When life at the university gets busy, and the reading lists and assignment deadlines start piling up, we could all use a helping hand. Assistive Technology is generally defined as any technology that supports a person in their learning or daily life. It can be a piece of software, an electronic gadget which helps with recording lectures and seminars, or a mobile app that helps to organise your academic timetable.
Assistive technology software can be found across campus, in the Learning Café, Cyber Italia and other open access PC zones. And, of course, in the Library!
In the Library, specific assistive technology software tends to be located on the top floor: in Open Access area, study rooms A and B, and in the Assistive Technology Room. You can check specific locations here.
Here is an overview of the assistive software which is available in the Library…
Claro Read is a multifunctional text to speech software, which can also help with writing and editing.
It offers many functions such as predictive text, homophone checks, Microsoft Word overlay, screen masking (colour rulers to help keep your place in text), virtual overlay to help users with dyslexia.
It can also create MP3 files of voice recordings and create accessible documents and offers simple mind-mapping tools for organising ideas.
ClaroRead is available in the Open Access Area on the top floor of the Library.
Inspiration is a thinking and learning tool, which can be used to create mind maps, diagrams, process flow charts, graphic organizers and concept webs. They can be then transformed into presentations or word documents. It’s a great tool for essay planning, creating presentations and organising knowledge. Or, in fact, organising in general.
Inspiration is available in the Open Access Area on the top floor of the Library.
Read&Write is a literacy software, making web pages, documents and files more accessible to people with dyslexia and other learning differences, as well as for anyone for whom English is not their first language.
The functionalities range from reading on-screen text aloud, to researching and checking written work. It also features homophone and verb checker and coloured overlays, as well as mind mapping tools.
Read&Write Gold is available in the Open Access Area on the top floor of the Library.
Mindview is a mind mapping tool, perfect for visualising ideas. It is fully integrated with Microsoft Office, making it easier to use for anyone already familiar with Microsoft Office environment, and allowing for importing and exporting between Microsoft Project, Excel, Outlook and XML.
Mindview is great for planning assignments, essays and presentations. It is easy to transform the mind map into an Excel spreadsheet, Word document, Powerpoint slides or a Gantt chart.
MindView is available in Study Rooms A and B, on the PC next to the Open Catalogue PCs on the top floor, in the Open Access Area on PCs 070 and 072-076, and in the Assistive Technology Room.
JAWS (Job Access with Speech)
JAWS is screen-reading software, designed specifically for users with visual impairment. It is the most popular software of that kind, and features multiple built-in options to customize the way pages are being read, insert markers for easier navigation, choose between different verbosity settings etc. It communicates well with other programs, such as Word and Excel.
JAWS is available in the Assistive Technology Room on the top floor of the Library.
In addition, the following software is installed on all PCs in the Library: Acrobat Pro, ArcGis, Dreamweaver, Photoshop and SPSS.
Workstations located in the quiet study area on the ground floor feature the following qualitative research software, used mostly by Sports Studies students: Dartfish Connect Plus, EMG Works Pro and Qualysis Track Manager.