Tech Tools for Success: Enhancing School Experience for Neurodivergent Students

In a rapidly evolving world, technology has become an indispensable tool for overcoming challenges and enhancing the lives of individuals with neurodiverse conditions. For those with ADHD, autism, and dyslexia, everyday tasks that might seem routine to others can present unique hurdles. However, the digital age brings forth a multitude of assistive technologies that can serve as game-changers, offering tailored solutions to address the distinctive needs of each condition. 

With this in mind, The Shadow Project has curated a selection of assistive technology recommendations designed to empower individuals with learning challenges to navigate their lives with greater confidence and independence. Whether it’s managing time and tasks, fostering communication, or facilitating reading and learning, these tools have the potential to unlock new avenues of opportunity and growth. 

Discover how assistive technology can create a transformative impact on neurodivergent communities as we explore the world of assistive technology, where innovation meets inclusion. For more information on what assistive technology is check out our previous blog post: Empowering Education with Accessible Technology.  


Echo Pen 

The Livescribe Echo Pen merges traditional note-taking with cutting-edge technology. With its integrated microphone, the Echo Pen records audio while you write, allowing you to revisit your notes in context. Tap on your handwritten notes and the pen instantly replays the corresponding audio segment, transporting you back to the moment of note-taking.  For neurodivergent individuals the Livescribe Echo Pen offers a multifaceted solution.

The Livescribe Echo Pen aids focus during lectures by enabling active listening and simultaneous note-taking. Individuals on the autism spectrum benefit from the pen’s audio-visual connection, enhancing comprehension and memory recall. Dyslexic users find relief in listening to the audio alongside their handwritten notes, reinforcing reading comprehension. This synchronization bridges gaps in understanding and aids in retaining crucial information.

Benefits & Accessibility 

  • Enhanced Engagement
  • Multisensory Learning
  • Accurate Notes
  • Independence


Some educational institutions and non-profit organizations provide Livescribe Echo Pens to students as part of their accessibility services, ensuring equal learning opportunities for all. The Livescribe Echo Pen is available for purchase, with prices ranging from $100 to $200, depending on the model and features. 


Glean operates on a unique principle: integrating audio recording and note-taking into a harmonious symbiosis. Formerly known as Sonocent, this software empowers individuals with various learning styles, making the process of capturing, organizing, and reviewing information a seamless and customizable experience. 

Glean is a note-taking software designed to cater to a wide range of users, especially those who are neurodivergent. Users can record audio during lectures, meetings, or discussions while simultaneously typing their notes. What sets Glean apart is its intuitive interface, which allows users to link and highlight specific sections of their notes to corresponding audio moments.

For neurodivergent individuals, traditional note-taking methods might prove challenging due to differences in processing information, attention spans, and sensory sensitivities. Glean addresses these hurdles by providing a digital environment that adapts to individual needs, fostering a more inclusive and effective learning experience. This interplay between audio and text enables users to grasp context effortlessly, enhancing comprehension and retention.

Benefits & Accessibility 

  • Personalized Learning
  • Visual-Audio Fusion
  • Revision Made Easy
  • Organization and Accessibility
  • Customization 
  • Transcription Services


Glean offers a variety of pricing tiers, with flexible plans catering to different needs. Educational institutions often partner with Glean to provide students with access, further reducing financial barriers.

Reading Software

Bookshare is an ebook library that offers accessible reading materials for individuals with neurodivergent conditions. This innovative service utilizes assistive technology to provide a wide range of books, textbooks, and other reading materials in formats that cater to the unique needs of neurodiverse individuals such a audiobooks, braille, or large font. With over a million titles, Bookshare ensures that everyone has the opportunity to engage with literature and educational content.


  • Customizable Formats
  • Text-to-Speech Technology
  • Highlighting and Annotations
  • Mobile Accessibility (available across a wide range of devices)
  • Vast Library
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Customizable Display
  • Alternative Formats


For U.S. students with qualifying disabilities, membership is free, thanks to Bookshare’s partnership with organizations like schools and educational institutions. Non-students can subscribe for a nominal fee, granting access to the platform’s extensive library.

Learning Ally is a pioneering platform that offers accessible audiobooks and learning resources tailored for individuals with neurodivergent conditions. By harnessing the power of assistive technology, Learning Ally ensures that people with learning differences and cognitive challenges can access educational materials in a way that suits their unique needs and learning styles. The Shadow Project uses Learning Ally in our Reading Mentors program, where students receive one-on-one support from mentors along with Learning Ally to help bolster their reading abilities, confidence, and love of books.

