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You are here Supports & Resources > Assistive Technology > Academic Support – Text To Speech Technologies

Reading & Writing Support Technology Tools

Image of a keyboard

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Often students are unable to organize their thoughts and express their comprehension of a subject through writing.  Poor handwriting, the inability to master typing or utilize a keyboard can present additional challenges. Without these skills, students are unable to demonstrate through writing their knowledge of a subject which often leads to frustration and course failure.

Today, there is a wide range of tools and apps for writing, organizing and reading. 

These apps and tools for writing, spelling, grammar, proofreading, and organizing are listed below.

If you need more information on the below please contact

TCD Supported Software

Listed below are the most common Assistive Technologies that we recommend for students:

Microsoft Editor

Read back software

Microsoft editor is an easy to use grammar and spelling checker. It automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in your writing.

How to get access to the software:

This software is available via the use of the online version of office 365 products.

Just browse to and open up the Microsoft office Word App, when opeinga new document editor it available for yoou to view at :

Access MS word online Editor option in MS Word

Online Help and Training:

Further support and browser plug-in are avalabel at -

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Texthelp Read &Write

Read back software

Read&Write is the main literacy support tool available from the Disability Service. It is designed to assist users of all ages and ability who require extra assistance when reading, composing, or proofing written text.

It is ideal for assisting with Dyslexia, reading difficulties, writing difficulties, and problems with spelling.

Main Features:

  • Helps computer users with reading and writing difficulties
  • Reads text aloud to help construct words and sentences
  • Advanced spell checking
  • Word prediction
  • Scanning tool converts printed text to Microsoft Word or mp3 format
  • Read&Write is used to produce accurate assignments

How to get access to the software:

This software is available for students registered with the Disability Service. Just follow the instructions below, if you have any issues or queries please contact .

  1. Visit: in your browser:
  2. Click on Try Read&Write today.
  3. Now select your platform and click Install:
  4. Once the software is installed launch the software viathe Texthelp Read & write icon
  5. On the top right hand side of the screen, click the ‘person’ icon
  6. Click Sign in > Show more
  7. Click the Google option and sign in using your TCD college username and password.

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Read back software

The C-Pen technology is an easy and convenient tool to capture printed information (text, numbers, codes, etc), decode it and transfer it to computers and smartphones. With C-Pen, as opposed to flat bed document scanners, the text or numbers of interest are selected and easily extracted and then made available for further processing (translation, text-to-speech, general data entry, etc.) instantly and without any further manual interaction.

You can highlight any text and the C-Pen digital highlighter will instantly transfer the text to any computer or smartphone. No more yellow highlighters and no more typing!

The included C-Pen software comes with a full text-to-speech app that allows you to listen to anything you highlight.

For more information click on this link .

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This easy-to-use scanner allows you to store images of your chosen printed text in .PDF format on a USB key. The Zeta scanner gives brilliant colour rendering and allows you to adjust glare so that you scan documents and pages at high speed.

Location : Free to use in the ATIC area of the Usher library.

For more information on the Zeta scanner click on this link .

Free Downloads and Resources

There are some excellent, free Assistive Technology sources available online. Below are some of the available resources

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Microsoft Word 365 - Read aloud functionality

Reading the text aloud makes it easier to spot and correct mistakes, and the option will also help those who just want to proof read a document. Read Aloud is probably a feature you’ll want to use with your headphones, and it’s now available in the review tab for Office 365

Microsoft Word 365 - Dictate

Dictate is an Office add-in for Windows Outlook, Word and PowerPoint that converts speech to text using the state-of-the-art speech recognition behind Cortana and Microsoft Translator

For more information please view the Microsoft pages at this link.

Microsoft Word 365 - Immerse Reader

The immersive reader is a full-screen reading experience to increase the readability of content. It was designed to support students with dyslexia and dysgraphia in the classroom, but it can help anyone who wants to increase their fluency or needs help decoding more complex texts. is powerful, free, online reading comprehension and vocabulary software. In other words, simplifies difficult English. Students can enter difficult sentences (or whole chapters), into the yellow box at the top of the web page, click Rewordify Text and you will instantly see an easier version of the sentence or page. As the reworded words are highlighted, you can click them to hear and learn the original word, thereby building your vocabulary.

