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Assistive Technology Lab

Assistive Technology Lab

The Learning Center’s Technology Lab offers several software and hardware tools to assist students with their coursework. Software programs are available to help students with reading, writing, and organizing information. Students assistants are available in the Technology Lab to demonstrate how the programs work and instruct new users.

Regular Semester Hours

  • Hours by appointment only

Software to Assist with Reading

Kurzweil 3000 is a state of the art text-to-voice software program. Kurzweil 3000 converts written text into a synthesized speech. This software is especially helpful for students who are dyslexic, for students who are visually impaired, and for students who are slow readers. Kurzweil 3000 helps students increase reading speed and comprehension. It uses a multisensory approach that allows students to both hear and see the text as they read. Kurzweil 3000 also offers writing tools that allow students to brainstorm topics, see a mind map and outline view of topics and subtopics, and type text and hear the text as they type it. The program is user-friendly and requires very little training time. Students may choose from a variety of voices and may adjust reading rate, font size, and the color as well as the amount of text highlighted. A student may have the Kurzweil 3000 software installed on his or her laptop to use for the duration of the time as a student at WVWC. *See the Assistive Technology Coordinator for this.

Zoomtext is a magnification program (2X to 16X) and screen reader for everything the computer can access including email, web pages, and software. This program is most helpful for students who are visually impaired.

Software to Assist with Writing

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a voice-to-text software program. Students speak what they want typed into a microphone, and the software converts the speech into written text. It requires a student establish a voice recognition file through continuous training. Student assistants are available to help students establish an individual voice recognition file. The Dragon software is very helpful to students who have a difficult time expressing their thoughts on paper, for students who have difficulty with spelling, and for students who have difficulty with the physical act of writing. This program is most useful for students whose oral language skills are stronger than their written language skills.

Inspiration is a software program that offers a tool for developing ideas and organizing thoughts. The program integrates visual mapping and outlining to assist in comprehension of concepts and information. This is helpful to visual learners who need to use mind maps to organize information for writing papers.

Software to Assist with Math, Statistics, and Science

EquatIO is a Google extension for the Chrome web browser that allows the student to type, handwrite, or dictate equations and formulas directly onto a computer, laptop, or notebook device. This makes math much simpler, especially as students are learning new math skills.

InspireData is a software program that assists students working with math and statistics. The program helps students learn how to find answers to research questions and understand the relationship between variables. It also teaches students which type of graph is appropriate for specific variables.

A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy Online is a program accessed online that offers a layer-by-layer dissection view of the human body from multiple angles. It also includes images of detailed structures, clinical illustrations, and 3-D models of structures.

Software to Assist with Studying

Audio Notetaker enables students with dyslexia and other diagnoses which impact learning to take effective notes independently by working with recordings of their classes alongside text summaries, slides, images, and reference material. Students can either record lectures directly with their laptops’ microphone or import audio from a portable device (digital recorder or smartphone). Audio Notetaker displays each phrase as a colored bar/chunk that students can annotate with color coding and/or type notes. Students can import PowerPoint slides, PDF documents, etc. to include with lecture recordings, in addition to linking to other documents. This program allows students to export these study materials into mp3 recordings to review on the go, as well as Word documents and PowerPoints to be used for study guides or projects. A student may have this software installed on his or her laptop to use for the duration of the time as a student at WVWC. *See the Assistive Technology Coordinator for this.

Echo Pen from livescribe is a smartpen that students can use to record lectures. The pen is an actual ink pen that is used with livescribe’s lined dot paper to take notes. To play back the recording of the lecture, students simply tap on the note paper. Notes and audio can also be transferred to a computer by USB cable. The Learning Center has one Echo Pen to demonstrate the use of smartpens.

Digital recorders are available for loan if a student needs to record a lecture or for other class project use and does not have his/her own smartphone for recordings.

Hardware to Assist with Spelling & Reading

Franklin® Computers: Hardware that helps students who have difficulty with spelling, including homonyms. These hand-held devices give definitions of the word so the student can find the correct word that they are looking for, and some have a speaking function.

Readingpen Advanced Edition™: Portable reading tool that displays and speaks dictionary definitions of words that are scanned on printed text. It also displays syllables and spells words out loud.

Procedures and Policies of the Assistive Technology Lab

Students entering the lab must sign the logbook noting the date of use, equipment and software used, and the time in and out. Students may be asked to exchange their college identification card for any portable equipment they use.

A student worker who is trained in the use of hardware, software, and any other equipment in the lab will supervise the Assistive Technology Lab. If the student worker is not available, please contact the Supervisor or Coordinator for the Testing Lab.

The following actions may lead to removal from the lab and/or loss of lab privileges:

  • Eating or drinking in the lab
  • Cell phone use in the lab
  • Disruptive behavior and/or the harassment of others
  • Theft or attempted theft of lab materials or hardware
  • Use or installation of instant messenger or other software
  • Use of inappropriate and/or non-educational materials
  • Tampering with hardware or hardware setups
  • Failure to follow instructions of the Assistive Technology Lab Student Worker

Please note: Refer to the Wesleyan Student Handbook online for policies governing computer use on campus. Lab use will be academic in nature and be restricted to Wesleyan students only.