Technology can be a great tool for students (and adults!) who have learning disabilities like dysgraphia or dyslexia that affect their written expression. We’ve personally reviewed these mobile apps and we know they’re LD-friendly. They can make the writing process a bit easier and even fun! Not every app will be a “perfect fit” for everyone who has LD, but with a little testing, you can figure out which one works best for your child or teen’s individual needs.  http://ncld.org/students-disabilities/assistive-technology-education/apps-students-ld-dysgraphia-writing-difficulties

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dragon-dictation

Dragon Dictation

This speech-to-text app has been praised for its top-notch, accurate voice recognition that makes everything from texting a friend to transcriptions easier.

dragon-go

Dragon Go!

From the same makers of Dragon Dictation, Dragon Go! simplifies the process of communicating with a device through voice recognition.

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Evernote

An award-winning app, Evernote helps you stay organized through, among other features, voice-recorded notes.

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Pages

Pages is a word processor for Apple mobile devices. It syncs with iCloud, comes with a choice of 16 templates, and allows for color, font and texture customization.

sound-note

SoundNote

This high-quality recording app is helpful for teens, college students, and adults when taking notes at meetings, lectures or interviews. It allows for simultaneous recording and typing or handwritten notes.

text-expander

TextExpander

Create customized abbreviation shortcuts with TextExpander to help write faster without worrying about spelling errors.

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Typ-O HD

Typ-O HD does more than just predict words. This intuitive technology understands how you misspell words and can work through even the most challenging typos.

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Brevity

Brevity remembers the frequency of the words you use, so that you can abbreviate them and compose text in record time.

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WritePad

WritePad allows you to compose a document with your own handwriting—using shorthand that works best for you. Side beneift: It may help students improve their handwriting out of the sheer desire to have the computer recognize the letters.

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Pencast Player

Is the backpack getting too heavy? Students can upload digital notes they’ve taken in class directly to their iPhone or iPad with the Pencast Player. Livescribe technology and notebook is required for this app to work.

merriam-webster-dictionary

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Get details on how to make the most of this respected dictionary’s mobile app here: How to Make the Most of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary App.

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Dexteria

Dexteria offers therapeutic hand exercises (not games) that improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children.

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Grammar Dragon

Save friends from the castle of the “grammar dragon” by correctly answering grammar questions in this kinesthetic learning game.

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iWriteWords

Young children can play with language in the colorful world of the handwriting app iWriteWords.

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PrepositionBuilder

This app introduces prepositions to elementary school-aged children. It helps students learn the correct usage of prepositions and how they can change the meaning of a sentence.

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Sentence Builder

Sentence Builder helps elementary school-aged children learn how to build sentences with proper grammar.

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StoryBuilder

StoryBuilder helps to accomplish three key educational goals, including improving higher level abstractions. Audio clips are used extensively throughout the app.

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Simplex Spelling Phonics 1

This award-winning app provides an entire year of spelling curriculum, including phonics lessons and lists divided by spelling patterns.

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Spell Check

Conveniently, this basic spell-check app doesn’t require WiFi to function for you or your child.

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TapTyping

If typing on a mobile device is difficult for you or your child, TapTyping can help through, among other features, its unique heat map that shows where the majority of errors are occuring.

bookcreator

Book Creator

You and/or your child can create eye-popping, professional iBooks with the help of Book Creator.

pictello

Pictello

You don’t need reading skills to create talking photo albums and books with Pictello’s easy-to-use, visual story-building features.

storykit

StoryKit

StoryKit offers a number of interactive tools to create a personalized, electronic storybook.

storyrobe

Storyrobe

This app is great for self-expression. Use photos and videos to create your own story, and then import it into iPhoto.

toonastic

Toontastic

Does it get more fun than creating your own cartoons? Simply press “record,” move the characters onscreen, and tell the story. It helps students learn to write by breaking the writing process into manageable pieces.

Note: All of these mobile apps were researched and/or tested by our mother-daughter team in December 2012 on Apple products like the iPhone and iPad. New editions may change the nature of an app, making it less LD-friendly. “New” may not mean “better” for you. Also, our recommendations don’t include complimentary apps that require you to buy a full version of a program.


Darla Hatton and Kaila, her teenage daughter (who has dyslexia) have been active members of the larger LD community for years, including giving presentations at the Family Cafe’s Annual Conference in Florida. They’re committed to sharing information and supporting the success of individuals with learning disabilities.


Additional Resources

Here is a great blog post by Dave LeClair on the makeuseof website.

We are seeing more and more iPads in schools. They offer all kinds of possibilities for new ways to teach students. Because they are so portable, it is much easier for students to bring them anywhere they go, and bring the learning with them. The iPad is even useful for young students because of its intuitive, easy to understand user interface. Almost anyone can pick one up and know exactly how to use it.

