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AccessAbility Services Division of Student Affairs

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Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology refers to equipment or software that can diminish or eliminate barriers and maximize productivity and independence for people with disabilities. There is a vast range of technology designed to suit the needs of people with different disabilities. These may include:

Text to speech support
  • Natural Reader

Screen magnification
  • ZoomText and Coloured Closed Circuit Television Reader (CCTV)

  • Computer Centre, Library

Task lighting [lamps]

Hearing System
  • FM System (available for loan from AccessAbility Services)

Text Telephone
  • TTY or teletypewriter (available for use when communicating with AccessAbility Services)

Optical Character Reader (OCR) software
  • Kurzweil 3000 and other OCR software.

Screen Reader/Writing Assistance Program
  • textHelp, Kurzweil 3000, WordQ

Voice Recognition
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking

Brainstorming, Concept Mapping, Organize Thinking Software
  • Inspiration

Portable note taking device/writing tool
  • Digital recorders, Livescribe recording pen

Ergonomic Furniture
  • Electric height adjustable work station
  • Manual height adjustable work station (in Computer Centre, Library, Writing Centre, Resource Centre - Career Centre, in some lecture halls)
  • Adjustable height chairs (in AccessAbility Services Resource Lab, Computer Centre, Library, Writing Centre, Resource Centre - Career Centre, chair available for lecture hall on request)
  • Documents stands
  • Other features found include adjustable keyboard tray, monitor risers (in Library and Computer Centre); wrist rests, mouse rests, footrests, lap desks, slant board [tilt writing surface], task lighting [lamps], forearm supports [available upon request], back rests and lumbar rolls [available upon request].

Mouse adaptations
  • Touch screens, Trackballs


Funding may be available to help students purchase the needed technology and receive training on specific software.

Funding sources include:

  • OSAP Bursary for students with a Disability
  • Canada Student Loan
  • Assistive Devices Program
  • Employability Assistance for Persons with a Disability

Other sources may be available to students. For more information on funding go to Financial Assistance and/or speak to the Disability Advisors.

Resources used for development of this information:

2001 Fossey, M.E., Fichten, C.S., Barile, M., Asuncion, J.V. Computer technologies for postsecondary students with disabilities. ISBN 2-9803316-6-X. Montréal: Adaptech Project, Dawson College.

Assistive Devices Program

Canadian Hearing Society - Technical Devices

Canadian National Institute for the Blind - Technical Aids


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