Assistive Technology

Did you know that not all students have the same learning style? Perhaps you have one that is unique to you. To find out more, visit LD Pride. And yes of course, we do have the technology to support your preferred style of learning!

Assistive Technology (AT) is a term used for computer software or specialist equipment that allows you to improve, maintain or increase the quality and consistency of your academic work. It can help you with tools for accessing information, creating and presenting content and undertaking research.

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Assistive technology currently available at UC (training is provided)

  • JAWS screen reader
  • Natural Reader screen reader
  • MAGic screen magnifier
  • ZoomText screen magnifier/reader
  • OpenBook optical character recognition
  • Dragon speech recognition
  • CCTV magnifier
  • Microtek scanner
  • TextHELP Read & Write can be installed on students' personal devices. Please check out the instructions.
  • Sennheiser listening devices
  • Otter notetaking, live transcription/captioning, and dictation app

These applications are available in dedicated study areas on campus.

For assistance and demonstrations, please contact samuel.maddi@canterbury.ac.nz.

 

Take charge and boost your studies with TextHelp Read&Write

Are you struggling with reading, understanding and remembering your course material? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to balance your studies, completing assignments, preparing for exams and recording references for research projects?

If you need support with your reading, writing and research, you can sign up for TextHelp Read & Write. This support software is free for all UC students to use, and can help you to personalise your learning and get back on track with your studies. It can help you to:

  • Hear words, passages or whole documents read out loud with easy-to-follow dual colour highlighting
  • Check grammar, spelling and pronunciation
  • Use dictionaries to help with definitions of difficult words
  • Highlight and collect text in documents or the web and auto-create bibliographies
  • Convert selected text into an audio file
  • Convert speech into text
  • Remove ads from webpages that can be distracting
  • Build a vocabulary list

Click here to preview TextHelp

To access this software from home - install it on your PC, Mac or any other personal device - by simply following these steps:

  • Make sure you are online
  • Search in Browser or Click:TextHelp for Education
  • Scroll down and Click Try Read&Write
  • Choose the platform you want (Ex. windows, Mac etc)
  • Follow prompts
  • Click on Accept and Install (may take a few minutes)
  • When asked, choose Sign in with Microsoft
  • Log in using your UC email 

For more information, go to TextHelp Video Tours

TextHelp Read&Write training guide

For this and other learning support programs visit Assistive Technology where you will find guides and useful information. For assistance write to Alternative Format Centre.

There are three dedicated study areas with specialist technology for students with disabilities.

‌‌Students are welcome to join and follow an online technology forum.
You can learn about learning support tools that can help in improving your grades and maximising your academic performance. 
Please email if you would like to join.

Equity & Disability Service Study Areas

The Blue Room (book online)

Blue Room

The Blue Room (037A) is located in the basement of the Erskine building. There is a computer loaded with JAWS screen reader, MAGic text enlarger, OpenBook, Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition and Read & Write TextHelp software.

The Green Room (book online)

The Green Room (034A) is located in the basement of the Erskine building. There is a computer loaded with JAWS screen reader, MAGic text enlarger, OpenBook, Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition, Read & Write TextHelp and ZoomText software. A Mac computer is also available.

The Alcove

Alcove area

The Alcove is located on Level 2 of the Puaka-James Hight building and students with disabilities have priority use at all times. There are two computers and a SmartView CCTV magnifier in the Alcove. The assistive technology on these computers includes JAWS screen reader, MAGic text enlarger, OpenBook, Read & Write TextHelp, MathType and Inspiration software.

Otter for Education

How to record with Audacity (cross-platform)

Recording Voice Memos on your Mac

Voice Typing in Google Docs

Dictation in Microsoft 365 Word

Text to Speech option in Microsoft Word 2016

Research your paper in Microsoft 365 Word

TextHelp Learning Support available Uni-wide for all enrolled students

Luke Alderton: Dragon user

Matthew Haven: ZoomText user

Sean Edwards: JAWS & NVDA user

The Three Main Types of Assistive Technology

Dragon Speech Recognition or Dictation Technology

 

Sonocent audio notetaker for Windows & Mac

Read & Write for Google Chrome

Read&Write for Google Chrome provides support tools for the web and common file types accessed through Google Drive, including: Google Docs, Google Slides, PDF & ePubs.

Text-to-speech and Voice Dictation Technology: Uni student experience

Screen Reader Technology: Uni Student Experience

BrailleNote demonstration

Equipment available for loan

  • Digital Voice Recorders
  • Sennheiser hearing devices and live-captioning support
  • Ergonomic accessories

Useful information for students

UC IT Help is Available

Microsoft's Disability Answer Desk

Google Drive to create, edit, share information & collaborate in real-time

Other ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES: View Other technology supports (630Kb, 3 pages); Download In WORD ( 133kb, 4 pages) 

they include‌

  • Tools to match your learning style and improve your study skills with software that is available on campus and a few other good ones that can be easily acquired at little or no cost.
  • Software for reading, writing, hands-free word processing, research, visual thinking, organising and managing information.
  • Apps for mobile devices: reading, notetaking and dictation.

Free, Freemium & Open Source Applications you can download and use.

Quick start guides

Links to some free & online resources

Text-to-Speech & Speech-to-Text Software

  • MS Word text to speech button gives instant reading access.
  • Immersive Reader is a Text-to-Speech tool in Microsoft 365.
  • Dictation tool is a Speech-to-Text tool in Mocrosoft 365.
  • Natural Reader is a Text-to-Speech software with natural sounding voices. 
  • WordTalk is a free Text-to-Speech plugin for Microsoft Word. It reads and highlights the text at the same time.
  • NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) is a free screen reader.
  • Balbolka is a free Text-to-Speech application. It reads and converts text to audio format. It can be used from off a USB stick.
  • Read & Write with confidence. Available for Windows, Mac, Google and Tablets

Grammar and Spell-Check Software

  • Ginger helps you correct your grammar and check your spelling while typing.
  • Grammarly reduces time-consuming revision by providing instant proofreading and editing support. Apps & extensions are available.

Word-Prediction Software

  • Lightkey  predicts and completes words as you type the first two-three letters of the word. It gets better with usage.

Screen Area Magnifiers

  • Dragnifier is a magnifying lens that comes up on the screen with one click on the keyboard.
  • Lens is a handy tool for magnifying parts of the screen.

Mind Mapping Software

These are basic concept mapping applications that can help you to capture your initial ideas and thoughts which can later be reorganised to communicate information or produce a quality piece of writing.

Multiple Tool Suites

  • MyStudyBar is a free, compact and convenient package of a combination of assistive technology tools that can even be used from a USB stick on any computer that has a Windows operating system.
  • G Suite for Higher Education is a free, cloud-based collection of apps including Google Drive, Gmail, GDocs, GSheets, GSlides etc. They can be accessed from anywhere, on any device, for real-time sharing and collaboration of information.

Daisy Player

  • AMIS Reader is an open source DAISY book player. DAISY books are synchronised text/audio multimedia books.

 

Disclaimer

The software applications mentioned above are free of cost and offer no warranty. Disability Resource Service provides this list as only a guide to open source software and does not accept liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of this information.