Of course, the device on its own is not much of an education tool. You need iPad apps for education. Sure, you can use Maps to learn a little geography and Notes to jot down some thoughts, but you really need to download some of the amazing third-party apps out there to make the most out of your iPad. Today, I am here to show you some of the very best iPad apps for students. With these apps, students will become mobile learning machines, ready to soak up knowledge anywhere they go.

Read the full article

Here is a list of the iPad Apps he reviews:

  • Evernote
  • Skitch
  • Dropbox
  • Wunderlist
  • Dragon Dictation
  • EasyBib
  • Dictionary
  • SimpleMind+
  • Wolfram Alpha
  • Evernote Peak

You can download these apps from article or find them in the Apple App Store.

 

Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.

Then, smiling at the man, he said…..“I made a difference for that one.”

This is a great list of iPad Apps put together by “TeachThought“.

Whether you’re the parent of a child with a reading disability or an educator that works with learning disabled students on a daily basis, you’re undoubtedly always looking for new tools to help these bright young kids meet their potential and work through their disability. While there are numerous technologies out there that can help, perhaps one of the richest is the iPad, which offers dozens of applications designed to meet the needs of learning disabled kids and beginning readers alike. Here, we highlight just a few of the amazing apps out there that can help students with a reading disability improve their skills not only in reading, writing, and spelling, but also get a boost in confidence and learn to see school as a fun, engaging activity, not a struggle.

Helpful Tools

These tools are useful for both educators and students with reading disabilities alike, aiding in everything from looking up a correct spelling to reading text out loud.

  1. Speak It!Speak It! is a great text-to-speech solution that can allow students with reading disabilities to get a little help with reading when they need it.
  2. Talk to MeTalk to Me is another text to speech application. It can be used to read words out loud as they are typed, which can help students to better correlate the letters and words with how they’re pronounced.
  3. Dragon DictationDragon Dictation works in reverse of the two apps we just listed. Instead of reading text out loud, the application writes down spoken text. For students who struggle with writing, it can be a great way for them to jot down ideas or get help learning.
  4. Dyslexic Like MeExplaining dyslexia to a child can be hard, but this application can make it a little easier. It’s an interactive children’s book that helps students to understand dyslexia and become empowered to overcome their learning disability.
  5. Merriam-Webster DictionaryIf spelling is a problem, it’s always a good idea to have a really great dictionary on hand. This app from Merriam-Webster can provide that.
  6. Ditionary.comIf Dictionary.com is your go-to place for definitions and spelling help, this app can be a great way to bring that functionality to your iPad or iPhone.
  7. PrizmoWith Prizmo, users can scan in any kind of text document and have the program read it out loud, which can be a big help to those who struggle with reading.
  8. Flashcards for iPadThis app makes it easy to study words, spelling, and other things that young and LD readers might need help with.
  9. SoundnoteUsing Soundnote, you can record drawings, notes, and audio all at once, balancing reading-based skills with those that are auditory and visual.

Fundamentals

These apps help teach the fundamentals of reading, writing, and spelling to any young learner, but can be especially helpful for those who are struggling.

  1. Alphabet ZooAlphabet Zoo is a great tool for helping young readers to recognize letter sounds. Using text and pictures of animals, kids can build their reading skills while having fun.
  2. Find the Letters HDA favorite of special education teachers and psychologists, this app asks learners to find letters and numbers in a coloring grid. It helps build skills in spatial positioning, depth orientation, form discrimination, and concentration and attention.
  3. First Words SamplerPreschoolers with a reading disability can get a head start on improving their skills with this app that teaches them about letters and words using fun graphics and sounds.
  4. Montessori CrosswordsEmbrace the Montessori method by using this app to help youngsters improve their spelling and reading skills through engaging phonics-based exercises.
  5. Read & Write :Students can practice reading and writing letters using this application. Users can trace letters, learn letter sounds, and get illustrations to go along with each part of the alphabet.
  6. Sound LiteracyWith a portion of the proceeds from this app going to the Dyslexia Association, there’s no reason not to sign on. Even better, the app is incredibly useful, employing the Orton-Gillingham method to help students recognize the spellings of English phonemes.
  7. weesay ABCUsing pictures, words, and sounds, this application makes it easy for young students to practice and learn their ABCs.
  8. abc PocketPhonicsThis app is a great tool for teaching reading disabled students the fundamentals of letter sounds and shapes.
  9. The Writing MachineBy correlating pictures and words, reading text, sounding out letters, this tool helps students develop early literacy abilities with greater ease.
  10. WordSortOne of the top educational apps out there, this game helps kids to learn how to identify parts of speech, like nouns, adverbs, and verbs, as well as emphasizing grammar skills.
  11. ABC Phonics Word Families: Using analogy phonics (or word families) this application teaches young learners to see and hear the patterns of commonality in a set of words. With flashcards, spelling words, scrambled words, and games, this app is a must-have for helping students.

Reading

These excellent iPad apps can be a big help to reading disabled students who need a little extra support when trying to read.

