up information on Google, get newspaper and magazine subscriptions, choose font style and text, put in night mode, create personal bookshelves, and add notes as you read. You can also access notes and highlights made on other devices.

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish

iAnnotate PDF

This allows you to annotate, manage, and share documents from your iPad. You can also take notes on lecture slides, annotate documents, grade papers, and more. Other options include customizable highlighting and underlining features. There is a navigation menu to easily read through pdf documents. In addition, you can connect to various accounts including dropbox, itunes, and email.

  • Price: $9.99
  • Languages: English

eTextbooks – CourseSmart

Access your eTextbooks for quick reference, scan images, tables and charts, skim thumbnails and full pages, edit notes to pages as you study, view notes, and use keyword searches. This app allows you to get a digital equivalent to your textbooks. You need to have a CourseSmart account to use with this app.

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English

VBookz PDF Voice Reader

This app lets you read your pdf files aloud. It has navigation tools and allows the reader to listen to text read aloud, pause reading, or repeat lines. PDFs can be opened with mail, Dropbox, Safari, and others.

  • Price: $4.99
  • Languages: English. PDF materials can be read in 16 different languages.

Audible

This app allows you to access your audiobooks and navigate chapters, bookmark, change narration speed, and play as you download the book. You can transfer books from your library to your device. Browse books through Audible.com.

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English, French, German

Web Reader

This app lets you use text to speech to read web pages. Web pages can be read as soon as they are loaded, manually after they are loaded, or you can cut and paste to read the sections of text you would like to have read aloud. You can adjust speed and volume of what is read with two choices for voice. Currently only can be used in English.

  • Price: $1.99 (iOS version), Free (Kindle version)
  • Languages: English with more languages available.

Speak it!

This app allows you to read emails, news articles, and documents even while you exit the app and do other things on your iPad or iPhone device. Paste files into Speak it! And have the text spoken back to you. 4 voices included, highlights text as it is read, can create audio files and email them, pause and resume playback, additional voices can be downloaded for a fee, includes other languages – German, Spanish, French, and Italian.

  • Price: $1.99 (iOS version), Free (Android version) 
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish

iSpeech – Text to Speech

This app allows you to type in text and listen to text read aloud, can purchase additional voices, limitations with copying text and playback.

  • Price: Free (+ $2.99 for voices)
  • Languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Russian, Cantonese, Korean, Polish, Swedish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Italian, French, Catalan, Turkish, German, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Arabic

Dragon Anywhere

This app allows you to use voice-recognition to speak your text or email messages. You can also dictate status updates to social network sites, send notes or reminders to yourself. Supports multiples languages.

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

QuickVoice2Text Email

Voice recorder to send text emails just using voice and a few touches, records for seconds or hours, use other apps while recording, bonus desktop recorder with syncing features, can email audio files and have them transcribed easily, share information and meeting notes with others.

  • Price: $2.99
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish

TalkBox Voice Messenger

Exchange, share, and publish voice messages with other friends, organize group chats, use your voice to post to social networks. Use with your iPod and iTunes.

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English, Chinese, Indonesian, and more
iThoughts (mindmap)

Mind mapping tool that allows you to visually organize your thoughts, ideas and information. Use to make tasks lists, brainstorm, goal set, create concept maps, and write notes. Export to other applications and email, sync with Dropbox, Box.net, and WebDAV. Send maps to other apps including iBooks, Goodreader, etc. Present ideas on a larger projector, download other maps already generated from biggerplate.com and XMind.net.

  • Price: $9.99 (iOS version), $47.99 (OS X version)
  • Languages: English

TextExpander

Allows for quicker typing on your ipad or iphone with short abbreviations. You can create a library of shortcuts for text that you use frequently. This is supporting in many other apps and can be used with Dropbox.

  • Price: $4.99 (iOS version), Free 30 day trial then $34.95 (OS X)
  • Languages: English, Portuguese

Speller

Spell checker for English or Spanish words, provides instant feedback for word, alternate spelling suggestions provided, dictionary definitions available on the internet.

  • Price: Free ($0.99 for ad-free upgrade)
  • Languages: English

Remember the Milk

Add and complete tasks on the go, sync lists online for backup, organize lists by due dates, time lines, tags; search notes and tasks, get reminders via email and instant messenger, sync across multiple devices.

  • Price: Free (or $24.99/per year for Pro version)
  • Languages: English, Bosanski, Català, Cesky, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Polish, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, Russian, and more.

EasyTask Manager

A personal task manager to keep track of your tasks. Simple and easy to use interface and runs on multiple devices with options to sync to computers via your iphone or ipad device.

  • Price: Free trial for 20 Tasks otherwise $19.99
  • Languages: English and more

HomeRoutines

Create routine checklists, set reminders, and automatically refresh your lists each morning. Free online editing and syncing between devices, keep track of chores and to-do lists to keep clutter free with organizing; app has a built-in timer.

  • Price: $4.99
  • Languages: English

HabitRPG

Allows users to ‘gameify’ their life by turning all tasks (daily or to-do) into little monsters to battle. The more tasks the user accomplishes, the farther progress you make in the game. If the user doesn't’t accomplish the tasks, the character’s progress backslides (usually in the form of HP).

  • Price: Free
  • Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, German, Danish, and more.

My Minutes – Simple Personal Time & Task Tracker

A way to set and track how much time you spend on different tasks. Can set “At least” and “At most” timers. Notifications for when you reach or are getting close to going over how much time you had intended to spend on that task.

