Free and Inexpensive Adaptive Technology Database: Windows

One concern that has been repeated throughout all of our studies has been the issue of the high cost of adaptive software and hardware. In response to this, we have undertaken the compilation of a list of free and/or inexpensive hardware and software alternatives that might be useful. Some of these are long-running demos, while others are fully functional.

We in no way are suggesting that these replace the higher end hardware and software currently on the market. However, as a short-term solution, or for the purposes of trying out different adaptive technologies, we think they are a good place to start.

How can you help? If you use or know of software that is either free or inexpensive ($200 / €150 or less) that you feel would be beneficial to students with disabilities, we want to hear about it. Please send the name of the software and, if you have it, the name of the company which makes it and a web site to

Read more about Adaptech's search for free and inexpensive software. View our Free and Inexpensive Computer technologies video.

Video demonstrations

  • Adapted Keyboards: Adapted keyboard (e.g., large keys, on-screen keyboard, macros, keyboard customization)
  • Dictionary/Reference: Dictionaries, translation tools, encyclopedias, reference managers
  • Organization/Productivity: Software that helps keep organized (e.g. calendars, event alarms, concept mapping)
  • Alternative Mice: Alternative mouse (e.g., track ball, touch pad, mouse keys, joystick mouse, mouse features)
  • Dictation: Dictation software (software writes what you say, speech recognition, speech-to-text, issue voice commands for "Save," "Open," etc.)
  • Magnification: Software that enlarges what is on the screen (magnification, alternate cursors, zoom)
  • Other: Other software
  • Scanning and OCR: Scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) (scans and reads paper documents, form filler software, scan and zoom software)
  • Screen Reading: Software that reads what is on the screen (screen reader, text-to-speech, listen to text instead of reading it, math reader)
  • Writing: Software that improves writing quality (e.g. grammar/spell check, outlining, word prediction)