Student Resource: Apps and Web Pages for Accessing Printed Material for Living and Learning


Back to school means lots of reading, as all students know! The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with info on programs, app,s and resources that will enable you to do the reading you have to do for courses and assignments, or for life in general.

The list of resources, found below, is the result of the collective work of:
Kim Kilpatrick, GTT Coordinator
Rebecca Jackson, GTT, Summer Student Project
Albert Ruel, GTT Coordinator
Leo Bissonnette, AEBC National Board Member,

Our compiled list is not exhaustive. Indeed, it’s a start and we would welcome comments about our suggestions, along with other apps that you may have found helpful.


Apps Available in Both the iOS Apple App Store and the Google Playstore

The amazon Kindle app allows you to read books that you have purchased from amazon. You can download the kindle app by searching for it in the iOS app store. It is also available on android by searching the play store for kindle.

Voice Dream Reader
This app allows you to read documents and play media from a wide range of formats. This app is available for both iOS and android. It should be noted that at this time more features are available in the iOS app than in the Android app. More info can be found at,

KNFB Reader
This app performs OCR, optical character recognition. This means that you can scan printed material such as a printed handout and the text will be spoken on your phone. This app is available on both iOS and android. Just search for knfb on the Apple Store or the play store. more info at,

You can purchase stands that make scanning with the KNFB Reader app easier.
Here are links to two of them.

Giraffe reader, a stand for KNFB Reader at, Giraffe Reader

Fopydo scanning stand, link to purchase on amazon at, Fopydo Stand on Amazon

Capti Narrator
This app allows you to listen to documents with a text to speech voice. It is available on iOS and windows via Firefox. You can also use it on a Chromebook. More info at, Capti Narrator

This app comes by default on your iOS device and is an online store that allows you to purchase and
read books.

Windows PC

Adobe Acrobat Reader
This program allows you to read accessible PDFs. To find out more about the accessibility of it go to, Accessible Adobe Reader
This is a website that converts written electronic documents to synthesized speech output.
The website is,

This application allows you to convert eBooks to a format of your choice. More info can be found at, Codex on the Web

Libre Office
This is a free alternative to Microsoft office.

Another service that converts text to speech, also available on windows.

Read Hear Pro
This app is a talking book player on mac and windows.

Scanning Systems Software/Hardware Combinations:

The systems, described below, work with both software and flatbed scanners and cameras.

Two Solutions from Kurzweil Educational Systems
Kurzweil 1000 for blind users, and Kurzweil 3000 for LV and LD users:
The Kurzweil 3000 is available on both the Mac and Windows platforms
The Kurzweil 1000 program has a number of useful features, including the ability to use a wide range of dictionaries and perform OCR, more info at, Kurzweil Systems

DocuScan Plus:
A self-voicing online scan and read app that works in Windows and on the Mac from any online computer connected to a scanner. It will allow documents to be scanned to the user’s folders in the Cloud for retrieval and use at the time, or later. It also converts PDF to text based files.

A resident self-voicing scan and read app for the Windows environment that also converts electronic PDF files to text for reading or editing.

Abbyy FineReader:
A resident scan and read app and PDF conversion tool for both the Mac and Windows environments.

A new player in the field of textbook sellers that offers all students with a new option to either buy or rent their course textbooks. Accessibility to materials is available on all platforms and technical support is available to help users of JAWS, Android and iOS devices as well as Mac users. In order to use the CourseSmart service, you must create an account.

As you can see, there is a multitude of tools you can use to access printed materials and assist you in your studies. However due to the very individual nature of your post-secondary institution, it is very important that you contact your center for students with disabilities. The people who work there know your school inside out and will be able to advise you on your specific technological needs.

One thought on “Student Resource: Apps and Web Pages for Accessing Printed Material for Living and Learning

  1. Albert: In Toronto, there is a service called PAL Reading Services. Actually, I started it in 1974, and it is still going strong. Anyone can use this service as long as they have difficulty reading – cannot see to read, cannot hold the book, have learning disability, etc. The number to call is: , 416-340-7828. If they cannot find the book for someone, they will record it on the usual 4-track format. Jim E-mail:


Comments are closed.