Information and Technology Services (ITS) recently funded four new software programs for the Knox Center at 1128 Shapiro Library. Each of these programs has one or more features that can assist with reading, writing, and idea organization. Everyone is welcome to use them at the Center; if they prove popular, we will consider acquiring more copies.
Two of these programs are similar to the Kurzweil 3000 software that U-M has supported for many years, but have unique or different features that users may find worth exploring:
WYNN (freedomscientific.com/LSG) has a more extensive set of toolbars than Kurzweil. These toolbars include some useful features such as the ability to adjust space between words and margins. It also tends to do a better job than Kurzweil of reading websites.
Read&Write Gold (www.texthelp.com/North-America) interfaces directly with word processors and browsers, which can provide more flexibility than stand-alone programs like WYNN and Kurzweil. It also includes Screenshot Reader, which allows audio reading of text formats that are otherwise not accessible.
A chart comparing Kurzweil, WYNN, and Read&Write is available online.
In response to requests for a basic, inexpensive Macintosh program, we now have NaturalReader (naturalreaders.com). NaturalReader reads text aloud and highlight each word as it is read.
Inspiration (inspiration.com) is a mind-mapping program that allows users to write down ideas in any order and organize them into flowcharts or outlines. It also contains templates for creating several types of documents, including lab reports, resumes, and compare/contrast essays.
If you would like more information or training on any of these programs, please contact Jane Vincent, Assistive Technology Lead (firstname.lastname@example.org or 6-3794) to set up an appointment.