Academic Accessibility

Assistive Technologies

UNC Asheville provides assistive technologies in the following locations on campus:

We also provide Read & Write, on online tool, as a free resource to all UNC Asheville students, faculty and staff. See the list below for other free or low-cost programs. Aside from Read & Write, please note UNC Asheville does not support these programs.


  • Read & Write provides a wide range of tools that can help you learn and work more efficiently and successfully. Download your copy for Mac or PC. New users can refer to the following sets of PC videos and Mac videos provided by the manufacturer for an overview of Read & Write as well as more details about its functions. For more information or training, email Carolyn Ogburn.
  • Cool Reader – Fast and small cross-platform XML/CSS based e-book reader for desktops and handheld devices. Supported formats: FB2, TXT, RTF, DOC, TCR, HTML, EPUB, CHM, PDB, MOBI. Platforms: Win32, Linux, Android. Free Android application.
  • Go Read (Bookshare) – Ebook reader for Bookshare content. Go Read is optimized for visually impaired readers, and usable by anyone. Must have an active Bookshare membership. Read books in DAISY and EPUB formats. Android application.
  • Learning Ally Audio – Gain instant access to Learning Ally’s downloadable DAISY formats, more than 75,000 audiobooks inclusive of core educational content and required literature titles Learning Ally membership required ($19.99).
  • QRead: The Accessible eBook reader for the blind – QRead is an innovative and powerful eText reader for the Windows platform. Perfect for students, professionals, and casual readers alike, QRead provides access to a wide range of e-book formats with support for bookmarking, searching, and more all in a convenient and intuitive tabbed interface.
  • Natural Reader – Text-to-speech software with natural sounding voices. This easy-to-use software can read to you any text such as Microsoft Word files, webpages, PDF files, and E-mails. NaturalReader can also convert any written text into audio files such as MP3 or WAV. Free for both PC and Mac.
  • Web Clipper – by Evernote. Web Clipper is an add-in utility for the Chrome and Firefox that creates simplified versions of webpages by stripping out distractions like advertisements to allow readers to access desired content more quickly and easily. It allows you to take a snapshot of a passage of text, an entire web page, or a single graphic, and insert the snapshot into your Evernote archive. Free through the Google Chrome Store.
  • Speak it! – Copy emails, documents, web pages, PDF files, and more; paste them into Speak it!, and have the text spoken back to you with a high quality text to speech engine available anywhere. Create the high quality audio files from text, which can be emailed to anyone you like! $1.99 Apple application.
  • Balabolka – Text-to-speech software. On-screen text can be saved as a WAV, MP3, OGG or WMA file. Balabolka can read clipboard content, view the text from DOC, RTF, PDF, ODT, FB2 and HTML files, customize font and background color, control reading from the system tray or by the global hotkeys. Free and compatible with Windows Operating Systems.
  • NVDA – Open source text-to-speech screen reader. NVDA can be downloaded on a computer or put on a USB for portable accessibility. Accessibile with emails, e-books, internet research and online curriculums, word processing, Power Point, Excel, and more! Free and compatible with Windows Operating Systems from Windows XP to Windows 8. NVDA also provides an Accessible User Guide.


  • Outline Coach – Helps you with the process of organizing thoughts to create an outline; paid version allows printing, emailing or uploading to Dropbox. Apple application. Lite version free; full version $0.99.
  • Vocabulary Builder – Sleek, effective, and fun way to build your vocabulary. Get quizzed on thousands of English vocabulary words commonly found on tests such as the GRE and SAT; Contains a built-in dictionary; no audio. Free Android application.
  • Words, Words, Words! – What you need for effective communication. Vocabulary builder. The 2000+ words become more difficult with each passing quiz. Audio is included to help with pronunciation. Mix things up with the unscramble game! Free Android application.
  • Typ-O – A powerful word prediction engine and a sophisticated spelling error model to help you write, even if your spelling isn’t perfect. The integrated synthetic voices let you inspect the word predictions before selecting them, and check your text before emailing or pasting it into other applications. $14.99 Apple application.
  • Text-From-To-Speech is a free web-based speech/voice to text reader. What does it mean? It means that you can just dictate a text and it will be written without lifting a finger. This site also contains a text synthesizer. What does it mean? It means that you can just type or copy/paste some text and the system will say it.


