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Assistive Technologies

RNIB BookshareRNIB BookshareWhat is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology is a broad field, ranging from the use of very simple technology - your mobile phone or use of e-mail to the very complex - use of voice recognition software or technology that will read information from your computer screen.

University Networked Assistive Technology 
 Built-in Accessibility and Free Assistive Software

Both operating systems and standard software packages now offer an increased number of accessibility options.

Sometimes, quite simple adjustments can make a valuable difference. For example, you can increase font size, contrast and change colours or you may choose to use text to speak function and visual alerts.

Built-in Accessibility
Free (or nearly free) Apps
RNIB Bookshare for electronic reading materials

This service can be used by students with specific disabilities and learning differences to access electronic texts needed for their course.


In the Library you can access assistive technology packages such as Kurzweil 1000, Jaws, ClaroRead, Dragon Naturally Speaking and Read&Write on particular machines. The Library also has magnifying equipment, hearing loops, digital recorders and other equipment for use in the Library. For further information please see the Library's Assistive Technology webpages. 

IT Services Training

IT Services runs training sessions throughout the year that students can sign up for. ITS also hold one to one training and online training is available.

Hearing Loops

The University has a number of induction loop systems installed in lecture theatres, although you may wish to consider having your own radio aid through the Disabled Student Allowances.

The Library has a number of different style portable loops available for use in the Library. The Library helpdesk is fitted with a hearing loop.

If you are considering staying on campus in the Halls of Residence you will be allocated in a room with a flashing light and vibro pillow fire alerter.

Assistive Technology and Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs)

Assistive technology software and hardware (such as voice recorder) are often recommended by needs assessors when preparing reports for submission to Student Finance England if you apply for DSA. You may be awarded DSA funding to pay for assistive technology and training. This is assessed on an individual basis.

Digital Recorders

Students can use digital recorders to record lectures as a reasonable adjustment on disability grounds. Disability Services have a small number of digital recorders which may be borrowed on a short term basis.