Common Sense


Best Assistive Technology for Reading in the Classroom

Many students live with challenges that limit their reading abilities. Dyslexia alone affects from 5% to 17% of us. Thankfully, there's a range of apps and websites available to help not just people with dyslexia, but students who have physical limitations like sight issues or blindness. These tools can also be useful to students who just need some extra assistance to aid reading fluency or comprehension. On this list, you'll find screen readers and text-to-speech tools as well as full libraries of texts that open up the wonderful world of reading, making text accessible to students of all abilities.

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Unique digital library gives access to those with print disabilities

Bottom line: This fantastic digital library service provides a powerful sense of independence for students.

Learning Ally Audiobooks

Digital library offers handy supports for readers

Bottom line: This is a great option for students that need extra support, and, while the library is smaller than competitors, the human-voiced narration is a serious upgrade.


Useful text-to-speech extension unlocks the written word

Bottom line: This handy set of accessibility tools helps students get the access they need when they need it, promoting independence and building confidence.


Customizable reading tool offers access to texts in Bookshare

Bottom line: Although it doesn't contain its own learning content, Read2Go opens doors for kids who struggle with reading.

Scan and Read Pro

Easily scan, read, and study texts regardless of reading level

Bottom line: This is a powerful tool to support students' independence in reading, studying, and test-taking at any level.

Seeing AI

Free app uses AI to communicate the world to visually impaired kids

Bottom line: Students who are blind or have visual impairments will likely find this multifunctional tool to be a welcome and useful shift from more limited apps.

Universal Reader Plus

Text reader and summarizer with translation for eight languages

Bottom line: Software for struggling readers supports comprehension and also includes a translator.


Draw kids into weekly news with powerful symbols and voice narration

Bottom line: Students can expand literacy skills, learn about the world, and get involved with discussion questions and activities.


Screen reader gives kids who are blind access to digital world

Bottom line: Powerful screen reader requires lots of patience to learn, but rewards with total access to the digital universe.


Natural text-to-speech tool helps kids with reading difficulties

Bottom line: The simple interface and natural-sounding voice can empower many types of kids, those with difficulties in reading or those with cognitive disabilities.


Text-leveling tool gives every student access to complex readings

Bottom line: This utilitarian differentiation tool is useful enough to be in every teacher's toolbox.


Mac screen reader provides access for students with visual impairments

Bottom line: A screen reader that rewards training with access to today's digital world.

BeeLine Reader

A surprisingly simple tool to improve reading

Bottom line: This is a unique, easy-to-implement reading fluency and comprehension aid that's gaining some evidence of effectiveness.

Microsoft OneNote

Note-taking giant built for flexible, collaborative work

Bottom line: A powerful (and free) tool for thinking and organization that's making smart strides in the education space.

Voice Dream Reader - Text to Speech

Versatile tool makes text accessible to kids with visual impairment

Bottom line: Customization and accessibility to texts set Voice Dream Reader apart from similar tools.

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