Assistive Technology

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities (Assistive Technology Act of 1999).

Choosing the right assistive technology can be challenging. To help students determine which tools will best meet their academic needs, the Learning Assistance Program offers a variety of text-to-speech, speech-to-text, screen reader, note-taking, and magnification solutions as well as iPads equipped with many educational apps.

How do I learning more about AT?

Make an appointment to meet with the Learning Assistant Program’s (LAP) High Technology Instructor at the LAP Office or by calling 805-922-6966 ext. 3274.

What AT available on campus?

The following assistive technology is available or can be made available on request in the Learning Assistance Program (LAP) Testing and Adaptive Technology Computer Labs and most mainstream computer labs:

  • Kurzweil 3000 (text-to-speech software)
  • Balabolka (free download text-to-speech)
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking (speech recognition software)
  • Windows Speech
  • JAWS (screen-reading software)
  • NVDA (free screen-reading software)
  • VoiceOver (screen-reader for Apple products)
  • Kurzweil 1000 (text-to-speech software)
  • CARS (text-to-speech for math)
  • ZoomText (screen-magnifying software)
  • CCTV or Video magnifier with Speech (print enlarger)
  • Electric height and/or crank adjustable workstations

What equipment is available for Loan?

A limited inventory of the following equipment is available on a first-come first-served basis for loan to eligible students:

  • Livescribe Pens (note-taking)
  • iPods (primarily for recording lectures)
  • iPads (Text-to-speech, voice recognition, time management, note-taking, etc.)
  • Laptops and Surface Pros (Text-to-speech, voice recognition, note-taking, papers, etc.)
  • Assistive Listening Devices (amplifier)

 Assistive and Academic Software, Apps and Devices for College Students

The following is a list of software, apps and devices that can help students improve their reading, writing, math, time-management, note-taking, test-taking and study skills in general. The list is broken down by device and/or operating system.



  • Video Magnifier with Speech


  • Firefly iPad
  • Voice Dream
  • Learning Ally
  • Read2Go
  • TextGrabber
  • Built-in Speak Selection
  • Built-in Speak Screen


  • Kurzweil 3000
  • Kurzweil 1000
  • JAWS
  • NVDA
  • Balabolka
  • Microsoft Word Speak
  • Google Chrome Select and Speak
  • Google Docs


  • Kurzweil 3000 Web Access
  • Built-in Text-to-Speech
  • Google Chrome Select and Speak
  • VoiceOver



  • LiveScribe Pens
  • IPads for taking pictures of white board in classroom
  • Digital Recorders
  • iPods with ClearRecord


  • ClearRecord, Recorder or RecorderHQ (record audio only)
  • AudioNote and Notability (take notes linked to recorded audio)
  • Pentulmate or NoteTaker HD (handwriting app)
  • Evernote
  • OneNote

 Windows and Macintosh

  • AudioNote
  • OneNote
  • EverNote

 Writing and Speech to Text

  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking
  • Google Docs Speech
  • Windows Speech

Writing and Proof-Reading

  • Grammarly
  • Ginger Soft

Organizing Thoughts

  • Inspiration
  • Kurzweil 3000

Math and Science

  • Central Access Reader
  • Mathtype
  • MathTalk and Dragon
  • Math Daisy
  • Scientific Notebook
  • Audio Graphing Calculator


  • Duolingo

General Study and Time Management


  • Google Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Google Tasks
  • Quizlet
  • myHomework


  • Epic Win

Other Useful Resources

Colorado State University’s Assistive Technology Quick Start Guide

Cal Poly’s Getting Good Grades with Gadgets

Educational Apps for Students--University of New Hampshire

Free or Low-Cost Assistive Technology For Everyone--Augsberg College


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Logan Brown

Logan Brown
Mechanical Engineering Student

"Pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at a four-year university is only possible for me because of the STEM Center. From counseling to tutoring to friendships, I can navigate through the course load with a solid grade point average and confidence I can pursue my dream."

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Last Modified Jun 30, 2017