Assistive Technology

Assisitive Technology

Assisitive Technology, or AT, is a general term that includes software, devices, systems and mobile applications that can be used by students to help them succeed. Many times students will use assisitve texhnology to reduce the impact of barriers to their learning. These technologies can be used universally to help a wide range of people with many different needs.

Assisitive technology includes but is not limited to:

Reading software: Reading software, or text-to-speech, is useful for any student that has viison impairments, learning or language difficulties, or just has a hard time reading and paying attention. The software uses a speech synthesizer to read text out loud from electronic documents and textbooks, email, and webpages. some programs will read anything on the screen and others will only read text that has been formatted by object character recognition (OCR).

Dictation software: Dictation, or speect-to-text, software is a type of software that takes audio content (i.e. speech) and transcribed it into written words. This type of speech recognition software is extremely valuable to anyone who needs to generate a lot of written content without a lot of manual typing.

Mind mapping software: Mind mapping, or brainstorming, software is a tool that can be used to help organize your thoughts in a more visual way. There are many different types of mind mapping software out there including Inspiration that can support you in organizing papers, preprare for presenetations and even be used as a study tool.

Organization & note-taking software: note taking and organizational software can assist you with keeping track of your lecture notes, power points, handouts etc in a one stop area on your computer.

Apps: There are thousands of applications, or apps, that are widely available for downloading on your personal devices either for free or at a relatively low price. The use of apps has proven to be helpful for students in post-secondary education. They can be used for studying and learning, to keep you on track and manage your time, or to help youy maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage stress.

Accessible labs on campus

Students registered with the ASC can use the ASC computer lobs at the Oshawa ans Whitby campus for a quieter area to study and work. The labs will also provide you with access to many different assistive technology programs. In addittion to the ASC labs, assistive software is available on campus in most computer labs including the computer commons.

Examples of assistive software that are available on most campus computers and on all ASC computers includes:

  • Kurzweil (reading/writing/studying)
  • Read and Write (reading/writing/studying)
  • Inspiration (mind mapping, organizational)
  • OneNote (organization, note-taking)
  • Jaws (screen reading)
  • Zoom text (magnification & reading)