Apps for students with learning disabilities/dyslexia


Student using iPad to readMost of the Assistive Technology (AT) software applications designed for students with learning disabilities/dyslexia are focused on accommodating the reading process. However, there are also a large number of software applications that can assist students with learning disabilities in other ways including, planning, time management, organization, speech-to-text (for students who also have written expression issues), audio recordings, note-taking and many others.

The following are lists and resources for locating lists of apps, software applications and other technologies designed to assist students with learning disabilities/dyslexia.

Reading Apps

Most of the reading apps for students with learning disabilities/dyslexia might be referred to as “enhanced literacy applications.” These are essentially e-reader/e-book applications with additional enhancements designed to support the reader. It should be noted that these are typically seen as accommodations for students who struggle with reading rather than tools to instruct or remediation reading difficulties.

“Enhanced Literacy Applications” often include the following features:

  • Text-to-speech – Text is read to the student and controls present to change the voice and speed of the speech.
  • Font size and style changes – Allows the student to changing the type, size or color of font.
  • Font color and background changes – Allows the student to change the font color and or background color
  • Highlighted words – While using the text-to-speech feature, the application highlight the words, sentences or paragraph when reading back.
  • Built-in glossaries – Allows the student to look up the meaning of words without having to leave the text.
  • Notation/annotation – Allows the student to “mark-up” or make notes regarding the text.

There are many enhanced literacy apps and software programs on the market, many of which are rather expensive. However, increasingly many of the “literacy enhancements” are now being offered either freely as apps or browser extensions or can be found included into the device’s OS.


One of the best resources we have found listing various software applications and apps for students with learning disabilities/dyslexia was developed by educator Jamie Martin. Here are links to some of the resource pages on his website:

  • Desktop software and applications – These are typically propitiatory e-book-reading software applications that work with a variety of e-book formats.
  • Web-based tools – Several browser add-ons, plug-ins or extensions, as well as some websites providing tools for students.
  • Chrome Apps and Extensions – Literacy tools that work with the Chrome browser or Google Chromebooks
  • iOS Apps – A rather extensive list of various apps that work with Apple iOS devices (e.g., iPads, iPods, iPhones) designed for students with learning disabilities.
  • Android Apps – Another rather extensive list of apps for students with learning disabilities that work with Android devices.

Training webinars and videos

Articles and other external resources

Lists of lists

Final note: If you know of other resources on this topic please contact us to share! 

Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Brad Flickenger.

rev: 01/30/2017