Assistive Technology (AT) is a range of tools that may benefit your learning. This includes, for example, software that helps with spelling and grammar, tools to help with organisation and apps for recording.
Many digital tools are available to all students in UCD, through UCD Connect, and there are many assistive technology supports available free of charge to all students from different sources. The AHEAD AT HIVE is a brilliant resource to explore if you are interested in learning more about assistive technology for Note Taking, Reading, Writing, Organising and many other key areas of academic life.
Why Accessibility is Important for Students and Staff who use Assistive Technology
Examples of helpful Assistive Technologies
Grammarly is an easy to use advanced spelling and grammar checker. It detects grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. It can give feedback on word choice and writing style mistakes in your writing. A free version is available on the Grammarly Website.
- Google Speech Recognition.
Google Docs is available to all UCD Students as part of the G Suite. Google docs contains a free dictation tool, allowing users to create a document using their microphone when using Google Docs on a Chrome Browser. It allows users to create documents in Google Docs by using their microphone. Simply speak, and Google Docs types the words you speak. For a free tool, this application is very good at what it does. However, with all these tools, there may be some limitations. Very strong accents may not be detected accurately, and the tool uses Google Translate, with an internet connection to understand words. Response times will depend on your own internet connection.
For more information, and how to install the application, please click here.
- Immersive Reader
Immersive Reader is a reading support tool that is a part of Office 365. It can read text aloud and increase the readability of written text. You can increase the spacing between words which can make the information easier to read. There is also the option to add a line focus tool allowing the reader to focus on a sentence without the distraction of other sentences. A guide to Immersive Reader can be found here.
Mind42 is a web-based mind mapping tool that supports brainstorming, collaboration and organizing ideas. Its features include collapsible branches that allow for focus, and the ability to export your mind map into a structured document.
Cogi is a free voice recording app that is available for both Android and Apple iOS. Its intuitive interface allows you to bookmark important information in meetings or lectures that you can listen back to later.
- Texthelp Read & Write Gold
Texthelp Read and Write is developed for users with literacy issues, and has been designed with dyslexia in mind. It is available in the Software Downloads section of UCD Connect. It consists of a suite of tools that can assist customers in reading text and creating documents. It operates as a floating toolbar and works seamlessly within Windows applications, such as Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer.
The most commonly used feature in Texthelp is the Read Out Loud Tool, which is used to read text and can be used to proofread content. Other tools included are a spellchecker, dictionary, a tool to convert notes into MP3, colour screening and predictive text.
UCD Access & Lifelong Learning has an Assistive Technology Specialist who can provide technology and training to students who avail of disability support. Usually, recommendations will be made for AT when you attend your Needs Assessment. If you are avail of Disability Support and would like to look at AT options, please email us to make an appointment with the AT Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org