Technology to Support Literacy

I want to offer my own thoughts on "Literacy Technology" because this has been a focus of my research for more than a dozen years, and I use this technology myself.
At the "top" of the support chain are "the big three" -
Kurzweil 3000, by far the most expensive solution, has versions for Windows and MacO/S - it reads, featuring "dual highlighting," in either "actual view" or individually formatted versions, defines, takes notes, highlights, bookmarks, converts to mp3s, just about everything. Very customizable, can often be a bit tough to learn for certain students.
WYNN (from Freedom Scientific), costs about 40% less than Kurzweil, and does all the same things, but only in Windows. Has a simpler interface than Kurzweil, making it "easier to start" and to use with younger students. And has the most accurate Optical Character Recognition software in the business.
Read-and-Write-Gold (from Text-Help) allows the screen to "remain the same" for students, simply adding a "do everything" toolbar (including concept mapping and talking calculator). About 30% less to buy than WYNN. Not quite as "supportive" as the above, but has proven itself in UDL solutions throughout the UK and Ireland.
A step below is the Premier System
Premier Reading Systems is a package of solutions which does much that is similar to the above. It is less expensive than R+WG, but somewhat less accurate, and somewhat more frustrating. A few years ago their software seemed (to me) almost unusable, but it has improved a great deal.
Then
Read Outloud (from Don Johnston) is excellent reading support which integrates really well into traditional classroom reading activities. It is much less the "lifetime independence solution" than any of the above, but it has great teacher supports.
Below this are a range of inexpensive or free solutions. For these, free and open source is the best way to go in my mind if you are not using the "top" stuff.
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