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Free Assistive Technology Software


 

A wide variety of free and open source software is available to suit a diverse range of needs and abilities. Such software ranges from AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) web page building tools, to head tracking programs and mouse clicking utilities. Please contact the webmaster with comments or suggestions of other free AT-related software.

Note: Varying levels of computer experience will be necessary to install and use these programs.

Categories

General

  • AccessAps - AccessAps is an initiative that consists of over 50 open source and freeware assistive technology applications which can be entirely used from a USB thumb drive on a Windows computer. Nothing is installed on the computer itself, making a very portable solution.
  • AutoHotKey - AutoHotKey is an open-source automation tool that can be used to automate almost any computer function by emulating keystrokes and mouse clicks. AutoHotKey is very versatile, and can be used to greatly reduce the number of keypresses needed to control a computer, but is a bit complex to use for those without moderate computer experience.
  • EventGhost - EventGhost is an open-source automation tool that can be used to take inputs from a wide variety of devices (like remote controls) and control programs, hardware, and functions of the computer itself. While very versatile and expandable, Eventghost is a bit complex to use for those without moderate computer experience.
  • OATS - The OATS Project is a collaborate project to develop, improve, and provide AT-related software in an open-source environment. A wide variety of tools and applications can be found by browsing the OATSoft library.
  • Platform SDK: Microsoft Active Accessibility 2.0 Redistributable - This Software Developer's Kit (SDK) is for Windows and other Microsoft products. A high level of computer experience is recommended.

Communication

  • FormEdit and the Web page Communicator Package 2 - The revised Web Page Communicator Package includes templates that are used to create web pages, which behave like dynamic-display AAC devices. These pages support multiple access methods, including one and two-switch scanning, linear or row-column scans, and auditory scanning. FormEdit makes it easy to adapt these templates to fit the specific needs of the user. These pages can be displayed in most commonly used web browsers, effectively turning any computer into an inexpensive AAC device.

Computer Access

  • Access Firefox - The Access Firefox website provides listings, explanations, and discussions of features, extensions, and themes for the Firefox free web browser, which improve accessibility for people with a variety of disabilities.
  • Browse Aloud - Browse Aloud is a downloadable tool for PCs or Macs, which reads websites out loud and highlights words as they are read.
  • Camera Mouse - Camera Mouse is a program that turns a webcam into a head tracker, allowing the user to control the mouse cursor of a computer through head movements. The Camera Mouse website's Downloads page also includes many tools and games that work well with Camera Mouse.
  • Click Aid - Click Aid is a tool that allows for double-clicking, right-clicking, dragging, and other mouse functions using only a single button or dwell clicking. A more advanced and adaptable version called Point-N-Click is also available.
  • Click-N-Type - Click-N-Type is an on-screen keyboard that works well for users who can use a mouse or other pointing device, but cannot use a standard keyboard. It is compatible with web browser URL fields and other applications that are often problematic when used with on-screen keyboards. Additional key configurations and language packs are also available.
  • Dasher - Dasher is an innovative text-entry program that replaces an on-screen keyboard, and allows the user to spell words through natural, continuous pointing gestures. Dasher works in many different languages, including full Japanese, and can be easily expanded to include others.
  • GreedyCat - GreedyCat is an application that assists mouseless navigation in Windows and all associated applications. It maps mouse events to keystrokes of the number pad, and is said to be more efficient to use that Windows built-in MouseKeys.
  • Midas Touch - Midas Touch is an on-screen keyboard with large buttons separated by small spaces, and is ideal for users who are fairly accurate with head or eye tracking based access methods.
  • MouseZoom - A small utility that zooms the current mouse position up to 50x magnification. It also displays the color value and current position of the mouse pointer(these features can be disabled).
  • NLarge - NLarge is a utility that allows the user to magnify and pan/zoom around the computer screen. It also allows annotation of the screen through the use of a tablet PC pen or mouse.
  • NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) - NVDA is a free and open source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Providing feedback via synthetic speech and Braille, it enables blind or vision impaired people to access computers running Windows for no more cost than a sighted person. Major features include support for over 20 languages and the ability to run entirely from a USB drive with no installation.
  • One-Handed Typing - About One-Handed typing provides manuals and training software to help people type with one hand quickly and effectively.
  • Staggered Speech - Staggered speech is a two-level on-screen keyboard with large buttons separated by large spaces, and is ideal for use with head or eye tracking based access methods.
  • Thunder - Thunder is a downloadable screen reading (text-to-speech) program.
  • Trace Center: Designing more Usable Computers and Software - This site is a library of information on computer access, including a variety of downloadable tools and applications.
  • X-Mouse Button Control - X-Mouse Button Control is a windows application to remap mouse buttons. It allows application specific mappings, which means that one application can use the mouse differently than another.
  • ZAC Browser - ZAC is a web browser developed specifically for children with autism and autism spectrum disorders. ZAC also lets the child to interact directly with games and activities that cater specifically to kids who display the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders.