Benefits & Accessibility

  • Audiobook Access
  • Decoding Assistance
  • Focus and Multitasking
  • Personalized Pace
  • Educational Support & Curriculum Alignment
  • Human-Narrated Audiobooks  
  • Variable Speed  
  • Bookmarking and Note-Taking


Individuals can subscribe to Learning Ally for a fee, granting access to their extensive audiobook library and educational resources. Learning Ally collaborates with schools and educational institutions to provide memberships to eligible students, ensuring access to these valuable resources.

Capti is a platform designed to bridge the accessibility gap in learning for individuals with neurodivergent conditions. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, Capti offers a suite of features tailored to meet the diverse needs of learners with challenges like dyslexia, ADHD, and other cognitive differences.

Benefits & Accessibility

  • Text-to-Speech Conversion
  • Customizable Playlists
  • Multimodal Learning
  • Language Learning Companion
  • Integration with Educational Tools
  • Advanced Text-to-Speech
  • Voice Customization
  • Interactive Highlighting


Capti extends a free plan that provides a taste of its features, enabling users to explore its potential before considering an upgrade. Paid plans unlock an array of additional features, including an expanded voice selection, advanced language learning tools, and integration capabilities with learning management systems.

Browser Extensions


The Helperbird Chrome Extension is a tool that’s reshaping the educational landscape by significantly enhancing accessibility for individuals with neurodivergent conditions. 

Helperbird integrates with the Chrome browser to provide a range of features that foster accessibility and inclusivity. By incorporating text-to-speech functionality, customizable font settings, background color adjustments, and more, the extension ensures that online content becomes more comprehensible and comfortable for users with diverse learning needs. Whether it’s reading articles, navigating websites, or engaging with online resources, Helperbird empowers neurodiverse individuals to tailor their digital experience according to their preferences.

Benefits & Accessibility

  • Text Customization 
  • Text-to-Speech Conversion
  • Background Color Customization
  • Line Focus
  • Grammar and Language Tools
  • Text-to-Speech 
  • Font and Color Customization
  • Reading Focus Tools


The free plan provides basic accessibility features, enabling users to explore the extension’s capabilities. Paid plans unlock advanced features, including enhanced text-to-speech options, grammar tools, and more comprehensive customization.


The Dyslens Browser Extension is a tool that is reshaping the landscape of reading accessibility for individuals with neurodiverse conditions. Specifically designed to cater to challenges such as dyslexia, this extension offers an array of features that empower learners to engage with written content in ways that align with their unique cognitive needs.

The Dyslens Browser Extension integrates into web browsers, providing a suite of accessibility features that enhance the reading experience like: font adjustments, color modifications, and text-to-speech capabilities. The extension transforms online content into a format that is more comprehensible and engaging. With Dyslens, individuals can tailor their reading experience to suit their preferences and learning styles.

Benefits & Accessibility

  • Font Customization
  • Text-to-Speech Conversion 
  • Color Adjustments
  • Language Support (accommodates different languages and accents)  
  • Personalized Reading Experience
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Font and Color Customization
  • Language Support (various languages and accents)


The free version of Dyslens includes basic accessibility features, allowing users to explore the extension’s capabilities. Paid plans unlock advanced features, including expanded font and color customization, enhanced text-to-speech options, and more comprehensive reading support.

The adoption, use, and benefit of these technologies will look different for every neurodivergent individual. When it comes to choosing accessible technology, the aspect of usability assumes a critical role in determining its effectiveness. The availability of customization options, allowing the adaptation of these tools to cater to individual needs, greatly enhances the overall learning experience, making it more adaptable and effective. Selecting tools that offer a manageable learning curve and can integrate into students’ daily academic routines ensures swift utilization of their benefits and ease of incorporation.

Embracing assistive technology holds the promise of a transformative impact on the neurodivergent community. As we delve into the realm of innovation and inclusion, let us discover how these technological marvels are reshaping the way we approach education and personal development.

Remember, these tools aren’t just about accessibility; they are about empowerment, understanding, and creating an environment where every individual can thrive. In the realm where technology and compassion converge, we find a future where every person’s unique strengths are celebrated and their potential is unleashed. Let us embark on this journey of technological transformation together, as we bridge the gap and build a world where diversity is embraced and opportunities abound.

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