disability, dss

Assistive Technology

The Assistive Technology Program (AT Program) is intended to provide students with disabilities access to a variety of enhanced technology needed to achieve academic success. Students registered with the DSS are able to receive services through the AT Program either on an ongoing, or on an as need basis. Services available include:

  • Performing individual student technology assessments
  • Technology training determined on a case-by-case basis
  • Research and recommendations for technology purchases
  • Technology support and troubleshooting

The AT Program will also liaise with staff and faculty regarding accessibility and assistive technology-related issues, and provide training to those who work with students using assistive technology.

Assistive Technology Room

The Murray Library at the University of Saskatchewan has an Assistive Technology Room, located on the ground floor of the Learning Commons (Room G19). The room is open during regular library hours and is available on a drop-in, first come-first served basis.

Students may also book either of the two workstations located in the AT Room during library hours. For more information, please see the Assistive Technology Bookings webpage.

Occasionally, DSS books this room for examinations. If the room is booked, a notice will be posted on the door, outlining the booking times. Students will be asked to leave if the room is needed for an exam.

Workstation Information

Workstation A
  • 22” flat screen monitor
  • USB headset
  • JAWS for windows
  • ZoomText magnifier/reader
  • Audio graphing calculator
  • Inspiration Software
  • ABBYY Fine Reader
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Kurzweil 3000
Workstation B
  • 22” flat screen monitor
  • USB Headset
  • Inspiration Software
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • ABBYY Fine Reader
  • Kurzweil 3000
Other hardware/software available for students to use:
  • HP Scanjet 5590
  • HP Laser Jet Printer
  • Big Keys keyboard and keyguard
  • Wireless trackball mouse
  • Portable CCTV (can borrow for classroom use only)
  • Kurzweil 1000


Library Learning Commons

The University of Saskatchewan Library’s Learning Commons are located in all library branches across campus. Up to 10 students across campus can access Kurzweil 3000 on the Learning Commons computers at any one time (if there is an eleventh student requiring access, s/he will have to wait until one of the first ten logs off). The scanners in all the Learning Commons work with Kurzweil.

Recommended Assistive Technology for Student Purchase

Would you like to recommend a type of adaptive technology that is not listed here? E-mail dss@usask.ca with details.

DSS has found that certain types of assistive technology work especially well for students who have disabilities. Often, funding for this equipment can be obtained from the Canada Saskatchewan Study Grant. We recommend:

Electronic/Alternate Format Textbooks:

Electronic textbooks allow students with print disabilities to more easily access the printed word. E-texts can be read on a computer screen or converted to audio by text to voice software. Audio books are also considered alternate format and can be listened to via CD or MP3 format.

Tablet PCs:

Compact and lightweight, tablet PCs are similar to laptops but have pressure sensitive swivel screens that can be written on with styluses. They also have built-in digital recorders for sound.

Paper-Based Computer Pen:

Pulse Smartpen by Livescribe records and links audio to what a person writes using the pen and special paper. It enables the user to write notes while simultaneously recording someone speaking. The user can later listen to any section of his notes by touching the pen to his corresponding handwriting or diagrams.

Screen Readers:

ZoomText MagReader enlarges text with high definition clarity and allows users the option of having their documents read aloud.

Jaws for Windows reads information on your computer screen aloud, including Microsoft Office Documents and web applications.

Text to Voice Software and Devices:

Kurzweil 1000/3000 reads electronic text aloud. Kurzweil 1000 is most commonly used by visually impaired and blind students. Kurzweil 3000 is helpful to students who have learning disabilities, as it provides reading, writing, and study skills solutions.

Scanning Pens are handheld portable devices that scan text to read aloud, in addition to offering word definitions. Scanning pens also scan and save (hand)written text, including class notes, assignment outlines, and ideas that you may have on the go.

Voice to Text Software:

Dragon Naturally Speaking converts your spoken words to written text. It has an accuracy rate of up to 99% and requires no script reading or voice training. You can use the program to assist you while writing documents, emails, instant messages, and even while surfing the web.

iPad/iPhone/iPods:

These can be indispensable organizational devices, allowing users to keep track of their schedules for classes, appointments, and assignments. Reminders can be set for things such as tuition payment deadlines and taking medication. There are also many assistive technology apps available for free and for purchase from the Apple App Store. Click here for a list of recommended apps.

Word Recognition Software:

WordQ is a user-friendly word prediction software application that offers word suggestions as you type; it also provides spoken feedback to help with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It is used in conjunction with word processing programs such as Microsoft Word.

Idea Mapping Software:

Inspiration is a “mind mapping” software that assists users in organizing their thoughts in order to better plan, research, and complete projects. Graphic flowcharts allow users to visualize their work.

 
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