Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kate's List of Free Software for Severe Special Education Classrooms

Updated July 23, 2009
  • Access Apps is a collection of free assitive technology softwares
  • Baby Smash is cause and effect software that allows banging on a key, a switch or multiple switches (try the Intellikeys without and overlay)
  • Camera Mouse is head or other body part tracking software that works with a standard web cam (try using reflective tape to increase accuracy)
  • CamSpace is a body part or object tracker (mouse emulator) that works with a standard web cam
  • Choose It Player allows you to run activities made with Choose It Maker on a computer which does not have Choose It Maker installed
  • Classroom Suite Player allows you to run activities made in Classroom Suite on a computer which does not have Classroom Suite installed - note you must be a subscriber to News-2-You and logged in to News-2-You for this to work
  • Click N Type is an onscreen keyboard with many different lay out possibilities (and the option to make your own), there are also options for speech output and scanning
  • Dkey is an onscreen keyboard that acts just like your cell phone, including the word prediction
  • DSpeech is a text-to-speech program which allows multiple methods of saving audio (scroll down on the link)
  • Dwell Click automatically clicks the mouse when you hold the arrow over an item
  • Eagle Eyes Software are free, simple programs which work well with head and eye trackers
  • EdWord is a talking word processor which allows automatic symbolization with symbol sets you convert and install (i.e. Imagine Symbols or Scelera Symbols)
  • Every Day Skills is a program that allows users to create or use pre-made sequences of photos and videos to teach life skills in a switch accessible format
  • eVia Cam is head tracking software that works with a standard web cam
  • FX Software has many different applications including large and extra large cursors and mouse arrows, text-to-speech and more
  • GCompris is early learning and elementary aged software that works with a mouse, mouse emulator or touch screen/interactive white board
  • HELP Read is text-to-speech software
  • Hiyah is Power Point based cause and effect and life skills teaching porgrams
  • Hot Spots allows you to make standard software switch accessible
  • Jim Luther's Assisitive Technology Resources has many applications including a web based AAC software program(which also works offline)
  • Joy2Key allows you to use any commecial game pad or joystick for alternative access
  • Joystick to Mouse allows you to use any commercial joystick for alternative access
  • Kidoz is a safe web browser for children
  • KidThing is a learning platform with books and games
  • KidZui is a safe web browser for kids
  • MiniSebran is early learning software that is great for low vision
  • PHOTOSyms allows you to create communication boards using any photographs or icons you have on your computer
  • Power Reader is a (plain text only) text manipulation and text-to-speech program with multiple controls for maximum benefit, it also has the ability to define a chosen word and show and image of the word
  • Power Talk adds text-to-speech to Power Point
  • Quicks Pics is software to make communication boards
  • Read Please is text-to-speech software
  • Sense Factory is a free alternative to Switch It Maker allowing you to create switch activated videos and activties
  • SEN Switcher is a progressive program to teach switch skills
  • Switch It Player allows you to run activities made with Switch It Maker on a computer which does not have Switch It Maker installed
  • SymVoc is a picture based AAC program
  • Thunder Screen Reader is a screen reader which can be run from a memory stick
  • Touch CD is a cause and effect CD player program
  • Tux Paint is a children's painting program which works well on a Tablet PC or an interactive white board
  • Word Predictor is a word prediction program
  • Word Talk is an add-on for Microsoft Word which provides text-to-speech with highlighting
  • Zac Broswer is an internet browser for kids on the spectrum
See also Fabulous Freebies and OATS Soft for more free AT.

If I missed something let me know and I will update the list.


  1. Thanks thanks thanks from a somewhat new SPED teacher of students with severe disabilities.

  2. Great list Kate- I added a few new links to my ever-growing list of bookmarks! thanks

  3. My son is at TREEHOUSE SCHOOL in North London, England, UK - they refuse him any software or computing device, despite the fact he was good with computers at home with me - long story- but thanks for this

  4. The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. It has customizable pronunciation, reads anything on your screen, and it even has talking reminders. It is great for learning languages as it highlights the words as they are being read. The bundled voices are well priced and sound very human. Voices are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and more. Easily converts blogs, email, e-books, and more to MP3 or for listening instantly.

  5. What a great list Kate! I prefer to read the summary than read the full review about free software. Your review is clear and detailed. Your drawback is only one, you forget to post an image for each software.


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