About TU

Useful Apps for college students with disabilities

group of students outside the unionpicture of an iphone with appsstudents working on an assignment in front of a computer


Apps, short for applications, are pieces of software that run on smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices.  Students with these devices are familiar with apps and know that they are convenient, easy-to-use, and widely accessible.

There are many apps available for college students with various disabilities.  With such an abundance, students may find apps that perform similar functions, but are made by different software companies.  DSS encourages students to read reviews from other users and the product descriptions to choose the most appropriate apps..

Versions of apps are updated often by their company.  Updates may add new features or fix user-reported issues.  Prices may vary, although most apps are available for free.  Paid apps often have a lite version so the student can try out the app before making a financial commitment.  DSS has provided a light list of useful apps that students with disabilities may want to consider installing on their own devices:


Quick scroll


Writing / Editing

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app writer

AppWriter v1.4:

AppWriter is text editor for iPad. You can import files from Google docs, type using a word predictor, and have the text read out loud to you.

Brevity v1.0:

Brevity is the ultra-fast text editor. It uses word prediction so you can send a text or email out fast with correct spelling. It also includes word lists in 10 other languages and can customize and store frequently used words, slang, and shorthand.

FastFinga v3.6:

FastFinga allows hand-written notes that you can email or even post as a Tweet. The pen can be customized by size and color. There is also a pop up keyboard to combine writing with text.

iAnnotate v2.3:

iAnnotate imports PDFs, Word Documents, Powerpoint files, etc. into your iPad and annotate using built in pens, highlighters, stamps, and more.

Notability v4.4:

Notability integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording and organizing. Enhance your notes by adding pictures from your camera, web clips, figures and drawings. Items are backed up and store in the cloud, and can be shared and viewed by others.

SpellChecker v5.3:

SpellCheck is a spelling solution to avoid embarrassment in emails, texts, social network status updates and more. Available in many other languages, too.

TextGrabber+Translator v2.6

TextGrabber turns your iPhone into a multifunctional mobile scanner. Take a picture of the text, and you can immediately edit or translate it.

Typ-O HD v3.1:

Typ-O knows when you misspell words, and can find the right word for even your worse typos. You can type in a sentence, press play, and Typ-O will read suggested words out loud to you.

WritePad v6.4:

WritePad uses advanced hand-writing recognition input for the English language. Write on the screen with your finger or stylus and it will convert your handwriting into text. It also has a spell-checker and the ability to cut and paste.


Studying / Organizing

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IdeaSketch v5.6:

Idea Sketch allows you to draw diagrams and convert to outline text. Use it to brainstorm ideas, organize your thoughts, and create a well-planned presentation. If you are working in a group, Idea Sketch can be shared by email.

Evernote v4.4:
Evernote stores notes, documents, pictures, voice reminders, etc. across all of your devices. Organize, search, and share your files with others on social networking sites.

iBooks v3.0:

iBooks is a virtual bookshelf for books you have purchased and downloaded from iTunes. You can also open PDFs in iBooks and store it on the PDF shelves.

LearningAlly v2.0:

Learning Ally is an audiobook reader for students with print-related or learning disabilities. A membership is required and can be obtain through the website.

myHomework v4.0:

myHomework uses your syllabi to input data about your classes, homework, exam, and assignment due dates into myHomework. Access it anywhere, anytime www.myhomeworkapp.com

Popplet v1.9:

Popplet is a mind-mapping app. You can capture your ideas, sort them visually, and collaborate with others in real time.

TextMinder v1.2:

TextMinder schedules text messages to help remind you of appointments, to-do lists items, assignments, due dates, and more.


Audio-recording / Note-taking

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AudioNote v2.8:

AudioNote is a notepad and voice recorder. As you are taking notes, it will record your lecture. Later, you can review your notes by highlighting a word and hearing that part of the lecture. AudioNote also offers a drawing tool with colors and the ability import PDFs to use as a background instead of the notepad.

SpeakIt! v2.5:

SpeakIt! works by copying text from emails, documents, webpages, PDFs, etc. and pasting into the app. SpeakIt! will read the text outloud in a clear, natural sounding voice. For foreign language help, try iSpeak apps (available in many different languages).

vBooks PDF Voice Reader v1.1:

vBooks reads PDFs out loud on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod. It also includes an interactive cursor and navigation tooks that enhances the reading experience.



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d2u v1.7:

d2u Transcriber is a free app for recording. Register with an account at dictate2us.com and upload voice recordings for transcriptions. The costs of the transcription service will vary. The site promises recordings that are 5 minutes or less will be ready in 1 hour; recordings over 5 minutes may take 24 hours.

Dragon Dictate v2.0:

Dragon Dictate is a speech-to-text app, the words you speak will instantly show up on your device. Use it for texting, sending email, updating your social network status, notepad reminders, etc. all 5 times faster than typing. Supports many different languages.


Math Tools

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Formulus HD v1.0:

Formulus HD holds a list of common formulas found in math and science equations. Instead of flipping through your textbokos and notes, search for the formula by using this app. Premium ad-less version is available.

Graphing Calculator v1.4:

Turn your iPhone or iPod into a high-resolution graphing calculator. Connect with a VGA adapter to display the graph on a TV or projector.


Assistive Tools

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Hidden Curriculum v1.0:

Decode the unstated rules and customs of the world using Hidden Curriculum for Adolescents and Adults on the Autism Spectrum. Topics include social relationships, community, money, workplace and much more.

LookTel Recognition v1.2:

LookTel Recognition is for people who are blind or have low vision. It helps to identify labels on cans, packages, creditcards, DVDs, and much more. It creates a databased of frequently scanned items for instant recognition, as well as a barcode scanner that includes additional labeling help.

soundAMP v2.1

soundAMP allows you to hear sounds around you in real time, louder through your ear buds. The app also allows you to record, adjust the volume

ZoomReader v1.0:

ZoomReader takes a picture of your printed text, runs an OCR tool that allows the program to read the text out loud to you. Use for books, labels, recipes, or any other small text. Also acts as a video magnifier.


Disability Support Services
Administration Building, Room 232
7720 York Road
Towson, Maryland 21252
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-2638
TDD: 410-704-4423
Fax: 410-704-4247

Last updated January 17, 2013



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