DSA Software Guide

The following software can be funded by the Disabled Students Allowance, so it can be useful to have a think about what may be helpful before the needs assessment to make sure everything that you think will be useful is covered. 

All the programs except Dragon Professional also have demo versions that you can download to try – click on the links to go the program’s website and this will direct you to where the trial versions can be downloaded.

All the programs except Dragon Professional are also available for both Windows and Mac computers. For Mac users who think that voice recognition software may be beneficial, have a look at Apple’s built-in dictation tool; it’s not bad and comes with every Mac computer.

This is a program that you can use to record lectures with. You can use it on a laptop in lectures, record via the app on a smartphone and then transfer it to the software, or record using a digital recorder and create the file afterwards.

ClaroRead & Texthelp Read&Write

These programs both read text out loud so that you could listen to it if struggling with taking in information, having difficulties with concentration, or if too fatigued to read visually. 

The voice can take a bit of getting used to, but there are quite a few different ones to try. 

They can also be used to create audio versions of text that can then be listened to away from the computer, and have some additional proofreading and study skills options which can be handy.

Dragon Professional

This lets you talk to your computer to create text, which can be a more efficient way of working or can help students to get their ideas down without the process of writing interfering. 

It takes quite a bit of practice to get used to and really depends on how well you can articulate your thoughts, but can be a useful tool for some.

MindView & Inspiration

These are mind mapping programs which can be a really efficient way of writing essays – you can use it to plan and organise ideas, but also add more information and export it all to MS Word to create an essay draft.

MindView has a more comprehensive range of features than Inspiration, though some prefer the freedom that Inspiration allows when creating mind maps as branches can be placed anywhere, rather than snapping into a set position as with MindView.


This is a nice tool for organising research from computer-based reading material, which may help save some time and energy

Global AutoCorrect

This is great if you make typos when typing as it will automatically correct your writing as you type, which can be a big time saver. Useful for students with specific learning difficulties, but also students with fatigue, RSI, visual and hearing impairments

Present Pal

Presentation support software which acts as a set of interactive flashcards on your smartphone or tablet, integrating fully with Microsoft PowerPoint. This can help in presentations by providing key information to refer to when talking, without overloading the presenter with a full script.

Software to enable students to create mathematical equations, formulas and graphs  on their computer or Chromebook by typing, handwriting, or dictating any expression, with no tricky coding or maths languages to master.