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Assistive Technology: Software

Your starting point to access information on all our library assistive technology software, help and advice.

Assistive Technology in the Library

Welcome to the Assistive Software Overview

Welcome to Assistive Software

The tabs in the box below will give you an idea of the types of Assistive software that is available in the Library and what they do.

In this guide, we have grouped the assistive software into categories that reflect their main function. For example, Text-to-Speech software makes on-screen text accessible by reading it out loud to you. Some software can fall into more than one category. 

If you want to see a quick overview of what the assistive software can do, scroll down to the second box titled "What can it do?"

We also have an Assistive Technology Blog with posts on Assistive Technology (AT) and software. You will find instructive 'How To' articles and posts on the role different types of assistive software can have in your assignments. We have also included links to external AT online resources. 

Types of assistive software available in the Library

Mind Mapping can help make your studies more organised, effective and creative.
It is a method of collecting and organising information and can be used for many different types of tasks, such as:

  • Brainstorming
  • Identifying, organising and managing projects
  • Revision and note-taking
  • Researching and keeping track of references 
  • Project management

There are three different types of mind mapping software available in the Library

  • MindGenius (PC only)
  • Inspiration (Mac and PC)
  • Mind View (Mac and PC)

With most Mind Mapping software, you can:

  • create large mind maps 
  • add images, weblinks and colour code boxes
  • export mind maps into Excel and create a Gantt chart (Mind Genius and MindView only)
  • export mind maps into Word and PowerPoint with automatic headings

Text-to-Speech software reads on-screen text aloud and has a number of other features which can help with word selection and sentence construction.

We have three text-to-speech software in the Library: ClaroRead Pro, Include Me and TextHelp Read & Write.

Claro Read Pro and Include Me is installed on all PCs and MACs in the library.

TextHelp Read & Write (v11.5) is only available on the Assistive Technology (AT) computers and in the Library Study Rooms. You will need to be registered to access this software on the Assistive Technology PCs in KL00.09, KL00.06, and KL00.07.


ClaroRead Pro

Is a text-to-speech software which will read back aloud on-screen text, such as PDFs, scanned documents, Word documents and web pages. As with all text-to-speech software, you can control the speed of the read-back to suit your learning style. ClaroRead also has a research project feature where you can add your own audio notes, images and web links when researching for your assignments. ClaroRead does not have a speech-to-text feature. With the ClaroCapture feature, you can also collect information and make a note of where you found it. 

TextHelp Read+Write

Is a powerful text-to-speech software which can make most on-screen text, documents, and web pages accessible to you. It will read out loud PDFs, scanned documents, Word documents and web pages, including embedded text. It also has a speech-to-text facility, so you can dictate your assignments into Word. It is an all round software, as it also includes a research project facility that will help you keep your researching notes, web links and images organised.

Include Me

Include Me is a text-to-speech software that makes digital content like documents and websites more accessible. Web content is read out in a natural voice and also makes PDFs and Word documents accessible by reading them aloud. It also includes tools such as: Reading Ruler, Colour Overlay, Audio Exports and Translations.

Dragon is a very powerful and efficient speech-to-text assistive software. Dragon (v14) is only available on the Assistive Technology (AT) computers and you will need to book a study room to dictate with the Software, as Dragon requires a quiet space to work correctly. You will need to set up a Dragon profile the first time you activate the software. Contact the Assistive Technology Officer to arrange a tutorial if you wish to learn more about how to use Dragon and how to set up a user profile: http://dmu-ac-uk.libcal.com/booking/121at.


Dragon 14

Dragon enables you to dictate and edit your documents. It also allows you to control your computer with voice commands.

Using Dragon is faster than typing and can help students with dyslexia or a specific learning difference with getting started on assignments and typing up large reports or dissertations. Dragon can also help you with proof-reading, as it can read back aloud your written text to be checked. Dragon has a voice command facility, which you can use to format your text without having to use the keyboard and mouse.

Dragon 14 is available on the Assistive Technology (AT) computers and in the Individual Study Rooms (KL00.08a-f).
You will need to be registered to access this software in the Accessible Study Rooms (KL00.07-06) and KL00.09Please contact the Library Disability Team at libdis@dmu.ac.uk to see if you are eligible.

See Dragon in action on this Youtube video by Nuance:

If you record your lectures, note-taking editing software can help sort through the captured audio file and highlight key moments.

You can work with your recordings taken on your laptop, recording device or an app on your mobile. It makes it easier to go back to the important points in your lecture, as audio is visualized phrase-by-phrase. You can use the edit software to highlight key points and add notes alongside your recordings.

