The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) offers various forms of assistive technology to students who receive academic accommodations. One of the most frequently used accommodations, alternate book formatting, allows an eligible student to receive the information from his or her textbooks and other course materials in formats outside of the basic 8 ½” x 11” page. Other course materials include in-class materials such as handouts and articles, syllabi, and exams.
Any student or employee at the University of Delaware who thinks they may benefit from Assistive Technology is encouraged to contact the DSS Office at (302) 831-4643 or DSSoffice@udel.edu to discuss eligibility. One on one or group training sessions on Assistive Technology can be set-up with a DSS Professional upon request.
Policies and Procedures for receiving Alternate Format Books can be found on the forms and processes section of the DSS office webpage .
Assistive Technology includes:
Digital recordings in mp3 format of textbook chapters, or other in-class materials are uploaded to the individuals’ Sakai site for DSS. These files can be played on any mp3 player, computer or burnt to an audio CD. The speed and sound of the recordings can be adjusted to individual student preferences.
Enlarged copies of textbooks and other course materials may be provided to students with visual impairments by the DSS Office upon request. The DSS Office is also available to work with professors to provide students with enlarged copies of exams or quizzes.
Plain-text files of book chapters or other course materials with the pictures, charts, and graphs edited out can be sent to students using the Sakai project for DSS. Word files or E-text are used by blind or visually impaired students with screen reading programs such as JAWS.
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing print-access to individuals with visual impairments and learning disabilities. The company offers human voice recordings of entire textbooks on Daisy format CDs, playable on any RFB&D book player. The CDs allow the user to skip by page, chapter or heading within the text. If available, the DSS Office can provide students with textbooks in RFB&D format and arrange free rental of the RFB&D book player. Students and faculty interested in this audio format are encouraged to contact the DSS Office to arrange a demonstration.
Kurzweil 3000 is a computer software program available to students in the Morris Library Assistive Technology Center (ATC) and via a limited site license on personal computers through a link to the Kurzweil website. Individuals need to download the software from UDeploy to their personal computer. Students activate the license for each use by logging onto the Kurzweil Website. Students who would like to use Kurzweil in a lab location on campus, can request the software to be added to computers in those locations. Requests must be made directly to DSS. Kurzweil 3000 allows students to see scanned text while listening to the text being read, making notes, highlighting, creating study guides, and reading the web on the interactive computer program. Using Kurzweil 3000, students will need to have textbooks, course materials and PDF files converted to KESI files through the DSS Office or students can convert any materials by using the stations in the Assistive Technology Center in the library. PDF’s that are available on the library website can be immediately converted to the Kesi file by downloading the PDF to the Kurzweil software in the ATC. Students should save their Kesi files onto a flash drive or to their Sakai site through DSS. Kesi files created by DSS will be uploaded to the individuals Sakai site for DSS.
Kurzweil 1000 is a computer program available to students in the Assistive Technology Center (ATC) and is designed for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The software speaks text aloud in a variety of natural-sounding voices that can be modified to suit individual preferences. In addition, it provides users with document creation and editing as well as study skills capabilities for note taking, summarizing and outlining text. Using Kurzweil 1000, students will need to have textbooks, course materials and PDF files converted to KESI files through the DSS Office.
Text Help is a program similar to Kurzweil 3000 which allows students to see text on a computer screen while listening to the text being read aloud, offering study skills functions. An added benefit to text help is it reads directly from any PDF file and is available to all members of the University computer through UDeploy. In addition to receiving PDF files of text books from the DSS Office you will be able to access any other PDF files such as library articles and articles received via e-mail or internet.
Zoom-Text is a screen magnification software program available to students in the Assistive Technology Center (ATC) and for use on exams in the Disability Support Services Office. Using Zoom-Text, individuals with visual impairments are able to adjust the magnification of their computer screen to view any computer program, even the internet. Zoom-Text also acts as a screen reader with text-to-speech technology, can adjust font intensity and screen color contrast, and features different types of visible pointers and cursors.
Request a free 60 day trial download of Zoom-Text
Zoom-Twix is a free-standing digital camera available for use by students in the Disability Support Services Office, and can also be loaned out for class-room print access. This technology works with Zoom-Text, a screen magnification software program, to take pictures of textbook pages, blackboards, PowerPoint screens, and projects. The technology will then convert any printed text into multiple accessible formats like speech, large print, sound or text file, etc. in seconds. Zoom-Twix is a mobile station that easily folds-up for transport and storage and can be carried in a backpack.
ClearView+ is an auto-focus desktop video magnification system available to students in the Assistive Technology Center (ATC). It works similarly to a CCTV and has potential uses for reading, writing, viewing photos, doing hobbies, crafts, etc. A simple operation provides magnification of texts and objects in different colors with adjustable brightness and contrast. It is of particular help for students with visual impairments who need access to text.
J.A.W.S. is a screen reader software program available to students in the Assistive Technology Center (ATC). This program makes personal computers accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired by using text-to-speech technology. J.A.W.S. also incorporates modified keyboard functions to allow students access to programs not generally accessible through standard Windows controls.