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Assistive technology

Assistive Technology

All open access computers on campus have specialist software to support those with dyslexia or a visual impairment. On all computers on campus you can find:

  • Mind-Mapping Software: XMind
  • Text to Speech Software: Read&Write and Zoomtext on all open access computers and JAWS on specified computers.
  • Magnification and Screenreading Software: Zoomtext on open access computers and JAWS on specified machines.

Many of the lecture halls and reception areas have 'T' switch hearing loops, where you can hear the voice of the speaker directly through a hearing aid.  In our halls of residence, there are a small number of accessible rooms on campus with facilities such as automatic doors, low level drawers, hoists and deaf alerter systems.

Assistive Technology Centre

The Assistive Technology Centre (ATC) provides a quiet working area for disabled students with equipment for you to use. In the ATC, there are networked PCs, printing, photocopying and scanning facilities and private study rooms.

The Assistive Technology Centre is open Monday to Friday 09:30 to 4:00.

The Assistive Technology Centre has a swipe access, meaning that only students known to Student Wellbeing can access the facility.  If you have any trouble accessing the ATC, please let Student Wellbeing know. 

The centre also has a wide range of assistive technology for you to use including:

  • Mind-Mindmapping Software: MindView and XMind
  • Text-to-Speech Software: Read&Write, Zoomtext and JAWS
  • Book Scanners: Opticbook 3800 scanners (these scanners scan quickly and effectively into the spine of the book, which can then be converted to Word or PDF).
  • Scanning to Text (OCR) Software: Read&Write and Abbyy FineReader.
  • Spellchecking and Proofreading Software: WhiteSmoke, Global Autocorrect and Read&Write
  • Voice Recognition Software: Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Mice and Ergonomic Keyboards: A reange of ergonomic keyboards and mice.
  • CCTV Magnifiers: Desktop and portable CCTV magnifiers.
  • Adjustable Height Tables: Automatic adjustable height tables with electric motors.
  • Ergonomic Chairs: A range of adjustable ergonomic chairs.

Loan equipment

The Student Wellbeing, Disability and Dyslexia Team, has a range of equipment for disabled students to borrow. This enables you to try equipment before being assessed for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA), access equipment whilst waiting for DSA funding, or borrow equipment if you are not eligible for DSA.

The equipment available includes:

  • Voice Recorders:  High quality Olympus recorders which can record lectures even if the speaker is some distance away.
  • Zoomtext:  Zoomtext software is available to loan for use on personal machines.
  • Portable Assistive Listening Devices: System for those with hearing impairment.  The lecturer's voice will be transmitted into a receiver, which can then be listened to on headphones or through a hearing aid.  This can be used to connect computer audio to hearing aids too, for online lectures.
  • Back Supports: Portable supports to provide extra comfort on for those with back pain.
  • Portable CCTVs:  These hand held devices magnify text placed underneath them.
  • Laptops: A small number of laptops with assistive technology, including Dragon software, are available for students to loan.
  • Recording Software: Software to record online lectures.

Training and Support

Help and assistance is available if you wish to learn how to get the most out of the mainstream and assistive technology available. This is provided in the following ways:

Online resources: a wide range of resources are available online via the Disability and Dyslexia Team Blackboard pages, including software tutorials and details of free assistive software and apps.

One-to-one appointments: for more in depth support, appointments can be booked with the ATC adviser via Student Wellbeing, either by emailing wellbeing@brunel.ac.uk or calling 01895267045.