Key features of note-taking editing software:

  • Identify, playback, highlight and manage your audio recordings
  • Revision and note-taking
  • Add notes, images, slides and text notes alongside your recording

There are two types of note-taking edit software available in the Library:

  • NoteTalker (PC and MAC)
  • Audio Notetaker (Assistive Technology PCs only)
Audio Notetaker is available on Assistive Technology (AT) computers and in the Individual Study Rooms. You will need to be registered to access this software in the Accessible Study Rooms (KL00.07-06) and KL00.09Please contact the Library Disability Team at libdis@dmu.ac.uk to see if you are eligible.

Make it accessible

Convert text into an accessible format with Sensus Access.

You can convert PDFs, JEPGs and other types of files into text files, e-books, audio or braille. Click here to go to our Make It Accessible page. 


Conditions of use

You can make an accessible copy if:

  • You own the copyright (for example, it’s your own work)
  • Have permission from the copyright holder
  • If the copyright has expired
  • Or it’s for someone with a print disability

In making any accessible copy you agree that:

Contact us for copyright advice: copyright@dmu.ac.uk

ZoomText Magnifier and Reader is an advanced screen magnification software that enlarges everything on the computer screen. It also has colour controls to improve screen clarity and include effects such as colour dyes, two-colour modes and replacement of problem colours. 

ZoomText is available on Assistive Technology (AT) computers and the Library Study Rooms. 
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What can it do?

 What is it?

 What can it do?

 You can use it for...

 

 Inspiration

 Mind Mapping

  • Planning an essay or report
  • Get your ideas down quickly
  • Brainstorming
  • Organise references
  • Revision and notes
  • Add your own audio notes
  • Export to Word with headings & outline
  • Export to PDF and picture formats (JPEG, PNG, TIFF)

 MindGenius +

 Mind View

 Mind Mapping
 Project Management
 Outline written work

  • Planning an essay or report 
  • Get your ideas down quickly
  • Brainstorming
  • Create Gantt Charts and SWOT analysis
  • Time manage your tasks and assignment
  • Organise references
  • Revision and notes
  • Export to Word and PowerPoint with headings and outline
  • Export to an Excel spreadsheet (as a Gantt chart)
  • Export to PDF and picture formats (JPEG, PNG, TIFF)
 

 What is it?

 What can it do?

 You can use it for...

 
ClaroRead Text-to-Speech
  • Reading out loud on-screen text: Word, PDFs, scanned documents, web pages.
  • Proof-reading written assignments by listening back
  • Adding a coloured screen overlay
  • Accessing a talking a calculator
  • Adding your own audio notes

TextHelp 

Read&Write

Text-to-Speech

(See also: Speech-to-Text)

  • Reading out loud on-screen text: Word, PDFs, scanned documents, web pages.
  • Proof-reading written assignments by listening back
  • Researching
 Dragon

Text-to-Speech

(See also: Speech-to-Text)

  • Researching
  • Read out loud on-screen text: Word and Web Pages
  • Proof-reading written assignments by listening back
  • Works with Audio NoteTaker

 
Both Dragon and TextHelp Read&Write are only available on the Assistive Technology (AT) computers.
 
 

 What is it?

 What can it do?

 You can use it for...

 

 Dragon

Speech-to-Text

(see also: Text-to-Speech)

  • Writing assignments (reports, essays, dissertations)
  • Dictating into Word your essay or report 
  • Transcribing (limited)
  • Voice commands to edit
  • Works with Audio Notetaker

TextHelp 

Read&Write

Speech-to-Text

(see also: Text-to-Speech)

  • Writing assignments (reports, essays, dissertations)
  • Dictating into Word your spoken word

 
Both Dragon and TextHelp Read&Write are only available on the Assistive Technology (AT) computers.
 

 What is it?

 What can it do?

 You can use it for...

 

Audio Notetaker

Note-taking 

  • Taking better notes
  • Recording lecturers and interviews
  • Add colour coded tags while recording
  • Import PowerPoint presentations and images
  • Organising notes
  • Transcribing audio (with Dragon - subject to audio quality)
  • Using your smartphone to record lectures with AudioNotetaker App (free download from Google Play)
  • Import audio captured with other devices to use with Audio Notetaker

NoteTalker

Note-taking

  • Taking better notes
  • Recording lecturers and interviews
  • Add bookmarks while recording
  • Import PowerPoint presentations and images
  • Organising notes
  • Filter and extract notes
  • Turning your smartphone into recording device with NotaTalker app (not free)
  • Import audio captured with other devices to use with Notetalker
Audio Notetaker is only available on the Assistive Technology (AT) computers.
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The AT Blog

Book a Workshop

Workshops

You book a workshops by clicking on the mini calendar below or if you go to the Workshops tab on the top menu bar in this guide.

Bookings open two weeks prior to the workshop week.