Education

  • Audio Books for Free - This site provides numerous audio books in a variety of formats, and the MP3 versions are free.
  • ClassTools - The ClassTools website allows creation of educational games, activities, and diagrams in Flash. These can be easily added to a blog, website, or intranet.
  • Jing - Jing Project allows the user to quickly capture image and video screen casts from a computer. It is handy for demonstrating how to do something on the web or computer and adding voice to explain the task.
  • Learning Ally is a national nonprofit, volunteer organization and producer of accessible educational materials for students with disabilities such as visual impairment or dyslexia that make reading standard print difficult or impossible. This site provides titles in every subject area and grade level from kindergarten through graduate studies.
  • Learning Grids - This site provides the Clicker, ClozePro, and WriteOnline tools. Clicker is a talking word processor, which allows the user to type using a keyboard or by selecting letters, words, or phrases. ClozePro allows the user to create Cloze activities quickly and easily. WriteOnline is an online writing tool that allows the user to write from anywhere, while taking advantage of auditory feedback, word prediction, and WordBar word banks.
  • Macintosh Games - This site provides downloadable games designed for young children with little or no reading skills. These games include lots of color and sound to keep little ones entertained. They are Hypercard or Supercard standalones, and are designed for Macs.
  • Pics4Learning - This site provides a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students. The images have been donated and permission has been granted for teachers and students to use them.
  • Priory Woods - The Priory Woods school website provides a wide variety of material including worksheets, curriculum documents, lesson plans and simple programs, which are free to adapt and use. The resources section contains over 150 programs for switch, touch-screen and pointing device users.
  • Project Gutenberg - Project Gutenberg is the fist and largest collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. The library includes over 42,000 free books, the copyrights of which have expired in the U.S. These books can be easily downloaded and read by a screen reader.
  • Read the Words - Read the Words is a free, web based service that assists people with written material through the use of Text To Speech (TTS) Technology. It reads many different types of documents aloud, supports multiple languages, and allows information to be downloaded for use on an MP3 player, website, blog, or podcast.
  • School Freeware - School Freeware is an organization that creates freeware, tools, and tutorials for education. The software is free for personal and non-profit use.
  • Sheppard Software - This site features numerous online games to develop learning in all academic areas.

Video Gaming

  • SpecialEffect's Accessible Gamebase - The Gamebase provides information about games and technology that work well for people with disabilities. Included is a searchable database of game reviews, which can be filtered to show only games that are free or provide free trials, forums, groups, events, and some very interesting and inspirational videos.
  • JoyToKey - JoyToKey is a utility that enables PC game controllers to mimic a mouse and keyboard. This allows the user to control any application with an adapted video game controller.
  • Help Kidz Learn - HelpKidzLearn is a web site full of FREE games for young children and those with learning difficulties. (Help Kidz Learn / Inclusive Technology provided Hoop Stars, which we played at our Switch It Up event.)
  • One Switch Game Library - In addition to other adapted gaming content, One Switch provides a library of accessible games for download. Find links to many other accessible games (both downloadable and on-line), game reviews, and much more.
  • Powerpoint Games - These games were made in MS Powerpoint, and can be downloaded and modified to include any content. Examples include: Are you smarter then a fifth grader, wheel of fortune, twenty questions, jeopardy, etc. Games contain theme music from the show and graphics.
  • Switchblade Pro - Switchblade Pro is a utility that maps the buttons and joysticks of a video game controller to the functions of a mouse and keyboard. It allows the keys to be customized to the user's preference, and text entry through innovative "texter rings." Many games and controllers are supported, including XBox 360, Playstation 3, and PC controllers. (Note: The Pro version of Switchblade now requires a small fee, but the previous, free version is still available at FileFront.)

Faculty Favorite Assistive Technology Web Sites

View faculty favorite web resources.



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