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Disability Services

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is considered to be any item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capacities for persons with disabilities. At Disability Services office, students have access to a variety of resources. There are also various sites on campus where assistive technology is available: e.g. Learning Commons - GM 206

Previously, where a student may have needed to rely on readers and/or a scribe for writing, the use of assistive technology can now help with many functions including reading text aloud (Kurzweil), print enlargers and screen readers which will vocalize text (voice output). Students may also want to provide voice input in order to write (Dragon Naturally Speaking).

Assistive Technology

The following is a list of some of the items available in the Disability Services office. Some items, such as the Smartpen, may be loaned to enrolled students on a semester to semester basis based on availability. This is not an exhaustive list. If you are interested in an item which is not listed, please contact us at 734-973-3342, or stop by LA 104.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
A CCTV is a tabletop camera lens which enlarges print or objects on a screen monitor.

Comtek Assistive Listening Device
Comtek is a wireless microphone transmitter providing auditory assistance for students with hearing impairments. The speaker wears a transmitter with mini microphone and the listener wears a personal transmitter with ear phones.

Dragon Naturally Speaking
The speech recognition software allows full hands free typing operations of a Windows based PC. The user speaks into the microphone using computer commands and text is typed, normally produced with a keyboard and mouse. There is a training period for the software to “recognize” the voice of the user.

JAWS for Windows
With synthesized speech, JAWS reads the information on the computer screen. The user navigates through the computer screen using key commands.

Kurzweil (1000 and 3000)
Kurzweil 3000 is a reader/scanner software with optical character recognition which allows the computer to read scanned materials with a visual output. The program contains many features including a dictionary, synonyms, syllables and spell check.

Options include voices, highlighting, reading speed and magnification. Documents can be accessed from external devices for screen reading capability or new documents may be created. It can also read web content. A writing assistance program is helpful for organizing ideas, creating outlines, drafts and the final document. Similar to the Kurzweil 3000, Kurzweil 1000 provides accessibility to persons who are blind and visually impaired.

MAC OS X Accessibility

  • Screen Magnification
  • Text to Speech
  • VoiceOver
  • Additional Accessibility Features

Microsoft Accessibility

  • Narrator
  • Magnifier
  • On Screen Keyboard
  • Additional Accessibility Features

Note to Instructors: Proctored testing is still required in Disability Services for extended time, use of a scribe and/or reader or when using Assistive Technology.

Natural Reader
Natural Reader is a text to speech software program containing natural sounding voices with speed control. Text can be transformed into MP3 audio format for downloading to a portable device. A floating toolbar feature reads selected text without copying and pasting.

Livescribe Smartpen
The Livescribe Smartpen records what you write, draw and hear. The pen requires Livescribe paper available in a variety of formats. An infrared camera tracks what is written or drawn and the built-in microphone records audio. Using the USB connector, the pen transfers the written notes and audio to the free downloadable Livescribe Desktop software.

ZoomText Magnifier and Screen Reader
ZoomText provides screen magnification up to 36X. Enhancement features allow the user to change the color scheme, enlarge or change cursor symbol and pointer and choose a focus enhancement for selecting a highlighting tool. Finder tools locate information on the screen quickly. The screen reader reads text on the computer screen. The user may choose from four different reading formats that best suits their needs and adjust reading speed.

Other Resources

  • Computer Labs
    WCC has computer labs on campus where you can do research and get your work done.
  • Study & Learning Assistance
    WCC offers a variety of resources to help students with their studies.
  • Study Areas
    WCC provides a variety of study spots for students.
  • WCC Bookstore
    If you need paper, pens or other supplies, WCC's Bookstore has many school necessities in stock.

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