Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology refers to any item, piece of equipment, or product that is used to maintain or improve an individual's abilities.   Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides access to several assistive computer programs to students with documented disabilities. SAS may also recommend assistive equipment to students according to their specific needs.

Our Computer Workstations offer the following programs for use:

TextHELP Read & Write GOLD

Read & Write is a world-renowned software system that helps students with learning disabilities to develop their reading and writing skills. This system can be used to read text out loud and includes a talking spell checker, thesaurus, and word prediction feature. Read & Write also has screen reading options.

Kurzweil 3000

The Kurzweil program is designed to help students with their reading and writing skills. Its ability to scan and read text allows users to strengthen their comprehension through auditory and visual representation. As well, its Study Skills toolbar has a number of valuable options.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a voice recognition software. A student can directly dictate into the computer, eliminating their need to type. Dragon Naturally Speaking is particularly useful for students who can verbalize their thoughts but may experience difficulties with writing.


Inspiration is a program that allows the student to develop ideas and organize thinking in a visual format. Inspiration can be used to brainstorm and create concept maps, flowcharts, and outlines in words or pictures.


ZoomText Xtra is an adaptive software for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT,2000, and XP that integrates multiple technologies, including magnification and screen reading, to assist students who may struggle to see words or images on their computer. ZoomText is able to read all on-screen text.

Examples of assistive equipment that we may recommend to students include:

Franklin Speaking Language Master

The Franklin Master is a handheld device that can be used to correct misspellings and pronounce words. It also provides the user with a grammar guide to aid in the writing process.

FM System 

An FM System consists of a radio transmitter and microphone (to be worn by an instructor) and a receiver and headphones (to be worn by the student). This allows the user to listen closely to the instructor and helps to filter out background noise.

Livescribe Smartpen

The Smartpen is a pen that records everything you write and hear. The Smartpen works with Livescribe Interactive Dot paper and synchronizes audio recordings to your handwritten notes. The audio recording can be played back by tapping on important points in your notes. Users can transfer all handwritten notes and audio files to Evernote for future use. Smartpens address individual learning styles by offering options to set pen settings and preferences.