Assistive Technology

Technology plays a fundamental part in teaching and learning here at DCU for all students.  

Assistive Technology can help support students with disabilities overcome challenges like note-taking, reading and examinations.  

Assistive Technology allows students with disabilities to perform tasks they might otherwise be unable to complete.

 Accessing Assistive Technology in DCU

In order to access AssistiveTechnology Supports, Students must be registered with the Disability and Learning Support Service.

Students may then be referred by the Disability and Learning Support Service to the Assistive Technology Officer for assessment and training.

The Disability and Learning Support Service utilise a range of Assistive Technology to facilitate and encourage independent learning.

Assistive Technology for Students with Specific Learning Difficulties

Specific Learning Difficulties or SpLD is an umbrella term which covers a range of difficulties including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, ADD and ADHD.

Students registered with an SpLD can avail of a range of Assistive Technology including:

 

Claroread Pro Software can assist students with:

Claroread provides reading and writing support tools for any student looking to make the reading and writing process easier. Find text-to-speech, word prediction, spell check, proofreading and more in one easy to use program.  You can convert PDF's to accessible PDF's or to word using the Scan feature.

 

  • Text to speech
  • Proofreading
  • Spellcheck

Please note that site license software runs on a subscription basis, and only applies while you are a current student in DCU. Once you are no longer a student, you will no longer be entitled to install/use the software.

To use Claroread Cloud and/or install Claroread for windows or Mac you must first agree to the DCU Disclaimer.   You will then be granted access to the log in details to access Claroread Cloud.  All DCU staff and students have access to use the Claroread Cloud  OCR (Optical Cloud Recognition Software), Chrome Apps and a number of iOS and Android apps.  Windows and Mac users can also install Claroread Pro/Plus along with a number of extras.  You also have access to download over 30 different vocalisers.  

For more information on Claroread Pro please go to the Claroread website or check out the Youtube channel.

Please note DCU hold a site licence for ClaroRead Pro for Windows. This software is also available for students and staff to use on campus within the student labs where Windows 10 is installed. We do not hold a site licence for Mac users, this is restricted to students registered with the Disability Service who require the software and should be requested from the Assistive Technology Officer

Install Claroread for Mac & Windows

 

 What is Mindmapping?

A mind map is a graphical way to present ideas and concepts.

It is a visual brainstorming tool that helps to gather, capture and structure information and hence supports the user to better analyse, comprehend, synthesise and recall information and knowledge.

Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity. In a mind map, as opposed to traditional note taking or a linear text, information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works.

Mindjet MindManager is site licensed here at DCU and is available to all students and staff in the University.

To install you must accept the DCU disclaimer. You will then be granted access to the 2020 licence keys for Windows and Mac.

Click here to access the download files

Audio Notetaker (Sonocent)

Audio Notetaker offers a visual and interactive form of note-taking - one where audio, text and images are used to create truly comprehensive notes.  You can import PowerPoint and PDF's relevant to your text and audio, it lets you keep everything in one place.

For more information on Audio Notetaker please go to the Sonocent website or check out the Youtube channel.

Please note there are only a limited number of licences available for this software, free trials are available from the website.  Your AT officer will provide you with a licence for this software if requested or recommended and this will require updating on a yearly basis.  Just to note there is now an iOS app available now.

 

The Livescribe Echo smart pen allows you to record your lectures, capture your notes, replay them and allows you to send them from your desktop as a standard PDF or audio file.  You can record and
playback everything you hear and write.

For more information go to the Livescribe website and check out the support videos available on the Youtube channel.

The Olympus Digital Voice Recorder is a battery operated device with 4GBs of memory.  It has 3 stereo microphones that can capture the highest quality of sound.  The Olympus digital voice recorder is perfect for lecture halls and recording your lectures for replay later.

There is also encrypted recorders available for students on placement which protects sensitive information.

For more information on this piece please go to the Olympus website and check out Youtube for some tutorials on the device. 

Students registered with the DLSS who have learning difficulties that limit their ability to read standard print can sign up to Bookshare Ireland.  

Bookshare makes reading easy with all titles available in a format to suit your needs.

Bookshare Ireland is proudly funded by the Department of Education and Skills. 

