Assistive technology (often abbreviated as AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Assistive technology includes products and services to help people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, etc. Different disabilities require different assistive technologies. Assistive technology products are designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments and disabilities. When selecting assistive technology products, it is crucial to find products that are compatible with the computer operating system and programs on the particular computer being used.
Assistive Technology Equipment Loans
Assistive technology equipment loans are available at all Georgia State University locations at their respective Access and Accommodations Center offices. Additionally, equipment can also be loaned out at the University Library, second floor at the Atlanta location. Students have the flexibility to check out equipment on a semester basis. Equipment loans are due on or before the last day of class of the respective semester. Failure to return equipment will result in a hold placed on the students account. In the event that the equipment has been lost, it is the student’s responsibility to replace the lost equipment in order to remove the hold.
Available Assistive Software
- JAWS for windows: A screen reading software for visually impaired users produced by the Blind and Low Vision Group at Freedom Scientific. It provides the user with access to the information displayed on the screen via text-to-speech or by means of Braille display and allows for comprehensive keyboard interaction with the computer. It is a top of the line screen reader with internet capabilities, email access and full compatibility with Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office.
- Zoom Text Magnifier: Enlarges and enhances everything on the computer screen to make all of the applications easier to see and use.
- Read and Write: A literacy support tool designed to provide extra assistance to users when reading or composing text via text-to-speech and voice recognition. It is a customizable easy to use toolbar that directly integrates with familiar applications including Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader, allowing students to access the support tools they need from within the programs they use every day. The product highlights and reads text aloud using natural sounding voices and also includes a comprehensive set of support tools for reading, writing, studying, research and test taking.
- Dragon Naturally Speaking: Speech recognition software with three primary functions:
- Dictation, whereby spoken language is transcribed to written text.
- Commands that control, whereby spoken language is recognized as a command to click widgets (controls).
- Text-to-speech, whereby written text is converted to synthesized audio stream.
- Otter.ai: Essentially, a voice recorder that offers automatic transcription. Otter is designed to be able to understand and capture long-form conversations that take place between multiple people (otter.ai website).
- MAGic: screen magnification and screen reading solution for low vision computer users.
- Sonocent: a notetaking software that allows students to record lectures on a laptop or mobile device, color highlight information, import presentation slides or diagrams next to the audio files, and include text notes. The recordings are broken up into smaller chunks of information each time the program detects a pause to make audio easier to organize.
Available Assistive Hardware
- Merlin, Telesensory and Opetelec Spectrum Magnifier (CCTV), low vision video and image magnifier: A closed circuit television (CCTV) that uses a video camera to project a magnified image onto a TV screen to assist individuals with visual impairments accomplish daily tasks such as reading, writing, viewing photos, etc.
- Touch-screen monitor
- Roger Pen: The Roger Pen features adaptive wireless transmission, fully automated settings, TV connectivity and an audio input for listening to multimedia. It can also be used alongside other Roger Clip-On Mics and Roger Pens in a microphone network.
- FM Receiver Transmitter System
- Lapel and Conference Microphones
- Portable Handheld Magnifier
- Trackball Mouse: For comfort of fingertips and wrists.
- Livescribe Echo Smartpen: Smartpens record everything you write and hear so you’ll never miss a word. Replay your meetings or lectures simply by tapping on your notes*. The free Echo Desktop application saves your notes and recordings to your computer for fast, easy access to what’s important. Search for words within your notes and find what you need fast.
- Digital Audio Recorder
- Braille Printer
- Adjustable Desk.