Lately, I’ve experienced an upsurge in requests for assistive technology apps for math. Keep in mind these are not apps to teach someone how to do math. Although assistive technology can help someone learn, it is not a learning resource. Instead, these are math apps that can address a specific ability to preform math as a result of a person’s disability. For example, someone with no use of their hands may want a calculator they can use with their voice. Or someone with poor handwriting may want an app that can convert their handwriting to text. 
 
The apps on this list are a result of my discussions with other assistive technology experts and the feedback from people with disabilities who have used the apps.
 
This is not an exhaustive list for assistive technology calculator apps for math.

Writing Equations with Handwriting Difficulties

MyScript Calculator 2 $2.99 www.myscript.com/calculator

The biggest advantage of this app is its ability to read and convert handwriting. This is helpful for people with handwriting difficulties. MyScript Calculator 2 can help with:
  • improving handwriting,
  • creating legible math homework, and
  • building confidence in writing and math.

It also outperforms built-in calculators in tablets and smartphones, saves a history of past equations, and has a high rating for overall customer satisfaction.

Dictating Equations by Voice

Newton – the future of the calculator FREE www.itunes.apple.com/us/app/newton-the-future-of-the-calculator/

The Newton app is one of the only iOS apps I know of where users can use their voice to dictate equations. It has great reviews, and I’ve received awesome feedback from people who have used it. My favorite features include:

  • the ability to share your equations,
  • a great tutorial, and
  • the app’s robust capabilities.

However, the last time it was updated was in 2015 – that’s not good news. For now, the app is still functioning, but with each iOS update, the future of the Newton app is unsure.

Screen shot of Newton app Screen shot of Newton app with voice dictation activated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey! What about apps on the Android Operating System (OS)?” Again, disappointing news. Although there are several calculator apps on Android OS that say they have voice dictation, they are all either very outdated or have 0 – 2 reviews. But there is one stand-out from the rest…

Multi-Screen Voice Calculator FREE www.play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.atnsoft.calculator.free&hl=en_US 

The last time this app was updated was in November of 2018. That is worrisome because as time passes and apps are not updated, they become much more prone to glitches and security issues. With that said, this app can do very basic voice dictated equations. It would be ideal for someone like an auditor who needs to dictate simple equations for a report.

Screen shot of multi-screen voice calculator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: If you know if any great voice dication calculator apps please send your findings my way! Email me at tfloyd@ndassistive.org

Breaking Down Math Problems Step-By-Step

Photomath FREE https://photomath.net/en/

Although the Photomath app can help people learn math, that is not why I included it in this list. Often times people with Dyscalculia struggle with remembering the steps to solve an equation. Sometimes a little reassurance and support are all that is needed to help a person with dyscalculia complete their math work. That is exactly what Photomath provides. You simply take a picture of the math equation, it solves it, and then gives you the option to break down the equation into steps. This is the perfect way for someone who struggles with math to check their work, and then if they got it wrong, understand why.

Reading Equations Aloud

Talking Calculator $1.99 www.itunes.apple.com/us/app/talking-calculator/

This highly rated app was specifically designed so that people with low vision or other learning disabilities can have a calculator to read back to them. The Talking Calculator app is more than just a basic calculator. The company who developed it also has a Talking Scientific Calculator and Talking Statistics Calculator. This gives people the option to continue growing in their math skills with a calculator app they are used to.

Speak n Talk Calculator Lite FREE https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nl.speakingcalculator&hl=en_US

The Speak N’ Talk Calculator Lite can:

  • use voice to dictate equations,
  • say buttons aloud, and
  • read back your equation with the answer.

It is a very basic calculator app. However, it has been updated fairly recently and has overwhelmingly good reviews. NOTE: This app can support voice to text input, but I did not include it in that area of assistive technology need because it is a very basic calculator application. You can do the same level of math voice dictation with the built-in voice assistants in most tablets and smartphones.

 

 

 

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