Assistive technology is equipment and software that assists students with reading, writing, and listening.
There are also free and low-cost apps and extensions that can perform an amazing number and variety of tasks, from writing support, alt-text functions, study support, anti-procrastination, and so much more! Check out an exhaustive list of these apps and extensions at the link below, provided with permission from the staff of Augsburg University.
Below is a list of some commonly used forms of assistive technology in the ARC. If you are interested in gaining access to any of these resources, please contact us--we would be happy to introduce you to the technology and help you learn to use it!
For students with documented disabilities, the ARC offers audio books and scanned textbooks, as well as assistance with text-to-speech solutions.
BeeLine Reader is an extension for your web browser that uses gentle color transitions to make lines of text on webpages much easier to follow. Additionally, it can add this color effect to text in PDF files. BeeLine Reader is free, and available for Chrome and Firefox browsers, as well as iOS devices.
Chromebooks are lightweight, portable laptop computers that can be used to write documents and spreadsheets, create presentations, and browse the internet. Students who otherwise don't have personal computers often find they provide valuable assistance.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a speech recognition program. After taking approximately 20 minutes to create a voice profile, you can begin to dictate notes, papers, outlines, and e-mails directly into the computer. This program is ideal if you articulate your ideas better by talking than by typing.
Livescribe smartpens record the notes you take and sync them to the audio recorded while writing. Many students find them to be useful study aids.
MathTalk works with Dragon NaturallySpeaking to allow you to write equations and mathematical formulas via dictation instead of by hand or by typing. Although it has a significant learning curve, it can be helpful if writing or typing equations is not a feasible option. Not to be confused with MathType, software for writing equations via mouse and keyboard.
MathType is an application that allows you to create equations and formulas on-screen via a set of buttons and toolbars. Not to be confused with MathTalk (math dictation software).
MyScript MathPad is an application for iOS devices such as iPads that enables you to write mathematical expressions and equations by drawing them on the screen with your finger. The app intelligently converts your handwriting into formatted expressions, which can be saved as image files or LaTeX strings. If you have difficulty writing out math homework with a pen or pencil, MyScript MathPad may be another alternative for you.
Our voice recorders capture the audio of lectures, which you can later upload to your computer and use to review what was said in class. They're small enough to carry in a pocket, and most plug directly into a USB port on your computer.
Be sure to also check out our other resources and study guides!