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Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is any item that can increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Those needing assistive technology can include people with visual or physical impairments (including carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive stress injuries) or learning disabilities.

Both the Office of Accessibility Resources & Services (OARS) and Information Technology Services (ITS) provide access to assistive technology. For information on other assistive technology resources, please contact ODS.

Assistive Technology Offered by ITS

ITS provides access to several pieces of software designed to enhance accessibility in the ITS open access computer labs, where the Accessibility Options in Windows 7 have also been enabled.

Accessible Software

  • ZoomText
    ZoomText is a screen magnifier and reader program that can be accessed from any computer on campus. The ITS computer labs provide a desktop shortcut and keyboard short cut for ZoomText. Student consultants can assist users in accessing the program.
  • JAWS
    JAWS is a screen reader program which converts written text on the screen to speech.
  • Kurzweil
    Kurzweil is both a screen reader program and a "scan and read" program. It will read electronic documents and will also, when connected to a scanner, allow users to scan in documents which it then converts to speech. It can be found in the Assistive Technology area of the SuperLab.
  • Read&Write
    Read&Write is a discreet, customizable toolbar that integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with common applications.  It is available to faculty, staff, and students in the UNCG Online Software Store, through a license purchased by the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS).  Read&Write is not only designed as an assistive technology application but also provides valuable tools for online research and language learners.

Assistive Technology Resources

  • Microsoft Accessibility Help
    This page contains links to various documents concerning Microsoft program accessibility features, including Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer.
  • Firefox (Mozilla) Accessibility Support
    Information on how to access Firefox accessibility functionality.
  • Apple's Accessibility Home Page
    This is the place to start for information about obtaining and configuring Apple products. It also provides links to other vendors' accessibility product.
  • The Adaptech Project
    The Adaptech Project conducts research on the use of computer, information and adaptive technologies by Canadian college, and University students with disabilities.
  • The Assistive Technology Centre.
    “The purpose of the Assistive Technology Centre is to promote education in the area of technology solutions for citizens with a disability and or health challenge. The potential application of assistive technology (AT) is greatly enhanced through a strong foundation of knowledge coupled with creativity and problem-solving strategies. Resources are provided to foster knowledge and empowerment, imagination and creativity.”
  • Center for Accessible Technology
    "Our purpose is to provide information and services supporting technology use that respects individual differences, encourages each person's right to make informed choices and builds the community's capacity to support the assistive technology user."
  • AccessIT
    AccessIT promotes the use of electronic and information technology (E&IT) for students and employees with disabilities in educational institutions at all academic levels. This Web site features the AccessIT Knowledge Base, a searchable database of questions and answers regarding accessible E&IT. It is designed for educators, policy makers, librarians, technical support staff, and students and employees with disabilities and their advocates.
  • The High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community Colleges
    Information about various types of assistive technology and links to other sites. “The High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community Colleges is a state of the art training and support facility for community college faculty and staff wishing to acquire or improve teaching skills, methodologies, and pedagogy in Assistive Computer Technology, Alternate Media and Web Accessibility.”
  • The N.C. Assistive Technology Project
    "The N.C. Assistive Technology Project is creating a statewide system to coordinate assistive technology services."
  • The National Assistive Technology in Education Network
    “NATE -- the National Assistive Technology in Education Network -- brings together information from the many fields and disciplines that are involved in assistive technology services in educational settings. We provide that information in a cohesive, integrated manner, so that people from all disciplines can access it.”
  • Section 508 Information
    "The purpose of this part is to implement section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency."

A Commitment to Equal Access to Computing Facilities

Information Technology Services is committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of disability status, have equal access to computing resources at UNCG. If you have particular needs regarding computing facilities that you would like to discuss, please call 6-TECH at 336-256-TECH (8324).