Apps for Independent Access to Print

Do you have a student working towards independent access to print? One option for on-the-go access to print is using a mobile app. While there are many apps out there that perform OCR (optical character recognition) to convert images to text, here are several that have been designed specifically for individuals with visual impairments. These apps can be used on their own, or in conjunction with a scanning stand that positions the mobile device consistently above the page of text. All three of these apps are fully accessible with VoiceOver and provide audible guidance when capturing images.

KNFB Reader

This is the app that started the mobile scanning trend ten years ago! KNFB Reader is a paid app available for iOS, Android, and Windows 10. It has options for multiple devices and schools or businesses to purchase for multiple users. It can take images of single pages, but also provides options for scanning multiple pages and saving it as one file. The app provides visual highlighting when reading, options for font and colour customization, as well as the option to have highlighting over top of the page image. KNFB Reader does not require a data or internet connection.

KNFB Reader for iOS
KNFB Reader for Android
KNFB Reader for Windows 10

Voice Dream Scanner

This app was created by the same company who created the popular Voice Dream Reader app. The app can capture or import images and does not require a data or internet connection to perform optical character recognition. The app can scan single or multiple pages, and can save files as PDF or text, and can send the results to Voice Dream Reader.

Voice Dream Scanner for iOS

Seeing AI

This free app has a myriad of features in addition to scanning, but its scanning features can recognize short text in a "live" mode that does not require taking a picture (just aiming the camera) as well as in a document mode. The app even has a beta handwriting recognition feature. The app requires a data or internet connection to perform optical character recognition.

Seeing AI for iOS

About the author

Jen Jesso

I have worked in various roles in the field of visual impairment since 2007. In addition to working as a teacher of students with visual impairments, I recently completed coursework to become an orientation and mobility specialist. I have been fortunate to work with the fantastic team at PRCVI since 2014.

I enjoy many aspects of my role at PRCVI, but highlights include working with teachers of students with visual impairments and their students on outreach visits and working on PRCVI initiatives and projects.

Outside of work, my interests include reading, computer programming, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.

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