Assistive technology tools

This page includes information about a range of technologies and online tools that can help you in your online studies. Many of the tools included are free or free while you study with us. 

If you would like to talk to anyone about what assistive technology tools may be right for your, contact our Disability and Access Services team:


Assistive technology tools

  • Helperbird


    When you study with us you have free access to Helperbird, a browser extension that lets you change web pages to suit your online reading and learning needs.

    Helperbird will let you customise web pages, including iQualify, including:

    • changing the font type, size and spacing
    • screen reader – have text read to you in a natural voice
    • changing the colour of the background for text
    • And many more.

    Head to our Helperbird page to see more information and how to get free access.

    Learn more about Helperbird including how to install it


  • Screen readers and text-to-speech


    Text-to-speech tools are great if you take in information best by hearing it.

    They can read a page to you so you can listen or read along with it. This can help with processing information and remembering your study material. It is also useful if you need to reduce the amount of time looking at a screen.

    Chrome Read Aloud

    This free Chrome extension can read out content from webpages, including iQualify. 

    Chrome Read Aloud



    This is another free Chrome extension that can read out content from webpages, including iQualify.



    Speech-to-text tools can type out what you say, so are useful if you struggle to spell, type or get words from your head written down. You can even say grammar commands for them to follow. 

    Voice in

    This is a free Chrome extension that will type out what you say and works on web pages, including iQualify. 

    Voice in


  • Screen tinter


    Screen tinters are useful if you:

    • struggle to read black writing on a white background
    • are light sensitive,
    • or need to limit time looking at a bright screen.

    Chrome Visor

    With this free extension you can change the colour of a webpage, including iQualify, to a pastel or grey overlay, with several colour options. This will help clarity of reading or reduce light strain.

    Chrome Visor


  • Change font size


    Chrome Dyslexia Reader

    This free extension lets you make the text on a webpage larger and easier to read.

    Chrome Dyslexia Reader


    Note - the free Helperbird tool also includes the ability to increase text size, change font type and increase the space between words.

    Learn more about Helperbird including how to install it


  • Bionic reading


    This is a font style that has the first few letters of each word in bold.

    Usually our brain reads faster than our eyes. This font will help you to fixate on a part of the word so you don’t miss things, helping to reduce the number of words you may miss when reading. This makes it easier to take in large amounts of text.

    This style is particularly useful for those with ADHD and supports speed reading techniques.

    This  is  an  example  of  what  bionic  reading  font  style  looks  like.


    Chrome Smart Reader - Bionic Reading

    This is a free extension that can change the text on a webpage, including iQualify, into Bionic reading font

    Chrome Smart Reader


    Chrome Bionic Reader

    As well as letting you change the text on a page into Bionic reading font, this free extension lets you to change the size of the text.

    Chrome Bionic Reader 


    Bionic Reading Converter

    This tool lets you type text or upload a document that is then converted into Bionic reading font style.

    Bionic Reading Converter 


  • Immersive reading (Office 365 tool)


    Immersive reader

    This tool comes with Office 365. You learners can access a free version of Office365 programme from our Office365 page.

    More about Office365


    Use Immersive Reader in Word, OneNote and Teams. Text to speech, dictation, picture dictionary and visual ease tools.

    More about Immersive Reader


  • Microsoft Word tools

    Word Dictate

    Word Dictate is a speech-to-text function that lets you speak to your computer and it will type what you are saying. This is useful if you are unable to do large amounts of typing, struggle with spelling, or if you find giving a verbal answer easier than writing it down.

    It works best with a headset, and it is important to speak slowly and clearly. You will still need to add grammar and formatting to your text.

    To find Dictate in Word:

    1. In the 'Home' tab of word click the blue microphone button at the top of the screen to turn it on and start speaking.
    2. Click the microphone again to stop recording.


    Word Read Aloud

    This is a text-to-speech function that acts as a screen reader and reads you the text from your Word document.

    This can be useful if you take in information best when hearing it. For example, to listen to assignment questions or information. It is also a very useful tool for proof-reading your assignments. When you hear your assignment read out you may be more able to pick up on grammar, sentence or content mistakes.

    To use Read Aloud in Word:

    1. Open Word in the app (not the browser version)
    2. Click on the ‘Review’ tab at the top.
    3. Select the A))) 'Read Aloud' icon. This will then read the contents of the page to you.

    You can click the icon again to pause it if you spot a mistake and want to correct it.