Kurzweil 3000 is one example of an assistive technology (AT) commonly referred to as a text-to-speech tool. Because no research has been done comparing the efficacy of specific brands as AT supports, recommending the tool class for students/users, rather than a specific brand, is preferable (Holmes & Silvestri, 2012). Therefore, while this review describes the specific features of Kurzweil 3000, with few exceptions, the strengths and benefits and types of students/users described more generally describe the text-to-speech class of AT.
Kurzweil 3000 is a comprehensive learning tool that supports students with respect to reading, writing/composition, study skills and test-taking via integrated biomodal text reading (visual and audible) and a number of other in-application features, as well as a number of interfaces that bring resources such as online dictionaries and scanned documents into the application (Kurzweil Education systems, 2013.) This class of AT tools is appropriate for students who have the cognitive capacity to learn at their grade level, but not the reading capacity; for instance, students who have dysgraphia or dyslexia, visually impaired students, or students who are English language learners. (Kurzweil Education Systems, 2013a) Students who have attention deficient (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD/ADHD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) could be added to this list. As well, text-to-speech tools such as Kurzweil 3000 may be an appropriate tool (perhaps even a “tool of choice”) for students who have a learning disability (LD). Additionally, features such as the study skills supports may make Kurzweil 3000 an appropriate tool for use with proficient learners/readers, making it a universal design tool (UDL) tool appropriate for an inclusion classroom comprising students of mixed capabilities.