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Accessing Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is any object or system that increases or maintains the capabilities of people with disabilities [i].

Assistive technology can make a great difference to the lives of its users, both at home and at work. Please see the BBC website for some short films of users' experiences with assistive technology.

Students

The SENIT Suite is provided for the use of disabled students at UCL. The hardware and software within the SENIT Suite is serviced by Information Systems, who also provide the services of The Disability IT Support Analyst.

Training and support in the use of assistive technology can be booked with the Disability IT Support Analyst throughout the year, in addition to new user inductions to the SENIT Suite. Further details can be obtained by contacting the Student Disability Services.

Staff

The Disability IT Support Analyst is available to help you with your assistive technology needs, and may be contacted for advice in this regard.

However, there is a more formal method of seeking support, which involves Occupational Health initially assessing your needs. It may also benefit you in the long run to include your line manager from the beginning of this process, as you may need to seek their support in the purchase of any recommended hardware or software.

Assistive Software on the UCL Network

The following packages are available on the new Student and Staff Desktop. If you have any difficulties accessing this please contact the ISD Service Desk or the Disability IT Support Analyst. Please contact the Disability IT Support Analyst if you would like training on these packages; alternatively, you can view training materials on the following website: Wyvern Training Portal.

  • Inspiration: A mind-mapping package that allows you to plan and organize your work
  • TextHelp Read and Write: Provides text-to-speech functionality, and many other useful tools, to aid you in your work and studies

The following links will allow you to download or apply for demos of some of the programs that may be useful for someone with a disability. We cannot accept any responsibility for any problems relating to these downloads.

Assistive Software in the SENIT Suite

In the SENIT Suite, Inspiration, Read and Write, and Audio Notetaker are available for trying out and/or training. There are also links below for you to download demo copies:

Dyslexia/Dyspraxia

Visual Impairment

Sight and Sound Technology offer a wide range of assistive software, such as JAWS and ZoomText. Demo copies and free trials are available for some of these programs.

Additionally, in the SENIT Suite, JAWS and ZoomText are provided for student use; find out more about support for visual impairments.  Please contact the Disability IT Support Analyst for training in using these programs if required.

Free Downloads

Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for any problems relating to these downloads.

For Visual Impairment

For specific learning difficulties: Dyslexia/Dyspraxia

Training Materials

There are various free training materials available for many assistive technology programs. Some resources are listed below.

Assistive equipment

Staff

A member of staff who feels they may have need of assistive technology should either speak to their line manager, or they can contact the Occupational Health Department directly.

Ergonomic Equipment Loan Scheme

If you want some advice on ergonomic equipment or wish to try out a different kind of keyboard, mouse or other assistive technology please contact the Disability IT Support Analyst. They have a range of equipment available for short-term loan to "try before you buy".

Further advice can also be obtained from the Disability IT Support Analyst on the range of equipment available.

[i] "Tennessee Science Standards". Retrieved 2012-10-05.