To sign up to Bookshare Ireland, students who qualify can email mary.mcgovern@dcu.ie.

To learn more about Bookshare Ireland please check out NCBI Bookshare Ireland website.

 

Sensus Access is an automated document conversion service that allows students to convert readings into formats that more accessible to work with such as MP3 files, E-books and Digital Braille books.

You can use SensusAccess to convert your

  • Slides & lecture notes
  • Scanned PDF documents
  • Pictures of text captured with your smartphone
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Journal articles

This service is available to all students through the DCU Library.

Free to use Typing Software

Typing.com

Typing.com is a free online typing tutor & keyboarding tutorial for typists of all skill levels. Typing.com includes entertaining typing games, typing tests, and free official typing certification.

For more information on Typing.com please go to the Typing.com Website

Students with learning difficulties can access a range of tools within Microsoft Applications that can help increase focus, concentration and understanding.  These tools can help students improve their reading and writing skills.

For more information on the tools available from Microsoft please check out the Microsoft Accessibility webpage.

Apple products have a great built-in accessibility centre including speak screen which can read text aloud on your Mac, iPhone or iPad.

To explore the Apple Accessibility centre and read about the features Apple provides check out the Apple Accessibility webpage.

Assistive Technology for Students who are Blind/Visually Impaired

Students registered with the DLSS  that are blind or visually impaired can avail of a range of assistive technology, software and equipment to support them while they study in DCU. As well as the technology listed below other software and hardware is available, depending on the individual's needs.  This includes magnifiers and braille devices.

Students can also access alternative formats for Core texts on request through the Assistive Technology Officer.

 

Zoomtext is a screen magnifier for Microsoft windows designed for the visually impaired.  The program allows you to see and hear everything from your computer as well as providing access to applications, documents, email and the internet.

For more information on Zoomtext please go to the Ai Squared website or check out the Youtube channel.

Jaws is the most popular screen-reader available and was developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse.  It provides 
speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC.

For more information on Jaws please go to the Freedom Scientific website.

Students registered with the DLSS who are blind or visually impaired can sign up to Bookshare Ireland.  

Bookshare makes reading easy with all titles available in a format to suit your needs.

Bookshare Ireland is proudly funded by the Department of Education and Skills. 

To sign up to Bookshare Ireland, students who qualify can email mary.mcgovern@dcu.ie.

To learn more about Bookshare Ireland please check out NCBI Bookshare Ireland website.

Sensus Access is an automated document conversion service that allows students to convert readings into formats that more accessible to work with such as MP3 files, E-books and Digital Braille books.

You can use SensusAccess to convert your

  • Slides & lecture notes
  • Scanned PDF documents
  • Pictures of text captured with your smartphone
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Journal articles

This service is available to all students through the DCU Library.

Assistive Technology for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

There is a range of Assistive Technology available to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Students registered with the DLSS can avail of the technology listed below as well as specialised software and equipment based on their individual needs.

 

A hearing Loop magnetically transfers the sound from a microphone, etc to hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Please visit the following website for additional information.

FM Systems are wireless assistive hearing devices that enhance the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Assistive Technology Assessment and Training

After registering with the Disability and Learning Support Service (DLSS), students referred for Assistive Technology will be contacted by the Assistive Technology Officer.  They will be asked to complete a quick online Assessment.    It requires general information on the student but more importantly, the students AT needs for the duration of their study period here in DCU.

The AT officer will then meet with the student and based on the assessment and referral from the Disability Officer will be provided with technology and training recommended based on their needs.  

Other accommodations such as exam support and any other needs on campus will also be discussed.

Additional training will be given to any students who require or request it and is subject to the student's needs and will be carried out over the course of the semester.

Throughout the year the AT Officer may also send out additional support regarding software and hardware via email.

 


For further information on any of the above please contact the Assistive Technology Officer:

Contact Information
Assistive Technology Officer Mary McGovern
Phone Number (01) 700 5091
Email mary.mcgovern@dcu.ie
Log a ticket iss servicedesk
Twitter @issservice
Location The AT office can be accessed via Information Systems Services main office.

For Further Information please contact by email: mary.mcgovern@dcu.ie or Phone (01)7005091.