The Library of Congress has a terrific free audio book service for the blind and handicapped. If you know anyone that might benefit from this service refer them to the following link: http://lcweb.loc.gov/nls/.
Speech to Text for Writing Papers
Make sure you are running OSX 10.9 or greater. To update your Mac O/S, go to the App Store (the "A" logo at the bottom of the page) and then select "Update" from the menu bar at the top of the page. Install the free OSX upgrade that is displayed. This may take several hours. You can minimize the app store while you wait for the download to complete.
From the menu bar at the top of the minimized page, select the Apple log (at the far left of the menu bar), and then select System Preferences.
Then select Dictation and Speech.
Then turn Dictation to On.
Be sure to check the Enhanced Dication, so that the dictation files are installed on your Mac.
Once these are installed, you can close the System Preferences window as usual by clicking the red button at the top left of the window.
Dictation should work anywhere you can type text on your keyboard, emails, Evernote App, Google Docs. For papers you might purchase a word processor such as Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office) or Pages. This allows you to spell check and grammar check (Microsoft Word).
To open a word processor application on the Mac, open the Finder and click "Applications" on the left side. Select the application from the list on the right by double clicking on it.
You can title and save your document, pull down the File menu from the top of the page and select "Save". The default save location is the "documents" folder.
To find documents on the Mac, open the Finder and click "Documents" on the left side. Select the document from the list on the right by double clicking on it.
To start dictating text, on your keyboard press the function key (fn) twice. Then you can dictate and edit. To turn off speech recognition, press the function key once.
Once you've installed speech recognition as above, then you can press the function key (fn) twice to start dictation for other applications such as e-mail, Evernote and Google Docs.
Do a survey of a course before you take it, such as reading a general history on the topic or several Wikipedia articles on the topic. This may include studying one of the many online university courses or other Top 20 Online resources such as the Khan Academy. This might also include studying an audio/visual course on the topic from your library or from The Great Courses Company (when on sale). These surveys give you a scaffolding in which to put particular facts.
Get off to a good start also by reading part of the textbook or the reading list before starting the course.
For AP Courses, review the course descriptions at www.apcentral.collegeboard.com and use review books or apps.
Develop and use flashcards from a site such as Quizlet and possibly a flashcard app for that topic.
Use study guides such as SparkNotes and review articles such as the Sunday Book Review from the New York Times.
Seek out a mentor or study group (without plagiarism) and ask questions.
Like Clint Eastwood in a gunfight, you want an edge. You want the sun at your back.
Justice with Michael Sendal has been the most popular course at Harvard. All the video lectures are online at http://www.justiceharvard.org/watch/. View the first lecture to get a good idea of what the college experience is like.