Spell Checking Apps – Supports for Students with LD #2

Spell checking apps reviewed in this post focus on apps for individuals with learning disabilities that will replace handheld spell checkers.  Such spell checkers, such as the Franklin Kids Dictionary, provides text to speech and phonetic based spelling suggestions are frequently used in our classrooms at school as a universal design tool for all students. Phonetic based spell checkers provide support for students who have acquired conventional spelling and have difficulty using standard, alphabet spell checking tools.

American Word Speller App – This American Wordspeller and Phonetic Dictionary app is one of few I found that uses a phonetic basis to spell checking. By typing in the first 2-3 letters of how the word sounds to you a list of possible words are generated. If the word is not there you can type in 2 more to narrow the search.

Other features provided in the app include:

  • Brief definitions
  • Homophones are cross referenced •petal/ pedal/ peddle •metal/meddle/medal/mettle/middle •carrot/ caret/ karat/ carat •immigrant/ emigrant
  • Suffix Speller – root word spelled out with all suffix endings attached. Example: ‘mad’: mad = madder, maddest, madden, maddening, maddeningly, madly, madness
  • Prefixes listed along with their definition. Example: satisfied =  dis (for dissatisfied) / un (unsatisfied)
  • This app does not require internet connection

Here is a video review of the use of American Word Speller App on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67i2KUdb4_Y&feature=player_embedded

American Word Speller and Phonetic Dictionary is  available for Android, iPad, iPod/iPhone for $4.99. An ESL Edition is also available.

SpellChecker√ – This spell checking app by Enfour is available in a multilingual edition (1.99) and an English version (.99). Although it is not phonetic based it provides non-alphabetically choices in the list of spelling choices, especially helpful if individuals recognize the correct spelling. Spelling and grammar correction is offered in the app.

Although it has no text to speech to hear the words, I was able to use the Voice Over function with the Triple Click option turned on (this is one of my favorite accessibility features!! in the iPhone/iPod and iPad).  Tools to edit the dictionary and learn new words are also options. SpellChecker can be used to write and email, SMS, and can be integrated with American Heritage Dictionary or Oxford Dictionary if purchased and installed on your device. Text can be copied and pasted into other apps and it also reports it can be integration with other third-party apps.

The above image displays some of the languages of the multilingual version. Available for iPod/iPhone and iPad.

Speller – Free Spell Checker App – This is a free spell checker app providing spell checking and alternate spelling options. Provides a single word entry which does not accept hyphenated words (self-esteem) or two-word entries. Did not find corrections for phonetic entries as fone or phun when entered.

 English and Spanish language options are available in the app. Also provides dictionary option with Wi-Fi connection. I was not able to use Voice Over with Triple Click feature turned on with Speller- Free Spell Checker app.

Available for iPhone/iPod and iPad for free. Ads are presented on this app and can be removed with a $.99 purchase.

 iSpellChecker – This is another free spell checker that provides word processing capabilities with spell checking tool included. It offers a list of approximately 6 words in the correction at times offered a phonetic spelling choice in the list (did not catch fone, but did offer a correction to phun).

Voice Over using the Triple Click option was also able to be used in this spell checker. No  dictionary is available but email and SMS forwarding is an option. Other language choices are available in the app and integration into Twitter app. No advertisement appears in the app.

Other options for individuals with learning disabilities for spell checking include use of dictionaries that provide the voice search option when Wi-Fi connectivity is available. The dictionary apps as reviewed in an earlier post Apps for LD – Dictionaries #1 lists the following choices which have the voice search options:

Another option with the availability of Wi-Fi is the use of Gingersoftware.com spell checking tool if appropriate for the student’s skills. Ginger software provides online phonetic spell checking and grammar correction for the most aberrant spelling. It is a remarkable tool (it would be great if they came out with an app!) for students with learning disabilities! Check it out on their website which provides an available on line tool.

With numerous choices of spell checking apps, selection and use is dependent on the task, spelling skill and technical skill of the individual, connectivity and funds available for purchasing an apps. There are some possible free choices as well as possibilities for purchased apps that are suitable to individuals with learning disabilities when looking for a spell checking tool. Although I was not able to trial the American Word Speller app, its phonetic base and not being dependent on Wi-Fi are appealing to me.

If you have experience or a favorite spell checking app please comment with your favorite spell checking app. It is always helpful to have tried and true experiences on apps!

Happy spell checking!!


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, High School, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Learning Disability, Middle School, Post secondary, Special education, Spell Checking and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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