Assistive Technology for ADHD

Welcome 11th Annual Southeast Regional ADHD Conference attendees!

Resources referenced in my session are listed here.

Texthelp

Texthelp offers a collection of Mac and PC desktop software, Google Chrome apps and extensions, and iOS and Android apps that support reading, writing, language learning and STEM subjects. The University of Alabama has licensed these tools for use by all UA students, faculty, and staff on both university and personal devices. They are particularly beneficial for English language learners, students with learning disabilities, and students who can benefit from writing supports, but are useful to all.

Read&Write

Read&Write supports reading, writing, researching, and studying. It offers a simple toolbar at the top of the screen that offers support with tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments, and proofing written work. The Read&Write toolbar is available as a Google Chrome extension and as desktop software for Windows and Mac. There are also iPad and Android tablet apps that offer many of the features of the Chrome and desktop tools.

Snapverter

Snapverter is easy to use add-on for Read&Write for Google Chrome and iOS app that transforms papers and files into readable PDF documents.

After installing the Snapverter Chrome app, you can use your smartphone to snap a picture of text in a book, handout, or other paper-based item or select a saved inaccessible digital file from your phone or computer and upload it to the Snapverter folder in your Google Drive. Files are converted to readable text using optical character recognition (OCR) and stored as PDFs in your Google Drive. If you’d like, you can then use Read&Write to hear text read aloud, see words explained, access translation features, and more.

EquatIO

EquatIO supports math and STEM subjects. It lets you type, handwrite, or speak to create equations, formulas, and other math and chemistry expressions on a computer or Chromebook; there’s also a library of ready-made expressions you can use to add STEM content to a document. EquatIO also supports LaTex (lay-tech), a typesetting and mark-up language that’s widely used for mathematical and scientific documents.
EquatIO is available as a Google Chrome extension and as desktop software for Windows and Mac.

UA users also have access to the EquatIO mathspace collaborative workspace and EquatIO Mobile, a mobile companion that lets you use your phone or tablet to draw, dictate, or take a picture of math and add it to a document open on your computer or Chromebook.

Video demonstrations of many of the features I shared during the session can be found on the Texthelp YouTube channel.

Microsoft Learning Tools

Microsoft Learning Tools are free tools designed to improve reading and writing for learners regardless of their age or ability. They are available across a wide variety of applications.

This Microsoft Educator Community page brings together top tools and resources to help you get the most out of Microsoft’s inclusive tools for the classroom, including Learning Tools: Helpful links for Microsoft’s inclusive classroom experiences

I shared these videos during the session:

Other Tools

This session’s focus was tools for reading, writing, research, studying, and STEM work, but there are also many tools to help with organization and staying on task.

Free Apps & Extensions That Improve Productivity and Learning (PDF)

The apps, extensions, and program features described in this ADDitude publication “make it easier for distractible students (and adults) to make better use of their time spent on tablets and computers, to stay organized, and to practice better reading and writing skills — no matter the platform.”

I also like these:

  • StayFocusd (Transfusion Media, Free): a Chrome browser extension that “increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites”
  • Marinara (Chris Schmidt, Free): a Chrome browser extension that supports the Pomodoro technique, a time management method in which a timer is used to break work into intervals (usually 25 minutes each) separated by short breaks.
  • Dayboard (Dayboard, Free (Basic) / $5 (Pro)), a Chrome browser extension that replaces the browser’s New Tab page with a daily to do list of five items and can be used to block distracting sites
  • Reminders (Apple, Free): an iOS app offering the ability to add and check off reminders and set notifications that alert you when reminders are due
  • I Can’t Wake Up (Kog Creations, Free): an iOS alarm clock app that requires users to complete a task before turning off or lowering the volume
  • Habitica (HabitRPG, Free): an iOS app allows that serves as a “gamified task manager,” allowing users to turn all tasks into monsters they have to conquer

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