Assistive Technology and Alternative Format Policy

Policy Owner
Disability Office
Document Type
Document Approval Date

As part of DCU Disability and Learning Support Service (DLSS), Assistive Technology (AT) and Alternative Formats (AF) are provided for Students registered with the DLSS. AT is intended to assist students with access to information and other resources that are available in DCU so as to allow a student take on their course(s) without any obstacles and to provide them with the same opportunities that is given to all students studying in 3rd level.

Assistive Technology promotes greater independence for Students with disabilities enabling them to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to or changed methods of interacting with the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.

DLSS services can provide a comprehensive process of assessments, strategies and adaptive equipment to benefit students with disabilities. AT can include hardware, software, and peripherals that assist students in accessing computers or other information technologies. This will help students achieve greater independence in their learning and enhance their overall experience as a student here at DCU

The Assistive Technology Training Centre/AT Room is run by the AT Officer. Students who wish avail of this service must get in contact with the AT officer to arrange for an AT assessment.

The centre provides a wide range of software and Hardware devices to enable students in their studies. The range of equipment supplied includes the following, and is not limited to this list as AT is constantly been updated and changing to best suit the needs of the user: Laptops, Scanners, Printers, Digital Dictaphones, Voice Recognitions software, Audio and Visual aids, and specialized software such as Texthelp Read and Write, Zoomtext screen magnifier, Jaws screen reader & Mindmanager 6 mind-mapping software among others.

Students in DCU must register with DLSS as soon as possible by making an appointment to see the Disability Officer or another DLSS representative. It is important to have appropriate documentation to be considered for AT and other accommodations provided by this service.

If the student is approved for this service, the student will be referred to the AT Officer for an assessment.

​​​​​​​Students must be mindful that equipment supplied is subject to HEA/ ESF funding and where possible to meet and discuss AT requirements during the first Semester.

​​​​​​​Students can be referred to the AT officer by all members of the DLSS staff.

Students are responsible for making an appointment with the AT officer and ensuring that they attend for each appointment. Students are requested to give adequate notice for a cancellation of an appointment and rearrange for another appointment in a timely manner.

Care is to be taken when operating DLSS supplied equipment and to respect the integrity of the equipment provided by the AT Centre.

Contact the Coordinator of the Assistive Technology Centre to request training on any available assistive hardware or software. Make an appointment with the Coordinator for the training session requested. Attend the requisite number of training sessions for software/ hardware supplied.

The Student is to complete the AT assessment form and the Equipment Borrowing contract that is provided when borrowing equipment from the AT Room

Return DLSS equipment upon completion of their studies. Do not pass on or share equipment with any third parties.

​​​​​​​Equipment that is not being used by the student has to be returned to the AT Officer or the AT centre.

​​​​​​​Laptops/PCs etc are supplied solely for academic use, in research, completion of work assignments, or advancement of one's computer skills. Given the computer resources available, coupled with the demand for their use, computer gaming, etc is not viewed as an acceptable use of DLSS supplied computers.

Students must also insure that they:​​​​​​​

  • Leave all control panel settings as set by the DLSS
  • Ask for permission to add software to the Computer as only academic software is allowed
  • Do not alter the Computer/Laptop in any other manner
  • Report any problems with equipment immediately to the AT officer. The students must not try to fix the equipment by themselves as this could forfeit the Warranty of the equipment.
  • Do not try to copy any software or any protected data that is compliant with copyright law
  • Store equipment in a safe place when not in use

​​​​​​​Provide an external drive (e.g USB flash drive or external HD) to back up important data and files.

​​​​​​​Ensure that they have supplied Lecturers with documentation or a letter of Disability in order to use AT equipment during the course of a lecture

​​​​​​​When using AT equipment in exams provided by their examination accommodations that they respect the integrity of the examination and follow the DCU policy on examinations.

There is no University rule that prohibits you from viewing any web pages anywhere. However, the University’s dignity and respect policy prohibits your from displaying sexually explicit material which interferes with anyone’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment. Images of this nature found stored on DLSS supplied equipment will result in the immediate confiscation of equipment and the appropriate disciplinary action in line with the University’s policy on acceptable computer usage.

The computer Code of Practice can be viewed on the following URL address:

  • A designated member of DLSS is responsible for meeting the student seeking to avail of the AT Centre, reviewing appropriate documentation and referring the student to the AT Officer
  • Provide computer hardware and software intended to assist students with academic pursuits.
  • ​​​​​​​Operate the AT Centre during the hours posted with a qualified staff member present.
  • ​​​​​​​Consult with faculty, staff and students regarding the use of adaptive technology.
  • ​​​​​​​Respond to problems with equipment and provide for repairs in a reasonable time frame
  • ​​​​​​​Update software and hardware for the students needs within budgetary constraints that are allowed by the funding party.
  • ​​​​​​​Provide an AT Assessment for students requesting AT Support.
  • ​​​​​​​Keep up-to-date on the latest technology developments both in Hardware and Software Technology so to assist students with disabilities.
  • ​​​​​​​Provide AT equipment and software for use in examination.

Document Name

Assistive Technology and Alternative Format Policy

Unit Owner

Disability Office

Version Reference

Version 1.0

Effective Date

June 30th 2010