Assistive Software Tools



Freedom Scientific's JAWS is the most popular screen reader historically. It offers a free trial version that lasts 40 minutes, but requires a license to use permanently. JAWS is available for free in the Accessibility Computer Lab in Alkek Library on the 6th floor as well as the Adaptive Technology Lab in Academic Services Building South - Room 201.

If your department feels they could benefit from having a local JAWS installation, then you can visit Freedom Scientific's JAWS license comparison webpage for more details.


NVDA is a free screen reader that works similarly to JAWS. It is a great option for people who cannot afford a JAWS license but need to test their content with a screen reader.

For more information about NVDA, please visit the NV Access website.

Apple VoiceOver

Any Apple device comes with VoiceOver as an accessibility tool. Most commonly used on mobile devices, the desktop version is a fully functioning screen reader as well.

More information about how to use VoiceOver can be found in Apple's VoiceOver User Guide.

Android TalkBack

Android TalkBack works similarly to Apple VoiceOver and is included with Android devices. For help using TalkBack, please visit Google's TalkBack tutorials.

Switch Access

Switch Access is method for using touch screen devices that accommodates users with low dexterity.

If you are interested, Google has a good overview of Switch Access.


A fully integrated magnification and reading program tailored for low-vision users.


Text to braille converter and printer software.


Converts printed documents or graphic-based text into an electronic text format on your PC using high-quality speech and the latest optical character recognition (OCR) technology.


Reads DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) books that are text only, audio only, or those that contain both text and audio.

Read & Write 11

Designed to provide help to computer users with reading and writing difficulties. It can read text aloud and help construct words and sentences. It also has many other features, such as advanced spell checking, document scanning and internet tools.


Provides video and audio streaming for VRS (video relay service) interpreters.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Speech recognition software.