Assistive Technology

What is assistive technology (AT)?

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities (Assistive Technology Act of 1999).

How can I learn more about assistive technology?

Choosing the right assistive technology can be challenging. To help students determine which tools best meet their academic needs, the Learning Assistance Program offers individual trainings, workshops and classes that cover a variety of text-to-speech, speech-to-text, screen reader, note-taking, and magnification solutions.

There are several ways to learn more about assistive technology:

What AT is available on campus?

The following assistive technology is available or is available upon request in the Learning Assistance Program (LAP) Testing/Adaptive Technology Computer Labs and most mainstream computer labs:

  • Kurzweil 3000 (text-to-speech software)
  • Balabolka (free text-to-speech)
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking (speech recognition software)
  • Windows Speech (built-in speech recognition)
  • JAWS (screen-reading software)
  • NVDA (free screen-reading software)
  • VoiceOver (built-in screen-reader for Apple products)
  • Kurzweil 1000 (text-to-speech software)
  • CARS (free text-to-speech for math)
  • ZoomText (screen-magnifying with speech software)
  • Video magnifier with Speech (print enlarger)
  • Electric height and/or crank adjustable workstations
  • Scanners for use with Kurzweil

How do I make a campus assistive technology request or report an issue with assistive technology?

Please email your assistive technology campus request or concern to the LAP at or make an appointment with the High Technology Instructor by calling 805-922-6966 ext. 3274.

What equipment is available for loan?

A limited inventory of the following equipment is available on a first-come first-serve basis for one-time loans to eligible students for demo purposes. Equipment necessary for ongoing accommodations must be acquired by the student.

  • Livescribe Echo Smartpens (note-taking)
  • iPods (primarily for recording lectures)
  • iPads (Text-to-speech, voice recognition, time management, note-taking, etc.)
  • Laptops and Surface Pros (Text-to-speech, voice recognition, note-taking, writing papers, etc.)
  • Assistive Listening Devices (amplifier)
  • Victor Streams (audio book reader)
  • Digital Recorders (recording lectures)
  • Large Print Calculators
  • Large Print Scientific Calculators
  • Talking Scientific Calculators

What other assistive/academic software, apps and devices are recommended?

To learn more about more about LAP recommended technology, please visit our Assistive and Academic Apps and Devices page which offers a list of software, apps and devices that can help students improve their reading, writing, math, time-management, note-taking, test-taking and study skills in general.