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Assistive Technology: Reading & Literacy

Guide for assistive technology in the libraries, software available to students, and free or low cost tools

Reading & Literacy Tools

Assistive Technology can be used in or out of school to help you complete tasks more quickly, easily, or independently. The tools recommended on this page are available for free or at a low cost and support reading and literacy.

ABBYY TextGrabber

ABBYY TextGrabber is a mobile app that allows users to extract and digitize text from various sources such as printed documents, books, posters, menus, and even screens. It uses OCR (optical character recognition) technology to convert the captured text into a digital format that can be easily edited, saved, or shared.

The app works by using the phone's camera to capture the image of the text, and then it automatically detects the text and extracts it. The extracted text can then be saved as a searchable PDF or editable text file, which can be used for various purposes such as note-taking, translation, and data entry.

ABBYY TextGrabber also features a translation function that allows users to translate the extracted text into over 100 different languages. It also includes a speech function that can read out loud the extracted text, which can be helpful for people with visual impairments or those who prefer to listen rather than read.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Compatibility: iOS; Android

More information: ABBYY Mobile Apps

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader is available as part of various Microsoft products, including Microsoft Word, OneNote, Outlook, Teams, and Edge web browser.

The tool features a range of customizable features that aim to make reading easier and more comfortable. These include text-to-speech, adjustable text size, font, and spacing, and the ability to highlight and annotate text.

Immersive Reader also includes a focus mode that removes distractions from the screen and highlights one line of text at a time. This helps users who struggle with focusing or tracking while reading.

In addition to its reading features, Immersive Reader also offers translation and grammar tools. Users can translate text into multiple languages and access definitions and synonyms for words they may not understand.

Cost: Free add-in through Office Suite

Compatibility: Edge Browser, iOS, Windows

More information: Immersive Reader

Capti Voice

Capti Voice is a text-to-speech application that allows users to listen to any digital text on their device. It can be used to read eBooks, articles, and other documents. The app supports a variety of file types, including PDF, Word, and EPUB, and can even read web pages and emails. Free features include customizable text colors and fonts and support for print disabilities.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Compatibility: iOS; Chrome Browser Extension

More information: Capti Voice


HelperBird offers a variety of accessibility tools, including text-to-speech, dyslexia-friendly fonts, color contrast adjustment, and zooming. These tools aim to help users who have visual, cognitive, or physical impairments to access and interact with online content more easily.

In addition to its accessibility features, HelperBird also includes a language translation tool that can translate web pages into more than 100 languages.

Cost: Free version and $6.99/month for Pro Plan

Compatibility: Chrome Browser Extension; Firefox Browser Extension

More information: HelperBird


CamScanner is a mobile app that enables users to turn their smartphones into portable scanners. It allows users to quickly and easily scan documents, receipts, notes, and other papers, and then save them in high-quality PDF or image files.

The app uses the phone's camera to capture images of the documents, and then it automatically enhances and crops them, removing any unwanted background or glare. It also features OCR (optical character recognition) technology that can recognize text in scanned documents and convert it into editable and searchable text.

Cost: Free

Compatibility: iOS; Android

More information: CamScanner


ReWordify is a website that aims to simplify and rephrase text to make it more understandable for readers. The website uses various tools and techniques to simplify the text, such as replacing complex words with simpler synonyms and breaking down long sentences into smaller, easier-to-understand sentences.

The website also offers various settings to customize the level of simplification, such as choosing the reading level or the number of complex words to replace. Additionally, ReWordify offers other features, such as a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a vocabulary builder.

Cost: Free

Compatibility: Online Resource

More information: ReWordify

Have a recommendation?

If you would like to recommend software, websites, or apps for this guide, please contact Jessica Chrisman-DeNegri at