Mac Shareware and Freeware

for People with Disabilities

 

Freeware

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.


LOW VISION

HearIt
This program uses the MacIntalk or PlainTalk voices to read hilighted text in almost any application.
Audio Interface 1.1
by Alex Metcalf (alex@metcalf.demon.co.uk)
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 2.5
by Steve Cruthfield (stevec@jhu.edu)
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 Audio Interface.

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES

StickyClick 1.2
by Steve Zellers (zellers@sun.soe.clarkson.edu)
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 (stk@berlin.snafu.de)
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 pointing device.

Keystrokes 1.1 NEW!!

by David Niemiejer (KeyStrokes@niemconsult.nl)

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 problem.

Shareware

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 .

 

AutoMenus Pro 3.1.2
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
 
TypeIt4Me 4.7
by Richard Ettore 72277.1344@compuserve.com
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!
$30 Shareware

KeyQuencer 1.2.1(591k)
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!!
$10 Shareware

Tex-Edit 2.7 (334k)
by Tom Bender tomb@aol.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.
$5 Shareware

Other Mac shareware programs for people with disabilities are available from this page from Apple.