What is assistive technology?
Assistive 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.”
The DRC works closely with students, faculty, and campus departments to promote awareness of and familiarity with available assistive technology.
Assistive Technology Training and Technical Support
The DRC researches the latest assistive technologies and provides training and support on technologies that help provide access to computing for people with disabilities. One-on-one training on many state of the art technologies is available. Many assistive technology products are available to be loaned out, as well as making arrangements for assistive technology to be made available in areas where the student is work.
Examples of software and hardware available to eligible students include the following:
Available Assistive Technology
Sonocent Audio Note Taker
Sonocent is a notetaking software that allows students to record lectures on a laptop or mobile device, annotate or add footnotes, highlight information, and import audio presentations, slides, or diagrams from lectures.
Additional help, information, and tutorials with Sonocent please visit the following links:
Livescribe Echo Smart Pen
The Livescribe Echo Smartpen is a ballpoint pen and voice recorder combination. The Echo is capable of converting written notes into a digital recordings that are able to be played back to you, and well as a recorder that can record classroom lectures, meetings, and study sessions.
Additional help, information, and tutorials with ECHO Livescribe Smartpen please visit the following links:
Kurzweil 3000 is an assistive technology, text to speech, learning tool that supports the concept of Universal Design for Learning with a suite of powerful reading, writing, test-taking, and study skill tools that makes curricula accessible to all students. It is particularly appropriate for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, those who require reading intervention, students struggling with reading comprehension and English Language Learners (ELL).
Additional help, information, and tutorials with Kurzweil 3000 please visit the following links:
Microsoft Office Dictation
Microsoft Office Dictation – What is Microsoft Office Dictation?
Dictation lets you use speech-to-text to author content in Office with a microphone and reliable internet connection. It’s a quick and easy way to get your thoughts out, create drafts or outlines, and capture notes.
Voice Typing In Google Docs
Google Voice Typing is a free dictation tool for Google Docs and Google Slides, Google’s online word processor and presentation apps. To use it, you must be connected to the internet with the Google Chrome Browser on Windows, MacOS or Chromebook devices. Voice Typing is also available on Google Android devices.
Dragon Speech To Text
Nuance Dragon software is speech recognition technology that converts the spoken word into written text. Currently available on Windows and is compatible with Windows Office Software. Dragon is for anyone needs assistance with writing long sentences and being able to fully dictate their thoughts into written form.
Additional help, information, and tutorials with Dragon Speech to Text Software please visit the following links:
Apple Voice Control
Voice Control is a accessibility feature that lets you speak commands to your Mac, iPhone, or iPad to do just about anything. From launching apps, adjusting volume, editing text, rebooting your Mac, iPhone or iPad, and many more commands, you can do it all with just your voice control. It is a new way to fully control your Mac entirely with your voice. Voice Control uses the Siri speech-recognition engine to improve on the Enhanced Dictation feature.
Otter is a speech to text software that turns your voice conversations into smart notes that you can easily search and share. You can use it to take notes in your classes, study sessions, meetings and other places you need to take notes. Otter allows you to capture your thoughts and ideas while you’re on the go from your mobile device. It also can transcribe your existing recordings from class. You can even snap photos (e.g. of a whiteboard, a speaker, or presentation slide at an event) during a recording and they will be inserted inline with your transcripts.
Additional help, information, and tutorials with Otter Speech to Text Software please visit the following links:
Dictation iO is a free online speech recognition software that will help you write emails, documents and essays using your voice narration and without typing. Dictation iO uses Google’s powerful Speech Recognition engine to transcribe your voice into text. You need Google Chrome browser on your Windows PC, Mac OS X or Linux. Dictation work inside Chrome on Android too but it is recommended to use Dictation iO desktop browser for improved productivity.
JAWS, Job Access With Speech, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC. You will be able to navigate the Internet, write a document, read documents. emails, websites and apps, scan and read documents including PDF’s, fill out webforms, save time with Skim Reading and Text Analyzer, surf the net with web browsing keystrokes, read an email, and create presentations.
Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Providing feedback via synthetic speech and Braille, it enables blind or vision impaired people to access computers running Windows Operating System and many third party apps. NVDA works with the lockdown browser that is used by UIC for exams.
Additional help, information, and tutorials with NVDA Software please visit the following links:
Fusion is for students with any level of vision impairment. Fusion provides the features and benefits of having both ZoomText Screen Magnifier and JAWS Screen Reader in one package. The two applications can be used together or separately to suit individual user preferences. By blending ZoomText and JAWS together, Fusion has flexible, high-quality speech using Eloquence and Vocalizer Expressive, powerful keyboard access including navigation on the web, and a wide range of customization options.
Additional help, information, and tutorials with Fusion Software please visit the following links:
ZoomText Magnifier/Reader is a fully integrated magnification and reading program tailored for low-vision users. Magnifier/Reader enlarges and enhances everything on your computer screen up to 36x, echoes your typing and essential program activity, and automatically reads documents, web pages, email.