Assistive Technologies at MIT

ATIC maintains an inventory of assistive technologies selected specifically for the MIT community to try out and use.  We will demonstrate these technologies to anyone at MIT and many are available for loan to community members.   To request a demonstration or loan, please contact atic [at] or telephone 617-253-7808.

On This Page:



  • NaturalPoint SmartNavopens in new window uses an infrared (IR) camera to track head movements and allow for hand-free mousing
  • Camera Mouseopens in new window a free software download that uses head motion to control the mouse (Windows only)

iOS Applications

  • 7notes HD Premiumopens in new window allows the user to create documents and take notes by freehand, handwriting to text, or an onscreen keyboard
  • Dragon Dictationopens in new window a voice recognition application that allows the user to easily speak and instantly see your text or email message
  • EyeSightopens in new window a magnification application that uses the built-in camera to enlarge print and other materials up to 12X and has six color enhancement settings
  • firefly K3000opens in new window a mobile extension to Kurzweil 3000 delivering core text-to-speech reading functions with speed, voice, and pacing accommodations, as well as access to the shared Universal Library content available to Kurzweil 3000 - firefly Web License customers
  • GoodReaderopens in new window allows the user to annotate PDF, large TXT files, and other large files
  • Learning Ally Audioopens in new window has advanced accessibility features for ease of reading and learning
  • Notabilityopens in new window allows the user to write down thoughts, capture ideas and information, annotate documents and outline notes
  • openWEBopens in new window is a customizable browser that allows the user to use a font or style designed to be easy to read, especially for dyslexic readers
  • Pagesopens in new window is a word processing application that allows the user to type, create shapes and tables, and add pictures and formatting to documents
  • Paperopens in new window is a drawing and note taking application that provides the user with a blank template and a variety of drawing and writing tools
  • PDFpenopens in new window is a PDF annotation and note taking application
  • Penultimateopens in new window allows the user to write in a notebook with a stylus or your finger as well as share your notebooks by email, Dropbox, or Evernote
  • PhatPadopens in new window allows the user to draw, write, or type their ideas then instantly share them via email, SkyDrive and Dropbox Sync, or presentation mode
  • Prizmoopens in new window is a photo-based scanning application that scans and recognizes text documents, business cards, or images and exports them to PDF/text, vCard, or JPEG/PNG
  • Read2Goopens in new window allows Bookshare members to find, download, and read books on your iOS device
  • Remarksopens in new window allows the user to write notes on an image using their finger or a stylus
  • SRC Magnifieropens in new window is a magnification application that enlarges and illuminates small print
  • Typ-O-HDopens in new window is a voice-recording application with a built-in spelling aid that adjusts to the user's accuracy and offers suggestions, as well as reading playback aloud
  • VisionAssistopens in new window is a magnification application designed to assist users with low vision conditions including AMD, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataracts, and color blindness
  • Voice Dream Readeropens in new window is a multilingual text-to-speech reader that can translate and read 27 different languages including text files from PDF, ePub, Word, DAISY, and text files in Dropbox and Google Drive
  • WritePadopens in new window is a text editor that recognizes handwritten notes as well as keyboard input and includes standard editing operations
  • ZoomContactsopens in new window is a large print contact application for users who have difficulty reading the small text on their screen

Magnification and Low-Vision Devices


  • Zoomtextopens in new window for Windows or Mac OS.  Includes screen enlargement, extensive cursor options, and optional text-to-speech reading
  • VisioVoice (Mac only)opens in new window  Screen enlargement, cursor options, optional text-to-speech reading

Portable and Desktop Magnifiers

  • Amigoopens in new window provides digital, color magnification in a small portable device
  • Acrobat LCD magnifieropens in new window to magnify papers on the desk or a whiteboard at a distance
  • Candy 5 HD II magnifieropens in new window close-up and near-distance handheld magnifier
  • DaVinci HD/OCR Desktop Magnifieropens in new window all-in-one device to magnify papers on the desk or items at a distance on a desktop display. Includes OCR capability. The display can also be connected to a laptop or iOS device
  • Note-Takeropens in new window portable camera to capture and display lecture presentations (blackboard, whiteboard, etc.) on to laptop screen.  Includes note-taking options to take notes next to presentation
  • Transformeropens in new window portable electronic magnifier that connects to your laptop, desktop, or monitor


Math Support


Math Software

  • Math Talk softwareopens in new window can be used with Scientific Notebook and Dragon Naturally Speaking to speak math notation expressions into Scientific Notebook.
  • MathType Equation Editoropens in new window allows math to be entered into Word in a format that is easily converted to accessible formats (large print and audio)
  • Infty Reader softwareopens in new window recognizes and converts math text into usable electronic formats, such as Latex, XML and MathML.
  • MathMLopens in new window the standard markup language for mathematics on the web

Mouse Clicking Software

Note-Taking Devices

Operating System Accessibility Options

Organizational Tools (Diagramming)

Reading Software and Devices

Screen Reading

Screen reading software applications identify the text being displayed on a computer screen and convert the text to audio. This allows blind and visually-impaired individuals to hear what is being displayed on a computer screen.

Speech Recognition

All speech recognition software packages transcribe spoken language to written text. They require a voice profile for each individual and minimal training using a microphone.

  • Dragon NaturallySpeakingopens in new window for Windows 7 includes many features beyond text dictation: voice commands that allow for "hands-free" operation of the computer, transcription of recorded audio, and commands to surf the web.
  • Dragon Dictateopens in new window for Mac OS provides transcription of dictation and some commands on Mac OS X. Does not allow for hands-free operation of a Mac.
  • Utter Command for Dragon NaturallySpeaking Proopens in new window , is an add-on for NaturallySpeaking that uses an intuitive speech command system and set of applets to speed computer control across all programs. Utter Command lets you speak in command phrases, enables the commandline interface, allows you to place and click the mouse using a single speech command and allows you to go directly to a file, folder, website or keyword using a single command.
  • Windows 7 Speech Recognitionopens in new window comes standard with the Windows 7 operating system. It works best with Microsoft applications.

Text Scanning and OCR Software

Text scanning software converts paper based print material or computer based image files and performs OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to convert them to text. Users can read the text files with screen reading software, magnification, or other adaptive technologies.

  • Kurzweil 1000 and 3000 softwareopens in new window allows the user to scan printed pages or image files, converts them to text and reads them out loud to the user. Kurzweil 3000 also has additional study tools such as highlighting, note taking, reading the web, dictionary and thesaurus.
  • Omnipage softwareopens in new window converts paper and computer based image files (TIFFs, PDFs) into text files that can be used with screen reading software.