With Audio

  • AudioNote – Synchronizes notes and audio, automatically indexes your meetings, lectures, or study sessions; mimics the functionality of the LiveScribe SmartPens; free version allows 10 minutes per note/2 hrs max; paid version allows unlimited recording and emailing notes. $4.99 Apple application.
  • Livescribe SmartPen – Smartpens record everything you write and hear so you’ll never miss a word. Replay your meetings or lectures simply by tapping on your notes. SmartPen is shipped to you upon your order and purchase. Retail pricing starts at $119.99 but they can be found for less and is compatible with both PCs and Macs.
  • Note Everything – Create text, voice and paint-notes; notes can be organized in folders. Create shortcuts on home, send notes, use live folders. Adds photo notes, checklists, durable checklists, reminder, encryption (password protection), backup to sd-card. Free lite version or $4.99 full version Andriod application.
  • Notability – Integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing; features synced audio (similar to SmartPen), multiple fonts, colors, styles, and sizes; photos, figures, and webpages. Text will automatically wrap around these objects. Can upload a PDF of note to Dropbox. $2.99 Apple application.
  • SoundNote – Tracks what you type and draw while recording audio, so you’ll never worry about missing an important detail. During playback, tap a word: it will jump right to the proper time in the audio. The notes can be exported through email into another note taking system like Evernote. $4.99 Apple application.

Without Audio

  • ColorNote – Quick and simple notepad editing for notes, memo, email, message, shopping list and to-do list; calander fucntion, password protect, organize by color. Free Android application.
  • EverNote – Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity, take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders. Free downloadable program compatible with both PCs and MacsAlso free as an Android application and as an Apple application.
  • GoodNotes 4 – Take handwritten notes, sketch diagrams, mark up PDF’s, highlight; organize notes into notebooks, save pdfs within notebooks. $6.99 Apple application.
  • GoodReader – Handles huge PDF and TXT files, manuals, large books, magazines, rendering 100 mb +; mark-up PDFs, using typewriter text boxes, sticky notes, lines, arrows, and freehand drawings on top of a PDF file. $4.99 Apple application.
  • iAnnotate – Intuitive interface and comprehensive, customizable set of features let you annotate, manage, and share PDF documents; fully searchable Library-organize, find, and read your documents. $9.99 Apple application.
  • My Binder: Tabbed Notes – Replicates the “old school” tabbed binder or notebook experience for technological formats with highlighting and sorting features. Create an unlimited amount of separate “pages” within five customizable color-coded tabs to help organize notes. Free Android application and free Amazon Kindle Fire application.
  • Notetaker HD – Packing a wide array of note-taking options; multiple line thicknesses, colors, fonts, font sizes, finger-drawing input; plus the ability to import and mark up PDFs and insert and crop photos. $4.99 Apple application.
  • Sticky Notes – Simple and “old school” note taking on the go. Dictate or type notes; drag and drop to organize. Free Apple application.

Reference & Study Tools

  • Dictionary – Content from and; voice-activated search available; Free Apple application and free Android application.
  • iTranslate – Translator – multiple languages; voice recognition add-in for a fee. Can translate singular words, phrases, and whole emails. Free Apple application or as an Android application.
  • Khan Academy – With a library of over 4,000 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, we’re on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace. Free Apple application and free Android application.
  • TED – Nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Access over 1,000 videos of creative thinking presentation. Free Apple application and free Android application.
  • Anki – Flashcard program which makes remembering things easy; content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup (via LaTeX); Create your own flashcard decks or download free decks. Free desktop application; $24.99 Apple application; free Android application.
  • Inspiration Maps – Create and use an unlimited amount of mind maps to prepare for an essay. Organize your study topics. Comes with access to volumes of templates. $9.99 Apple application.
  • iThoughts – Mind mapping, Task lists, Brainstorming, Project planning, Goal setting, Course Notes/Revision will import and export mindmaps to and from many of the most popular desktop mindmap applications. $9.99 Apple application.
  • Study Blue – Make flashcards with text and images. Creating flashcards on the app requires an Internet connection to function properly. Offline study mode. Free web-based program; free Android application; free Apple application.
  • Mindjet – Mind mapping: use for note taking, brainstorming, or creating tasks. Manage supporting information via attachments, links and notes. Free Android application and free Apple application.


