Student Handbook Chapter 6 - Accessible Technology

Student Handbook Chapter 6 - Accessible Technology

The Center for Accessible Resources (CAR) offers accessible technology designed to provide greater independence and equal access to technology and information resources, such as the internet. These technologies include: lab equipment, microphones, magnifiers, FM Systems, CCTV, speech-to-text software, alternate mice, computer keyboards, and more for those with documented disabilities. 

Accessible technology for computers

Students with qualifying disabilities may request accessible technology for computers in labs and classrooms.
Examples of potential accessible technology accommodations include:

  • Large computer monitor and text enlarging software
  • Trackball, handshake mouse, and other pointing devices
  • Ergonomic or Mini Keyboard
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Video magnifiers (CCTV)
  • Closed caption decoders
  • Alternative input devices
  • Talking calculators
  • Screen reader programs

Video on PDF Accessibility Tagging

And specific software, such as:

Dragon Speech Recognition Software Page—Allows the user to enter text using voice commands instead of typing on the keyboard. Visit the Dragon Naturally Speaking Demos Page to watch instructional videos.

JAWS Screen Reading Software Page—Job Access With Speech reads aloud what is on screen. Includes commands to move within tables and between links or headings. Jaws will also output Braille. For more information on using JAWS to navigate Windows, see the pdf below.

PDF: JAWS for Windows

ZoomText Page—Magnifies a portion of the screen.

WYNN Page—Reads text aloud while highlighting the spoken words.

Livescribe Smartpens

Smartpens are ballpoint pens with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder. If used with the paper in the smartpen notebook, the smartpen will record what it writes and later upload it to a computer. For more information, please see Livescribe's Smartpen Instruction webpage and the Smartpen Youtube Playlist, and read CAR's Smartpen Instructions below.

Echo Desktop for Smartpens webpage—Echo Desktop is computer software allowing people to view and listen to content created using a Smartpen.

When a student uses a Smartpen provided by the Center for Accessible Resources (CAR) they will be given instructions for how to upload this software on to their computer; students can also find the instructions below. 

IBM Watson-- IBM Watson is a free online speech-to-text tool for transcribing audio recordings into typed text, which can be read from the screen or printed out. For complete instructions, please see the PDF below.

Note for students using pens with the Livescribe + App: The CAR Tech Center has cords available to help you put audio from the Livescribe + app directly into IBM Watson. Come drop into room 263-B of building 19! Check the CAR Announcements page for up-to-date Tech Center hours. You can also play the audio on your phone and hold it up to a microphone for IBM Watson to record.

PDF: SmartPen/Echo Desktop Instructions

PDF: Aegir Smartpen Instructions

PDF: Livescribe 3 Pen User Guide

PDF: Step-by-Step IBM Watson Instructions

Note: Do not register the Smartpen when prompted. The pen is property of Lane Community College’s Center for Accessible Resources (CAR).

Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech

IBM Watson is a free online speech-to-text tool for transcribing audio recordings into typed text, which can be read from the screen or printed out. For complete instructions, please see our PDF: IBM Watson Tutorial.

Google Docs has a Voice Typing option that can be very helpful for dictation, or for transcribing audio recorded on the Livescribe+ app. See instructions in our PDF: Google Voice Tutorial.

Google Read and Write is a Chrome extension that reads text on websites, pdfs, and google documents aloud. Find instructions for download and use in our PDF: Google Read and Write Tutorial.

Windows Speech Recognition

This software is similar to Dragon Naturally Speaking and is free on every windows system. You can type, click, navigate through the computer, and dictate speech. It is available on all Windows computers in Programs.

Google Voice

Google Voice is a dictation tool for use in either Google Docs or Google Slides. The software works with Google Chrome. Students can dictate text, add punctuation, and navigate through the text with voice commands.

Google Voice Download

iStudiez Pro

iStudiez Pro is a free planner for students- help yourself study and budget time!


This database helps you find the app you need for notetaking, dictation, audiobooks, or any other task you have! Search by app subject or use, device type, and price.

AppFinder Database


Listed are various resources for apps. Many of these are useful for specific types of disabilities, others are useful for note-taking, dictation, or many other tasks.

PDF: iPad/iPhone Apps List

PDF: List of Android Apps

PDF: Notetaking Software and Apps

Technology Evaluation

Contains research on and evaluation of accessible technology so that students can find the most beneficial option before buying any technology for the home.

Accessible Technology Evaluation Page

PDF: Accessible Technology Information Handout—This document contains further information about specific software.

Visit the Microsoft accessibility webpage to learn how to make your PC easier to use!

Accommodations provided

Video Magnifiers for enlarging and viewing text. The device can be used with individual pages or books. The printed material is placed under a camera and the enlarged printed copy is transmitted to a viewing screen/monitor.

Questions or concerns? Students should immediately contact their CAR Accommodation Specialist from CAR's Contact page. If needed, visit CAR's Grievances Page for information on informal and formal complaint processes.