SSD collaborates with the TLOS Accessible Technologies team to provide hardware and software to support students with assistive technology needs. While we have licenses for specific applications that we support, there are also a variety of assistive technologies that are free or low cost which might benefit students. Students receiving an accommodation for assistive technology will receive license information, connection details, and/or equipment loan agreements from SSD. For basic support questions please reach out to email@example.com. Intermediate to advanced questions can be directed to Accessible Technologies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the licenses that are distributed through SSD, many of the assistive technologies we support are available through Accessible Technologies at the AT Services Lab in 110 Newman Library. This quiet study space is available to SSD students anytime the library is open using their Hokie passport. Students may email email@example.com if they have any trouble accessing the space.
Adaptive technology is a broad term that includes a variety of items used to access physical objects and computer interfaces. Common adaptive technologies include ergonomic keyboards, ergonomic mice, push buttons, switches, joysticks, handgrips, etc. Adaptive technology is typically specific to the individual and their disability. It is sometimes considered a personal device. SSD does not maintain an inventory of adaptive technology for loan but does work with partners to source technology on an as needed basis. SSD can work with instructors on how to get specialized course equipment (such as lab equipment) to work with a student’s adaptive technology.
Screen magnification can include built-in magnification capabilities on a student’s personal computer or a computer in a shared space (such as a classroom, lab, or common area). It might also include specialized software. Virginia Tech supports ZoomText and students can download a personal license using their VT email. If needed SSD can collaborate with the Accessible Technologies team and instructors on how to get screen magnification to work on a classroom or lab computer.
Some students need the content and the actions of the computer to be spoken aloud. This requires a screen reader. Screen readers are typically installed on a student’s personal computer. Virginia Tech supports the JAWS screen reader. Students can also download a personal license using their VT email. If needed SSD can collaborate with the Accessible Technologies team and instructors on how to get screen magnification to work on a classroom or lab computer.
Many students with learning disabilities depend on text-to-speech (TTS) to access digital text. They may use tools that are built into the operating system, but they may also use off the shelf tools. Virginia Tech primarily uses Read&Write, OrbitNote, and Immersive Reader within Canvas to support students who need TTS. Students can direct basic support questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Intermediate to advanced questions can be directed to Accessible Technologies at email@example.com.
Students with a variety of needs may use voice recognition to access a computer or dictate text. This is a common need for students with dominant arm injuries. Students receiving voice recognition as an assistive technology accommodation may use any number of software applications to accomplish this. Several that are in use include: Windows speech-to-text, macOS dictation, Google voice typing, and EquatIO with speech commands for math dictation. If these tools are not adequate to provide equal access, then alternative products may be considered. Students can direct basic support questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Intermediate to advanced questions can be directed to Accessible Technologies at email@example.com.