  • Awesome Note – Insert text, images, maps, and drawings; includes a to-do list, in app calendar, customized notes (icons, fonts, themes), passcode protection, email notes, set due dates, repeating tasks, and prioritize tasks; organize notes into folders; syncs with Google Docs/Evernote. $3.99 Apple application.
  • CamScanner – Turns your tablet or phone into a scanner (HD is tablet version); digitize any paper documents by photo shooting; auto-crop image, enhance image quality and create an industry standard PDF file; has watermark. Free Android application and free Apple application.
  • Complete Class Organizer – Syncs recording with your notes; includes grade calculator, imports PDFs, Google Docs integration, organizing of class info, backup/restore through iTunes, in app web browser, date organizer, to do lists, in app calendar and search functionality. $4.99 Apple application.
  • Dropbox – Online web storage and synchronization service; upload files. Files then synchronized on all devices with a Dropbox. Share files with others, even if they do not have a Dropbox account. Free downloadable program for both PCs and MacsFree Android application and free Apple application.
  • Pearltrees – Collect, organize & share content from the web; Collect web pages and turn them into pearls; organize into pearltrees based on interests, categories. Free desktop account for PCs. Free Apple application and free Android application.
  • Pocket – Read and save webpages for offline reading; save articles, video web pages. Free downloadable program for PCs and MacsFree Android application and free Apple application.
  • Popplet – An app for the web and iPad, where you can collect, curate and share your ideas, inspirations, and projects; brainstorming, mind mapping, diagrams, flowcharts, portfolio. Free Apple application.
  • Instapaper -Instapaper turns web content – articles, stories, posts, videos, and even long emails – into a great reading experience. Over the course of your day, you’ll encounter things you want to save for later. With Instapaper, you simply push a button in your browser, or choose “send to Instapaper” in a linked mobile app. $3.00 a Month iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle Application.

Scheduling & Time Management

  • EverStudent – Manage academic tasks & assignments and sync them into Evernote. Organize tasks and assignments by class; color codes to organize and filter assignments; add instructor contact info and other notes; group classes by semesters or terms. Free Android application.
  • HomeWork – Keep track of your homework and schedule. List classes, homework, exams, keep track of grades; sort by date. Free Android application.
  • Minutes to Go – Easy to use alarm and countdown timer; pause and resume timers. Can create custom messages to appear when timer goes off. $0.99 Apple application.
  • My Class Schedule – Keep informed about upcoming classes, reminds you of exams and unfinished homework; class and homework scheduler; track grades, color coding. $1.99 version with no ads or free version with ads Android applications.
  • myHomework – Track your classes, homework, tests & more. Homework Tracker, Homework Widget, Class Schedule, Homework Calendar; free app works on local device, with account, can synchronize data across any internet capable device. Free Android application, Apple application and Amazon application.
  • StayOnTask – A simple, unintrusive way to improve your focus and get your work done. A random timer means you can’t predict when it will check on you. Perfect for anyone who needs to stay focused while doing independent work. Free Android application.
  • Time for School – Keep track of you school schedule. Notifications tell you when and where your next class starts. Dynamic alarm clock wakes you up at the right time according to you schedule, alerts to prior to each class. $1.49 version with no ads or free version with ads Android applications.
  • Timer+ – Countdown timer; allows multiple timers to run at once; able to save timers, and pause and resume timer; app does not need to be running for timers to run; on iPhone – phone call interrupts timer – better for iPad. Free Apple application.