Accessible Technology

According to the United States Assistive Technology Act, assistive technology (also called adaptive or acceesible technology) refers to any "product, device, or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to maintain, increase, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

Common computer-related assistive technology products include screen magnifiers, large-key keyboards, alternative input devices such as touch screen displays, over-sized trackballs and joysticks, speech recognition programs, and text readers.

The Office of Disability Support Services supports access to accessible technology to eligible students with disabilities. The accessible software listed below is available in all student computer labs in the Pollak Library also in Pollak Library North, Room 110 (PLN-110). A desktop video magnifier is also located in PLN-110.

Quick links:



Adaptive Hardware

Desktop Video Magnifiers

Desktop video magnifiers combine ease-of-use with powerful features to help people retain their independent lifestyle such as reading, writing, and viewing photographs.  The DSS office provides eligible students access to the Topaz Digital Screen Magnifier.


Adaptive Software

Screen Reader

JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is the world’s most popular screen reader that is designed to accommodate students whose vision loss/blindness impairs their ability to see content on their computer screen or navigate their PC with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for most popular computer applications on your PC.

Screen Magnifcation

ZoomText is a program that allows low-vision users to see screen content better by magnifying the content on the display crisply and boldly.

Text-to-Speech Reader

Kurzweil/Firefly. Kurzweil is a reading program that assists individuals who have visual impairments or learning disabilities such as dyslexia and ADD. The program is able to convert text to audible speech to make content more accessible for the user. Firefly is a flash-based website and iPad app that functions as a supplement to the main Kurzweil 3000 program. It allows for core Kurzweil 3000 functionality and allows users to upload and share files with other Kurzweil 3000 users through the website’s cloud storage area.

Speech Recognition

Dragon (for private room use only). Dragon is a speech recognition program that assists users with physical disabilities by allowing them to write documents, search the web, and send e-mails through dictated speech.


Student Responsibilities When Accessible Technology is Needed for an Exam

Eligible students who require the use of accessible technology to complete tests, quizzes, and exams should ensure that the use of accessible technology is included in their testing accommodation as prescribed by their DSS counselor. Visit the Testing Accommodations web page for more information. Additionally, if specialized software for your class is required for the exam, please inform the Testing Coordinator with directions of how to or whom to contact to acquire the software.


Accessible Technology Product Videos and Demonstrations


Helpful Links