Technology and Students with Disabilities

Assistive Technology and Students with Disabilities

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, or product system used to increase, maintain, or improve access for individuals with disabilities

What are some of the Assistive Technologies that are available?

Voice recognition system (Dragon Naturally Speaking/Voice Express) – allows students to write by simply speaking to a computer system that is programmed to recognize their voices. Particularly helpful to: students with motor disabilities and students with learning disabilities.

Screen readers (Jaws/ Magic) – allow students who are unable to see a traditional computer monitor to access the screen via a voice output system that literally reads the contents to users. Particularly helpful to: blind and low-vision students.

Screen enlargers (Zoom Text/ Magic) – allow students who have difficulty seeing screen contents on a standard computer monitor to see the computer by enlarging the screen up to 16 times. Particularly helpful to: low-vision students.

Braille Translation Software (Duxbury) – allows for the conversion of text to Braille using a scanner and Braille printer. Particularly helpful to: blind students.

Kurzweil Omni 3000 Reading System – assists students whose disabilities affect their reading by simultaneously reading text out loud and highlighting each spoken word on a computer display. Students can have the system pause at any time and using its pull-down menus, have instant access to dictionary, thesaurus, grammar check, and note taking. Students can also use the system’s scanner, voice-output and recording capabilities to create books-on-tape. Particularly helpful to: students with learning disabilities and blind/low-vision students.

Inspiration- software that assists students in organizing ideas for essays and papers using symbolic, graphical displays. Particularly helpful to: students with learning disabilities.

Where can I find assistive technology at BMCC?

BMCC has set-up a centralized computer lab dedicated to assistive technology and meeting the needs of students with disabilities. This lab is located in room N-764. Technical assistance and help is available from O.A staff. The hours of the lab vary each semester. Students should contact O.A for current lab hours of operation.

BMCC's Commitment to AT:

Assistive technology is a rapidly evolving field, with innovative AT solutions constantly emerging. In the effort to provide students with the most effective AT solutions, BMCC is committed to consistently upgrading its AT resources. Please periodically check with O.A to learn about its latest improvements to BMCC’s AT resources.

To determine reasonable accommodations, O.A may seek information from appropriate college personnel regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities. The director makes the final determinations of reasonable accommodations in collaboration with the student and faculty as warranted.

Requesting AT in classrooms/ lab: When you need AT in your classroom:

Students must complete and submit the Request for Assistive Technology in the Classroom/Labs Form.

Students are advised to submit these requests at the time of registration and must allow three weeks for assistive technology to be installed.

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The City University of New York

Borough of Manhattan Community College
The City University of New York
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