  • Price: $2.99
  • Languages: English
Flashcards Deluxe

A study application based off of flashcards. There are two smart study modes: one that automatically focuses on missed cards, while the other focuses on spaced repetition. Has multiple choice options, multisided cards, allows for categories, different response levels, and custom text and background colors. Supports Dropbox, Google Docs, and USB transfers, as well as downloading and browsing from Quizlet and Cram.com.

  • Price: $3.99
  • Languages: English, German, Japanese, Korean

myHomework

Keep track of homework assignments, tests, classes; create class schedules; myHomework is available on the web so you can quickly sync and access your homework from your computer at homeworkapp.com.

  • Price: Free ($4.99 for Premium)
  • Languages: English

Proloquo2go

Proloquo2go provides a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication solution. It provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices, up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, and a default vocabulary of over 8000 items. This app is now universally supported on multiple personal devices at one time (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod touch), so no need to purchase twice.

  • Price: $219.99
  • Languages: English, Spanish

TouchChat HD

This app is a full-featured communication system for individuals who have difficulty using their natural voice. Words, phrases and messages are spoken with built-in synthesizer for playing recorded messages. The user can navigate through page sets and speak messages. TouchChat pages can be shared on other social networks. The pages, grid layout, buttons, messages and symbols are fully customizable. Buttons can be copied and pasted into other locations. Over 10,000 Symbolstix symbols are included for customizing. Use photos to also help customize your pages.

  • Price: lite version: $9.99 (no voice output); $149.99 basic version, $299.99 with word power

Predictable

Predictable is a text-to-speech application that offers customizable functions to meet the needs of people with communication difficulties. It uses an on-screen keyboard and textbox to type messages. It also allows customizable phrases to be saved. Text and messages can be sent to email or other social network sites. It offers prediction software and switch access (3 different types of switches can be used: plug in switch, a Bluetooth switch, or use of whole screen as a switch). This application is available on all iDevices.

  • Price: $159.99 (iOS version), $184.98 (Android version)
  • Languages: English

iCommunicate

Use this app to create pictures, flashcards, storyboards and visual schedules with or without audio. Custom audio is available. Boards can include personal pictures and images. Text-to-speech with 20 voice options. Access to 10,000+ symbols through N2Y Symbolstix for free.

  • Price: $49.99
  • Languages: English

Verbally

This app comes with a core words/phrases grid and uses word predictions to reduce the number of taps needed to enter text and create speech output. It also comes with an on-screen keyboard for typing in your own words. You can change the layout of the keyboard and change features for fine motor difficulties.

  • Price: FREE; upgrade for $99.99 to Verbally Premium to save/organize your own words and phrases, access more voices, and individualize the app to your needs
  • Languages: English

Voice4u

Voice4u is designed to help people of all ages with communication difficulties to share their needs and wants. You can personalize the application to create your icons, categories, and use of your own audio. It has features to design your visual schedules and social stories. It is limited to only 9 categories, but simple and easy to use.

  • Price: $49.99 (Fire and Kindle and Nook), $59.99 (iOS and Android)
  • Languages: English, Japanese

TapSpeak Button

This app modernizes the idea of a mechanical switch that records and plays messages. It aims to provide a portable, convenient, and stigma-free tool to use for basic teaching and communication tasks, especially for cause and effect relationships.

  • Price: $29.99 (upgrade $19.99)
  • Languages: English, Italian

Speak for Yourself

This application that uses word-based vocabulary of the most frequently used words in communication. Allows for access to almost 14,000 words with no more than two touches to say any one word. To use Apple voices, the iOS must be 7 or later.

  • Price: $199.99
  • Languages: English and French

My Talk Lite or My Talk Mobile

This app allows the user to interact with 20 cells and 1-2 boards. With the upgrade you can increase to 32,000 cells and customize the boards. Currently, there is only one output voice available.

  • Price: Free, upgrade for $99 -$200
  • Languages: English, Danish, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Traditional Chinese

What’s Up?

This app has four components: Help Right Now, Coping Strategies, Information, and Personal. Help Right now provides options for people in crisis (e.g. breathing and grounding exercises, quotes, mental health resources). Coping Strategies gives suggestions to on how to identify harmful thoughts and symptoms of, explain mental illness, and help managing your mental health. Information provides information (surprise!) on anger, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and stress. Personal allows you to track habits, thoughts, and notes.

Mindshift

This app is specifically aimed at anxiety. It allows you to break down anxiety into physical symptoms, situation (e.g. test anxiety vs. confrontation difficulties). From there, the user can use “chill out tools,” reconceptualization statements, tactics for managing anxiety, inspirational quotes (as is status quo), and information on anxiety and what to do with it.

Booster Buddy

The app starts with inputting symptoms such as lack of motivation, sleeping issues, depression, delusions, etc. and then picking a “buddy” animal. Every day you check in with your mood status and complete three tasks (e.g. “write down something you do well” or “if you haven’t showered recently, do that”) based on 1) how you’re doing that day and 2) the symptoms you originally listed in order to take care of your “buddy.” The app also serves as a database for coping mechanisms (under the headings like “Initiation and Motivation,” “Lack of Sleep,” “Delusions,” “Alcohol and Drug Use,”), a crisis plan, medicine scheduling, and basic mood tracking.

T2 Mood Tracker

This app allows you to track feelings and emotions organized under topics that relate to mental illness (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress: Rate your feelings of fear, trust, responsiveness, etc.). You can generate reports of these statistics, create your own scales, and add notes to all of these entries.

Back to top