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Assistive software

We have a wide range of assistive software available to support your study. Furthermore, productivity tools provide a filterable list of free apps and software which can boost and aid productivity.

  • Software is available either on assistive Library computers, managed computers via the software center, IT Services or available for home use. Software that can be accessed from home is marked with the home icon
  • Microsoft and Apple software have many inbuilt accessibility and study support tools such as dictation, screen reading and screen personalisation. Further guidance is available at Microsoft Accessibility and Apple Accessibility
  • In addition to this, AbilityNet provide an online service ‘My Computer My Way’ which guides you to personalise your computer using the inbuilt accessibility options. There is also a bank of further resources including fact sheets and webinars which may be useful
  • For those who use software within the Library and are unable to now access due to remote working or wish to find out more about assistive software options from home, please find the guidance below:

Step 1

Search for the ‘Software Center’ in the start bar.

Step 2

In the Software Center drop down menu labelled ‘Filter’ select ‘Assistive Software’ or type ‘Assistive’ in the search bar.

Alternatively use the search box to find a specific program by name.

Step 3

Double-click the software icon you wish to install.

Step 4

Select ‘Install’. This may take several minutes.

Step 5

To use the software, type the name into the start bar.

Step 6

Double-click the icon to begin using the software.

Reading and writing software

  • Text to speech functions read aloud digital text
  • Built in literacy tools supporting your study
  • Scanning features to create digital and audio copies
  • Personalise the screen using colour and contrast


  • Upload audio recordings and listen back to create notes at your own pace
  • Use colour highlights to organise and coordinate
  • Link your online notes to your lecture slides

Scanning software

  • Convert printed documents to accessible digital text (such as Word, pdf or EPUB)
  • Create accessible text from locked or inaccessible digital text (such as locked pdfs or text in image files.)

Mind mapping

  • Explore and break down essay titles and projects
  • Outline your work visually and export to Word/PowerPoint
  • Create and organise your notes in a non-linear style
  • Explore subject themes and ideas, building relationships between subtopics and concepts
  • Project planning and time management tool

Dictation / Voice recognition

  • Use your voice to create text
  • Create documents faster than typing
  • Offers an alternative to using a keyboard
  • Alleviates stresses associated with spelling

Screen personalisation

  • Apply personalised coloured screen filters
  • Change colour contrast on screen
  • Alter font appearance and size
Software Availability User guide links
home icon
All University owned & networked computers and personally owned computers Help guides

University computers

AT barAll University computers and personally owned computers, as free downloadInstructions
OpenDyslexicAll University computers and personally owned computers, as free downloadFAQs

Read&Write and ClaroRead also have screen personalisation features. Please see ‘Reading & Writing Software > Further Guidance’ above for availability and support.

Screen reader/ magnification

  • Software allowing text and computer functions to be read aloud to you
  • Magnification of screen and features such as mouse pointer
  • Change colour contrasts on screen
Software Availability User guide links
ZoomTextAssistive Technology area and Accessible Study Rooms

User guide


JAWSAssistive Technology area and Accessible Study Rooms

Training resources


home icon
All University computers and personally owned computers, as free downloadUser guide

Rest break software

  • Supports recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Alerts you to take micro pauses and rest breaks
  • Restricts you to your daily computer limit

Please feedback any comments you have about our existing service for students with disabilities or learning differences. We are always interested to hear about equipment, assistive-software or services that may assist you with accessing the Library and its resources.