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. 

Students with qualifying disabilities may request accessible technology for computers in labs and classrooms.

Accessible technology for computers

Examples of potential accessible technology accommodations include:

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


Dragon Naturally Speaking

DNS allows the user to enter text using voice commands instead of typing on the keyboard.

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.

JAWS Screen Reader

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.


ZoomText magnifies a portion of the screen.


Reads text aloud while highlighting the spoken words.


AEGIR Smartpens

These are ballpoint pens with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder. If used with the paper in the smartpen notebook, this smartpen will record what it writes and upload it to a computer, tablet, or smartphone via Bluetooth

Note: The CAR Tech Center (room 263-B, building 19) has cords available to help you put audio from the Livescribe+ app directly into IBM Watson for students using the AEGIR pens with the Livescribe+ App. Check the CAR Announcements page for up-to-date drop in Tech Center hours.

ECHO Smartpens

These are ballpoint pens with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder. If used with the paper in the smartpen notebook, this smartpen will record what it writes and upload it to the Echo Desktop App on a computer. The Echo Desktop App is a computer software allowing people to view and listen to content created using a Smartpen.

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

Link to Download Echo Desktop

PDF: SmartPen/Echo Desktop Instructions: for ECHO smartpen guide and for instructions on how to download the free Echo Desktop App on Windows or MacOS.

Visit the Livescribe's Smartpen Instruction webpage for more information on what a smartpen can do and its benefits for you.

Video Magnifiers

The device is for enlarging and viewing text. It 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.

Speech-To-Text And Text-To-Speech

IBM Watson

A free online speech-to-text tool for transcribing audio recordings into typed text, which can be read from the screen or printed out. You can also play the audio on your phone and hold it up to a microphone for IBM Watson to record.

Link to IBM Watson

Google Docs Voice Typing

Google Doc has a Voice Typing option that can be very helpful for dictation, or for transcribing audio recorded on the Livescribe+ app. 

Google Read and Write

This is a Chrome extension that reads text on websites, pdfs, and google documents aloud.

Adobe Read-Out-Loud

Adobe has a read-out-loud feature that will read the text in PDF files out loud.

Mobile Apps


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: to find apps you need that are compatible with Android, iOS, Microsoft, and Blackberry devices.

iStudiez Pro

A free planner for students to help yourself study and budget time! 

  • iStudiez Pro: for more information and for a free download on Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices.

The PDFs below are some useful apps for specific types of disabilities, others are useful for note-taking, dictation, or many other tasks.

Technology Evaluation

Below are links to PDF and webpages that contains research on and evaluation of accessible technology, so that students can find the most beneficial option before buying any technology for the home. 

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.