  1. BlioBlio offers all the same features of any basic e-reader, and also a few things that make it unique. Through synchronized highlighting and a serial presentation view, the app helps those with reading disabilities make sense of the text, something many other similar apps don’t offer.
  2. Read 2 MeFor those who have difficulty reading, apps like Read 2 Me can be a godsend. The app comes complete with an entire library of texts, all of which can be read out loud.
  3. Read2GoIf you use DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) books in your classroom, Read2Go is one of the best and most accessible ways to read those books on iOS.
  4. AppWriterDesigned with reading and writing disabilities in mind, this text editor for iPad integrates numerous accessibility features into standard text editing functionality.
  5. AudiobooksSometimes students with reading disabilities might just want a break from reading books the old fashioned way. That’s why this amazing collection of free audiobooks can come in handy, offering access to classics like Romeo and Juliet and Treasure Island.
  6. Bob’s BooksBob’s Books uses phonics-based interactive games to help kids learn how to read. Activities will help young learners to sound out words, spell, and make connections between letters and sounds.
  7. iStoryTimeThere are numerous titles to choose from in the iStoryTime series, all of which allow kids to have the book read to them or to get help reading it themselves.
  8. MeeGenius! Kids’ BooksMeeGenius is another series that’s perfect for practicing reading skills. Those with trouble reading can use illustrations and helpful word highlighting to get help, or just have the book read to them until they’re confident enough to do it on their own.
  9. Reading TrainerWhile this app is designed to help average readers boost their reading speed and ability, it can be useful to those who struggle as well, as many of the skills taught can help just about anyone become a more confident reader.
  10. See Read SayThis application will help to ensure that young learners are familiar with all of the Dolch sight words (the most common words), using games, activities, and tons of practice.
  11. Stories2LearnWhy use existing stories to help troubled readers when you can build your own? This application lets you develop your own text and audio stories, including messages, topics, and other things that can help keep kids interested.
  12. eReading seriesThe eReading series from Brain Integration LLC, helps young readers at all levels of proficiency learn about topics like Greek Mythology and Gulliver’s Travels. Users can have the book read to them, or practice reading without the help, too.

Writing

For those with reading disabilities, sometimes writing can also be a trying task. Here are some apps that can help teach, assist, and make writing more fun.

  1. iWrite WordsNamed by The Washington Post as one of the best apps for special needs kids, this game-based program helps youngsters learn to write their letters through a fun and engaging setup that uses illustrations and animations to keep things interesting.
  2. AlphaWriterUsing Montessori-based learning methods, this application helps kids to learn how to read, write, and spell phonetically. It also teaches lessons on consonants and vowels, letter sounds, writing stories, and much more.
  3. Sentence BuilderThrough this application, elementary school children will learn how to build grammatically correct sentences, with a special focus on using connector words.
  4. Story BuilderAfter kids are done learning how to build sentences, they can move onto this app which combines those sentences into one coherent story, complete with illustrations.
  5. Writing PromptsHaving trouble thinking of things for students to write about? This app removes that roadblock and offers up numerous ideas for short writing assignments.
  6. Idea SketchThis mind-mapping app can help learning disabled students make sense of their ideas and organize them in ways that they can easily translate into written work.
  7. StoryrobeTeachers and students can build and share their own unique stories through this application. Integration with YouTube and email makes it easy to share and revise, too.

Spelling

These applications can be excellent tools for improving spelling skills.

  1. American WordspellerLooking up a word in a dictionary isn’t that simple if you have no idea how to spell it. This app removes that problem and employs a method that lets you much more easily pinpoint how to spell just about any word.
  2. Word MagicCreated by the parents of a five-year-old, this app for young learners help kids learn words and how to spell them correctly. It uses lots of positive reinforcement, rewards, and fun pictures to keep things interesting to learners.
  3. Typ-OPoor spellers can rejoice over this great application that help you spell words correctly in any typing-related program on your iPhone or iPad.
  4. A1 Spelling AppThis application is a great way to help poor spellers begin to learn the correct spelling of common words, increasing difficulty as kids master words.
  5. iSpell WordiSpell Word is designed to help kids learn the spellings of simple English words. It uses games to teach, with each level of the game employing more difficult words so kids are always challenged.
  6. JumblineIf you’re looking to make reading, writing, and spelling into a game, this app can help. It’s full of word games that ask players to use speed, smarts, pattern recognition, and spelling skills to win.
  7. Spelling Bee ChallengeKids can have fun taking part in a mock spelling bee using this application that boosts both spelling and vocab skills.
  8. Word FallIn this educational game, words fall from the sky and players must collect letters to form basic words.
  9. WordLadderThis highly challenging word game will get older readers thinking about how words are spelled and how they can be connected and changed to form new words.
  10. ACT SpellDeveloped especially for learners with disabilities and special needs, this tool helps develop motor control, word recognition, spelling, and reading skills.
  11. Word WizardLauded by The New York Times, this word-focused app lets kids hear the sounds of letters and words through a movable alphabet while also engaging them in spelling practice and games.
Read the full article

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