Do you have students with disabilities or special needs? If so, you may benefit from assistive technology: a technology used by an individual with a disability to perform a function that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.
Recent research has identified a positive correlation between improved reading abilities and mental health and students with reading disabilities’ use of assistive technology apps. We’ve compiled a list of the best 30 assistive technology apps for children and adolescents, and arranged them according to categories of usefulness:
- Vision assistive technology apps
- Speech, hearing & communication assistive technology apps
- Time & task management assistive technology apps
- Emotional/behavioral assistive technology apps
- Motor skills assistive technology apps
- Miscellaneous assistive technology apps
What do all of these apps in common? They empower young learners to try out and identify resources that will help them be successful in a learning or community environment. Which of the following assistive technology apps do you use most frequently? Which apps are noteworthy but not included on this list? Feel free to share your favorite resources our way!
The 30 Best Assistive Technology Apps
Volunteers all around the world answer calls to help users read, coordinate outfits, cook, operate machinery, and more tasks. The average wait time is only 15 seconds!
Matrix Game helps users develop their visual perception skills. Children can improve their attention, concentration, visual discrimination, spatial orientation, classification, and categorization skills through these games.
Speech, Hearing & Communication
This app’s 22 sound programs target sounds in the initial, middle, and final positions of words, sentences, and stories.
Communicate using pictures and text — Avaz lets you tap words to form sentences, access core words, and personalize words quickly.
This reading and writing app offers high-quality text-to-speech and cloud storage integration.
Designed for adults and children with speech or hearing impairments, Flip Writer allows users to type messages displayed on two displays (one facing inward and one facing outward).
Natural Reader allows users to upload their e-textbooks, eBooks, and class notes in order to listen to them as audio files. The app reads text, PDF, webpages, and eBooks.
One of the most highly-reviewed apps on this list, OverDrive allows users to borrow eBooks and audiobooks and to stream videos from their library.
Users can create stories, schedules, slideshows, and more on Pictello, which includes text-to-speech capabilities, multimedia integration, and more exciting features.
Geared for people who cannot speak or need help being understood, this app features natural sounding voices to communicate with others.
SentenceBuilder is made to help aged 4-13 learners build grammatically correct sentences. The app includes over 100 pictures, 60 encouragement animations, and statistics to track progress.
A speech-to-text app that allows users to record audio and instantly translate it into text form.
Readers can sound words out with this helpful app. Features enable users to chunk words into syllables and use phonics to sound out words.
Listen to any document or ebook via text-to-speech software. The app offers 36 built-in iOS voices in 27 languages.
Time & Task Management
This app helps children manage daily routines, intense emotions, and communication skills. It includes a Schedule Board, Waiting Board, Feelings Board, and Feelings Scale.
This app (designed for teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder) centers Abby the avatar, who helps students manage calendars, set reminders, navigate school and work schedules, manage money, anticipate the weather, and more.
Students can organize all of their notes (written, typed, and visual), conquer to-do lists, and connect with Google Calendar.
This timer helps those who have difficulty staying focused on a task at hand. Users can set timers for up to 60 minutes, divide large tasks into chunks, and hear audible reminders or silent vibrations to cue them to stay on task.
Children can improve their focus, problem-solving, and multitasking skills by keeping distractions and impulses in check.
Help students learn how to manage their volume in indoor settings with Too Noisy. This app graphically displays the background noise level within a room.
Teach problem-solving, self-discipline, planning, and task persistence skills with a Sesame Street monster friend (available in English and Spanish).
Track your mood, sleep patterns, medication, symptoms, stress levels, anxiety, energy levels, cycles, and more in order to gain insight into your patterns of thinking and living.
Designed for children with Asperger Syndrome or Autism, Model Me Going Places helps users navigate potentially challenging community locations, like salons, shopping malls, doctor’s offices, playgrounds, grocery stores, and restaurants.
Build resilience in learners by journeying with four positive penguins, designed to help children learn that feelings arise from their own thinking, and if they challenge their negative thought patterns, they can see things in a more optimistic light.
Help children improve their ability to handle simple projects through a series of interactive puzzles.
GoNoodle hosts over 300 dance videos, yoga exercises, and mindfulness activities for young children. The library includes great activities for brain/movement breaks.
Otsimo is an award-winning app created for children with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, Down’s syndrome, Asperger’s, and other special needs. Otsimo teaches essential concepts that help develop thinking, communication, and motor skills.
Turn your iPad into a wireless whiteboard and project live sketches to a nearby computer in three simple steps.
Montessori Numbers helps children learn the relationship between numbers and the quantity they represent. This is a great app for students who have math-related learning disabilities.
This tool tracks what students type and draw while simultaneously recording audio, so if the learner misses a bit of information, they can play the audio back and fill in the gaps in their notes.