Download :

RoboBraille logoRoboBraille

RoboBraille is an e-mail support that can convert digital text documents into Braille or audio files. RoboBraille is quick and easy to use. You simply send an e-mail with an attached text document to RoboBraille. Shortly after, you will receive the document back from RoboBraille in the format you have specified.

To use RoboBraille, click on this link .

Cite This For Me logoCite This For Me can automatically create website citations in the APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles at the click of a button. For more information, click this link .

Google icon Chrome Extensions and Apps

There are numerous free apps available in chrome to support students - Text to speech tools magnification, spell checker to name just a few.

Google icon My Study bar

MyStudyBar is a tool which helps overcome problems that students commonly experience with studying, reading and writing. The tool consists of a set of portable open source and freeware applications, assembled into one convenient package, click this link .

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Voice Dream logoVoice Dream

Extract text from PDF, ePub, Word, and Text files in Dropbox, Google Drive or on your device and listen to them on the go. Dyslexia friendly font, Focused Reading Mode to help with focusing attention, large font size, and full VoiceOver support.

For more information, click this link .

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iReadWrite logo iReadWrite

This app is designed to make reading easier and ensures accurate writing as you use your iPad for school, work, or leisure. The app is available to purchase.

For more information, click this link.


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Prizmo logoPrizmo

Prizmo is a universal photo-based scanner app that allows you to scan and recognize text documents, business cards, and images, and then export them as PDF/Text, card, or JPEG/PNG. Prizmo relies on state-of-the-art technologies, like a highly accurate OCR, real-time page detection, and beautiful image cleanup.

For more information, click on this link .

Office Lens

Office Lens uses the camera on your phone to scan documents and allows you to save to your cloud storage accounts, e.g. Evernote, or share via e-mail. Great for snapping important notes from the library.

For more information, click on this link .


ModMath logoModMath

ModMath is an adaptive program that improves mathematics skills. The app lets you type maths problems right onto the touch screen of an iPad, rather than write them out long-hand. You can then solve the problems using the touch pad and print or e-mail the assignments without ever picking up a pen!

For more information, click on this link .

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RefMe logoRefMe

RefME is an ingenious referencing app that allows you to collect all your references in one easy place. Just use your camera to snap a barcode on any book and RefME will find the referencing information and put it into your preferred citation style (e.g. Harvard Style). RefMe can also collect references from websites. 

For more information, click on this link .

NCBI Bookshare Library

KNFB logo

As of December 2017, the NCBI Library has access to over 600,000 titles in alternative formats. The NCBI Library has joined Bookshare and The ABC Consortium, both international organisations and consortiums paving the way for access to international academic and leisure reading titles.

Bookshare based in the USA, offers the world’s largest collection of accessible titles. Books can be listened to in high quality text to speech. A physical Braille, or large print copy can be produced from a digital file, and texts can be read directly from an internet browser. All titles can be read on a suite of different devices including computers, tablets, smartphones and assistive technology devices. All Books that are available to the NCBI Library through Bookshare are copyright cleared and the Library would have access to approximately 340,000 accessible digital titles immediately. Bookshare in the USA is used mainly by students with sight loss and Libraries to access educational reading material.

To access the bookshare site

  • The NCBI Library needs the student to sign up to the NCBI library by requesting a application form. The application form will register the vision impaired or dyslexic student with the NCBI Bookshare Library service. A signature from the Disability Office, Librarian or medical person is needed on this form to state that this person cannot read print. Once the form is received by the NCBI Library, a log in and password is issued to the student. The NCI contact is located at -
  • The student can send their reading list by email to my address. We will search Bookshare and place the book(s) in the students “Reading List” in Bookshare. When the student Logs into their account, their reading list books should be available in the format of their choice ( BRF, pdf, DAISY, MP3, Word, etc…) to download.

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    Academic Support

    For further guidance on how to improve strategies for effective note taking and study, please click on this link to view our academic support page. Supports are available for:

              • Study Skills
              • How to find subject-specific grinds
              • Full list of student supports

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