Saturday, March 1, 2014

One-Stop APP Lists for Dyslexia & Other Reading/Writing Challenges

Do you often discover great apps that could help a struggling reader you know? Are you short on time to evaluate and catalog them for later use? As you may already know, trying to relocate them online again at a future date may often lead you into a circle of frustration and a great loss of time, never actually accessing the desired app at all. Sound familiar?

When parents and teachers attempt give their efforts to help one or more struggling readers, time is of particular importance---both for the helper and the challenged reader. Parents' and teachers' time constraints are an issue and children's attention spans are often short or non-existent. What can one do?

We frequently hear from adults who work with challenged readers and ask us, "Is there just one, master list of apps for children and adults with additional or multiple reading needs?" We have asked this question ourselves here at Brennan Innovators, but until very recently, were only able to cobble together several lists to provide what parents and teachers have been trying to find for sometime. Our readers and clients wanted a list where all the needed apps were in one place---and electronically accessible, too.

So when we resumed "the hunt" for such a "master list" of helpful apps for struggling readers ALL in ONE place, we found several good ones. The first one discovered was created by CALL Scotland out of the University of Edinburgh. This organization's mission is to help provide information about communication, literacy and assistive technology for persons with disabilities. Their master list of apps does just that, AND it is electronic. In other words, the list enables the user to have easy, "clickable" access to iPad Apps for Learners with Dyslexia/Reading and Writing Difficulties, a master list of 75+ apps to help challenged readers and writers of all ages. These apps span five skill categories---organization, reading, writing, numeracy and memory.

The second list (presented in a pdf file format) is also electronic but for use with younger struggling readers. The LITERACY APPS FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS by Harvey Pressman and Andrea Pietrzyk from Central Coast Children’s Foundation, Inc. lists many apps for various Apple platforms with a few for Android. Basic learning categories of phonics, word attack, alphabet and more for the apps are provided. Additional apps lists for young challenged readers are also provided at the end of this master list.

Finally, we also listed here several, non-electronic apps wheels should you prefer to download as needed. These apps wheels were created by Mark Coppin, Cherie Pickering and Allan Carrington for different kinds of readers/learners (autism, Asperger's and other additional needs).

We believe you'll find these resources helpful as you assist a challenged reader you know. We also hope that you'll return again and again to this blog page to more easily access these apps that could really make a difference for many struggling readers in all age groups.

One-Stop APP Resources for Dyslexia & Other Reading/Writing Challenges

iPad APPS Chart for Learners with Dyslexia/Reading and Writing Difficulties---from CALL Scotland at The University of Edinburgh)
CALL Scotland helps provide information about communication, literacy and assistive technology for persons with disabilities. The organization is funded in part by the Scottish Government. The electronic version of this chart (Version 1.0, November 2013) can be downloaded from:

LITERACY APPS FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS by Harvey Pressman and Andrea Pietrzyk from Central Coast Children’s Foundation, Inc.(Mostly apps for Apple platforms with a few for Android) Another electronic list of apps sorted by focus category, then by price (least to most expensive, with all prices in US dollars). Each app description includes a target audience (“Ideal for”) - pre-reading (children who have not yet learned how to read), beginning reading (children who are just starting to learn how to read), and catch-up reading (children who have learned how to read but are having difficulties)

Apps Wheels by Mark Coppin, Cherie Pickering & Allan Carrington
3 Non-electronic Apps Wheel Charts for Autism and Other Additional Needs

Other Related Resources

Dyslexia Reading Well---A virtual well of dyslexia resources

Reading Focus Cards Desktop App (Patent 8,360,779)
This DESKTOP app is the digital version of the low-tech, physical Reading Focus Cards tools (Patent 7,565,759), solutions for struggling readers. This app provides very practical support for children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, low vision, stroke or brain injury issues, autism and other conditions that can affect reading success. This desktop application promotes more FOCUSED online reading of almost ALL digital media (webpages, PDF files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets & more.) In addition, the app supports touch-screen technology (where applicable).
1. For Macs (desktops & notebooks):
Visit the Mac App Store and search for Reading Focus Cards or go directly to
2. For Windows PCs (desktops & laptops):
Visit Gumroad at OR visit the Microsoft Windows Store and search for the app called Reading Focus Cards. (No URLs are ever provided for apps in the Windows Store.)

What's on my iPad? Assistive Apps I Use as a Dyslexic Student---from the Assistive Technology Blog
A number of assistive apps for students with dyslexia (provides direct links to apps)

40+ iPad Apps for Reading Disabilities from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog
We discovered this electronic list after our article was published but wanted to include it here, too.

For information on customizable reading tools for ADHD & other reading challenges: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
TeleRead at
Brennan Innovators, LLC at

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