Mac Shareware and Freeware
for People with Disabilities
see Scott Norris' Macintosh
Disability Shareware and Freeware Page.
The following is a list of free programs which assist
individuals with visual and physical disabilities. Note:
Click on a program name to download it to your computer.
- This program uses the MacIntalk
or PlainTalk voices to read hilighted text in almost
- by Alex Metcalf (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This program uses the MacIntalk
or PlainTalk voices to read the contents of menus and
dialogue boxes. It would be helpful for people with low
vision and could also be used as a teaching tool for
learning the menus of new programs. Good companion
program for Speak2Me.
- Zoom Lens
- by Steve Cruthfield (email@example.com)
This program magnifies the area around the mouse pointer
in a box in the corner of the screen, making text and
icons easier to see for individuals with low vision.
Magnifies the area up to 24 times its regular size.
Enlarges the menu bar, but not the actual menus.
- Speak2Me 1.0
- by Carl W. Haynes III (CWH3@aol.com)
Speak2Me uses MacinTalk or
PlainTalk voices to read the icons in the finder as
they are selected. Settings can be adjusted so that the
icon is read fast or slow. Good companion program for
- by Steve Zellers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This utility allows the menus to remain dropped down
after one click on the menu bar. It is helpful for people
who have difficulty holding the mouse button down and
dragging at the same time. One can click once on the menu
bar, situate the pointer on the desired menu item, and
click again to select it.
- Keys! 1.0b5
- by Stefan Kurth (email@example.com)
This utility underlines the first letter of radio button
and check box selections, so that they may be activated
by pressing the underlined letter. This program is
helpful for those who have great difficulty using the
mouse, use Mouse Keys, or use some other alternative
by David Niemiejer
An on-screen keyboard for the mac. This program allows
those who cannot use the standard keyboard to type using only
the mouse. Note: this program is currently not compatible
with TypeIt4Me, but the author is working to fix this
Although these programs were not specifically written for
people with disabilities, they have tremendous potential for
making Macs easier to use and increasing productivity. These
programs are Shareware, which means that you can try them
for a few weeks and then pay the author if you plan to continue
using it. All are the relatively cheap when compared to
commercial adaptive programs. Many thanks to the authors!
Note: Click on a program name to download it
to your computer. Installation instructions are included in each
folder and are fairly easy, but if you have any difficulty,
please send Email to G.
Denise Lance .
by Night Light Software (NLSoftware@aol.com)
- This program helps ease menu selections with several
options. Menus will stay dropped down after just one
click and users can also set options to have items in
menus automatically activated after they are highlighted
for a specific length of time. There is also a setting
that extends the bottom of menus, so that the last items
in the list are not accidently activated.
- $13 Shareware
by Richard Ettore firstname.lastname@example.org
- This is a macro (abbreviation-expansion) program which
allows the user to define abbreviations for frequently
used words. For example, when I type "dl",
the computer types "Denise Lance,".
This is a great program for people with physical
disabilities, since it can reduce the number of
keystrokes they must type. This program could be used
with Tex-Edit to turn the Mac into an augmentative
communication device. Read the documentation carefully!
by Alessandro Levi Montalcini LMontalcini@pmn.it
- This is a Macro program also, but rather than defining
abbreviations for text, it allows definitions of two-key
shortcuts for long commands or sequences of commands. For
example, when I type
COMMAND and z, the
current window expands, eliminating the need for me to
use the mouse to click the zoom box. People who have
difficulty using the mouse can assign mouse functions to
keystrokes. People with learning disabilities or other
memory problems can reduce hard-to-remember complex
command sequences to a two-key combinations. The process
of scripting the macros is somewhat difficult, but the
effort is worthwhile. Read the documentation carefully!!
by Tom Bender email@example.com
- This is a powerful, yet simple text editing program. It
is useful for people with learning disabilities, since it
will read back what one types in a MacIntalk or PlainTalk voice.
The user has the option of having text highlighted by
word or by paragraph as it is read. This highlighting
feature, along with the ability to set the default voice
and change its pitch, rate, and modulation, makes it more
powerful than SimpleText. With the high-quality PlainTalk
voices, this program transform the Mac into an
augmentative communication device. TypeIt4Me is a great
companion to this program. The program can record and
play sounds within documents and has color text
capabilities. The biggest drawback is that it does not
have spell-checking ability.
Other Mac shareware programs for people with disabilities are
available from this page